Let me preface this post by admitting to something…
I am not a massive Disney fan.
There… I said it.
And yet I somehow convinced myself it would be a fabulous idea to run a 10K and half marathon through Disney parks… in the same weekend.
Sunday was another early morning… at this point, between running the 10K the day before and walking several parks Friday and Saturday, my legs and feet were……. toast. I didn’t sleep as well or as much as I wanted to. But the excitement helped me get through the morning. I set my alarm for 2:30 again, and we were able to get out the door by 3am.
Traffic on PHM day was…… outrageous. I’m so glad we stayed on property and were able to use the bus service, because traffic was nutty. They actually started the race LATE because so many people were running late. Anywho, I digress….
The goal was to meet up for an SRTTNH group photo before the race… the traffic fiddled with that a bit, so we ended up with two group photos before we all headed off to our respective corrals:
The walk from the staging area to the corrals is long. Almost a mile. On already-tired legs, it was rough… and I couldn’t decided if I needed to pee, so it was making me nervous. There was a huge bottleneck near a line of port-a-potties and I was tempted, but decided to skip it and keep walking to my corral. Once I got to my corral, I sat on the ground to stretch a little and give my feet a rest.
I was in corral I for the half marathon, and the corrals went all the way to P this year. I think I read in one of the Facebook groups that there were something like 24,000 registrations, and 21,500 crossed the start line. Not sure how accurate that is, but either way… 20,000+ people is an INSANE amount of people on one course!
Once they let corral A go, we started to move up towards the start line pretty quickly… and yes, I did indeed need to pee. It was not a false alarm this time. So I asked a volunteer if I could sneak out and use the line of porta-a-potties… they were nice enough to say yes. So I lost my place in line, but I ended up at the very back of my corral once I got back in, so not all was lost!
Before I knew it, I was standing in corral A, and the fireworks happened, and off I went!
I took a ton of pictures on this race course, so I’m breaking the slideshows up by mile markers, photo stops/random pictures along the course, fun shirts and spectator signs, and then Photopass pictures.
Here are all of my mile markers (the face at mile 7 is so… real):
Here are all of the photo stops, landmarks, and crowd photos:
These are the fun shirts and spectator signs:
And here are the Disney Photopass pictures that were taken on the course (again, thank goodness for Memory Maker!):
Finally, here are the pictures I took at the finish line:
I hit a wall at mile 7. My feet hurt, my right knee was hurting, it was sunny and I was nervous I was getting burnt, and I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I texted my friend who was spectating at the finish line, questioning what the hell I was thinking doing this stupid Glass Slipper Challenge thing. But she gave me some encouraging words, and I found a new pep in my step and managed to pull it off and make it to the finish.
One thing I wasn’t expecting on this course which provided me a TON of giggles were the sweeper buses. I’m aware that most people are terrified of the balloon ladies (I saw them when I finished looping Epcot at the 10K, they were pretty far behind me so I wasn’t worried) and getting swept off the course… I noticed they had Disney buses parked along the course with their electronic signs reading, “Parade Bus.” Is that not the worst deception ever? We all knew exactly what those buses were for… why bother calling them something they’re not?! HAH! Here’s a reminder:
Honestly, again… this was such an incredible experience. The runners (and walkers) were lovely (with the exception of one instance where a runner asked walkers to move to the sides and one of the walkers sniped, “I CAN’T DO IT SAFELY!” back at them). The spectator support after the start line, at Magic Kingdom, leaving Magic Kingdom, and heading back into Epcot (especially the people IN Epcot waiting for the park to open) was just incredible. I actually felt really emotional and thankful for their support. And serious props to runDisney for another amazing event!
I hope you enjoyed this brief, picture-laden update of my experience! I wasn’t sold on this Disney thing – I had been a skeptic. Now I get it! I’ve happily drank the runDisney Kool-Aid, and will gladly drink more! I’m looking forward to running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland in May (help me choose my costume by commenting at the bottom of this post), and then the 25th Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2018!
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below or shoot me a message at emilyblogged(at)gmail.com and ask! I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, but I’ve done it at least once!