Posts Tagged by Epcot
|February 17, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under Princess Half Marathon Weekend|
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon is only a few days away!! Do you have your tutus and tiaras ready?? This is such a fun race weekend and since it was my first half marathon it is my favorite! But sadly for the first time in 3 years I will not be participating in the festivities. 🙁
Because I won’t be in WDW this week I’m calling on YOU!! If you are interested in writing about any part of Princess Half Marathon Weekend, send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll send you some additional details. I would love to have you!!
Now let’s dive into some of the details about the weekend! The theme of the races this year is the oh so popular Frozen! Not only has the 5K been renamed the Frozen 5K, but all of ribbons now have the addition of beautiful snowflakes. I just love these designs!
Fit for a Princess Expo
The weekend starts with the Fit for a Princess Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The hours are as follows:
- Thursday, February 19th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Friday, February 20th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday, February 21st: 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. Remember that you can no longer have someone pick up your race packet for you. Everyone MUST turn in a waiver, show ID and pick up their own packet. (Thanks to Julie for the reminder!!)
This race weekend has really grown in size and because of that, packet pick-up is spread out over the two levels of the HP Field House. On the Entry Level you will find: Kids Races, 5K, Glass Slipper Challenge and Runner Relations.
On the Lower Level you will find: 10K, Half Marathon, Castaway Cay 5K, Marathon, ChEAR Squad, Race Retreat, and Family Reunion Breakfast Pick Up. The Lower Level is also where shirt pick-up is for Glass Slipper Challenge participants and where great backgrounds are for some fun photo ops!
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, listen to the speaker series and pick up all that great runDisney merchandise!
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 service to the Expo will run during the following times:
- Thursday, February 19th: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 8:30 pm)
- Friday, February 20th: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
- Saturday, February 21st: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 5:30 pm)
On February 19-21, bus transportation will be provided for runners and spectators to and from the races at Epcot. For those staying at a Magic Kingdom resort on the monorail line (Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian), the monorail will begin running at the same time as the buses each day to take guests to and from Epcot. Here are the times the busses will run:
- 5K & Kids Races, February 20th: 4:15 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 11:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 5:00 am for the 5K, 8:00 am for the 1-miler and 8:30 am for the Kids Dashes)
- 10K, February 21st: 3:30 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 10:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)
- Half Marathon, January 10th: 3:00 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 10:30 am (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)
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.
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 as early as 11:00 pm the night before! 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 for the Half Marathon from the parking lot and you must be in there by 5:00 am.
It’s so fun to see the creativity of all the runners for these races!! Since this is Princess Weekend, you are guaranteed to see more tutus and sparkle then you’ve ever seen before!! 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?
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.
Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race. The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around.
Staging Area & Start Corrals
When you arrive at the Epcot parking lot, you will be directed to a large staging area before the corrals open. This is where you will find bag check, water stations, photo ops and most importantly Port-a-Potties. The corrals for the 5K & 10K will be located in the Explore Lot (see map below) and you will need to be in those corrals 30 minutes prior to the race.
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.
If you are participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, you will have two letter on your race bib. One for the 10K and one for the Half Marathon. Here’s a look at last year:
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 🙂
If you are participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, you will be given one bib for both races. Take good care of that bib throughout the weekend!
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.
There will be 2 water stops along the 5K course and 3 water stops along the 10K course. No PowerAde or fuel will be provided for either of these races.
For the Half Marathon, there will be 9 PowerAde and water stops along the course and there will be one food station at mile 8.7 that will have Clif Shots available. Aid stations will be located approximately 1.5 miles apart from each other. The PowerAde flavor is lemon-lime, so if that isn’t your thing you should carry your own. Same goes for the fuel stop…don’t rely on those if you have trained with other products.
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 exclusive PINK Coast to Coast medal!
Frozen 5K & Enchanted 10K
Princess Half Marathon
I LOVE how the Kids Races are in Epcot. What an exciting 1-Mile Run for the kiddos 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 on Sunday night! 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 3 years at Princess Half Marathon Weekend…it’s a BLAST!
- The Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge Part I – Enchanted 10K
- The Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge Part II – Princess Half Marathon
- Cinderella Royal Family 5K (guest post)
- Fit for a Princess Health & Fitness Expo (guest post)
- 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
Make sure to tag me in your photos from the weekend and I will make sure to share them! You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get all the latest info from the race weekend. Have a magical time!!
|February 9, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under WDW Marathon Weekend|
There really isn’t anything like the first time you make that right hand turn down Main Street USA and run towards Cinderella’s Castle during a runDisney event. No matter how many races you have run or how many times you have visited the Magic Kingdom as a park guest, this feeling is like no other. This is one of the many reasons that makes the Walt Disney World Half Marathon so special and Erica here today to share her entire experience with us!
