Home disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap Part 2: The Course, Characters and Congestion

Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap Part 2: The Course, Characters and Congestion

by Nellie

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Welcome to Part 2 of the runDisney Princess Half Marathon Recap. In Part One we chatted about expo fun, run disney gear and pre race prep.

As I exited my room it was a bit weird walking on hotel property at 3am, I felt safe, but it was still weird! When I looked ahead I saw a few princesses walking towards the bus and I knew all would be fine. When I arrived to the bus I got so many compliments on my outfit. Belle is one of my favorite princesses so it was a easy choice. Plus it helps that yellow works really well with my brown skin!runDisney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap-1-1968

When we arrived about 20 minutes later, I jumped in step with thousands of other princesses as we walked towards the welcoming area. The temp was a balmy 57 degrees with 100% humidity which was almost a bit too warm of a starting temp for me but I saw many princesses with Mylar blankets on so maybe I’m in the minority!

There was plenty of fun with a a live DJ encouraging us to do the Cha Cha slide and other fun dances. There were tons of backdrops and characters available for pics! I even got one with Pochahontas!

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After that we started walking towards the start line. This was the part I wasn’t ready for! It was at least a mile and a half to get there! So imagine thousands of princesses walking in the night to the corrals. It was so long! A great warm up I suppose.

When we got to corrals there was two people checking letters to make sure you were in the right corral. I applaud RunDisney for this because I read a lot of chatter about people switching corrals. Once inside this is where it all got real. There wasn’t enough room and I certainly couldn’t stretch the way I needed to. We only had to wait about 30 minutes in our corral before the first wave were off. Check out the fun montage I made with footage of the fireworks and more 🙂

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Before you knew it it was time to go. We were VERY well entertained–so much so that it didn’t seem like a half hour went by. After a countdown and fireworks (!) Corral “I” was off!!

The Course

It’s so weird running a race in the dark. At least for me it is. We were on roads, so there was extra lighting put up just for us. The first mile and a half I felt pretty good. It was a tad congested but I later learned that it would remain that way for the remainder of the race.

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One of the first character stops was for Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean. I didn’t stop because a) the line was bananas and b) I made a promise to stop for characters that I love or my kids really love. So when I saw the characters from Wreck It Ralph I knew I had to stop (even if the line was long!) because the boys would LOVE it!!

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We continued through mile 3 and 4 a lot more road and not a ton of characters. The was lots of entertainment along the way. Just as day was breaking we began our approach to Magic Kingdom. This was a bit surreal because I have been to MK many times but never by foot!! I took this time to have a clif shot.

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As we entered Magic Kingdom there was a ton of people screaming and cheering for us which was the complete opposite of being on the roads. The spectators were incredible they were loud encouraging and seriously had the best signs ever.

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Something about running towards the castle made me well up! This was completely unexpected and unusual. You all know Disney has a special meaning to me since my husband proposed in that very spot 9 years ago. Add running a half marathon to that and you got water works! I managed to keep it all under control but one tear might have slipped out.

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While running through tomorrowland I stopped to take a pic with Buzz and of course my Castle photo. The characters from Frozen were hanging out over the castle which caused a bit of congestion. We ran out of Magic Kingdom and continued our course right back to Epcot.

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As this time this is where things got a bit tough. The sun had fully risen by now and it was now officially hot. I was sweating a ton and the lanes going back to Epcot had narrowed significantly. The majority of folks were walking therefore making it almost impossible to get around.

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I made the fueling mistake of forgetting to eat my second clif shot at mile 8. I really wish I had, because by mile 11 I just wanted to get through it. I think my brain was a bit fried or something because I didn’t even think to eat the other Clif shot or sports beans that I had. I did keep hydrating with powerade AND water. Coming back into Epcot there was a lot more spectators with amazing signs! I even took this amazing picture!

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Although I didn’t get to take a picture, there was an amazing choir singing one of my favorite gospel songs “Our God is Awesome” which of course brought me to tears, but I pulled it together and stayed focused on the little of the race that was left. I saw Sophia too, which would be my only princess (that I stopped for at least).

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Coming down the final half mile was crazy! So many spectators and so many emotions–Mickey and Minnie were there at the end taking selfies but I just wanted it to be OVER so I ran as fast as I could right to the end.

