Monday, June 23, 2014

Baltimore Women's Classic 2014

The Baltimore Women's Classic was my first ever race in 2012, so it has a special place in my heart. It has remained my favorite local race since then. It's a women's only race that benefits Cancerve, a women's cancer charity.  The race takes place in the beautiful Inner Harbor of Baltimore. This year, two of my sisters did the race with me.

The BWC has the best "race village" of any race I have ever been to.  There are lots of vendors to check out and lots of free stuff--before and after the race. This year I won a t-shirt from City Sports, a cool water bottle with infuser, and a beach towel from our local SUP rental company.  We tested tea, sports drinks, energy gum and lots of offer fun stuff.  We shopped, and shopped.  So much fun!

Our little group of family and friends got to the start line and took lots of pictures.  Once the race started, we separated so everyone could run their own best race.  Since this was my fourth time doing this race, I know the course well.  I was prepared for the massive hill at around the .5 mile mark. The race runs through south Baltimore, around the Federal Hill area.  The last .5 mile of the race is so beautiful--right along the harbor.  Crowd support at this race is great.  So many families sit on their front steps and cheer the runners on.

My sister and her friend finished the race before me.  They stayed at the finish to cheer me on.  After I got my water, cold towel, medal, finisher rose and some snacks I joined them while we
waited for the rest of the group.  It's always fun to hang out at the finish line and cheer on the other runners.  My other sister finished with a 7 minute PR!  We cheered my cousin on as she crossed her first finish line.

After one more loop around race village, it was time to head home.  The race volunteers were packing up and they had a bunch of roses left over.  They told us to take a bouquet home!  My rose bouquet looks so pretty on my kitchen table. My sisters and I got some pictures along the water before we left. I can't wait to do the BWC again next year.

A dream is a wish...


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration

Yesterday I had the privileged of attending the Disney Social Moms "on the road" conference. When I got the invite in May, I was equally excited and shocked!  I could not believe I was chosen to attend.  Going to an event like this would be a dream come true for a Disney nerd like me.

I woke up nice and early for the conference, but I barely sleep at all the night before--I was to excited.  I made the two and a half hour drive into Philly and arrived about twenty minutes before the start.  I quickly ran into the other ladies I know who were also invited to the event--two runDisney friends. We chatted and met  some other bloggers while in line for check in.  Finally, it was time!  The doors opened and the event started.

The room was already filled with Disney magic. The "Zippitty Do Da" song was playing. Above the stage was draped a big banner that read "Rock Your Disney Side", the 2014 Disney marketing slogan. I quickly found a seat and then just stood there for a minute--soaking it all in.  There were balloons, banners, and a few backdrops for pictures.  One of the backdrops was of the castle.  The other was a "Disney side" photo area with every Disney character hat and accessory you could think of to dress up with.

Jaime and Gary from Disney PR got the event started.  They used a unique to Disney icebreaker--pin trading!  The assistants walked around with a huge bag of Disney pins and dumped a handful on each table.  We had two minutes to meet some new people and trade pins.  I end up with one of the most beautiful Disney pins I have ever seen--its a diamond wedding ring with Lady and the Tramp in the center.

The first speaker was Gary Buchanan, the Disney Social Media Managing Editor.  He told us about all the cool new stuff coming to the Disney Parks.  After Cary, we heard from Jenn Fickly-Baker, the Disney Social Media Manager.  Jenn gave a great talk about creating good content. Up next, we heard from HP direct print services.  They had a big surprise for us--they printed our "Disney Side" pictures and gave us each a very nice pack of HP photo paper with envelopes.  Thanks HP!

After a quick break, it was time to get back to the speaker series. At our seats, Disney surprised us with a Vinylmation--my first one.  Up next we heard from Victoria Lim of Disney PR.  She talked to us about creating great visual content. After that was a panel of mom entrapanuers discussing a work/family balance, followed by the Mojo Coach talking about how to stay healthy is every way. I learned so much from each and every one of the speakers.  I plan to do a series of posts about all the amazing things I learned from each speaker--its way to much to put in one post.

After some closing remarks, a very special guest appeared--Mickey Mouse!!!  Everyone in the room jumped to their feet and started clapping. It was so magical!  In the last few minutes of the event, we networked some more, exchanged business cards, hung out with Mickey, took more pictures and said our good byes.  I was so sad that the event was over, but so happy to have been a part of it.  Thank you so much Disney for putting on such an amazing event!

A dream is a wish...


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend 2014

One of my favorite events of the year is the runDisney Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend in Disneyland. It usually turns into a crazy girls weekend pretty quickly!

This year I flew in to LAX on Thursday morning.  I got to Disneyland just in time to check into the magical Disneyland Hotel and get to the expo right before it opened.  I worked the entire day at the Sparkle Skirts booth, but managed to get away long enough to pick up my three bibs for the weekend.

Check out my video of the 5k start!

The first race of my runDisney race weekend was the Neverland 5k.  This a a race through Disneyland park, and ends in California Adventure park.  The Neverland 5k hand down offers the best race start of any race I have ever seen or heard of.  The race starts right in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle.  All of the sudden, Tinkerbell herself makes an appearance. Tink flies around the castle and starts the race! So magical!

The second race of the weekend was the Tinkerbell 10k. This race shared a start and finish line with the half marathon. The highlight of this course for me was the Haunted Mansion characters.  I love, love, love seeing and getting pictures with obscure characters.  I have never seen the Haunted Mansion characters before then, so that alone made the race worth doing.

The third race and main event of the weekend was the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. The course started outside of Disneyland park.  We ran around the back of California Adventure park and entered the park in the Paradise Pier section.  They had the "World of Color" music and lights playing.  I love that show!  After we got the rest of the way through CA, we ran across to Disneyland.  After a run around Disneyland, we entered Downtown Disney, then on through the town of Anaheim.

The Tinkerbell Half is my favorite runDisney courses.  I love running down the original Main Street USA, and past the original Disney castle that Walt himself built.  Disneyland holds so much history--us Disney history nerds can't get enough. Another perk of doing a Disneyland  race to us east coasters is that it does not feel as early as it actually is.  Because of the three hour time difference, a 5 am race feel like it starts at 8 am to an east coaster.  I am not a morning person, so I will take every hour I can get.  I can't wait to get back out to Disney for Tink Half Marathon weekend 2015--with a new date of Mothers Day weekend in May.
View of the finish line from my room!
A dream is a wish...