Sunday, January 31, 2016

Countdown to 2016 Princess Half Marathon Weekend

2/5/16 Update: Waivers and corral placements are now available. See details below!

We are less than three short weeks away from the start of Princess Half Marathon Weekend!  To say that I cannot contain my excitement is an understatement.  Princesses like me have been checking on Track Shack multiple times per day (or hour!) to see if waivers have been made available because CORRALS, ladies.  Everyone is anxious to see what corral they may be starting in!  Runners are also dyinggg over the Official Event Guide and the beautiful mermaid theme. First-time Princesses may not have a clue what I'm talking about. 

That's OK!  I was absolutely clueless going into my first runDisney race.  Mine was in February 2014 at the Princess Half Marathon.  If you think I'm making an overstatement by admitting I was clueless, I'm unfortunately not exaggerating.  I don't want that to happen to anyone else!  I didn't know anything about challenges and missed signing up for The Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge.  If I had actually taken the time to read the events of Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I would have taken on the challenge of running a 10k on Saturday and a Half Marathon on Sunday in order to earn three medals.  In hindsight, I can just look back and laugh at how I missed it.  I won't be laughing if they ever decide to make Glass Slipper Challengers legacy status though...

Also, I hate to admit this, but I didn't go to the expo.  I didn't read the event guide and had no idea of the events going on that weekend.  At the time, I was working as an Event Coordinator and the biggest event of the year was rescheduled due to snow to the day of my Half Marathon.  I was frantic to get as much work done as possible before I left and disregarded all emails regarding the race because I was preoccupied.  HUGE mistake.  So my first advice is to read The Official Event Guide from front to back.  You don't need to print it out because they'll give you a nice one at the expo as a souvenir.  Seeing Ariel and her friends all over the bright and cheerful pages will not only keep you well informed, but it will just elevate your excitement to a whole different level!  This race is such an exciting one!  Even going into my third year I'm still as bright-eyed and enthusiastic about becoming a Princess Half Marathoner as I was for my first one.

My next advice is to make sure you do NOT skip the expo.  This is where you pick up your bib, shirts, and anything you may have pre-ordered such as pins.  It IS possible to receive your bib on race day, but I do not advise this.  I arrived to my first Princess Half Marathon three hours early in order to pick up my bib and I would have liked that extra sleep instead.  Picking up bibs on race morning is limited to runners with unusual circumstances that prohibit them from picking it up during the expo.  It is not advertised that this option is available, but it is.  There were no shirts.  Just bibs.  I was lucky enough to have them mail my shirt after the race, though.  I did, however, miss out on the pin that I prepaid for.  My pin collection is now missing a commemoration from my first runDisney race, and you don't want that to happen to you!

Corral Placement and Waiver Update: 
Waivers are now available to all Princesses participating in any of the races this weekend and corral assignment has been posted for all Half Marathon and Glass Slipper Challenge runners! Bib numbers are indicated on waivers. Here is the bottom right corner of my waiver for The Pixie Dust Challenge in 2015 for your reference. 

Runners of The Glass Slipper Challenge will only need to print one waiver for the 10k and Half Marathon, but any other runners participating in multiple events will need to print a waiver for all events which they are registered. For example, I have printed my Glass Slipper Challenge waiver and 5k waiver as I will need both forms to pick up bibs for all three races. 

After obtaining you bib number, see the below charts to determine corral assignment. Bibs are in numerical order according to the POT submitted back in the fall. Here are the corral assignments for runners of the Princess Half Marathon: 

Bibs range from 1-17,160 indicating there are 17,160 registered Half Marathon runners in addition to Glass Slipper Challengers. 

Below are the corral assignments for The Glass Slipper Challenge:

Again, you see a bib range of 20,001 to 28,129, indicating 8,129 Glass Slipper Challenge runners. Based on the 2015 corral placements, 7,875 runners took on The Glass Slipper Challenge last year. 

Also worth noting is the possibility of a different corral placement for the 10k. Since the 10k has less corrals (and less runners), Glass Slipper Challenge runners were assigned a different corral for the 10k than they were for the Half Marathon. My bib for the 2015 Glass Slipper Challenge indicated my corral placement for both races, as shown below. I'm predicting they will implement the same plan this year. We will find out at the expo upon picking up bibs if our POT puts us into different corrals. 

Since the expo is super important, I'm going to provide you with all the information you need regarding the expo so you take full advantage of everything it has to offer.  First of all, dates and times:

10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 19, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2016
Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

I will be at the expo when it opens on Thursday, and not because I'm terrified everything will sell out.  Merchandise doesn't sell out within minutes like the horror stories online claim.  I just want as much time in the parks as possible with my Mom and Sister.  Plan your arrival schedule around the expo.  You'll be relieved to get it out of the way, but also SUPER excited once you immerse yourself in all the race weekend activities.  Walking up the hill to ESPN just amplifies your anticipation and completely puts you in a runner's mindset.  One of the best aspects of a racecation is seeing everything through a runner's eyes and starting your trip at the expo will definitely set the tone for this. 

I really enjoy the expo.  There are several photo opportunities and I recommend taking advantage of as many as possible.  You'll love looking back on memories from race weekend once you've traveled back home.  Here are some examples of photos I've taken at past runDisney expos!
My first stop will be the Field House where bib pick-up takes place.  Make sure to bring identification because they require it in order to pick up packets.  Pictures will be taken of Glass Challenge runners with their bib.  These pictures are used to verify runners at Glass Slipper Challenge tents following The Princess Half Marathon. 

Included with bib pickup is a voucher with shirt size for runners to claim their race T-shirts.  Glass Slipper Challengers also pick up their T-shirts in The Field House.  T-shirt pick up will be at Jostens Center for the 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon. This is the same building the vendors are set up in.  Since I'm running the 5k and Glass Slipper Challenge, I'm picking up my bib first to avoid going back and forth between buildings. 

All the fun happens at the expo.  This is where you will find most of the vendors.  My favorite is Raw Threads.  They have a new Princess Mantra collection- just in time for Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  Guest speakers are also part of the expo and their schedules will be posted prior to the race weekend.  I will share this information with you as soon as it becomes available! 

This post is intended to prep you before the race, so I will update it as more information becomes available.  Feel free to check back continuously, as runDisney will be releasing waivers and corral placements soon! 

I'm looking forward to earning my glass slippers again with all you running princesses!  See ya real soon. 


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