Category: Princess Half Marathon Weekend
|March 5, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Race Recaps|
When your flight gets indefinitely delayed the afternoon before you are about to take on a back to back race challenge, the panic begins to set in. Will I make it? Will I have to forego my registration for the first race? Most importantly…will my vacation be cut short?!?
I found myself in this exact predicament on the Friday before I was about to take on the Glass Slipper Challenge during Princess Half Marathon Weekend. A thick fog had rolled into White Plains, NY and no planes were landing or taking off from our tiny little airport. Our plane was diverted to Syracuse and we were patiently waiting for the fog to clear so it could come pick us up and take us to warmer climates. Sigh… After about 5 hours of waiting at the airport and frantic texts to Amanda who was waiting patiently to pick us up in Orlando, B and I finally got on the plane and headed south.
By the time we landed, grabbed a bite to eat, got to our hotel, unpacked and settled in, it was about 11:30 pm…MUCH later than I would’ve liked given that my alarm was set to go off at 3:30 am the next morning for the Enchanted 10K. Luckily we had thought ahead and I had Amanda pick up my race packet earlier that day…phew!
We wearily rolled out of bed, got dressed in record time and headed over to Epcot for day 1 of the Glass Slipper Challenge. Because we didn’t have time to stop at the store the night before, I didn’t have any food to fuel up with that morning and I was starving. Thankfully there were food trucks! I grabbed a banana and was good to go…I don’t know how that egg and cheese bagel would’ve sat during a 10K!
We arrived very close to the start time so after inhaling the banana and making a quick pit stop, we headed into our corral. I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling great about this race. I had hoped to be better rested, but things don’t always go as planned. So we decided that we were going to tackle the Inaugural Enchanted 10K with smiles on our faces no matter what!
All of a sudden, our corral was moving, fireworks were going off and the race had begun!
The first half of the course was boooooooring. These are always the most difficult miles for me as I get moving and all I kept thinking about was how I couldn’t wait to get into World Showcase. However we did see Elsa from Frozen soon we left the starting line…
And the sight of thousands of runners pouring out of the Epcot toll booths was pretty cool…
But that was about it until…
Yay! World Showcase Lagoon! Can you see the humidity in the air? Yowza
From here on, the race was a blast! There were sights to see and characters everywhere.
I even snuck in a photo with my favorite character Marie without standing in line! Amanda has all the tricks
A quick tour around the Boardwalk and Crescent Lake made for very tempting pit stops…
I said hi to a few friends, including my girl Cindy, in front of the Beach Club before heading back into Epcot and back out into the parking lot for the big finish.
And like that we were done! It started sprinkling very soon after we crossed the finish line, so we grabbed our medals and made a bee line for the car.
This was my first 10K at Walt Disney World and I really do love the distance. I’m so glad that they have added this to many of the race weekends. It’s challenging and can be completed fairly quickly, but there really needs to be some sort of entertainment added to Epcot Center Drive…that long stretch was painfully boring. Plus with the shorter distance, you still have a fair amount of energy left over to get some good park touring in after the race. I headed over to Animal Kingdom for a few hours to say hi to some animals and get in some fun character time.
Later that day we headed to the Osceola County Fair to support Amanda’s daughter at the steer auction. It was actually a really fun experience for this Northeast city girl! The big bonus was that I got to hold her 2 week old goat!! I look like a crazy person…
After the fair we went to Splitsville for dinner where the service was severely lacking, but the food was good. We also stopped in the new Fit2Run store in Downtown Disney for some KT Tape. That place is nice…definitely check it out next time you are in the area.
Day 1 of the Glass Slipper Challenge complete! We headed to bed fairly early to get ready for day 2…my 3rd Princess Half Marathon!
Disclosure: I was invited to attend the entire weekend as media. My hotel expenses were provided by Disney. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I am 100% obsessed with runDisney events.
|March 3, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Guest Posts, Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Race Recaps|
Sarah Norris is back for her fourth and final 5K recap of this runDisney race season. It’s been great to follow her journey since October when she ran her first 5K ever and to see how much she’s improved. What makes this recap even better is that she shared this race with her family…wait til you see how her brother joined in on the Princess fun!
