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2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon: The Expo

The good thing about running lots of awesome races this year is that we have many fond memories and photos to get caught up on through recaps posts.

The bad thing is that you, our new readers, have been bombarded with mostly recaps since we started this blog in April. Our apologies for this and please know that we’re just as itchy to write about topics that will encourage, entertain, and engage! That’s our goal with this blog … to inspire others to enjoy life one mile at a time, whatever your age, whatever your fitness level.

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo

Until then, I have one more series of recaps to get through … the 2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon! I had initially registered for 2015’s race and inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge, but had to defer due to family issues. It worked out for the best, however, because this year, I got to stay at the Grand Californian with friends … in club level.

Good Lord, I love club level.

My intentions were to have my running costumes ready and everything packed before the Broad Street 10-Miler, but yeah … that didn’t happen. Instead, I had to do some last-minute just-toss-everything-in packing on Wednesday.

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon

Someone might have over packed.

I had never flown to LAX before, so I was grateful to have my friend, Becky as a traveling partner. And I was grateful for my darling husband, Bob who is always willing to drive me to BWI. We had left later than I had wanted, which raised my anxiety to level orange, but after checking my boarding pass app, what did I see?

TSA Pre-Check? Thank you God.

2016 Tinkerbell Half MarathonBy 7:30am, we were on the plane, every nook and cranny in my personal space (and Becky’s) was disinfected due to my *slight* germaphobe issues, and I had enough liquids to ensure hydration … and about three bathroom breaks.

The weather in sunny California wasn’t looking all that sunny, with highs in the 60’s or low 70’s so we were greeted with a cloudy sky and chilly wind.

Still. I was in California!! How could I not be excited! Luckily, we were both assigned the same SuperShuttle van and we were able to chat with a fellow Tinkerbell Half Marathon Facebook Group member.

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon

It didn’t take long for me to arrive at the Grand Californian, where I met up with my friends, (including Sara, the gal who gave us this great Star Wars™ Half Marathon: The Dark Side recap,) and have lunch in the club suite.

Have I mentioned yet how much I love club? I didn’t spend A DIME on food or drinks the first two days I was there.

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon

My friends had already visited the expo, (where Sara purchased magnets and a wine glass for me,) so while they headed to the parks, I headed out solo to the expo.

Well, I tried to, at least.

Kinda got lost. Twice.

I finally found Downtown Disney … which is so awesome … and after going the wrong way, AGAIN, I made it to Disneyland Hotel. Wow. What a difference between an east coast and west coast expo! This one was held on two levels in the hotel’s conference level and had a relaxed … well, Californian vibe. Perhaps the fact that I arrived later in the afternoon had something to do with it, but from what I heard, there wasn’t any extreme crowding or chaos like there was for this year’s Fit for a Princess Expo.

I headed straight for the Disney Merchandise area where there was a moderate line, nothing too awful.

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon

There was still some merchandise left but it was definitely slim pickings since all the wine glasses and half marathon pins were gone. I almost bought a black and red Coast to Coast shirt but eh, frugality won and instead, I headed back out without buying a thing.

A definite first for me.

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon ExpoHowever, since my Sketchers Go Walk shoes were making my feet sweat something awful, I did pick up some Oofos Sandals to change into. Jackey has been swearing by these things for a while now and yeah, they might look goofy but they are seriously comfortable.

Afterwards, I headed to the lower level for my bid packet and commemorative items. Once again, I kind of got lost but only for a few minutes. Let’s call that one a disorientation, shall we?

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo

Getting my bib packet was super easy and the gal who put on my bracelets for my pink and blue Coast 2 Coast medals was very careful to not make them too tight or too loose. They still annoyed the heck out of me the whole weekend, but I appreciated her efforts.

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo

I picked a good time to go. No lines!

Next up, was my pre-purchased commemorative items–a jacket and set of pins for the 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Pixie Dust Challenge. This brings my tally of runDisney jackets to 10 … holy cow, 10 … so I am hereby banned from buying any more.

Unless they’re really cute.

And if Megan and Jackey buy one.

As for my huge collection of pins? They are all crammed in a ziplock bag, waiting for me to start that cork board project I’ve been meaning to get to. Someday soon.

Anyway, back to the expo. The line was short for the Dooney & Bourke bags, so I went there to return/repurchase my commemorative items using my Disney Visa, getting 10% off for a total of $14.00 saved! Not too shabby! I then met back up with Becky for some photo ops and expo wanderings.

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo

Darn, we missed seeing Jeff Galloway!

The only other thing I purchased was a blue visor from the Sparkle Athletic gals, (love their stuff,) making this the least expensive runDisney expo yet. Becky and I then headed to our respective hotels, making plans to hook up later at California Adventure.

Speaking of California Adventure … OH MY GOSH, I was so excited to finally get to see it! I hadn’t been to Disneyland in nearly twenty years, back when I had no knowledge of Disney touring and went in January when most of the best rides were down. So yeah. Hate being so repetitive … BUT I WAS SO EXCITED!

For the rest of the day, we toured California Adventure where Radiator Springs just blew me away. Wow. Just wow. All of which is best shown in the second half of my vlogging recap over at our YouTube channel.

Thanks for reading yet another recap! Coming up next, the Neverland 5k, which is now my favorite runDisney 5K! Loved it. Just loved it. For updates about this post and more, please subscribe.

Now. What about you.

QOTD: Did you attend the Tinkerbell Half Marathon? If so, how was it? Did you buy anything awesome? We’d love to hear about your experience!

Take care and have a joyful day!

About the author: Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.

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