Nine months ago, pretty shortly after running the 2013 Princess Half Marathon at Disney with my sister, I signed up for Disney’s Marathon Weekend and wrote this post. My husband and I each chose 2 out of the 4 races being offered. I picked the Minnie 10k because 1) I love Minnie and wanted her medal and 2) it was the inaugural race! I also ran the marathon, but that post will come later! My husband opted to complete the Goofy Challenge, which meant that his weekends for the next 9 months were completely tied up with Saturday-Sunday training runs!
After an easy flight and a great time at the runDisney Expo at ESPN, it was time to prepare for an early race morning! I woke up at 2:30 AM and covered the essentials first: I SPENT 30 MINUTES STRAIGHTENING MY HAIR. Then I put on makeup and pearls. I donned the pink race gear I had set out just mere hours before waking up, and my husband hooked me up with KT tape. I caught the bus solo and made it to Epcot by 4:07 AM. My husband arrived as a spectator soon afterward, although I didn’t know it. After getting acclimated, I made my way to my starting corral. I texted back and forth with my sister to figure out where she and her friends were, and left my corral to go wish them luck before the race. It didn’t take long for her to convince me to run with their group, which would be way more fun than running this (relatively) short race alone!
Fireworks signaled the start of each new corral (there were 5 corrals in all, A-E), and it wasn’t long before it was our turn to run!
And then, oddly enough, my phone rang.
It was an automated recording from my superintendent, telling me that due to a layer of thin ice, my school in Virginia would be delayed 2 hours that morning. Here I am in a hot pink tank top, shorts, and running shoes, and toeing the start line. I celebrated my luck that I was in warm Florida during a rainy, icy week in Virginia! I thought about my coworkers, who’d be heading in to work by the time I was already SEVEN HOURS INTO MY DAY!
By the time the race started, the Florida humidity had completely curled my hair, and I wondered why in the world I had even bothered to straighten it. The pavement was really slick from rain the day before, as well.
And then we were off, taking it easy and enjoying this race before we ran the marathon two days later. I ran with my Canon S90 in my right hand and my iPhone in my left hand so that I could remember details for the blog that I had committed to writing for Running at Disney. I will post the link to my article when it’s up – here!
Magical Mile Markers!
We bypassed the photo op with Peter Pan and Wendy and headed on to Mile 2, which must have been uneventful because I was carrying a camera in each hand and still didn’t take any pictures until we reached Epcot at Mile 3, when the race was just about half-over! We entered World Showcase and learned that the marathon would be taking us in the other direction around World Showcase on Sunday around Miles 25 and 26 – hard to imagine! My sister and I took turns taking pictures of each other along the lagoon.
It was light enough by then that they sky was a crisp clear blue but soft golden lights still outlined all the buildings.
After Mile 4, we hit France, and I reminisced of being there last February with my then-7-month-old son. We had eaten chocolate croissants in France, and then I had nursed him outside on a park bench! My sister and I had gotten our photos taken in front of the fancy fountain there.
Around that time, there was a buzz of excitement, and we spied a football player Goofy taking photos with runners. We finished Mile 5, and I scoped out some of the Epcot resorts sprinkled around the boardwalk. It was fun to toe around in the sand, knowing that I was avoiding the icy roads back home in Virginia!
Pretty soon, we were running under the monorail, weaving behind Chip ‘n Dale, and making our way toward Spaceship Earth, the same leg of the race I remembered running at Princess.
Just past Mile 6, Disney had put out the giant puppets, if that’s what they’re called, that they featured at the Mile 20 celebration last year at Marathon Weekend, as well as at Princess. I took quick pictures of the Genie from Aladdin and Lumier from Beauty and the Beast. I didn’t see Sebastian this time. The energetic gospel choir was absent from this section of the race (but I’d see them 2 days later!).
And then, just as soon as it started, the race was almost over and we were rounding the last 0.2 miles toward the finish line celebration! We all ran side-by-side across the finish line for the pictures. I noticed that we were handed our medals, which was different than at the full marathon, where the voluntEARs hung them around our necks.
It was exciting running with our little group of five, and meeting up with our husbands at the finish line – they had all found each other after some of them finished their 10k leg of the Dopey Challenge (4 races, 4 days – a 5k, 10, half marathon, full marathon). We grabbed our water, Powerade, bananas, and runDisney food boxes, identical to every other box they gave out for race weekend. I was excited to see that the boxes had handles this year!! Which made juggling everything (plus my camera and phone) a teeny bit easier. We would have taken more pictures after the race, but the line for Minnie was outrageous, and I knew we’d probably see her at Magic Kingdom later that day, anyway, so I caught her waving at me a few times and was satisfied with that! My husband and I caught the shuttle bus back to our resort at Pop Century, where it was time to grab a snack and shower.
My food box contained Ocean Spray Craisins, a FreshNap wipe, a tub of Hickory Farms White Cheddar, Skittles, a Builder’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar, some almond pops with blueberries, and some sea salt corn chips, which tasted like movie theatre popcorn and were AMAZING dipped in the white cheddar. It was almost 9 by now, and we wanted to get the most out of our 1-day tickets to Magic Kingdom, so we headed out to the bus and were standing in Magic Kingdom by 11. And that, my friends, is for another post!
Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Stay tuned for my recaps from:
- runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo
- Inaugural Minnie 10k
- Magic Kingdom
- Be Our Guest restaurant review
- Half marathon (as a runner/spectator)
- Downtown Disney and Portobello review
- Walt Disney World Marathon
- Polynesian Resort and ‘Ohana review
- Pop Century Resort review (and the Nemo Pool at Art of Animation…)
- Links to the 2 recaps I wrote for the Running at Disney blog: Minnie 10k and 2014 Marathon