But the big story of the last 2 weeks....... the DISNEY PRINCESS HALF MARATHON!!! I was so excited for this race, and Disney did not disappoint.
We got into Disneyworld late Friday night so we just went to bed and set our alarms so we could go to the expo first thing in the morning. We got to the expo about 20 minutes after it opened and oh my! Advice for anyone wanting to run a Disney race, go to the expo the first day and go early. Packet/swag bag pick-up was easy but the actual expo was chaos. There is only a small area selling "official" merchandise and the line when we arrived was already about a half hour. When we got to the area so many things had already sold out which was really disappointing but I guess we learned our lesson. We still ended up with some cool jackets but I was sad the Mickey Ear 13.1 stickers were all gone :-(
After the expo we decided to get some color by the pool and just had a relaxing day. We knew we would need it because after looking at the race time, bus schedule, and everything else we realized we were going to have a 2:30 am wake up call! Most weekends I am still up not setting an alarm at 2:30. We ate dinner at an all you can eat buffet at the Disney Wilderness Lodge and it was the best idea ever. We were able to carbo load to our hearts content for only $20 a person which is nuts with Disney pricing.
2:30 came way too early but at that point I was just so excited that it didn't even matter. We got all ready and were out the door at 2:50 am. It started off chilly so I brought a jacket but quickly ditched it at the baggage check at the beginning of the race. We were bused to the pre-race party area and from the moment we got off the busses it was non stop fun. They had an awesome DJ that kept the music pumping and when you have 28,000 running milling around the energy is high! The walk from the pre-race area to the start of the course is about a half mile so we decided to head out and get to our corral to warm up.
We had to wait about 30 minutes after we got there for the start but they still had the music pumping and there was so much excitement. At about 5:20 the race finally started and the moment I had been waiting for began..... FIREWORKS!! They had the fairy god mother count down the start of the race and then the fireworks started. I was like a little kid at Christmas! The best part through is that I though the fireworks would only be for the first wave but to my surprise they did a whole firework display for each wave so even though we started 2 waves back we still got our very own firework show!!!
I have never been and pretty sure will never be as excited as I was to start running 13.1 miles! The first few miles have a ton of little things to keep you distracted and entertained and like I said Disney really does know now to make even a long stretch of road into something magical. But when we ran through the magic kingdom gates it really all started to be real.
Little did I know we still had about 3 miles until we would be in the park but the excitement was enough to keep me going. Then finally we reached the part that I couldn't even imagine... the park! I have never been to Disneyworld but I thought I knew what to expect from Disneyland, I was wrong. Everything is so much grander and I was so excited when we finally made it into the park. Pics probably show everything the best!
This was at mile 5-7 so we still had a long way to go but it was seriously one of the coolest things I have ever done. The rest of the race was kind of a blur and before I knew it we were at epcot and about to finish! We didn't get any pics of epcot but there are some awesome professional ones that I can't wait to order.
On the actual running side I was shocked at how easy this race was compared to my Detroit half. I think its because we were constantly distracted and amazed at everything going on around us. I also stuck to my training a bit more which of course helped HA. Running with the BF also helped, it was nice to have the constant motivation to make it just a little farther. Our official end time was 03:04 however that included the stops for photo ops which sometimes had lines, the BF stopped his watch for the photo ops so we were actually able to run the race in under 02:40 which is a ton of time off my first so I was a very happy camper. My hip still gave me trouble around mile 11 but this time it wasn't unbearable and I was able to run through it all the way to the end.
We followed up the race with an "ice bath" in the swimming pool and wanted to have a few drinks but the fact that it was only 9 am meant we were out of luck. This was honestly the coolest race and most amazing experience, anyone thinking about doing it should. The price is a lot compared to most races but Disney makes each penny worth it. I think I am done with the half marathons for now but I can see myself doing more Disney races in the future!