Monday, March 18, 2013

Race Recap: Princess Half Marathon

Since the New Bedford Half was yesterday and I'll need to do that race recap soon - I thought it was time to get my recap for the Princess Half Marathon up!

This was the first year I had run the Princess half.  We know I all love my Disney races so I was definitely excited to complete this one.

I went for the weekend with my mom.  She was doing the 5K and I was doing the 5K and the Half.  We headed to FL on Friday and after landing and getting to the hotel (we stayed at Caribbean Beach), we headed to the expo.

Expo time!
The expo was held at the Coronado Springs convention center - a new location for any expo I had attended.  It was easy to get there via the shuttle bus.

Once there we made our way to pick up our numbers.  The number pickup was pretty easy - I got my 5K first and then my Princess.  Barely any wait to get the numbers.  The area was pretty large and not crowded.

After picking up our numbers we headed into the rest of the expo to get our shirts and do some shopping.  This is were it got crazy.  The space were they held the number pickup was way too large and the rest of the expo was packed in too tightly.  It was insane.

We got our shirts.  A black cotton tee for the 5K and a purple technical short sleeve tee for the Half.  I really like the half shirt (but unfortunately I did not get my wish for a non-Champion shirt - maybe next time).

5K Shirt.  Not bad.
Princess Half Shirt.  Definitely a favorite!
After getting our shirts, we got in line for the official merchandise.  Not kidding.  The area were the merchandise was, was way too small.  They barely had any room and there was pretty significant line to get in.  Once inside - it was a mad house.  There were people everywhere and merchandise was pretty picked over.  Fortunately, they did have my wine glasses!  I picked up a wine glass, water cup and coffee cup (I have a sick obsession with coffee mugs if you didn't know).  My only complaint is everything says '2009-2013'.  I get it's the 5th anniversary, but unless you've done all 5, you probably don't want all the years on it (at least in my opinion).

After escaping from the official merchandise section, we headed over to the runDisney booth.  Registration for Wine and Dine was open, so I registered both Pam and myself for it.  We had such a fun time at it this year, I am so excited to go back.  After doing that, we tried to walk around a little bit, but it was so crowded it really wasn't possible.  I did get a pink sparkle headband to wear on race day and then we were out.

Mickey and Minnie's Royal 5K

Saturday morning was the 5K.  Weather was pretty nice - slightly humid but it didn't bother me (I was walking with my mom, so it was pretty low key).  The bus to the race was pretty easy - didn't have to wait long and we were able to get seats.

After we got to the race, we used the bathroom and headed to the start.  It was a loop around Epcot.  We got to walk through some of the backstage areas as well as around the countries.  It was pretty fun - we didn't wait for any pictures as the lines were long, but it was still fun.

At the finish we got a nice finisher medallion and a some snacks to munch on as we headed back to the hotel.
5K Finisher Medallion
Princess Half Marathon

So Sunday was the big one - the Princess Half Marathon!  Got up nice and early (haha, like 3:30am) and after getting dressed headed to the start.  I was wearing my 'Forget the glass slippers, this Princess wears running shoes' tank, lululemon shorts and a tiara!  Yes, I ended up wearing a tiara for the race (still can't believe it).  Upon walking outside, I immediately was shocked by how humid it was.  Knew it was going to be a heat one!  Again, the bus was super easy and got to the start in plenty of time.

While at the pre-race area, met up with my friend Abby.  She was dressed as Flounder from the Little Mermaid!  It was a great costume.  After hanging with her, I used the bathroom one last time and said bye to my mom (she was going straight to Magic Kingdom to see me on Main Street).  Then headed to the start.  Got to the start and got settled.

The Fairy Godmother even sent us off - it was great!  I started running and immediately started sweating.  Wasn't too worried though, I knew I was planning on taking pictures and was not concerned with my time.

The had some great characters on the course - the Princes, the evil Queens, Gaston, Prince Mickey and Minnie, the Genie, Captain Jack, the raccoon from Pocahontas.  I decided not to run with my phone so will probably end up buying the race photo's (again).  They all turned out really cute - what can I say!

I was definitely dying a little by the end, but finished strong.  Got my tiara finishers medal (love it!) and made my way through the finishers section.  Given the heat, they had lots of medical people and were making everyone drink before leaving the zone (good idea!).  Took my official finishers photo, got my food box and headed off to meet my mom.

After meeting up with her, waited in line to take photo's with Snow White and Ariel.  Once that was done, headed back to the hotel to shower and get one with the day.

Princess Half Marathon Finishers Medal

Race time: 13.1 miles, 2:24:57 total, 11:30 pace
Garmin: 13.43 miles, 2:24:55 total, 10:47 pace


As usual - Disney put on a good race!  There were definitely some things about the expo that needed fixing (someone needs to organize it better!) but over all I was happy with the race.  I had a great time and awesome weekend in Disney.

My only one complaint would be about the race size.  I know the races are becoming more popular (the Disneyland Half closed in like 2 hours this year) and they want to let as many people do it as possible, but it's becoming too much.  The course is packed and the water stations are overrun.  They need to start capping them sooner in my opinion.  I know it's hard because so many people want to do it, but it has to be done.  That's just my 2 cents, if it's worth anything.

Overall, great race and wonderful weekend!   Registration for 2014 opens in June and my mom and I have already decided to do it again!

Anyone else run the Princess Half Marathon this year?  How'd you like it? 

Note:  My race photo's are also up!  Check em out here

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