Princess Half Marathon
February 22, 2015
State: repeat (Florida)
As is the norm for all Disney races, it was another early morning wake up call. I had laid all my clothing out the night before, so getting ready was a breeze.
I was running the race with my cousin Colleen (who I ran it with last year) and two of my cousins-in-law, Amy and Mary (married to two of my cousins, both of whom are Colleen's brothers). Colleen had made us adorable matching shirts that said "Once Upon a Run". Colleen and I opted to pair ours with Sparkle Athletic skirts!
The girls were in a connecting room and we said good bye to our moms and Mary (who luckily got to go back to sleep!). The weather was much warmer then the day before, but still slightly chilly. Mary and Colleen had brought throw away clothing, but it was Amy's first half and us seasoned runners forgot to tell her to bring throwaway's. Oops! Fortunately, I had an extra heat sheet from the day before Amy could use (and it was so much warmer then Saturday which helped a lot!).
The line for the bus wasn't too long (we got on the second one) and hit minimal traffic on the way to the start. Once we got there and made it through bag check, we met up with Abby and her sister who were also running. We chatted a bit, used the bathrooms and then headed to baggage and the start. As I said, this was Amy's first half and she was feeling a little nervous and wanted to get to the corrals a bit early. I've been there before and know that feeling so I understood.
I was in corral B but the other girls were farther back, so we could start together. We were in the J corral. We hung out in the corral for a while and then it was time to start. Fortunately, they were sending the corrals off pretty quickly (more quickly then I feel like they did the year before) and we only had to wait about 25ish minutes, which I felt was quick for Corral J.
Colleen and I had planned to run together. Mary likes to run by herself (plus she had a baby in July and this was her first race back), so she went off on her own. We actually stayed in the vicinity of her the whole race and would play leap frog when we stopped for photo's and the bathroom. Amy didn't really have a plan, but she stayed with us until about mile 5.5. Colleen and I stopped for the bathroom, but Amy wasn't sure she'd start again if she stopped (know that feeling as well!). Similar to Mary, we saw her several times throughout the race.
The first 5 miles went by pretty quickly - Colleen, Amy and I chatting and catching up the whole time. It was a bit crowded at the beginning, but it did start to thin out right as we passed through the parking toll booths.
We passed several characters on the way (Captain Jack Sparrow, the Princes and the Villians) - the lines were pretty long so we skipped stopping. I let Colleen decide which ones to stop for, as I've basically stopped for everyone at this point!
Near the speedway, we saw Vanellope out. She didn't have a crazy line, but we decided not to stop for a picture. Colleen's kids like the movie (but we didn't want to wait), so I grabbed a photo of Vanellope from the side.
|Kinda looks like she is dancing...|
After Vanellope, we headed towards the Contemporary and into Magic Kingdom. Time for my favorite part! Main Street was packed with spectators and as usual, never fails to give me chills! We stopped for a group photo with the Castle in the background. Amy almost didn't stop (as she was afraid she wouldn't start again), but she jumped in at the last minute! So glad she did, it turned out to be a great photo.
We continued into Tomorrowland, where we saw Buzz Lightyear. We didn't wait in line, but I grabbed a photo from the side again.
|To infinity and beyond!|
Colleen and I stopped at the Tomorrowland bathrooms and Amy continued on. We'd catch her on the road back to Epcot. Right before we headed through the Castle, we saw Anna, Elsa and Kristoff on the balcony. In previous years they have had the trumpeters out, but it's a good spot for those 3. Could you imagine the lines if they were on the actual course for photo's? No Princess Minnie and Prince Mickey out this year. Usually, this is where they are out but there was construction going on, which is why I am guessing they weren't out.
We made our way through the Castle - second favorite part of this race! It's a feeling that never gets old!
As we continued on, we passed Buddy in Frontierland before heading out of the park and then Aurora and Prince Phillip. I managed to snag a great shot of Woody - wasn't planned, sheer dumb luck!
The journey back to Epcot from the Magic Kingdom was pretty typical. I felt they had a good amount of characters out (can't really remember if I thought it was more or less then the Marathon Weekend) including Mary Poppins, some men in tux's with a glass slipper and some others. We didn't stop for any of the photo's but they were still a good distraction from the race!
They did have one character out that I had never seen before - Vacation Genie! I would have loved to have gotten a photo with him, but the line was ridiculous. Even if I had been alone, I would have not stopped as the line was probably 15 minutes long. But that didn't stop me from getting a quick picture from the side!
Usually on the way back from Magic Kingdom, the Princes' line is much shorter and you can get a quick picture. The line was much shorter then on the way in, but still longer then we wanted to wait. Since we had a photo of those guys from last year, we skipped it.
The rest of the route to Epcot was pretty standard. I know we saw the Green Army man from Toy Story on the on-ramp hill, but honestly, the rest is a bit fuzzy. Colleen and I were chatting away and I wasn't really paying attention (which, btw, is a great way to pass a race!).
Last year as we made the turn into the backstage area of Epcot (right before you actually head into the park), they had Sophia out. Colleen's daughter is in LOVE with Sophia right now, so were were keeping our eyes out for her. Luckily, she was out in the same spot and there was only 2 people in line! A quick pick of Colleen and Sophia and into Epcot we went!
|No line = success!|
The out and back in Epcot is not quite as spine tingling as going through Magic Kingdom (usually because we are like .5 miles from the finish and I want to be done, lol), but it's still awesome. They had the comic Fairy Godmother out with a mic which provided some good entertainment as we came through. The gospel choir was also in it's normal place right after you leave Epcot. They are another one of my favorites - my body just knows by now when you hear them the end is near!
Colleen and I tried to pick it up a bit as we headed into the finish, but then we saw Prince Mickey (or King, I'm not sure, I like Prince better)... with no line... so we just had to stop for a photo! I had gotten Princess Minnie at the Expo and now have a matching pair with Prince Mickey. I am so glad we stopped, this is one of my favorite photo's from the race!
|Prince Mickey for the win!|
From there, we headed to the finish! Our finish time was 2:16:20, which considering we made a bathroom stop and a couple of photo stops, was pretty good! We were just running this for fun, but still beat our time from 2014 by 4 minutes.
I was tracking Amy and Mary as well and after getting our medals, I checked my phone and realized they would be finishing any minute as well! Amy came in about 2 minutes after us and Mary 1 minute after that. Colleen needed a bandaid (her sock had been rubbing) so we stopped by medical which was enough time for us to see Amy and Mary get their medals and meet up with them.
We all picked up some water, Powerade and headed for photo's. I separated from the girls to get my Glass Slipper Challenge medal and photo, but they were waiting for me on the backside.
They had put out a finisher background (with race photographer) which was larger then the ones before the food. It was perfect for large groups, so we stopped to take a photo as we definitely needed a group finisher photo!
Overall, I had a great time at this race. Disney races don't disappoint and this one was no different. I do wish they had had more Princesses on the actual course though - I think I only saw 1? Seems a bit off for the Princess race and would be my one issue.
Another great race and can't wait to come back in 2016 and do it again!
Official: 13.1 miles, 2:16:20, 10:24 pace
Garmin: 13.4 miles, 2:16:18, 10:11 pace