Welcome to those of you joining me from the DIStherapy review of the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail!
Author: Diva Planner (aka Megan Biller, Glass Slipper Concierge)
My first runDisney event was a complete success! The race was so much fun – and I can’t wait to run another one! (Seriously…if I had the funds, I would run every single runDisney event. Every year!)
The Princess Half Marathon Weekend began with a trip to the expo in which we walked into the tent as true princess royalty…
I don’t think it gets much better than being escorted by Cinderella’s coachmen! We then entered a large tent to get my race bib and B Lee’s Cheer Squad goodies. (The Cheer Squad is something spectators can purchase to get reserved viewing spots in Magic Kingdom and the finish line.) The lines were long – but soon we were headed on a red carpet to the expo floor!
The expo had some excellent vendors – although I was just interested in a few things. Looking through the official merchandise (nothing I really wanted), getting another Running Skirt, and getting some new earphones! Since the floor was pretty packed – we quickly made our way through – and I found what I was looking for!
A new Princess Running Skirt and a pair of Yurbuds! Super happy with both of them.
After dinner at Epcot, it was time to get some rest before the big day!
Our alarm went off at 2:30 am. Yes, that early.
We got ready, grabbed everything we needed and headed down to the bus. (One thing runDisney does extremely well is transport runners from their host hotels to the expo and race!) We got on the bus around 3:30 am, made it to Epcot quickly, then began the long walk from the parking lot to the Family Reunion area.
And then there was a party!
Music, dancing and lots of smiles! Around 4:30 am they started to tell us to move to our corrals. I was extremely confused since the race didn’t start until 5:45 – but we decided we should get moving. B Lee headed to the monorail, and I headed for the port-o-potty. (Although there were a zillion, I still stood in line for at least 20 minutes.) Then I began the trek to the corrals and got stuck in a stand-still. I literally stepped into my corral 5 minutes before the race began. Whew!
The Fairy Godmother sent each corral off – along with fireworks!
And then we were off!
It was dark. It was crowded, but by mile 2, I found my groove. I ran with a camera, but every single photo I took was blurry. Oops.
Characters began around the same time – however, with long lines, I wasn’t willing to wait at that point. I was just hoping there would be shorter lines later.
Before I knew it, we were running through the Ticket & Transportation Center, past the Contemporary Resort (note – there is a hill here as you go underneath the Seven Seas Lagoon), and my husband called me to let me know he was waiting at the Magic Kingdom! I looked at my Garmin and noted I was keeping under 10 minute miles and felt a PR on the horizon.
We ran backstage past Space Mountain, then we were on Main Street USA – looking at Cinderella’s Castle! Yes, I got goosebumps. It was amazing.
I looked for my husband and waved as I ran by!
We ran through Tomorrowland, into Fantasyland then it was time to run through the Castle! Mickey and Minnie were there (with huge lines) as were some trumpet players announcing our arrival!
Running through the castle was so much fun – and thankfully I did a much better job of finding the photographers!
Next we ran through Frontierland, then backstage past Splash Mountain onto a road behind the Grand Floridian and Polynesian. We passed a golf course – where Donald had no line!
For the next 4 miles or so, we were on highway. It was extremely boring – especially in comparison to the last 7 miles of fun!
(My husband got a great view of the runners on the monorail back to Epcot!)
Around mile 9, I saw the fuel station, so got out my second round of Sports Beans – just to find out the next water station was at least another 1/2 mile away. Not ideal – especially since the water stations had been coming at perfect intervals up until then!
And then the fun began.
Now, I had heard about a looping overpass on ramp that we had to run – so was somewhat prepared. I was not, however, prepared for the steep bank that we had to run on. It shredded my IT band. Even though the green army man was telling us to “Move, move, move!” – I had to resort to walking up part of the overpass.
Then another overpass appeared.
Not one, not two, but three overpasses. In a row.
I was well on my way to a 8+ minute PR – but those hills killed me. Especially since they were at miles 10-11. Yikes.
At this point, I was ready to be done – and saw Epcot in view.
We came in backstage near Spaceship Earth, ran toward World Showcase, turned around, ran back under Spaceship Earth, backstage again to the parking lot – where we (finally) saw the finish line!
I looked down at my watch and saw that I could still PR – so pushed hard toward that line. Where Mickey and Minnie were waiting for us!
I gave Mickey a high five…
…and put my hands in the air for my 2 minute PR! (Official time – 2:16:32)
2nd Half Marathon and 1st runDisney race complete!
We walked a little bit before being handed our medals by the kindest volunteers. They were truly proud of us all! Then we headed to get our photos taken.
Pure joy running through Disney!
Then it was on to the water, Powerade and snacks – followed by areas where we could get ice and Biofreeze. I lathered up my IT band after those overpasses!
I called my husband to find him in the Family Reunion area.
At this point I was regretting not having another sweatshirt, but we got in line to head back to our resort for a shower and food.
Gluten free Mickey waffles, scrambled eggs and sausage – so yummy after 13.1 miles! It was quickly followed by some foam rolling…and a 2 hour nap. And gelato!