What? I’m only like FOUR
and three quarters DAYS post-race…so I’m not THAT late am I???
This has been a hectic week – thus the late recap – but but that doesn’t mean the magic of the Princess Half Marathon is any less magical!
The morning started like any other race day (only a hell of a lot earlier…a 3:00 AM wakeup call thankyouverymuch) with lining up and waiting for the start.
The weather was PERFECT for a race – cool & crisp but not COLD – and overcast but no RAIN.
While we were waiting I could tell this was going to be a crowded course. Sure, there were corrals to keep things manageable – but this was unlike any race I’ve ever seen. (It seemed even more insane than Peachtree which has 55,000+ runners…maybe the corrals were bigger?)
We were in corral “D” which meant we got to see FOUR sets of fireworks before it was our turn to cross that starting line.
And then We Were Off!!!
What a feeling – fireworks while you start running?! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a bit.
I was running with two women from my running group (Kerri and Allie) and the first three miles FLEW by while we made our way from the start to the Magic Kingdom parking lot, right around the 5k mark.
I promise that says “Magic Kingdom”!
And I promise that this sign is no less than 2 miles from when we actually entered the Magic Kingdom!
You see, first you have to go under the “Water Bridge”! It’s literally a bridge with water in it instead of a road! Boats from some of the Disney resorts transport you to the Magic Kingdom by going through this!
It might not look like much in this picture but trust me, that’s one heck of a hill (Ok, a “Florida Hill”) that you have to go back up after you go under the water way!
Before we knew it, we were out on Main Street USA!
I may or may not have cried again at this point – Main Street USA is one of my all-time favorite spots out of all of the theme parks at Disney World! (Ryan and I honeymooned at Disney and we got serenaded by a Barbershop Quartet on Main Street…which meant we got to have our own “bridal dance” in front of everyone while they were serenading us!)
Another “tear factor” is the Castle! That thing is AMAZING!
Once we ran down Main Street, I got re-energized in Tomorrow Land (thanks to copious amounts of techno music) and then it was time to run through the castle!
We of course stopped for a photo-op…
…um…I’m STILL not sure what the hell I was doing to end up with a face like that! Maybe chewing on some Chomps? Or maybe talking?
After the Magic Kingdom, the course gets somewhat boring.
Seriously. You’re running on back-lot roads and can’t see of the magical things Disney has to offer.
This is also the point where the course goes down to a single lane – even though the crowd does not thin out at all. Challenging? Yes. Annoying? Yes. Bearable? Yes, barely.
Disney does a good job of keeping us somewhat entertained during this stretch with little signs along the roadway. Did you know Disney World has the most AED units of any place in the world? True story.
Another true story? One would have to run more than 7 marathons to cover the distance of all of the roads in the Disney highway and roadway system!
While on the back stretch we also hit the half way point!
That definitely put a little pep in our step!
Next up? CARS!…and fire trucks!
Followed by glass slippers!
And princes from just about EVERY Disney movie ever made!
We didn’t even wait in line for this one! Just run up beside them, yell “hey” and CLICK! PRINCES!
Right around mile 10 I started to hit the wall. I had enough people dodging, and I had enough running.
My legs were getting tired and I was just mentally shot.
Luckily, before long we saw the light at the end of the tunnel – the entrance to Epcot!
This meant we had 2 miles to go! I think we can manage that much!
Allie had broken off from Kerri and me at this point – she usually runs about 2 minutes per mile faster than us but she held back with us for the majority of the race.
Kerri and I kept on trucking and before we knew it we were getting our medals!
Official time of 2:50:56! Considering we were dodging runners the entire way – and stopped for several pictures – Kerri and I were quite pleased with our time!
After all, we ran Sarasota in 2:48:23 last year and we were hoping to come in around the same time for Princess.
I’m not going to lie…2:45 would have made me REALLY happy…but I’ll take 13.1 in 2:50:56 with picture stops any day!
Ryan and I finished off the day with a much-needed nap followed by dinner with the Crazy Running Legs family!
We even made the husbands pose for a picture and they were totally into it. See?!
Michelle and Dan are two of the most awesome people ever – and their kids are frickin adorable! (But you’ll have to check out Michelle’s post for pictures of the kiddos. I just don’t feel right high-jacking pictures of her kids…but pictures of me & Ryan are fair game…thanks Michelle! )
After dinner Ryan and I went to Epcot for my traditional post-Disney-Race beer.
All I got was a picture of a tree…an AWESOME tree…
…and a picture of me looking like I was ready to pass out on the spot…
Told you! I hadn’t even had a beer yet! I guess that’s what a 3:00 AM wakeup call does to me by 8:00 PM.
And THAT my friends was my first ever Disney Princess Half Marathon experience! Definitely a fun time. Definitely not my best performance very. And definitely a race I think everyone should do a some point.
There’s just something magical about running through Disney in a tutu!