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.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
The Disney races always sound like a blast! I really want to do some in the future! It would be pretty cool running through Disney, even if it’s just for a few miles. Awesome job Emily!
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Thanks, Brie! I would definitely recommend running the Princess Half once because of the fun “girl-power” atmosphere.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
What! You should totally be able to stay there afterwards and ride all the rides, hahaha! That’s sad you don’t get to run in the parks more :/
So glad you were able to run with your dad though! Still looks like SO much fun! We’ll have to do it together one year ;) If I make it down to Florida some time! Haha! XOXOXO
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Power Monday #66 Hey You!
Right?! One time a few years ago my sister and dad went straight from spectating to the parks. For the full marathon I ran through all 4 parks but it still wasn’t the majority of the race. PLEASE COME!
Daughter of the year award goes to YOU! So sweet of you to slow your pace down so you were able to run with your Dad. What a great bonding time for the two of you.
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Haha you’re so sweet! :)
Gretchen - A Fit Fashionista says
Love the recap of the Disney race! Congrats!
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Emily @ Sweets and Beets says
I still just love that you can pretty much casually run a half ;) it looks fun, but that start time is cruel! And I think it’s more of a marketing ploy than anything. I agree with you .. I’d be wanting tickets to the park! ;) Great job though, to you & Dad!
Emily @ Sweets and Beets recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: Coconut Milk, Cheap Produce & the Chinese Buffet
It’s completely a marketing ploy. During the race my dad kept saying, “this is such a trick.” Thanks so much!
Sounds like you and your dad had a blast! This is similar to what my husband and I will be doing this weekend at the Houston Half Marathon — running nice and easy and having fun not caring about pace! I am excited – hopefully we can get some great photos along the way too!
Lindsay recently posted…The Portland Marathon
That’s awesome…have fun!!! That’s the best way to enjoy the race.
Lacey @ Runs and Roses says
Great job, running a half with my dad would be so much fun, maybe I can convince him one day ;) It sounds like a fun race, would’ve been great if they let you into the park though!
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Thanks, Lacey :) It definitely took some convincing on my part for him to agree.
Liv @ Healthy Liv says
AHH congrats on the race! That’s so fun that you get to run through Cinderella’s castle. And WOW, running all 4 races in one weekend would be such a cool challenge!
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Thanks so much! Running through the castle is the best part.
Jamie King says
Ariel all the way, baby! i’ve always wanted to live under the sea…hahah
Haha I saw some awesome Ariel costumes during the race!
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet says
You basically summarized why I’m not interested in a doing a Disney race! But I’m glad you and your dad were able to enjoy it together. I loved the Lion King when I was little (sometimes I watched it three times in a single day!), and Nala was my favorite character.
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet recently posted…Weekend with Hannah
There are definitely some drawbacks to Disney races. Oh I love the Lion King. I still tear up when Mufasa dies.
Christine@ Apple of My Eye says
You guys are amazing and this was such great inspiration for me! I’ve been toying and toying with the idea of signing up for a half marathon to help motivate me keep a more regular running schedule, but have always been on the fence about it. Loved the recap and holllyyy heck… those people who do all 4 races? CRAZY PEOPLE I TELL YA.
Fantastic job!! You and your dad make a great team :)
You’re so sweet! Training for a race is the best way to keep on a running schedule. But as much as I love racing, I love just running when/what I feel like. Those people are seriously crazy. The good kind of crazy I guess ;)
How cool that you got to run with your Dad and run through Cinderella’s Castle!!! I have never run Disney but I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun!
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Running through the castle is the best part! I would definitely recommend running a Disney race one day, just for the experience :)
This is such a great recap! I’ve always wanted to run a Disney race – but I’ve never had the dedication to train for one. Have you run any other events besides marathon weekend?
Thank you! I’ve run 4 Disney races and will run my 5th next month. The Princess Half is the best in my opinion.