I am finally getting around to posting about my experience at my first runDisney event, the Princess Half Marathon weekend.
The Princess Half Marathon races had been on my bucket list for about 2 years, but I could never remember to register for them until 4 months after registration opened...which is too late because the whole weekend sells out in hours. Crazy, I know.
So, January of last year, I decided to start planning a surprise Disney vacation for the family with this particular race weekend in mind.
I wanted to participate in the Glass Slipper Challenge (10K and Half Marathon), and I was so excited to see that the half was scheduled on my 35th birthday.
Happy Birthday to ME!
I was a nervous wreck on registration day because the runDisney site and Active.com froze 5 minutes before registration opened.
Thankfully, I was part of a Facebook group that had the direct link posted immediately at 12 p.m. EST, and I was able to register in 2 minutes.
After a near nervous break down, and $330 later (budget buster, I tell ya), I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
I spent the rest of the year saving money towards the trip, and working on my training, making sure that my body was ready for the back to back races.
That was the easy part.
The part I wasn't ready for was the getting up 2 days in a row at 3:00 a.m. EST...which is 2 a.m. here.
The picture below is me trying to act like I am happy, when really, I am questioning why on Earth did I sign up for this torture.
It was chilly and I was sleepy.
The 10K started at 5:30 a.m.
RunDisney wanted all runners on the bus by 4 a.m. to ensure that everyone was at the start line on time. The bus ride was short for me because I was staying at Port Orleans Riverside, and Epcot was a quick 10 minute ride away. After arriving, you had to stop at the tables for bag check. I didn't have a bag, so I was good to walk on through.
I got my picture taken in front of the PHM flag, and made my way to where all the action was.
There was a fun little dance party near the start line, and there were several people dancing and having a good time. I didn't join in because I was alone, and I didn't have the courage to jump right in on my own. :-)
We lined up in our corrals around 5:00'ish, waited a bit, and then we were moved to the start line. I was in corral A, so my group got to go first.
The start of the 10K was really underwhelming compared to the big production of the Half Marathon start line.
Fairy Godmother had a few words to say and then she counted down.
There were fireworks.
But the fireworks were kind of like a little baby sneeze.
Just a spurt.
They do that for each corral, so that was pretty cool.
I will say I prefer the fireworks over the shot guns they use here in Alabama!
The race went by fast, and there were just a few character stops. There are only 6 miles to fit characters in, so there isn't the ability to have that many.
This was the only stop I made. I figured I would never see these two in the parks, so I stopped for a quick pic and moved on. If I hadn't made this pit stop, I would have gotten a PR, but I wasn't there for PR's. I was there to have a good time!
At the finish, we were handed our medals, and a box of goodies. Then you had the ability to take pictures with different princesses. I chose to take one with Aurora. She's one of S.R.'s favorites.
And here's the box of goodies they give you along with a Mylar blanket to keep warm once you cool off.
So...my thoughts on this race.
It was fun, and fast. I loved running through Epcot's World Showcase and the Boardwalk area. It was beautiful with all of the lights glowing, the fire blazing, and the Disney music blaring.
But it was too quick.
If you are new to running, and all you can do is a 10K, then yes, you should do this race.
However, if you think that you could possibly do more, I would go for the half. The experience is so much better!
And you have around 7 months to train once you secure your spot in the race.
If you would like help planning a race-cation at Disney and participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend, contact me at email@example.com and I can help you plan a magical vacation!