Posts Tagged by WWOS

2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Expo

ToT-Expo-Sign3

After a less than stellar experience at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo (so bad I didn’t even write about it…when you have nothing nice to say…), I was looking forward to the smaller, more relaxed expo for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler.  Since there wasn’t anything I was dying to get at the expo, I spent the early afternoon enjoying Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival and headed over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS) later in the day.  By the time we arrived, there weren’t many people there at all.   Ahhhh…breathing room 🙂

ToT-Expo-WWOS-Walkway

ToT-Expo-WWOS

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No lines…woohoo!  For this race weekend, packet pick up is in the Josten’s Center with the rest of the Expo which makes for a much easier experience having everything in one place.

ToT-Expo-Entrance0

ToT-Expo-Entrance

ToT-Expo-Floor

ToT-Expo-Sign1

I headed towards the back of the Expo to pick up my race bib first and then moved on to the shirt/bag pick up.  I always like to get that out of the way first before hitting the various vendor booths.

ToT-Expo-Map

ToT-Expo-Checkin

After getting all of the official business done, I headed to the runDisney booth to get an up close and personal look at some of the new medals.  I of course had to see the new ribbon for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler that I would be getting the next day.

ToT-Expo-ToT-Medal

And then the new design for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon…can’t wait to get this one!

ToT-Expo-W&D-MedalAnd a look at the two Coast to Coast medals for 2014.  There’s the pink version for those running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and the Princess Half Marathon and then the regular Coast to Coast for any other combination of races.  This one looks like it got a new ribbon for 2014.

ToT-Expo-Pink-C2C-Medal

ToT-Expo-C2C-Medal

While I was at the runDisney booth I ran into Jeff Galloway and had to say hi.  He’s such an inspiration to me and my friends.  If you ever get the chance to say hi to Jeff in person, do it…he’s amazing!

ToT-Expo-Galloway

My next stop was the official race merchandise area to see what I could spend my money on.  I didn’t love any of the shirts for the race (yellow really isn’t my color), but I was glad to see the new runDisney headbands there!

ToT-Expo-Merch2

ToT-Expo-Merch1

ToT-Expo-Merch3

ToT-Expo-Merch4

I ended up just getting a new Vinylmation with the Tower of Terror medal and a pin to add to my collection.  Before heading out, we checked out some of the vendors and made a final stop at the Sparkle Athletic booth to say hi to my friends Kelly and Krissy.  And guess what I got??  My first Team Sparkle Skirt!  I’ve never considered myself a sparkly kind of girl, but I have to say I was kind of excited to wear this for the race…thanks Kelly!

ToT-Expo-Team-Sparkle

I was only at the Expo for a little over an hour, but I managed to see a lot of the vendors and get a lot done.  These smaller expos are SO much more enjoyable 🙂  Next stop…The Fifth Dimension….

Merchandise for the 2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend!

Oh boy!!  Some of the merchandise for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run has been released by the Disney Parks Blog!  They have some fun stuff this year!  All of this will be available at the Health & Fitness Expo starting Friday, October 4th at 12:00 pm at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Check it out:

Tower-tShirts

Tower-Long-Sleeve

Tower-Long-Sleeve-Detail

I am such a sucker for a hoodie!  I really wasn’t planning on buying much for this race, but a really love this!

Tower-Accessories

Word of warning if you buy the pint glass, DON’T put it in the dishwasher.  Or this might happen…

Tower-Pint-Glass

I have to say that I’m not in love with the new logo…it’s way too BIG!  I prefer the simpler image from last year, but who am I kidding, that probably won’t stop me from buying a bunch of stuff.  Ugh…I have no will power!

What’s your favorite merchandise item for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend?

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon News and Registration Info

Princess Info

It’s almost time to register for  Disney’s Princess Half Marathon again!!  I am constantly baffled at how fast time goes by!

Special Coast to Coast MedalYou are all probably aware at this point that the Disney Enchanted 10K has been added to the weekend and that there is a new Glass Slipper Challenge if you complete both the 10K and Princess Half Marathon.  There is also the new Coast to Coast Challenge pink medal when you complete the Princess Half Marathon and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in 2014.

