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!
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!
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 🙂
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!!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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?
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?