I can hardly believe that this is my last race recap for the 2013-2014 runDisney season. Thanks again to Sarah for all of her words of encouragement and for letting me share my race experiences with you all. It’s been an exciting year, and I’m already signed up for races in the 2014-2015 runDisney race season.
The Princess Half Marathon Weekend was an extra special one for me, as my family members were also running the race. Both my brother & my stepdad were running the Cinderella Royal Family 5K with me, and it was exciting to share the race experience with them. It was even more exciting to see them dress up…more on that later!
Like the Family Fun Run 5K during Marathon Weekend in January, the Royal Family 5K race course was at Epcot (in fact, the same course). Running through Epcot is a really cool race experience and this one proved to be no different.
Before the race, we had to head to the Fit for a Princess Expo at the Jostens Center to pick up our race bibs and shirts. Packet pickup for the race was in the HP Field House, as it has been for most of the races I’ve participated in this year and really easy to find. I also did the race pick-up for my stepdad and that was the first time I’ve ever done that. Disney really makes it easy, and I got his bib faster than you can say “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!” I was nervous to see what race corral I was in because my number was a little higher, but I was thankful to see that I scored corral B.
Once we got our bibs, we headed to the expo, and I have to say, Disney really pulls all the stops out for this one! I loved the photo ops with the handsome footmen and the red carpet that lined the path to the expo. Fit for a princess was certainly a fitting name for this expo!
This expo was really busy and packed with great vendors. I have to say that I think this race expo might have been the busiest of any that I have attended this race season. Kinda crazy! We made sure to pick up our t-shirts first (which were my favorite of the season) and then look at the official runDisney race merchandise. I loved the tutus that you could purchase. I always make sure to visit a few of my favorite vendors: Sparkle Athletic and Sparkly Soul. A girl’s gotta have some bling when she runs! I had originally planned a Merida themed costume but not all of my gear arrived in time, so I went with a purple sparkly outfit and needed to pick up a purple sparkle skirt and purple sparkly headband.
If you visit the expo, definitely take your time to wander. There is so much to see and do at them. And make sure to also check out some of the seminars. You can hear some great tips on running and nutrition from some of the world’s top experts including Jeff Galloway.
Once we finished exploring the expo and getting all of our official gear, we took the day to relax and chill. My brother and I hit the Animal Kingdom Park for a few hours and just took it easy. Dinner was low-key at the Mara, and I even saw runDisney announcer Carissa! Bedtime was early because I had a very unpleasant 4 a.m. wakeup call. One tip that I always tell people is to get their race gear around and ready for the race the night before. It helps so much when you wake up early and are groggy. I pretty much just throw on my clothes, down a protein shake and go.
Getting to the race was easy but we got there a little later than we should have (around 5:15 a.m.). So, it was definitely packed at that point. Again, this felt like it was even more packed than the Family Fun Run 5K which is weird given how many people run those races. One of the fun parts about this race was the “flash mob” style dancing that was happening before the race. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to think about “Thriller” “The Fox (What does the Fox Say” the same way again!
Oh and remember that outfit I mentioned about my brother? Well, he was all sparkly and blinged out too! Check out this great photo with his sparkle skirt & headband (which he borrowed from me!)
Before we knew it, we had to rush to our corrals. My brother was in corral A and he was literally in his corral for about 10 minutes before they started staging. Corral B was released soon after, and I just love how festive the race start is. They shoot off fireworks during each heat and that’s just such a magical touch.
Having run this race course a month earlier, I had it in my head to PR this race. I really wanted to improve my time and pace. There were a lot of people walking, so navigating through everyone was challenging but manageable. I’ve learned a lot of strategies for making sure I have a clear path or where to run in case of crowding. The first mile is really the only crowded time and then it levels off. It also wasn’t raining this race (like the Family Fun Run 5K) so it made the experience a lot more enjoyable. It was a bit humid though!
My favorite part about the race is running through the World Showcase. It’s just so beautiful and relaxing. I admit, I didn’t stop at any character spots because there weren’t very many, and they weren’t that appealing to me. I really wish Disney would do more race entertainment at these smaller races. It seems like it wouldn’t be that hard given what they provide at the other races. I was pretty jealous after seeing what was at the 10K! (and yes, I’ll be running that next year!)
