Thursday, September 5, 2013

runDisney Disneyland Half Meet Up

A word of warning: I had a ton of fun at runDisney's Disneyland Half weekend and I have the photos to prove it! That being said the first official event of the weekend was Friday morning.  According to runDisney's email we were to meet under Mickey's Hat at the Disneyland Hotel near Downtown Disney at 5:30 am.  Some stories are best told through here we go!

Meeting and greeting early in the morning with 
Jeff Galloway and Tony Morreale.

Cindy Lynch won last year's Disneyland Half.  
She is sporting one of her own Running Skirts!

Getting ready for our...hey is that Ali Vincent! (@AliVincent)

...warm up with the New Balance running crew!

The White Rabbit was on hand to let us know it was time. 
Bob Hitchcock was the master of ceremonies for the event.

After the runners took off the run/walkers waited a few moments before we started. Jeff Galloway was on hand to lead the group
 and share some advice along the way!

First up was Downtown Disney...

...then through the gates of Disneyland!

We were all taken with the castle and quite of few photos were taken before we moved on!

Mary Jo Collins (@MoJoDisney) was working on her selfie photos.
Rocking the new runDisney blue!

Once we were through the castle we were greeted by Alice 
and a spin in the teacups!

You know me...I can not resist a special photo op!

Larry Rhodes was on hand taking pictures of everyone.  
Nice work Larry and congrats on life!

Finally it was my turn with Alice!

Disneyland is a whale of a good time!

Just like that we were on the move again.

Main Street USA! 
I did not notice that morning, but that is a van on Main St.

Just like that our run through Disneyland was over 
and we were headed out of the park.

California Adventures was up next!

Ali Vincent and Joey Fatone started leading the pack 
edging in front of the Jeff Galloway crew.

You have got to love running at Disney! 
Ali Vincent Living Big in pink!

Running down Route 66

Turn right at the flashing light.

The red rock glows in the morning light.

The road winds through the arch.

We arrived at our destination: 
Hollywood Studios and the Mad T Party stage.

We were all so thirsty after the run.  
"Drink me" was a welcome sign.

I had a great conversation with Erin Glover. 
She is working on some really big stuff at Disneyland! 

I told the Mad Hatter I wanted a serious picture
 and this is what I got! I love it!

Lovely Disneyland and runDisney ladies.  Tammy Jacobson is in the middle.  We are both sporting our New Balance rD shoes!

Faron Kelly took the stage and answered a few questions.  
I could not help but ask him with all runDisney is doing for the adult races...if they had any plans to upgrade the kids races.  
He responded with a new direction...
runDisney may get into walking events
 so that the who family can become more involved as a group.

Cindy Lynch shared her advice on running.  
I don't think any of us will be able to run 
as many miles as she does in a week.

Tara Gidus helped prepare us for the race with her nutrition advice.

Jeff Galloway wanted to make sure that we would 
all make it to the finish line.  
Given the conditions it was probably not a weekend to "race".

Meet up participants taking it all in.

Ali Vincent was very motivational and had a little advice for runDisney...
pink shirts for the Princess meet up!

Sean Astin talked about running with his daughter. 
Motivation is half the battle find it and you are well on your way.

Joey Fatone! 
Little known secret: he could not here the music at the VMAs! 
Did they look a little off? 
Well you would too if you could not hear your music! 
Darn enthusiastic/loud crowd!  
Oh yeah and he runs because of his wife.

New Balance took the stage to talk you!

After all of the talking the black cloth came of the display
 and there they were!!! 
The medals we all covet so much! 
I think we all want the medal stand as well!

Peek-a-boo! I want you, and you, and you! 
Okay I will take the whole lot of you! 
Mary Jo joined in the fun fest!

The social media crew went nuts for the medals.  It was team work in action getting all of the medals photographed and shared! (@SeeSharpRun and @HeathersLG)

On our way out of the park to go to the expo we could not help 
but stop for a few more photos.

The Disneyland Half Social Media Meet Up was an amazing opportunity to get to know the parks the way only runDisney can introduce them.  It is like speed dating attractions, complete with all the photos and fanfare! 

I was incredibly lucky to be invited to this event as part of the media. I did receive a runDisney bag similar to the 50 participants who RSVPed for the event through the Disney Parks Blog invite, but it was a simplified version of what they all received (no pins or park ticket).  I was not asked to write anything about the event in exchange for my participation, but I have chosen to do so.  All of the photos used in this post were shot on my iPhone.  My thoughts are all my own and you all know I have plenty after this experience!


  1. So awesome! I would love to get into one of the meetups, it looks like it was a blast. Can't wait to hear your recap of the races!

    1. Karen - The meetups are fabulous. Each one seems to have a different number of participants. They are definitely worth trying to get into, but require very close attention to the Disney Parks Blog and runDisney's Twitter account when the invite is about to go out. The RSVP list usually closes in a matter of minutes after the invite is posted.

  2. You got to go as "media" Erin? Wow! Is that a first? Congrats!!
    Loved the run through Disneyland/California Adventure.
    What a treat. Looked like a fantastic, magical experience!
    Thanks for your recap.

    1. It was definitely a first Nicole! I was thrilled to get the invite and even more excited to actually be able to make it to DL for the first time! It is such a visitor friendly compact and manageable. We were back and forth between the parks daily and all on foot! I took a bus from and to the airport...that was it for transportation all weekend!

  3. You look like you had a wonderful experience. Are you heading to Disney World for the Princess? If so would love to catch up!

    1. I will be there for W&D and WDW Marathon weekend Mary, but not Princess (unless something changes).

  4. As I've told you a couple times, Erin, I definitely had race envy this past weekend; as such, I'm really hoping to get to DL for the half next year.

    Now I have to put a meet up on my bucket list, too. :-)

    See you at the W&D...and the Full!

  5. Looks like you had a great time Erin! You took some great pictures that made your readers feel as if they were there too! Thanks for sharing!

    1. The colors at Disney are so fabulous! They picked a great backdrop for the meetup presentations. I intentionally went with the run/walk group so that I could take more pictures and tweet them as we went.

  6. That looks like so much fun Erin! I don't know who I would want to see more Ali, Jeff Galloway, or Joey Fatone!

    1. I was most excited to see Disneyland itself and all of my runDisney pals. This was my first trip to Disneyland and getting to know it while running through the parks was a perfect introduction!

  7. Great hanging out with you at the meetup, Erinn! W&D next!!

    1. I could start chanting it right now...Wine & Dine, Wine & Dine, Wine & Dine! I am super excited for this one. It will be my first night race at Disney! I wonder if I will be expect the sun to come up around mile 5? :)