I first discovered the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend back in 2007. I just so happened to be in Epcot as the marathon was wrapping up. I remember seeing all these people running, (most of them in fun costumes), and thought “ I want to do that!”. Well, it’s now 2015 and I finally did it! The Half marathon that is. I will run the full marathon one day!
I ran this race with my husband Erik. This was our second half as we had run the Wine and Dine in 2013. It was quite a difference starting a race at 5:30am instead of 10:00pm (like the Wine and Dine does). I was worried about the 2:45am wake up call, but we managed to haul ourselves out of our nice warm bed and get ready to run! I was also a bit nervous about making it to the corrals on time. This year we stayed off site which meant we had to provide our own transportation. There were many warnings posted at the expo, the runDisney site, and on the roads themselves about closures and to expect significant delays. We left the house around 3:15am and had a very easy drive. There were no closures or delays from the way we came so it was all good!
It was a chilly morning but not as bad as the morning of the 5K which we also ran. I wish we would have brought some throw away clothes and gloves, especially since we were dressed as Flynn Ryder and Rapunzel (I may be from Canada but I was still freezing in my dress!). I also struggled to take pictures as my fingers were so frozen.
Time seemed to go by pretty quickly and it wasn’t long before it was time to get in our corrals. We were corral L, the corrals went up to P.
The corrals were sent off about 3 minutes apart, each getting it’s own fireworks display ( I love how Disney does the same for every corral, not just the faster ones). Once again time went by fast and we were off running!
It was so nice to start running and warm up, plus we were heading to the Magic Kingdom! The road to get there was a bit dull however. There were some characters ( such as Captain Jack Sparrow with Captain Barbosa), but we didn’t stop for any pictures. There was a huge banner along the road to that I really liked but the wind wasn’t cooperating so I missed out on getting picture. Finally though, we arrived at Main Street USA. Wow. Just wow. I’ve read about how amazing it is to turn into Main St and see all the people cheering you on and see the castle, but it was even better in person. I would have loved to be running down it when it was dark since the castle was lit up but the sun was coming out by the time we got there.
We then took a right into Tomorrowland and then on to Fantasyland. We headed through the back of the castle ( where Anna, Elsa and Kristoff were waiting to cheer us on) then off towards Frontierland. We went backstage through where the parade starts in Frontierland and out towards the Grand Floridian. I actually quite liked the stretch near the Grand Floridian and golf course. It seemed peaceful (even with thousands of other runners surrounding us).
We made it just past the halfway point on our way back to Epcot and were pleased to know that we were still on target to finish in under 3 hours which was our goal.
As we looped back towards Epcot, we looked back and could not believe just how many runners there were. I mean, I know there are tens of thousands but it didn’t really sink in until this point.
We made it to mile 9 and then my knee started to act up a bit. Luckily it wasn’t too bad and aside from a couple extended walk breaks, we kept our pace up pretty good.
Before we knew it, we were passing the mile 13 marker!
That meant that we only had point one miles to go! No matter how tired and hurting you are, that mile 13 marker can sure give you a boost. Our finish time was 2:56:12. Under 3 hours!!
It was such a good feeling crossing that finish line and receiving our medals. We skipped getting our pictures taken and headed off to grab the runDisney snack boxes and various other drinks and snacks.
Overall, we had an absolute blast running this race. The early wake up and chilly temperature (at least this year) were well worth it in the end. I cannot wait for our next runDisney event! And of course, none of these races would be as fun or run as smooth if it wasn’t for the thousands of volunteers. From the people handing out water and The , to the people at bag check and the many just there to cheer on the runners, it is greatly appreciated (especially this year in the cooler temperatures. They are standing outside freezing their butts off just for us!).
My name is Erica Chapman. I live in Ontario, Canada and starting running 2012. I have ran four runDisney events and next up is the Glass Slipper Challenge in February. I plan on attempting the Dopey challenge in the future. I am in love with Disney World and visit every year. We even became DVC members in 2014.
|January 22, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under Guest Posts, Race Recaps, WDW Marathon Weekend|
While Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has been around for over two decades, the Walt Disney World 10K is still in it’s infancy. Heather is a veteran of Marathon Weekend and knew after seeing the Minnie medals at last year’s inaugural race, she had to have one of her own.