But alas, there is NEW information about Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  Similar to the changes implemented for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January, the following enhancements will be in place to hopefully make the race experience better:

  • Lowering weekend capacity by 2,000 runners, mostly in the half marathon
  • Proof of time required from runners anticipating a finish time of 3:15 or less
  • More corrals allowing runners with similar abilities to be grouped together and therefore spreading out the field on the course
  • No corral changes based on proof of time will be made after December 1, 2013.

It was also confirmed by runDisney that the Fit for a Princess Expo will be going back to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in 2014!  This year it was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which just was too close for comfort!

Registration is now open for Annual Passholders and DVC Members….don’t forget your $10 off coupon code as a DVC Member!!   There are also a very limited spots available now for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon for those wanting to get the new pink Coast to Coast.  Official registration opens on June 11, 2013 at noon.  Here is the pricing info:

Disney Princess Half Marathon

  • $160 by August 13, 2013
  • $175 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $190 on or after November 20, 2013

Disney Enchanted 10K

  • $95 by August 13, 2013
  • $110 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $125 on or after November 20, 2013

Glass Slipper Challenge

  • $270 by August 13, 2013
  • $290 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $310 on or after November 20, 2013

Cinderella Royal Family 5K

  • $60 per participant

runDisneyKids Races

  • $15 per Kids Dash participant
  • $30 per One Mile Run participant

Pasta in the Park Party Tickets

  • $52 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $28 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast

  • $37.50 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $17.50 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

ChEAR Squad

  • Bronze – No Charge
  • Silver – $39 per package
  • Gold – $65 per package
  • Platinum – $115 per package

Race Retreat

  • $120 per participant

If you want to run Princess…don’t wait to register!  The races fill up fast and will now fill up faster because of the reduction in race capacity.  Head to the runDisney registration page next week to register!

You all know I love this race and I hope I can take the Glass Slipper Challenge in 2014!  Will you be there?

SJM Princess 2013

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Race Recap – Part 2

Part 1 of my Walt Disney World Marathon recap left off just outside of Animal Kingdom.  I was halfway through the race and still feeling really good.  My friend Katherine (KO) found me just as we were leaving the parking lot at Mile 14.  It was really great to see her and have someone to talk to.  My iPod decided to die right when I turned it on, so I had been running with no music and no one to talk to this whole time.

We made our way onto Osceola Parkway and began the trek to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS).  I had run Osceola during the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon so I knew I was in for a long haul.  What I didn’t expect (since those 2 races are run at night) is how bad the sun was going to be during this stretch.  It was almost 9:00 am and the sun was at full blast over the trees and there was barely any shade.  We continued on with the 3/1 run/walk pace for a while, but I found that I needed to walk for longer periods of time.  Osceola also has a ton of overpasses which means hills…not fun!

Traffic on World Drive from Osceola Parkway

Traffic on World Drive from Osceola Parkway

B and my mom were meeting me on Osceola right before we made the turn into WWOS and I couldn’t wait to see them!  Just knowing they were there was making it easier to push through the heat.  B took some fun photos while he was waiting…those cups are quite the sight!

Mile 17 Water Stop...cups, cups and more cups!

Mile 17 Water Stop…cups, cups and more cups!

Seriously awesome costume That hat must have been hot!

Seriously awesome costume
That hat must have been hot!

Oh...here I am!

Oh…here I am!

I immediately dove into the bag I packed and grabbed more body glide to lube up under my sports bra (TMI again??).  I was trying to avoid chafing at all costs…I have no shame and did that right on Osceola Parkway in front of thousands of my friends.  I also switched out my sweaty headband, gave B my dead iPod, restocked my Gu, filled my water bottles and grabbed some crackers.

Diving into my bag of goodies

Diving into my bag of goodies

Look it's Katherine...in the cutest Aurora costume I might add!

Look it’s Katherine…in the cutest Aurora costume!

B said I was looking good at that point…totally the opposite to what I was starting to feel.  I really wanted to just jump in the car with them and go grab a beer, but no…KO and I took off into WWOS.  As we entered the complex there were sponges…ooohhh sponges!  VoluntEARS were handing out sponges soaked in water that were the most amazing things EVER!  I have to admit that when I first saw there were sponges on the course, I was a little grossed out by them but I was totally wrong…the cold water was perfect in that heat.  I just wish I would’ve kept it for later in the race.  Fail!

