Early Sunday Morning we headed for a bus at 2:45am dressed and ready for our very first Half Marathon.
|on a bus heading to the Princess Half Marathon at 2:50am|
The first pic of the day came from the bus at 2:52am. That is early. The bus we were on filled all the way with just a stop at Pop Century. They use charter buses for the runDisney events, so it is not your normal Disney bus. We had heard to many stories about people being late for the race because of the lines for buses and we did not want to risk it so we left on the early side. We were not on the first bus from Pop. But we were on the second. It is easy to see how you could be late with so many buses coming at the same time.
By 3:50 we had arrived, settled in and got a picture. It is a good .25 to .5 mile of a walk from where the bus drops you over to the pre-race staging are.
|Taking a picture around 3:50am|
There were a few princess out to meet and a DJ spinning some tunes. Not sure how people were capable of dancing at this hour and knowing they were about to run 13 miles in Hot and Humid Florida. The temps were in the high 70's at 3am. By noon it would hit 90 not a normal February day.
|In the corral and waiting at 5am|
After lots of waiting and watching the masses roll in. they announced we could head towards the corrals. We were in corral G. It was another mile of walking on the way to the corrals. There were several groups of porta potty's along the way. So you don't have to wait in one of the 20min lines back by the staging area. We brought a couple water bottles that we planned on tossing once the race started and we also brought a bath towel to sit on. We tossed that over the corral fence once it was packed and we had to stand. There were lots of sweatshirts and socks and gloves piled up along the start. If it had been cold we would have used the towels to stay warm waiting for the start. They collect all the discarded clothing and donate them to a charity.
As the race kicks of you slowly meander forward as a corral. They do a good job of enforcing the corral assignments. Which is important because it keeps corrals from getting over crowded. We did see a few people from corrals ahead of us back in our corral so they could run with a friend. You are allowed to move back wards but your friend can not move up to be with you.
After only about 20minuets we were the next corral.
They do fire works for each corral! We were about smack dab in the middle of the corral.
Our first mile down, 12 more to go. Just a touch over a 10 min mile. We wanted to go fairly quick in the begging of the race to stay ahead of the masses. There are a few bottle necks that later in the morning become packed and you have to walk through. Even with that plan we stopped at the very first porta potties. There was no line and the ones around the 5K mark were packed! We had been in the corral for over an hour and drinking lots of water.
This picture sums up the weather. No it was not raining. That is fog reflecting the flash back. A beautiful day for a race.
From the Hub!
Wish we could have gone on a quick spin.
Back through the castle is one of the biggest bottle necks. It is also a spot where it is super easy to run and you have a bounce to your step. If you can't find the energy to run through the castle you signed up for the wrong race. There are tons of photographers along the rout and you can pre-order the pictures for just one bib number. So along as Doug and I were together we were both in it, but no pictures of just Doug. This was the professional Picture.
Here is the picture Doug took on his camera. Not quite as nice as the one we payed for.
As you run through the Magic Kingdom you enter near Town Square, then hang a right down Main Street U.S.A. You then turn into Tomorrowland from the hub. From there you head towards the teacups and back through the Castle. Once through the castle, you head across the bridge into Liberty Square and turn towards Frontierland. You exit the park as you near Splash Mountain. All along the way are characters. Mickey and Minnie had a line that was easily over 30min long. We skipped them, Tiana had just a couple people to wait for. We stopped at the bathrooms at the Adventureland Breezeway. It is the last real bathroom until you get to Epcot. The bathrooms by Cheshire Cafe and Mickey's Star Traders are usually packed and have a line. If you can make it to the other side of the park the line is much shorter and there is nothing like a real bathroom.
Back out of the park and the excitement dies down and the legs start to realize you are running. Up until the Magic Kingdom it was 100% adrenaline. Not sure there is an easier 6 miles to run. The remaining 7 is long and somewhat boring. There is tons of things to see and characters to meet a long the way, but it is tough to compete with the Magic Kingdom.
We saw some characters we don't normal get to meet. We mainly focused on the types like that. If we stopped at every thing we would still be there.
In this crew only one does a regular meet the other 3 are extremely hard to find!
Almost every Mile marker had a little line like this. We never stopped to get a picture with one.
The at were we just were. The mile 10 marker is actually right below us. The clover up to the overpass is long but not steep. There are a few more over passes before the end of the race. All the hills in this race are man made which makes them hurt just a little more.
It felt like we took the long way to Epcot but we were finally back stage.
No wait for Sofia!!!!
In EPCOT!! the end is near.
We made it.
A picture with our new bling just after the finish line.
After we got through the post race area another shot to show off the metal. We got purple drawstring bags and a box of food to refuel.
One last picture before we jumped on the next bus back to Pop Century to Shower, pack up, and move to Wilderness Lodge.
If you like shaky video then this video is for you!
There was lots of great entertainment along the way and lots of water stops. I wish the food stop would have been more then just Gel. I would have liked a banana. Over all everyone was friendly and a few times we had to run around a group of people walking 6 or 8 wide. Not sure how so many people that walked so much got in front of us at the start. I figure people must lie about their times and hope Disney is not going to check everyones times. Overall at that point in time we could not wait to do it again!
Next up see how we recover while trying to vacation.