Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 Castaway Challenge Part 2

runDisney Castaway Challenge Title

Hi there! Happy Friday – I hope you are looking forward to an amazing weekend! It’s going to rain most of the day here on Saturday but that’s ok….we’ll make the best of it! :)

Today, I’m sharing Part 2 of my Castaway Challenge experience – an overview of the “extras” that were provided from runDisney, specially created for runners who participated in the Challenge!

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As mentioned in the Expo recap, runners were instructed to pick up their bibs/shirts at the Princess Half Marathon Weekend Expo. There was a special booth dedicated to the Castaway Challenge…completed with CM’s wearing fun Mickey Cruise Line ears!

Each day, I scoured the Cruise Line Navigators for any runDisney info. I wanted to try and participate in everything that was available!

A little while after we left Port Canaveral (I think it was like an hour maybe?), the shops on Deck 3 opened up for customers. We just so happened to be passing by and saw a line (mostly runDisney people), so we jumped in it. At first, I didn’t even know what we were in line for! HAHA!

Sadly, I was slightly disappointed in the merchandise. I collect a pin for every runDisney race I run – there were no pins. I also collect coffee mugs or tumblers for every runDisney race I run – there were no mugs or tumblers.

Basically, they had women’s Castaway Challenge “I Did It” shirts (which were incredibly cute…I did purchase one of those and I love it) and a men’s Castaway Cay 5K shirt. That’s. It. The rest of the merchandise was Princess themed or regular Castaway Cay 5K merchandise, like the CC5K pins they had available – which I already own from last February. For some reason, I’m lacking pictures of the merchandise that was available, but I do have video footage so that will come soon in the Castaway Challenge Vlog…stay tuned! :)

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The next event for Castaway Challenge runners was held on our Nassau day in the Walt Disney Theater.

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It was a speaker panel, complete with Jeff Galloway and a couple of runDisney experts (Allison who facilitated the panel and Chris who shared important race related info)!

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First up was some important race-day information from Chris

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Jeff Galloway shared expert advice and great tips with the runners! He also took questions from the audience as well.

After he was finished speaking, they opened up the floor for questions. Uhhh…that probably wasn’t the best idea, I kind of felt sorry for them because they were pelted with questions from the audience about anything and everything having do with runDisney! Basically, they were put on the hot seat! From Paris to Disneyland races to challenges and the like, you name it, people asked it.

It was here that we were informed that Tower of Terror 10 Miler is indeed gone for good – there are NO plans to bring it back.

Also, the current Castaway Cay 5K on the island is a free event and has been since it started – it was asked if there is currently a charge for that event since the medal has changed and the answer was…. “not at this time….” I captured a lot of footage from this Q&A so stay tuned for the Castaway Challenge vlog coming up soon!

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After the panel, I stopped to say hi to Jeff and thank him for his great advice. I also told him that I used some of his advice while training for my half marathons this year (more on that later)and because of it, I was able to finally break 2 hours and PR. He was so excited for me, it made me feel so good. Y’all, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Jeff Galloway. He’s a class act and a truly genuine person.

Listed in the Navigator on our Castaway Cay 5K day was a runDisney smoothie. It was advertised as a green smoothie made with bananas, dates, coconut milk, and kale.

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I had to try it, of course!

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I purchased mine from the Vista Café and drank it while watching Villains Tonight in the Walt Disney Theater. The smoothie was really delicious!

The final “extra” was held on our last afternoon onboard the Dream. runDisney hosted a reception in the Castaway Challengers honor on Deck 4, Evolution. We found this invitation at our stateroom door the evening before the reception was held.

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We left our room around 3:45 p.m. to get in line (all we had to do was walk down one flight of stairs right outside our room) and we arrived to THIS! Holy moly!

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We walked in to an amazing stage display – two runners made out of ice and a wonderful selection of hours D’oeuvres!

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To our surprise, we were informed that each runner only took the kitchen staff 35 minutes to make (that’s 35 minutes a piece)! They were fabulous…and that’s some fast chipping!