I won’t go into much detail about WWOS because the whole 3 miles spent in there was my demise.  I really didn’t enjoy this part of the course.  There was barely any shade, it was hot, humid and most of all it was boring.  Around mile 18, my legs started getting sore and I was mentally starting to break down.  This was the farthest I’d ever run (we won’t get into my lack of training here…that’s for another day) and the heat was beating me down.  At least this guy was here to cheer me up a bit…

32 Sign

We ran through Champion Stadium and on to the mile 20 spectacular we heard so much about.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but I felt like the spectacular wasn’t all that spectacular.  Yes, the giant sized puppets were very cool, but I was more blown away by them when they were out during Wine & Dine when they were all lit up.

Mile 20 Spectacular

Mile 20 Spectacular

34 Mile 20 Puppets

Giant Tigger!

Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see Goofy, Mickey and Donald waving and greeting all of us and the 20 mile banner was pretty cool.  I just think that between the heat and the oncoming exhausting I was looking forward to a SPECTACULAR and I just got a small party.

Look who made an appearance!

Look who made an appearance!

Mile 20

Mile 20

Ok, all that was left was a 10K…I could totally do that.  It was a mental battle from here on out.  Yes, my quads were screaming and I was starting to feel some blisters forming on my feet, but I could push through that.  My goal was to just get through the next 2.5 miles to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and I knew that I could easily get through the rest.

These 2.5 miles sucked.  You know that wall you always hear about…well I hit it here.  I had nothing left in me.  There were buses set up at mile 21 for people to get on who couldn’t go any further and I seriously considered hopping on, but I sucked it up and kept trucking.  I had people counting on me to finish…I was counting on me to finish!!  I need to thank my friend Cindy who was virtually cheering me on for the entire race…her encouragement really helped here!!  How awesome is she?!?!

Thanks Cindy xoxo

Thanks Cindy xoxo

I was glad to see my favorite green army men on the on ramp to World Drive…they always make me laugh.  Some runners were doing push ups with them which was awesome…I would’ve loved to partake and show off my hard work from CrossFit but I just didn’t have it in me.  My friends Jenn & Danielle did though…bad ass ladies, bad ass!

Yes sir!

Yes sir!

Our friend Carrie caught up to us here and it was so great to see her!  She was struggling as well, so we all tried to motivate each other to get through this last stretch of HOT highway!  At the mile 22 water stop, I really slowed down to refuel.  I don’t normally drink Powerade, but I knew with this heat that I had to make it a priority.  From the beginning of the race I was taking a Powerade and a water at every stop and mixing them together.  Early on I also took a salt packet at the recommendation of my CrossFit coach (thanks Jay!) and I think the combination of all of that really kept me hydrated through the race.  I just had to force myself to keep drinking.  Carrie & KO were a ways ahead of me and I motioned for them to keep going….I didn’t want to hold them back and I really needed to get my head back in the game.

Finally, my favorite hotel was in sight, the Hollywood Tower Hotel 🙂  This meant we were entering the Studios, this meant we were in the home stretch!

The Studios!

The Studios!

Just as we entered, there was a food station with chocolate!  Normally I would’ve loved this, but I just couldn’t bare the thought of eating that in the heat.  I would’ve loved an ice pop or something!  We weren’t in the Studios for long, but it was just what I needed.  Running down Hollywood Boulevard was amazing!  The park was open to guests and they were cheering us on!  We hadn’t had a good cheering squad since Champion Stadium and the energy here was perfect.

Running down Hollywood Boulevard

Running down Hollywood Boulevard

As I was leaving the Studios, I got a text from B checking in on me.  People were coming across the finish line severely dehydrated and he wanted to make sure I kept drinking.

Awesome hubs :)

Awesome hubs 🙂

Apparently, I wanted to die because that’s the second person I told.  Ha!  Well something happened after this text…I got some sort of second wind!  I popped my last Gu and headed down the the pathway to the Boardwalk.  At the mile 24 water stop, the volunteers were giving “Dasani showers” by just pouring the bottle over our heads.  BEST!  This must have rejuvenated me because I picked up my speed and started really running again!

