Ok, it’s been two weeks since I ran the Disney World Half Marathon (my first ever!) and it’s high time I write a post about it! (I spent the rest of that week in the parks so please forgive my tardiness) It was the end to a long journey for me.
Leaving NJ was a bit of a nightmare. Our plane was delayed for two hours which seriously ruined the day we arrived. I just made it to packet pick-up 10 minutes before they closed. I didn’t get to see the expo (still pretty mad about that). It also meant we had no time to eat so by the time we got to our dinner reservation at Kona Cafe we were ravenous! But everything from the bread to the chocolate-banana creme brulee I had was amazing, I HIGHLY suggest Kona Cafe for all your dining needs. We got back to the room (Coronado Springs, also on my suggested list) and I laid out my run out fit and got settled down for bed since it was going to be an early night.
The morning of the race I woke up at 2AM. YES. 2AM. I enjoyed a cup of coffee and mentally prepared myself for the task ahead. I got dressed and boyfriend and I went out to catch the shuttle bus. The shuttles were very good and on time but as less of a stressor I think next time I do a WDW rundisney event I will stay where I can catch the monorail. We get to the start and it’s mobbed! SO MANY PEOPLE! I was wearing a purple run shirt and a green tutu (pink shorts underneath.) it was my runner’s version of Ariel since I am a red head. They start announcing the different corrals to go to the corrals and wait. The one thing that was a bit annoying was the LONG line for the portopotties but no one can help that and Disney does a great job of having many availble. The walk to the corral is long and a bit creepy. Many men are walking over to the woods to pee, super uncomfortable. I finally find my corral ( i ) and notice that it is jammed with other runners. It was crazy close quarters. I sat down and stretched as good as I could and stood up when Mickey, Goofy, and Donald took the stage. They were so cute! The national anthem was sung and it was time to start the race! I was getting excited. Finally it was my corral’s turn and the fireworks went off! People were already walking and going off course to pee. I was surprised and again, uncomfortable, lol. There was a marching band and lines of people cheering. It was AMAZING! At mile 2 I noticed how it was compared to New Jersey runs at this time. I was already drenched in sweat! There was so much to look at on the course. Cool kites, marching bands, characters, a DJ, awesome chEar squads, and of course the parks. When I finally got to Cinderella’s castle I was so happy and felt that magical feeling again. If you’ve seen the castle in person you know the feeling I mean =) I ran up main street, through tomorrowland, through fantasyland, and through that beloved castle. I cheered as I ran through I was so happy! At about mile 9 is where my IT band/knee started hurting. Lately I can barely go above a 10K without getting this pain (my foam roller has helped though) I had to start walking a lot. It totally put a cramp on my pace and finish time. It was so painful but all I could think about was that finisher’s medal. I WANTED IT. BADLY. I took water at every station (although I probably shouldn’t have, had to take a pitstop!) and powerade at a few too. I took a Cliff GU when they gave it even though I’m not a huge fan GU, except they gave me vanilla and it tasted like frosting. Might have to investigate more flavors in the future. The flavor that turned me off was esspresso. As we entered Epcot I felt tears welling in my eyes. I was tired and my leg hurt so bad. I kept thinking “I’m close, I’m close!!” Finally, the finish was insight and so was coach Mickey!! I blew him a kiss and he blew one back and I gave him a high five! I did not hug him because I was sweating and afraid I’d knock him over, I’d have felt really bad (not to mention embarrassed! lol). I crossed the finish line cheering and shouting! I saw boyfriend in the crowd, he looked so proud of me, he was smiling ear to ear! I found the medals and saw a sign for ice in the self-care area. They wrapped my knee with ice and it felt amazing! I stopped for a picture and my food box and went looking for boyfriend. Found him and never felt happier to get hugged.
I would highly reccommend to anyone trying to run that distance to sign up for a rundisney event! I personally don’t think it’s worth it to fly to Disney World for anything smaller than the half. If you live in the area or are doing multiple races it makes sense but I wouldn’t go there from New Jersey for 3.1 or 6.2. You can find closer races at that distance for cheaper.
So that was my experience. How was yours at that disntance? Or at a Rundisney event?