Friday, March 1, 2013

runDisney Meet-up!

Friday, February 22nd I had the honor and pleasure of being invited into the runDisney meetup at Epcot with running guru Jeff Galloway and many other wonderful people! Well I wouldnt say invited, but my friend Nicole (story to come later) was awake at the early hour of 4am on Monday, February 18th to find the post on the Disney Parks Blog for thoe interested in trying to get into the meet up to send an email to get on the list...and WE DID!!!

Anyways, so let me begin a day earlier, on Thursday the 21st. What a morning I had! My parents so graciously agreed to drive me to the airport at 5am! Needless to say, we should have left earlier for my 7am flight. I just got into the check-in line at 6:15am, then into security around 6:35am. I was lucky enough to get people to let me cut in security lines, but then I was slacking and didnt take my bags of liquids out my bag, I had to wait even longer. Then while waiting for my bags, I could hear my flight being called....then after a couple minutes a few names (including mine), then my name one more time just as they handed me my bag!

So there I go, Home Alone style, running down to the gate! "You must be Stephanie" they say, greeting me at the gate! I felt so blessed....and then luckly got a seat in the front row, it was the middle seat, but hey, Ill take it!!

So I made it to Florida, then to my hotel and into my room. I set my stuff down, changed and made my way to Downtown Disney to meet up with a Facebook friend, Shavonne for a trip to the grocery store. As I was out with her my roomie had arrive at the hotel. This is where the story comes in. Nicole, my Disney roomate was someone I have never even met or spoken to! Yikes! we had met by chance on the runDisney facebook page during the summer, with Nicole being in search of someone to share a room with, and I in need of someone to share a room with quickly responded! So from then on we emailed eachother, texted and facebook messaged. So I was very excited to finally meet her! I felt pretty at ease they we would get along, but still somewhat nervous in the back of my mind!

We met up for the first time at Downtown Disney. It was great! We hit it off right away!
So we spent sometime walking around and shopping at Downtown Disney, then back to our hotel for some dinner and rest.

The next day was the runDisney meet-up. It was amazing! We took a cab over to Epcot, checked in and started talking to other runners that were there and even got to meet up with Jeff Galloway and talk to him for a few minutes!
If you read the Disney Parks blog post about the meetup, you know who else was there...
Thats right, Sean Astin! How exciting, and he was super nice!
After pictures with him, everyone gathered together to get a little run down of what was happening and introductions of other important people that I will mention later! So then the groups split up, one group was to do a straight run, and the other, led by Jeff was to do a run-walk method. I chose the run-walk method since I knew that was what I was capable of doing, since I am not a very fast runner.

A picture of our start from my point of view

picture compliments of runDisney

So we made our way through the front part of Epcot, up to the World Showcase starting at Mexico and around to the U.K where we took a side exit/entrance to the Boardwalk. We followed the boardwalk around back into Epcot to the front of the World Showcase, and back around to the Germany Pavillion.
We entered into the Biergarten for some breakfast and listen to a few people speak, including Jeff Galloway, Ali Vincent, Tara Gidas and Rachael Booth.

Ali Vincent is the first Female winner of The Biggest Loser. She spoke about he struggle with weight loss, and the power you can have over yourself and how to take control and enjoy your life. Tara is the runDisney Nutritionist guru, she spoke about nutrition, obviously, and just caring for yourself when preparing for a race and after. Rachael Booth won the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon back in 2012 and again this year (spoiler alert!)

 There were a bunch of giveaways during the breakfast including a runDisney rolling duffle (I won!), the runDisney New Balance Shoes and spa robes. We all then got a grab bag at the end of the morning with some lotions, Luna bar samples, and we each got a 1-day Park Hopper ticket!!
How exciting was this!!

If I could I would do it all over again...well not over, but do it AGAIN! So awesome and amazing.
Keep your eyes open for my next update on the expo, Royal Family 5k and other meet-ups that I went to!



  1. Wow! What a great opportunity!! I did not know they did this! Looks like a great way to start race weekend!

  2. Wasn't it a magical morning! Still pinching myself that I got to attend!