2.2 to go!!

2.2 to go!!

Love this guy!

Love this guy!

I was shocked to see Carrie and KO again as we passed the Beach Club…someone really lit a fire under my ass!  I think they were just as shocked to see me too.  KO decided to start running with me and Carrie just encouraged us to go on.  We passed the last water stop and finally, we were in Epcot.  This was it…I was almost there!

Entering World Showcase

Entering World Showcase

We had run into our friend Todd just before Epcot, who is part of the WDW Radio Running Team and he said the whole group was right in the UK cheering.  And man were they cheering…that was awesome!  My friends Jillian and Kelly were also there…I’m sure I looked to be in a very different state from when they saw me earlier in the Magic Kingdom.  I almost ran over and grabbed Jillian’s beer, but I had to focus on this last mile.  I was very close to the 7 hour mark and was determined to finish under that.

World Showcase was horrible.  If you’ve ever walked around there on a warm day, you know it can be like the Bataan Death March.  Now try doing that after running 25 miles…WORST!  It felt like it was going on forever and ever and ever.  But finally, we made it to Future World and I knew what was in store…my favorite gospel choir!

A beautiful sight!

A beautiful sight!

As I rounded the corner towards the Epcot parking lot for those last .2 miles, I was in shock.  The amount of people who were there cheering was insanely overwhelming.  It was nothing like I had ever seen before.  It literally stopped me in my tracks and I became overwhelmed with emotion.

Look at all those people!!

Look at all those people!!

Even MORE people!

Even MORE people!

And there she was…the finish line.  I had made it all 26.2 miles.

The Finish Line!!

The Finish Line!!

I crossed strong with tears in my eyes.  I couldn’t believe I actually just did that and to be honest, I still find it hard to believe.  Running a marathon never seemed like a possibility to me.  I’m an ex-smoker, I have ulcerative colitis, I’m clearly overweight…people like me don’t run marathons.  Well guess what…I DID!!

26.2 DONE...BOOM!

26.2 DONE…BOOM!

I staggered over to the medal area to find my friend Aurora who was giving out medals.  She actually found me first and put that beauty around my neck.  She gave me a huge hug and I just started balling.  Aurora had given me my first half marathon medal at Princess less than a year before and now she was giving me my first marathon medal.  Couldn’t be anymore perfect than that.

I grabbed my food, a Powerade, 2 waters and set off to find my family.  People were dropping like flies all around me from dehydration and the heat.  They had a health official right after the water making everyone who passed her open up a bottle and take a drink or she wouldn’t let them pass.  It was a little scary so I just kept on drinking to be safe.

I found my Mom first and she gave me a huge hug.  I can’t say enough how important it was to me that she was there supporting me…it really made what I just did worth while to see the smile on her face.  And then there is B…sigh.  I can’t write this without tearing up because he has been the most amazingly supportive husband through this whole journey.  He listens to all my craziness about running and travels with me to these races.  He listens to me complain when my legs are sore and pours ice in my recovery bath even when I protest.  He’s my #1 cheerleader.  Oh and the best part, he had a beer waiting for me after the marathon 🙂

Post race beer...hellz yeah!

Post race beer…hellz yeah!

Thoroughly enjoying my beer...I look exhausted!

Thoroughly enjoying my beer…I look exhausted!

The family reunion area was hectic, but I did manage to run into Andy from Attractions Magazine.  We had been talking a lot before the race since it was a first marathon for both of us, so it was great to see him!

50 Post Race_2

Hey Andy!

We got on the bus back to the hotel and all I wanted to do was get in an ice bath and a shower!  My official time was 6:55:13, almost an hour longer than I had hoped.  But with all the challenges I faced (being sick, heat, humidity, etc…) I am just happy that I finished!  I’m not sure I will ever do this again.  The distance was just too long for me, but we’ll see.  All I know is,  I can officially say that I’m a marathoner and that’s pretty awesome 🙂

MARATHONER!

MARATHONER!

 

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the entire weekend as media.  My hotel expenses, meals and park admission were provided by Disney.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I am 100% obsessed with runDisney events.

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