Marathon weekend is one of my favorite Disney trips of the year. Last week marked the 3rd year my family participated and the first time I did the 10k. Last year I walked the half marathon and was incredibly jealous of the adorable Minnie Mouse medals, so I knew I had to get my hands on it this year.
It started out at packet pickup on Thursday which went smoothly, no lines and we picked up 3 packets in about 15 minutes. (My husband’s 1/2 marathon, kids race and 10k). We even ran into Sean Astin! Sean was running the Dopey and was such a sweet guy chatting with my husband and I as we took a ton of pictures.
Once that excitement was over we made our way through the expo. Sadly I could find no merchandise for the 10k. While I understand that most people running are also running the Dopey it would have been nice to have some Minnie merchandise for the 10K runners. I started to feel at the expo that the 10K was the ugly stepsister of the weekend.
My morning started with my 2:15 am wake up call and our group (my dad and sister plus picture taker hubby) was up and out the door by 3:00 am. Since we were staying close but off property we wanted to make sure we got there early in case parking was an issue. Thankfully it was not and I was thrilled to have a warm place to hang out for a few minutes since it was 46 degrees out. I am from Miami so any dip below 70 is sweater weather so I was thankful I brought some sweaters I picked up from Goodwill to toss once I warmed up on the course. (Great tip! Goodwill is a good place to get inexpensive throw away clothes for chilly race mornings!)
Once we decided that we could brave the cold we headed to the pre-race party where the DJ had a ton of people dancing and energy was pretty high. There were tons of great costumes and TONS of Dopey bibs. There was a nice photo background for people doing the dopey challenge but the only one for us was the Disney marathon weekend background, I would have really liked to have a 10k background. There were no professional photographers there so you were free to take pictures with your own camera.
It was freezing before the race and some racers found their way into a large white tent. I asked a few people what it was and no one had an answer but it turns out it was the tent set up for massages following the half and full marathons. For the 10k though it was a perfect place to try and warm up.
I was in corral E and knew that I would be walking this race and only stopping to meet characters or pictures of something awesome or someone I never see around the parks. I had done the 5k and the 1/2 marathon in the past which had some great stops so I was hopeful to see some hard to find characters on this course too. I only planned on stopping at something I had not seen before because I always get super paranoid about pace requirements which I always come close to thanks to nerves and lines at bathrooms.
The race stated with 10 minutes between each corral so even using the bathroom before getting into my corral I knew I had to stop at the first one. I was near the front of my corral since I always seemed to miss the fireworks and I didn’t want that to happen this time. Once we got the go ahead we started and I was already wishing the bathroom was closer. The first one wasn’t until around the 1 mile mark and lines were long so I kept going. It would have been awesome to have a few more potties at that stop as there were tons of men and women running toward the trees because lines were 10 people deep.
The course was a bit boring for first 3 miles which was only street and back lot, with a couple of character stops but it was pretty light on the music and had no crowd support. Thank goodness for voice command, I called my husband around 3 miles to pump me up mid way through the race. It worked I was got the support I needed and then the streets started to get familiar until finally around mile 3.5 we got to Epcot!
Once we got into the park it was an entirely different race. You can almost feel the excitement from the crowd and everyone’s pace gets a little faster with that extra pep in their step. Running through the parks never gets old! Entering Epcot and walking through the countries was great and there were tons of professional photographers along that stretch of the race. I was sure to keep a smile on my face since you never know when the camera is pointed at you. Once you make your way through he countries you head out onto the boardwalk. This was the first race that I would be on the Boardwalk and I was super excited, I was hoping for some good crowd support and the people there were just what I needed for the last mile or so. Leaving the Boardwalk and heading back into Epcot I started to get a little teary because I could hear the excitement at the finish, music was pumping and everyone around me was bursting with energy. I was thrilled to see my runner hubby at the finish and he got some photo proof I actually finished.
Once I crossed the finish there were lots of volunteers giving medals and I finally got my hands on the Minnie Medal! The medal is really nice and has a really vibrant ribbon.
Overall I would probably do the 10K again because it is a doable distance that I could walk with little or no training. There were tons of walkers and kids on the course and lots of smiling faces. You could tell people were having a blast through the course. There were enough water stops and no fuel on this course but there was food for purchase at the start and finish.
I am thrilled that there is a race distance in between the 5K and 1/2 marathon distance and hope the 10K grows so it has a strong pack of 10K participants in a sea of Dopeys.