I pushed hard during this race, and I have to say it paid off. When I got to that finish line I was so excited to see that I had PR’d my race! I improved my pace time immensely (by 1 and ½ minutes from the previous race) and had beat my best race pace by 30 seconds. Pretty exciting! Of course, you can tell by my photos I ran hard!
Overall, I was really pleased with this race experience. Sure, I would have liked to see some extra atmosphere but having family and friends running the race made up for that. runDisney races are so much fun and this one was extra special. I can’t wait for the next season, planning my race costumes, and achieving some new running goals!
Sarah Norris is the owner of Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW. She began her firstrunDisney races in 2013 with the Happy Haunted 5K and has had the runDisney bug ever since. She writes about her experiences as a newer runner, as well as running with Crohn’s and a special diet.
|February 28, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Princess Half Marathon Weekend|
Something about race weekends makes me disappear off of the blogosphere…I feel like I’ve said this before. Well do you really blame me when I’m in Walt Disney World?!?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Princess Half Marathon Weekend is by far my favorite race weekend! This year I took on the Glass Slipper Challenge of the Enchanted 10K on Saturday and the Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. I will have full recaps coming up this week, but here are some highlights!
Such a great event and an amazingly fun weekend! This is my 3rd Princess Half Marathon Weekend and even though it was a difficult race this year, I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I love this event! Stay tuned for more details
Did you run a race over Princess Half Marathon Weekend? How was your experience?
|February 20, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Princess Half Marathon Weekend|
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is officially underway!! The Fit for a Princess Expo opened this morning and there are a TON of wonderful photos coming out on social media from the event. Things seem to be running much smoother this year with the Expo moving back to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex…what a great way to kick off a fun weekend??
What do you think of the merchandise at the Expo this year? Here are a few of my favorites…
I will be heading down tomorrow to meet up with my best running buddy Amanda and seeing everyone arrive today has gotten me SO excited! We will be running the Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge (Enchanted 10K on Saturday and Princess Half Marathon on Sunday), but we will also be having TONS of fun. This is our 3rd Princess Half Marathon Weekend and for some reason it’s always the most fun. Even with over 40,000 runners participating in the weekend, the atmosphere of the race is very lighthearted and supportive probably due to the fact that it is mostly women running. The spirit of friendship and “girl-power” is in the air making everyone feel strong and empowered…trust me, I need a whole lot of that right now!
Plus, Princesses really know how to party! Did you see there is a Happily Ever After Party happening in Downtown Disney on Sunday after all of the races?? And I just saw today that there are new SUPERSIZED slushes at the France pavilion. Can you say tres grande taille Grey Goose Citron slush s’il vous plait?? (Google is great for French translations) Looks like the perfect post race celebration to me
There are so many fun things going on over Princess Half Weekend and I couldn’t be more excited to get there! Remember, I have all the information about race weekend for you here and pretty pretty please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #RADPrincess to send me your photos or to say hi! Don’t be shy…make sure to stop me if you see me
|February 15, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Princess Half Marathon Weekend|
Final race instructions are now available for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon! It’s less than a week away princesses (and princes)…are you getting excited?!? This was my first half marathon and therefore my favorite race weekend…I can’t wait!
New for this year is the addition of the Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge, which is running both the 10K and the half marathon. Completing that will get you a 3 of these gorgeous medals! Yes, those will be mine!
The weekend starts with the Fit for a Princess Expo relocated back at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. I am SO happy about this because last year’s expo was way too close for comfort! The hours are as follows:
- Thursday, February 20th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Friday, February 21st: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday, February 22nd: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
All race participants MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag also doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race. This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration. Transportation will be provided to and from all Walt Disney World Resort Hotels 30 minutes prior to the Expo opening and 30 minutes after closing.
When you arrive at the expo, your first stop will be the HP Field House for Packet Pick Up. 5K pick up will be on the entry level and all other races will be on the lower level. If you are unable to attend the expo, you can fill out a release waiver and give it to a friend to pick up your packet for you. Release forms for all events can be found here.
