Happy Monday…or should I say, “happy first day back to reality.” Not really a happy day but I’m thinking positive. I’m still feeling the post-race high from Saturday’s half marathon so let’s go off that marvelous feeling for a quick recap.
I alluded to this yesterday, but the race didn’t go exactly as planned. A little back story: My dad pulled his hamstring about 10 days ago and we weren’t sure if he’d be able to run. He went to physical therapy all week but was still a “game time decision.”
Friday: The Expo
My dad and I went to the race expo at the Wide World of Sports on Friday afternoon to pick up our bibs and t-shirts. Disney always puts on a great expo. This was a “marathon weekend” so there was a 5k on Thursday, a 10k on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday (I did the full marathon last year). Some people do both the half and full marathon or even all 4 races! That might be a
fun challenge one year. I’m in awe of those finishers!
We woke up at 3:30 to get ready. Disney is cruel in the sense that the races start SO early because they want everyone to be done before the parks open. The race started at 5:30 at Epcot and we had to be in the corral at least 45 minutes before. We left our hotel at 3:50 a.m.
It was COLD. Ok, I guess it was cold only for Florida (35-40 degrees). Last year I ran in a tank-top and it was perfect running weather for me. It ended up being fine once I started but standing in the corral was not fun. Our “throw away” sweatpants, sweatshirts and garbage bags helped. (Tip: If it’s going to be cold at the race go to a thrift store and buy cheap clothes to wear beforehand. Or use your own, obviously. Toss them to the side before the race starts or once you’ve warmed up. I wore the sweatshirt until mile 2.)
Pre-race they had music, speakers and, like every Disney race, there were fireworks when every corral crossed the start line. The corral starts were staggered about 2-3 minutes. We were in corral C (the corrals were A-P) so we crossed the start line just before 5:40.
Slow and steady was the name of the game. My dad’s PT told him the slower he ran the less it would (probably) hurt. He was right. My only goal of the race was to run with him so our pace was the least of my worries. I wanted to have this shared experience. He was disappointed that we weren’t going to run at our normal pace but with my knee acting up earlier in the week, I was fine to go slower. (Oh, my knee never hurt once during the race).
and annoying thing about Disney races is that you are only in the actual parks for about 2 miles total. The other 11 miles are on back roads and highways. There are Disney characters along the way but the highlight of the race (running through Magic Kingdom) goes by in a flash. But that highlight is pretty awesome. Plus, my mom and sister were standing right outside the castle cheering us on!
After we left Magic Kingdom we were at the half way mark. The next 5 miles were uneventful. Just running…
At mile 12 we entered to Epcot. The slower pace meant I could whip out my phone for a picture! As we were headed toward the finish line (the last .1), the announcer called out our names and said, “Paul (my dad) and Emily ran together and are finishing together. Who’s going to cross first?” I thought that was pretty cool.
Finished side-by-side with a time of 2:03:52.
-Extremely well-organized (Disney has this down to a science)
-Running through Cinderella’s castle
-Plenty of water stations and port-a-potties
-Volunteers were very helpful and friendly
-Super early start
-Over 3/4 of the course was boring (I thought)
-A lot of running on slanted roads (think highway on-ramps)
-Expensive entry fee
-No tickets to Disney! Ok, this is a joke. But after paying an arm and a leg for the race we deserve a ticket.
I’m so proud of my dad for finishing strong despite not feeling great beforehand. Medal well-earned.
I’m looking forward to seeing our race photos because I made sure to smile and look alive every time I saw a photographer. I’ll be back next month to run the
exact same course at Princess Half Marathon!
How was your weekend?
Who is your favorite Disney character? My favorite classic character is Belle. My favorite newer character is Elsa from Frozen.