Of course the best part of participating in Disney Marathon Weekend is walking around the park wearing the race shirt and the medal. No mater what the size or shape of the person who is wearing the medal there is a sense of unity and accomplishment and it’s amazing to be a part of. The true highlight though is the family picture of all the racers wearing their medal in front of the castle, it’s pure Disney Magic.
Melissa Rubenstein is a Family Chiropractor in Miami and a Homeschooling Mom. She is married to a streak runner and has completed numerous runDisney races.
|January 21, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under Mission to Marathon, Race Recaps, WDW Marathon Weekend|
We’ve been following Hannah’s journey to marathon redemption in her Mission to Marathon series for a year now. She has shared the realities of training and given up some great tips! Well it all led up to WDW Marathon Weekend and when Hannah DID complete her first marathon, but not without some difficulties. This is a wonderfully honest recap and I’m so proud to feature it here.
Things NOT to do when preparing for a marathon:
- Don’t train (like…at all)
- Don’t hydrate/fuel in the days leading up to the race
- Don’t hydrate/fuel properly the morning of the race
- Don’t stretch or strength train to manage a prior injury
- Be super anxious and stressed not just for the race, but also about other aspects of your life
Yup…don’t do those things. But guess what, you can do all of them and still finish.
I’m not in any way advising you to do those things. And, I’m not suggesting it is a smart move to run a marathon after you’ve done them, but it is possible.
But back to what you want to hear about — The RACE!
Running at Disney is like nothing else. It is a completely different experience from other races you will run in. There is entertainment and support from volunteers and spectators that far exceeds any other race. Fair warning that I do not have many pictures. Well, none from the race itself. I will try to throw a few in and at the end you can click the link to watch my video (unedited raw footage and probably not that thrilling to most people, but you can see me fake a smile while in pain and head from the finish line to the med tent…but more on that later!).
Miles 1-5: Just full of anticipation. I feel like Magic Kingdom gets further and further away with every race, but it’s really just that it seems like the early part of the race, but it is five miles in so it its quite a bit of time before you actually get there.
Miles 5-6: Oh man, that anticipation kills you from mile five to entering the Kingdom. You’re SO close! And then you get your reward, you get to run down Main Street!!! This part of the course is PACKED with spectators and they are awesome! Hang a right and head through Tomorrowland then through Fantasyland before heading through the Castle. Yup! Disney lets you run through it.
The hubs and I got separated (bathroom break) so I waited on the backside of the castle until he caught up so we could run through together. Oh, and thanks to Anna and Elsa for a the little Disney magic of sprinkling snow! You finish up by running through Liberty Square and Frontierland before heading back outside the park. I was feeling pretty good at this point. Starting to think 10k is my distance, haha.
Miles 6-8.5ish: This is a bit of a boring stretch, but it’s not that long and you’re still on a high from all the fun at Magic Kingdom.
Mile 8.5-9: Running the Track! This is truly a cool experience and the only race you get to run here! Here is where I was really wishing I’d kept up with training. Not because I was hurting, but because I knew I needed energy to get me through the entire race so I had to stay focused through here rather than enjoying myself. I come from a car/racing family so this is a big thrill for me and I couldn’t even pay attention to the cars.
Miles 9-12ish: Another boring stretch. I was starting to feel a little bit of the fatigue at this point. We had been doing 5/1 run/walk ratio and cut it down to about 4/1 at this point.
Miles 12-13: I love running through Animal Kingdom. Just be careful of your footing because the park is a bit rougher than the others! We got to see Monkeys jumping around and the park is already open by this point so people are out and cheering on all the runners. We debated riding Expedition Everest but decided if we sat down in the cars we couldn’t get back out at this point, haha.
Mile 13.1: This was such a great point for me! Halfway done and also where the hubs and I parted ways last year. It was so nice to pound through this point and keep going, TOGETHER!
Miles 13-17: Last year I hobbled through until 16.5ish after the hubs went on his way. This is a long stretch on the dreaded Osceola Parkway. It started drizzling and then raining while we were running here. This was probably the beginning of my downfall. I don’t do well with weather changes under normal circumstance and rain just makes me cold. The bigger problem came after the rain stopped and then it got muggy hot. Ick! Oh, also, they switched up one of the fuel stops and instead of Clif Shots they had Clif Bars. I wish I had looked at the course map and known this. I would’ve scarfed down one of my own gels before the water stop. Instead I tried to choke down a dry, gritty Clif bar (sorry…but that’s what they taste like after 14ish miles). I only got about a third down before pitching it.
