Many others who attended the runDisney #OnTheRoadToDisneyParks meetup in Atlanta have already posted their recaps. At the time of the event, I was active on Twitter, but I didn’t have a blog. I guess now that I have a blog, I should post my recap.
Well, it was a month ago and you’ve probably seen plenty of recaps already, so you know what happened. Do I need to say the same things everyone else said? No, didn’t think so.
What I’ll talk about is how to make the most of your meetup experience.
Step one: Get in. I wasn’t able to get into the last three meetups I tried for, but this was my time. I was determined. I wasn’t letting anything get in my way. Someone could have set the building on fire and that wouldn’t stop me. I was camped out in front of my computer, hitting refresh on two browsers and my phone for 10 minutes straight. And then someone set the building on fire. No kidding. Fire alarm. Full evacuation. So I picked up my phone and walked down multiple flights of stairs, still hitting refresh. Somewhere around the 10th floor, the meetup post loaded, I hit send on my email and then checked to make sure I wasn’t on fire.
Step two: Enjoy the run. You’ll be faced with the choice of a straight run or joining Jeff Galloway for his famous run-walk-run. This was a tough choice for me, as I usually run straight through. But how do I pass on the chance to join Jeff Galloway for a run? I may have cheated a little and done both. I started out with the run group and when we circled back, we caught up with the run-walk-run group, so I made a U-turn and went out again with that group. Both were fun, but if I had to choose one, I’d go for the run-walk-run. I can go for a run any day, but it’s a rare treat to enjoy a tour of Downtown Atlanta with a running legend.
Step three: Be ready for pictures. Bringing your camera/smartphone is a great choice, but it’s optional. There will be a hundred cameras around you, including one from runDisney. They are kind enough to provide professional photos to the attendees. No matter what you choose, you’ll get some great photos.
Step four: Get ready to hear and share the news. The folks at runDisney like to use the meet up as a good opportunity to make announcements. We’re active in social media, so they know we’ll get the news out. That’s one of the reasons they invite us. We want to make sure runDisney sees the promotional value of the meetups so that they’ll keep them going. Be sure to share that info with your followers. You may even pick up a few more. You’ve got it in with the folks at runDisney now!
Step five: The guests are there for you, so ask them questions. Barbara Parker, a two-time Olympic athlete came to join us, which was an honor. However, when they opened up for us to ask her questions, I was a little disappointed that people were asking questions about the runDisney New Balance shoes instead of questions for her. I really wanted to ask her a question, but I just couldn’t think of one at the moment. What a missed opportunity for us to get a chance to ask an Olympian anything we want to know. Barbara, if you’re reading this: You’ve already run in the Olympics, twice. Other than Walt Disney World Marathon, which we all agreed you will be running someday, where else would you most like to run a race?
Step five: It’s a meet up, so meet up! Don’t stand by yourself, even if you’re shy. You’re all there for the same reason, so you’ll definitely have something to talk about. Make friends. You’ll probably even end up running some future races together.
Step six: The meetup doesn’t end when the event is over. If it’s a daytime meetup, pick a few of your best new friends and go out for a meal. You’ll have so much to discuss and they’re the only ones who will get it. They want to talk about it too.
It goes by quickly, so make the most of it.
P.S. If you want to know more details about what happened at the meetup, you can spend an hour digging through my tweets until you get back to November 16 and see what I said at the time. Or you can read one of these:
Disney Parks Blog (Official runDisney recap):
Hello Fitness We Meet Again:
Jillian Keeps Moving Forward:
Note: All photos except for the last one are courtesy of runDisney. I don’t remember who took the last one, but it was taken with my camera, so I’m calling it mine.