After visiting the HP Field House, head over to the Jostens Center to visit with vendors and pick up your race shirts, visit with the vendors and listen to the speaker series.
The following are instructions for the Princess Half Marathon and include all of the information you will need about the race, transportation and other events around the weekend.
Here is all of the information you will need for Race Day.
- Host Resort Transportation All Walt Disney World resorts, including Shades of Green and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, will have transportation available to bring participants to and from ALL events during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
- Bus transportation will be during the following times for the races:
- Friday, February 21st, 3:30 am – 5:00 am and 7:00 am – 11:00 am
- Saturday, February 22nd, 3:30 am – 5:00 am and 7:00 am – 10:00 am
- Sunday, February 23rd, 3:00 am – 5:00 am and 7:00 am – 10:30 am
- Runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am to ensure they make it into their corrals by the 5:00 am cut-off time.
- Shuttle service will be suspended between 5:00 am and 7:00 am because of road closures, but will recommence for spectators after 7:00 am. Traffic into the Epcot parking lot will also be suspended at this time and all cars will be routed to the Magic Kingdom Parking lot where spectators can take the monorail to Epcot.
- After the race, buses will be set by resort in the Family Reunion Area to take all participants back to their resorts until 10:30 am.
- Guests staying at monorail resorts will be able to take the monorail to and from Epcot for the races.
- Bus transportation will be during the following times for the races:
- Driving Directions If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events. As usual, Disney says to EXPECT SIGNIFICANT DELAYS so make sure you leave yourself enough time. Road closures will begin at 3:30 am, so you will want to try to arrive at Epcot before then. If that isn’t possible, be sure to arrive at Epcot and be parked by 4:30 am since it is about a 20 minute walk to the starting corrals from the parking lot and you must be in there by 5:00 am.
- Costumes This is one of the best parts of Disney races…the costumes! Runners get so creative and it’s so fun to see. Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated. Who are you dressing up as?
- Bag Check Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside. The bag check tents are located in the Family Reunion Area in the Epcot parking lot. All bags must be checked prior to walking over to the start corrals.
- Start Corrals Corrals for the 5K and 10K are in the the Epcot Center parking lot and the start corrals for the half marathon are located on Epcot Center Drive. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the half marathon starting corrals from the holding area, so you will want to head over there no later than 4:30 am. Your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or one behind you. You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.
For the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, we had one bib for both the 10K and half marathon, so we were in the same corral for both. I’m a little confused about the 10K corrals since it looks like they only go up to E, however the Glass Slipper Challenge corral assignment go up to P. So either we’ll have 2 bibs or the 10K corrals will just be a free for all…
- Race Bibs Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt. Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo. Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time. If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly. Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible and smile for that camera
- Pacing Requirements Remember, you must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line. Keep this in mind if you a planning to stop for character photos. Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time. Pace cyclists will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.
- Coast to Coast Race Challenge Participants in the challenge will be given a wristband at the expo that must be worn during the race. After completion, proceed to the Coast to Coast tent to claim your super awesome medal! If you ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January, you will be able to get the brand new PINK Coast to Coast medal!
Looking for the course maps? Here you go!
Cinderella Royal Family 5K & Princess Enchanted 10K
Princess Half Marathon
Notice a difference in the entrance to the Magic Kingdom? It looks like we’ll be running through the main entrance instead of through backstage and onto Main Street. That will be pretty awesome!
I LOVE how the Kids Races are in Epcot. What an exciting 1-Mile Run to go through Future World!
Other events for the weekend include the Pasta in the Park Party and the Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney! More information is available over on the runDisney website including the Official Program for the weekend. Also, check out my packing tips as you get ready for travel…sadly we don’t all have a Fairy Godmother to do that for us.
And make sure to check out my experience from the last 2 years at Princess Half Marathon Weekend…it’s a BLAST!
- 2013 Fit for a Princess Expo: Too Close For Comfort
- 2013 Princess Half Marathon: Race Recap
- A Royal runDisney Meet Up
- Tangled Royal Family 5K
- Fit for a Princess Expo & Pre-Half Antics
- Princess Half Marathon: Pre-Race
- Princess Half Marathon: The Race