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After we were seated, Jeff Galloway spoke for a few minutes, then a very special guest came out to greet us. It was Cinderella!

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We first got in line to see Cinderella, then we joined the line for food. I knew with the amount of people in the room, not everyone was going to have a chance to snag a picture with her. Instead of wearing all my medals, I put on my Glass Slipper and Castaway Challenge medals for the photo op.

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It was so hard to choose between the amazing selection of food, but dinner was coming up soon and I didn’t want to spoil our last evening!

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As we were eating, I heard one of the Cast Members tell someone that the line for Cinderella was closed (it was still pretty long) and I felt sorry for them. They waited for the line to die down and it never really did. :(

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Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara were in the back of the room, taking pictures and speaking with people. I decided to say hello to him once again and have him sign my medal!

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Before leaving, I took one final picture with the really cool ice sculptures. By this point, it was around 4:15 p.m. and we were pretty much “kicked out” of the room! Haha whoops! What can I say? Runners like a good party!

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Another “extra” that wasn’t really because to runDisney…but kinda was…related back to dinner. Since we were travelling alone (just the two of us), I knew we were going to be seated with another couple for dinner. Usually, DCL tries to pair people up with others that are similar to their family size/style/age, etc. Imagine our surprise when a lovely couple from California who were also runDisney fanatics, (ran Princess, were running the Castaway Challenge, etc) were seated at our table! Y’all, we had the BEST time at dinner and even looked forward to dinner each night and sharing our days adventures with them! For real, Disney Cruise Line really did an awesome job with this pairing! :)

Remember the lack of a Castaway Challenge pin I was sad about when we first got on board? Well, our dinner friends found the Inaugural Castaway Challenge pins for sale on the island! Say what?! Even though it was from the inaugural race, I didn’t care – it was a “medal” style pin! They purchased two pins and after we returned home, I received an email from Christine, offering to ship one of the pins to me! How nice is that?! I was seriously blown away by her generosity!

Seems like I run into amazing runners everywhere I go! I love runners, especially of the runDisney kind! :)

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Final thoughts on this event? It was incredible from start to finish. I would run it all again in a heart beat. I loved being both on land and on the Disney Dream. I also loved all of the runDisney extras that they held for us on board! I hope they bring this challenge back for future races!

Would you participate in an event like this if the opportunity presented itself?

20 comments:

  1. So fun! I love the reception they had for yall but bummer about lack of merchandise!

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    1. Same here...the reception was so much fun! Looks like the inaugural CC had more merchandise than we did.

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  2. Replies
    1. It was so much fun, Darlene! You would love it! :)

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  3. I'm surprised about the lack of merchandise since rD hypes it up at all the expos.

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    1. Me too! I thought that was incredibly strange! LOL

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  4. I can see you had a great time just from your smile in the pictures! That is cool that you met another runDisney couple!

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes, that was one of the best parts! We had a great time together! :)

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  5. No more Tower of Terror 10 miler? That is quite a scoop since most it was on hold due to DHS construction. Can't wait to see the vlog :)

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    1. Yes, I thought so too! I have it on video which I'll hopefully be able to share this week or next. We were all shocked!

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  6. Ahh typo - ^... since most people believed it was on hold due to ...

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  7. I really hope they continue the Castaway Cay challenge. You obviously enjoyed all the activities and of course the race too!

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    1. I definitely enjoyed it all! Thanks, Pam!

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  8. Sounds like so much fun! I hope they continue the CCC...I plan to do it in 2017 :P

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    1. I hope they continue it as well!! :)

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  9. That sounds like such a fun time! I would definitely love to do the Castaway Cay challenge one day...I hope they continue it!

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  10. Wow they really went all out for you guys, that is awesome! I love the ice sculptures, wow!!!
    At first I was bummed for you about the pin (I collect keychains so I know the feeling) but the couple that was so generous, that is super awesome, wow! Don't you just love amazing people like that!
    What a great experience overall, I have never been catered to so well for really any thing race related, I can't even imagine how nice it probably was!!!

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    Replies
    1. Aren't runners amazing? I was so excited!!

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