Miles 17-20: When you really look at it, you are in ESPN for quite a long time! Its a nice change of pace because you get to run off the track, but its also a windy route so its a bit confusing and turns you around. It started drizzling again through here. Also, my LEAST favorite part of the course. I HATE running through the baseball stadium. At this point in the race (or at any point) you don’t want grit and dirt kicking up into the backs of your shoes. You gotta slllooooooowwwww down to avoid this and it stinks. The crowds through there are a great, but I gotta be honest that they could cut this out and I wouldn’t care a bit.
Miles 20-22: This is where I really started to sink. I think everything just started hitting me at once. The Achilles in my right foot and my left IT band/knee were killing me so I was doing a bit of a shuffle. The hubs kept trying to get me to run, but it wasn’t happening.
Miles 22-23: Hollywood Studios! Woot woot! A little boost of energy to run through the park, but only after a pit stop for me to sit down and breath. I know sitting is bad, but I was light headed and afraid I’d pass out. The chocolate candy (holla at ya Hershey’s!) helped, but not enough. But the run through the park, past the hat and out the entrance was great!
Miles 23-25: What? We’re this far into the race? Really?! Running through the Boardwalk was really neat, but that lightheadedness and the slat boards of the boardwalk were just making me dizzy. Hubs said there were a lot more spectators out by this part of the race last year, but it was pretty sparse when we came through. Still fun and a great part of the race!
Miles 25-26: The LONGEST trip you will ever take around World Showcase! BTW…anyone else on the slower than slow track of this marathon, did you see John Stamos at Mexico? Hubs says “That guy looked like John Stamos” and I said, “I’m pretty sure it was” and then we kept moving. He had a sort of entourage and came running out to cheer someone on, so we’re thinking it was actually him? Anyone confirm?? On the bridge between World Showcase and Future World I took my 3-4 sit break to catch my breath. At this point I realized I wasn’t sweating, but there was no way I wasn’t finishing!
Miles 26-26.2: Hubs tried to get me to run the WHOLE .2 miles but it wasn’t happening. We did hold hands and run across the finish line! Yay!! Such vindication after last year. It felt awesome!
Post race: But immediately after the finish line I veered right towards an RN from the medical tent and a wheelchair. She, of course, got us our medals before wheeling me to the tent itself where they checked my vitals, gave me fluids and a heated blanket. We were there for about a half hour while I got my body back under control. They didn’t officially say what it was, but we are thinking heat exhaustion from my symptoms. After about 10 mins of being there I started getting really confused and was shaking and crying…but they gave me the heated blanket at that point and some powerade and after another 10 mins I was feeling much better.
I am so very grateful to have my wonderful husband who puts up with me and all my craziness. He was the reason I crossed the finish line and helped calm me down in the medical tent. He was so encouraging and uplifting. I was afraid I was disappointing him, but he was just so proud of me pushing through. And, I am so proud of him for finishing his second marathon (without training)!
We hopped a bus back to our resort, grabbed some food and rested in our room for a bit (with compression socks on…get some if you don’t have them). We were planning to head to Downtown Disney in the evening, but it was chilly and rainy, and my left knee was killing me. We ended up just doing a walk up dinner at Maya Grill at our Resort, Coronado Springs. I highly recommend this restaurant, especially if you are staying at Coronado. The food was delicious! We only ate about half our meals so we took them back and enjoyed the remainder for breakfast the next day (cold Tex-Mex is pretty good)!
So you CAN do everything wrong and still finish a marathon, but you will hurt like you’ve never hurt before, might end up in the medical tent, and will be so mad at yourself that you won’t enjoy the race.
That’s my recap!
Marathon Finisher Hannah
Congrats Hannah on finishing your first marathon and for being so honest about your experience. I know first hand that it is an incredibly difficult experience.
Here is Hannah’s raw footage from the Marathon and I think it perfectly shows the ups and downs of the race. It’s not all smiles and running…and that’s ok 🙂
Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run). She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at www.workorrun.com, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.
|January 20, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under WDW Marathon Weekend|
When Andrew first contacted me and told me about the adventure he had planned for his 50th birthday, I was beyond excited to share his experience here on RAD. Andrew and his family traveled halfway around the world as he took on the Dopey Challenge. He might have recruited them to run a bit with him as well.
How best might a runner celebrate a ‘big’ birthday and have the family join in as well? The Dopey Challenge provided the answer!
