Don't miss my recaps of the expo, 5K and 10K! All below photo's are from my iPhone. I plan on doing a post with the professional photo's so I am not posting all the photo's I took (you're welcome). Once they finish identifying all the professional photo's, then I'll share those!
Walt Disney World Half Marathon
January 11, 2014
State: Florida (repeat)
Lifetime Half: #42
Day 3 of getting up at an ungodly hour. This morning was not as easy as the other 2 (even though I went to bed at 8pm). I had laid out my clothes and packed my pack the night before, so I quickly got dressed and was on the way to the bus by 3:30am.
As soon as I opened the door, I was hit with humidity. This would not be the easiest weather to run in. I was able to board a bus with minimal wait. There was more traffic this morning then the 5K or 10K, but not too bad.
Upon arriving at Epcot, Pam and I made our way through security (the line was long, but moved quickly) and camped out again by baggage. I had brought one of my throwaway sweatshirts to sit on (I definitely didn't need to wear it with the humidity).
We spent some time people watching but before we knew it, it was time to check the bags and head to our corrals. Bag check went quickly and smoothly. The walk to the start is pretty long, which is so annoying. When we got closer, the corrals split into 2 sections, so I said goodbye to Pam and made my way to Corral F.
I had more time to kill in the corral and befriended some more Dopey folks (1 of whom I even saw the next day after the marathon!). They had Donald Duck there (with Mickey and Goofy) to kick it off. The first corral went off on time and the window between corrals wasn't too long. It took just under 15 minutes for my corral to start. Not sure what happened, but for some reason there were no fireworks for our corral - not cool runDisney!
As this was my 7th time running this race (plus 1 time at Princess), I know this course by now like the back of my hand. Given the heat and the fact I was going to be running a marathon the next day, I was really trying to take it easy.
We started off on the highway towards the Magic Kingdom and headed inside and went past the race track, Ticket and Transportation center and towards the Contemporary. There is a point right before the Contemporary were we go down under an overpass and then back up. This is the first time I realized we go under water there (seriously, I spoke with other people and they all knew it). Can't believe it took me so many years to figure that out!
Right past the mile 5 marker, we make a left turn and start heading into the Magic Kingdom. It never fails, when I turn the corner and enter Main Street, I always get chills. Past Main Street we head into Tomorrowland, then into Fantasyland where I stopped for photo's with the Red Queen, Tigger and Daisy and Donald. Since I was dressed as Donald, I couldn't resist (even though the line was pretty long).
After my picture with Donald and Daisy, we headed through the castle and into Liberty Square and then Frontierland where we head out of the Park. They did have a float out with Cinderella and the Prince, but the line was long so I passed on that one.
By this point, we were almost 7 miles in and started to make the journey back to Epcot. This portion of the race can be pretty tough, but they had a good amount of characters out and music playing that it seemed to go pretty quickly.
Before I knew it, we were making the turn onto the on ramp with my favorite Green Army man yelling at us. I always love him. I was trying to take the on ramps easy and not push it. I knew I needed to preserve my energy for Sunday.
Just past 12, we headed into Epcot for a quick bit (it really isn't a lot in the Half). I stopped at the turn point at the start of World Showcase to take a picture with Rafiki and Timon.
After the turn around point, we head back past Spaceship Earth and out the park past the Gospel choir (always one of my favorite points) and then towards the finish line!
After crossing the finish, I was keeping my eye out for Abby who was volunteering. I spotted her just after getting my medal. I was so happy to see her! I won't lie, I got a little emotional as I realized I was going to run a marathon the next day.
She walked with my to get my Gatorade and water and headed towards my Dopey bracelet. I now had 3 on my wrist. Abby headed back to the finish line to continue volunterring and I made my way to finisher's photo's and food.
This race is always one of my favorites and it didn't disappoint this year. My time won't go down in any record books as one of my faster races, but that wasn't the point. I purposely kept it slow and conserved energy.
3 down, 1 to go!
Official: 13.1 mi, 2:25:43, 11:07 pace
Garmin: 13.29, 2:25:42, 10:57 pace