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This was an amazing experience!! I am going to write a do’s and don’t post down the line because there are many! I have gotten so much feedback on and offline about this race that I need one more post to answer those burning questions like–

  • How far in advance do you have to register?
  • How was it running in a costume?
  • What was the hydration like?
  • Why isn’t your wrist straight in the following photo?

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I am absolutely doing this again next year and this time I will do the Glass Slipper challenge– (10k + Half = Three Medals!)

What was the last (good) surreal experience that you have had? What are you curious about with this race?

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15 comments

Kira March 10, 2015 - 4:49 am

Aww looks like you had an amazing time. Love your race outfit and all the characters you met are my girls favorite as well. I can’t wait part 3.

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Janine Huldie March 10, 2015 - 5:02 am

Nellie, I am not a running fan, myself as you know, but this looked like so much fun and couldn’t stop smiling reading your whole recap. You looked beautiful by the way, too! 😉

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Lashawn March 10, 2015 - 6:35 am

When I got to mile 10 I wanted to sit die and cry! Like WHET was I thinking!!!! And that sun just killed me LOL! My friend did the glass slipper challenge, she loved it! Don’t know if I could do that! My goal for next year is to move up a corral. Or two or three. You need more time do you can stop and take pictures

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Kim March 10, 2015 - 10:53 am

Looks like such a fun race for you!!!
I don’t know if I would ever run Disney.

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Britt March 10, 2015 - 10:57 am

I love all your photos! This race looks like so much fun. The characters are great! I bet your boys were really excited about them!

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Allie March 10, 2015 - 11:41 am

You so got me. I totally cried reading this and I’m in a public place!!! Darn you Nellie!!! What an amazing experience for you. I’m so proud of you for just GOING FOR IT. I mean, this race was the one to catapult you to official runner status and you freakin’ did it! I just couldn’t be happier for you or prouder of you. YES!!!!
PS – I absolutely love Wreck It Ralph and would never thought those characters would be there!? Awesomesauce.

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Nellie March 10, 2015 - 7:58 pm

Yes! I’m pretty sure it’s the first time they appeared! Thank you so much Allie! You are the first one I emailed when the crazy idea of running a half popped in my brain!! Without your encouragement this never would have happened!! Xoxoxo

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Aliah March 10, 2015 - 1:26 pm

You are glowing in every single picture! What an amazing experience! I hope to one day have such a magical race like this one. Thank you for sharing this. I would’ve welled up to…keep inspiring so many Nellie!

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Kita March 10, 2015 - 1:48 pm

Girl by these pictures it looked like it was a breeze lol. You made it through and finished what you started so that is a win in itself I would have fallen out after the first mile. I love that the characters were there along the way how neat and a great idea especially if you see your favorite character. I love Sophia too!

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Kimberly (Manifest Yourself) March 10, 2015 - 3:06 pm

As always – you answered all of my questions! I love reading these since I feel like I am right with you. 🙂

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Leslie March 11, 2015 - 7:00 pm

That race looks like so much fun, and I adore that race picture…as in you have to make it a permanent addition to your blog somewhere. Princess Nellie run I g and looking totally happy? Yes. You also got me when you talked about welling up. Maybe we’ll see you around Disney next year,

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Tamara March 11, 2015 - 9:24 pm

I think my last surreal and good experience was going to Disney in January, to be honest. It was wild. I still have to share most of my thoughts and photos before it’s too late.
So romantic that he proposed at Disney.
As for the people with mylar blankets, maybe they’re not from the northeast!? I would find 57 and humid to be balmy these days!

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Patty March 13, 2015 - 4:05 pm

What an accomplishment! That’s so awesome! 🙂

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Kristina Walters March 16, 2015 - 5:45 am

I love the recap! That looked like so much fun! This is something that I wouldn’t mind considering in the next couple of years.

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Michelle March 22, 2015 - 8:35 am

Your recap is great! I didn’t wear a costume…but I did wear a sparkly skirt. We didn’t stop for any of the character photo opps…didn’t feel like waiting in line, but we did take pictures of each other. LOL We had such a great time. I admit I had my doubts…I am not really a big race person, but this was so well organized I do plan to go back with the girls. Some of them go every year. I doubt I will do the glass slipper though…the half was fine for me…it was very early in the morning!! Not that we didn’t wake up early every morning…we had people running the 5k, 10k and the half, but I had no problem going back to sleep the first two days!

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