Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tinker Bell Half Marathon pre-race report

After a great week in Orlando we flew to Anaheim on the Friday before the half. Our plane had several Goofy runners on it -- most of whom were also going to run the Tinker Bell half. Nice.

Landed around 2:30, so we decided to drive straight over to the expo. First we picked up our bibs, pre-ordered pins (just the one each), my necklace, and our Coast to Coast wristbands. (yay!) They had a cute system to check the bib tags -- they had everyone cross a set of mats while some eager and excited volunteers cheered. So Wil and I held hands and ran over the mat, which they loved. Super cute.

no "track" carpet, but special Tinker Bell carpet instead

Then we headed over to the other expo building. We picked up our shirts -- pale green long sleeve shirts with a much nicer logo than last year. Wil tried to swap his men's large for a men's medium, which was a bit challenging. In the end we went back the next day and got lucky. :)

We looked at the merch -- nothing too special. No pint glasses again -- just wine glasses. Now, I have nice wine glasses -- I don't need cheap ones with a race logo. And don't they know that plenty of women drink liquids in pints? I looked for pins, but didn't see any hanging. So after a quick look at the shirts and hats, we got in the line (of 2 people) to go to a register.

We asked them about pins -- but apparently they didn't make medal pins for this race -- the only pin was the one we had preordered. A little odd, but okay. We also noticed that they had the little Vinylmation figures by the registers, so we asked if they had the tiny Tink medal. Oh, yes, they did -- in boxes behind the counter.

Now, I think the Vinylmation figure and matching medals is genius. But I can't believe that they were behind the counter. Unless you had seen them in Orlando, you wouldn't know to ask about them, I think. I wonder if they sold more than 10 of them?

Later it also occurred to us that there might have been a teeny tiny Coast to Coast medal -- but we didn't think to ask for it, so maybe they didn't tell us about it? Now I'll wonder about it for weeks. :)

As we were getting ready to leave, we heard them announce that Jenny was about to speak -- so we decided to sit down and hear her talk. Not too many folks in the audience (after all, it was 4:00 on a Friday afternoon) but as she talked, it filled in. We sat right up front to be supportive.

Afterward we had a little chat with Jenny, and made plans to meet up for a Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum at Trader Sam's on Saturday after her last talk.

We spent the rest of Friday getting groceries, settling in to the hotel, and enjoying the parks. (Despite a very uncharacteristic Disney error and some annoying runaround involving our annual passes.... still, we were in Disneyland!

Saturday was much of the same in the morning, then we met up with Jenny. Trader Sam's was crowded, and we had a hard time finding places to sit. First we perched at the corner of the bar near one chair. Then we upgraded to a small tall table near the door with one chair. Then we moved over to the bar, where there were two stools, and grabbed another chair. Then, finally, we sat down at a proper table. This probably took, oh, 30 minutes... and during all that time no server approached us or offered us beverages. A little odd.

Once settled, we each decided to try the Shipwreck. Why? Well, it's made of bourbon. And it comes in a souvenir glass. Nice. We sat around and talked about ideas for running tours. Jenny really wants to do something U.S.-based, so I told her about the five races in five states in five days guys. Wil also suggested doing a staged run where one of the races was a half marathon. I piped up that I'd love a New England series -- the leaf peeper series. I also told her that I hoped that one day they'd need a highly paid brand / email / e-commerce consultant. :)

We talked so long that we ordered a second round of drinks -- this time the Shrunken Zombie Head. Why? Because it's served in a shrunken zombie head souvenir glass, of course!

It was a little funny watching the bar empty, fill up, and empty again while we sat and talked. An unpleasant family crowded around the small two-top next to our table essentially willing us to leave for, oh, at least a half hour. Luckily for them I didn't notice them until I stood up. Had I noticed them, I would probably have lingered longer. :) In fact, when we got up, an argument ensued between them, a small group standing with no table, and another guy who was standing by the door.

As we left, Jenny offered us her extra park hopper passes, which we knew we would be able to find homes for, along with VIP wristbands for Sunday. It was great to see Jenny again -- hope we get to see her again soon.



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