Exactly one year ago (and the date of the 2014 WDW marathon) I set the challenge for me and my family: I’m going to run this event next year for my 50th birthday and you’re invited to come with me, but there’s a catch – you have to join me in at least one leg of the Challenge each!
And with that, baited by the idea of an overseas trip (and not really understanding the 3:30 am wake-up times!) the Dopey Challenge for 2015 became a year-long family adventure. From planning the rest of the trip, raising the funds, making the bookings – and training – it was a step up for each family member. But the running was where the big steps were required;
- for the 14 year old who had never run longer than 10k to run a half,
- the daughter who isn’t into running to run a 10k,
- the 16 year old to get out of bed at 3:30am!,
- the wife to go from 0 kilometers as a runner to a full marathon in exactly 12 months.
Now the other challenge was traveling half way round the world. From Australia to Orlando. From summer to winter. From time zone to who knows what time zone it is! We joked that jet lag might actually help!!
After a white Christmas we hit Orlando and thought it was just as cold! We stayed in a family room at the All Star Resort and it was just the right size and space. We bought 6 day tickets and had marathon Sunday ‘off’. The four events made an incredibly memorable birthday experience that lasted for four days!
The Family 5K was first – and it should have featured Elsa on the medal and not Pluto… it was a truly Frozen event!
Despite the cold we had great fun. We started in Corral A which helped get the race over with faster and we dressed up as Peter Pan and Captain Hook. We met a fellow runner whose surname was ‘Hook’ and he even asked to have a photo with us! We got lots of comments about how strange it was for Peter and Hook to be doing something together to which we assured them this was a once-off!
The 10K was a heat wave by comparison!
After a day at Hollywood Studios – and the last sighting of Mickey’s hat – we got up for the 10K. Tinker Bell joined me this time and boy was she glad she didn’t have that costume on the day earlier!
A highlight was the cheerers chanting “Pan and Tink! Pan and Tink!” That really lifted us over the finish line! Another highlight was my 16 year old son racing – and winning – his age group and coming 11th overall 🙂
Magic Kingdom here we come …..
The Half Marathon was a long day! Not only because of the 3:30am start but because we started in Corral P, the last corral (because one of us didn’t have a qualifying time).
Again it was very cold but there was a lovely warm camaraderie in the very last group. Running with my two super guys was terrific fun as Captain America, Mr. Incredible and Hercules. Once the cold thawed out we got into the run but the lines for character photos were SO long by this stage we pushed on, most of the time on the grass to go around the walkers. No one complained though, they all just enjoyed the experience. For some pretty fast teenagers, this shows how the crowd experience at runDisney events is bigger than individuals.
Marathon day was amazing.
For this one I was worried about the crowds but the Disney organization really shined. We had so many character photo opportunities, often just running straight into the front of the line. Everything was well spaced and, compared to Corral P, the experience was much more pleasant.
I really enjoyed some of the different experiences – like the Speedway and Wide World of Sports (the track and the baseball ground).
A light sprinkling of rain at Hollywood Studios was refreshing rather than wet (especially compared to the next day’s thunderstorm). My wife and I ran as Jasmine and Aladdin and two of our favorite photos were with the ‘Aladdin’ characters because of the over-the-top welcome we received!
And then before you know it, Donald and Pluto greet you at the finish line and you’re wearing 6 medals around your neck and you’re officially “Dopey”. That last kilometer is really a bit of a blur!
So how do you capture the four days (and year’s journey) in words? I got the kids to wear costumes! I captured it all with (maybe) a million photos! I got to run and experience their running ‘firsts’ as well. We wore medals and enjoyed the Parks together. I still can’t think of another experience where we could do all these things as a family together. A great birthday overall with a ripper celebration dinner on marathon night at Downtown Disney.
I’ve been disappointed with some posts I’ve been following where runDisney is criticized for many things. Apparently some people think it’s possible to create a perfect Disney experience with 30,000 runners. The logistics were great, any question was answered happily, lots of goodies, great bling. In fact the next running event is going to be hard to match up to this one.
My key bits of advice:
- Get a time registered or beware of ending up in Corral P. OK if you’re a walker or slow, but if you’re anything of a runner it makes a long hard slog of an event.
- Make a dinner reservation for the night to make it pleasurable and not like some who wandered around fruitlessly.
- Get the photo pack – and take in as many opportunities as you can.
The 51st birthday celebrations are going to seem a little low key compared to this!!