I’m finally getting around to posting my recap from the 2014 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon / Glass Slipper Challenge. Life’s been crazy busy!
Another day of waking up at 2:30 AM. I have to give a lot of credit to those people who completed the Dopey Challenge this year – I am not an early morning person at all and can’t even imagine getting up four days in a row at 2-3 AM.
I didn’t have anything planned as far as running gear goes and while one should never try anything new on race day, I did just that, but it’s because I stuck with companies I love and use their products frequently and I know how they fit. My usual two stops at the Expo: Raw Threads and Sparkle Skirts.
Our friends were staying at Disney’s Boardwalk and were hosting a baby shower for one of our fellow runners and we carb loaded there – so much food: spaghetti, garlic bread and cake! Lots of yummy carbs to burn off in the morning 🙂 and hydrated with Nuun (great way to get your electrolytes in).
Sunday morning, we were on the bus before 3 AM. The cafe had these half marathon packs for $10, which included a bagel, peanut butter, banana, raisins, fresh blueberries and an energy bar. I took that with me and once at the parking lot in Epcot, I just sat on the ground and fueled up and hydrated a bit more. Lines for potty were long (as usual) and about 20 minutes to even get in the door!
Here’s a pic of me waiting at the Corral:
I was in Corral G. This year, to avoid crowdedness, runDisney made corrals smaller, and it really helped. Weather was so humid and the fog so dense you couldn’t see past 1/4 mile, at least.
The corrals crossed the start line very quickly – I think they got to G in about 25 minutes or so.
Here we are, finally reached the start line:
Off we were! It was still very dark out and upon reaching mile 1, just as last year’s Princess Half, were Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean. This year I didn’t stop at any characters; the lines were super long!
We came across parts of the course which narrowed significantly and many runners were forced to either walk or run on the grass. There were more volunteers than usual, which was great. I stopped at almost every water station since the humidity was just awful.
Entering Magic Kingdom area (notice the foggy sky!)
One thing that I enjoy more than seeing characters are the local bands and the community coming together to cheer and support the runners. This was more prevalent during Tinker Bell and it made me enjoy the run a lot more.
This is a band playing on the course. They were so energetic and so talented!
Finally made it to Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom and thankfully this time the crowd passing through the castle thinned out. Photographers at the castle were dismissing people fairly quickly, hence this cheesy picture I was unable to retake.
Made one stop in Tomorrowland for the bathrooms and on my way out of MK!
Passed a lot of characters and still didn’t stop. My only stop would’ve been Stitch and when I passed that mile marker, it was only Lilo there. I was so upset! Stitch may have been on a brief break. Elsa and Anna from Frozen, forget it! At least 20 people in line for a pic there.
Mile 12 and I knew to start looking for Peggy Sue. Peggy Sue is a huge supporter and comes out to support runners at Disney races and at some local races. I missed her last year and when I entered the TTC, I spotted her wheelchair, I knew I had to stop. She gave me a hug, some Twizzlers and we took a pic. I love seeing her and it’s her wonderful spirit that gives us that motivation to finish the last mile. Love her!
It was a great race and I was so happy seeing my friend at the finish line who was volunteering (she handed me my pretty Pink Coast to Coast medal). Went back to the resort, showered, took a nap for an hour and off to the parks we go! Celebrated with some Macarons from France in Epcot, and a huge dinner at ‘Ohana, complete with a Lapu Lapu 🙂
If there’s one thing I learned from running Disney is to just go and have a blast. Don’t worry about your time (but maintain pace to avoid getting swept), stop and take pictures with the characters, with your friends, spectators, whoever. Or you’ll end up regretting not doing this and that like myself.
The 2015 Run Disney Princess Half Marathon registration opens July 15, 2014. It tends to sell out fairly quickly, so be sure to sign up for email alerts. Don’t miss out on the fun! It’s walker-friendly, beginners friendly, so it’s a great race for your first half.