I always find it strange that I practically write these race recaps in my head while running the actual race, but when it comes down to finally sitting down and getting it out on “paper”, the words just don’t come.
This was, by far, the most different half marathon I’ve ever completed. After last year’s Princess Half Marathon, I had had enough of running Disney races (except for the Marathon). But when Sara suggested we run this year’s PHM together, I decided to sign up solely to be her running partner. This race was about her and getting her to the finish line. I went in to this race knowing it would not be my best time, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that we’d have an absolute blast together.
So… on with the show.
We had set out our running gear the night before so we would be prepared to wake up around 2:30am and get ready as quick as we could.
When the alarm went off, I jumped into the shower since it’s the only way I can fully wake up, and then it was time to snap some pictures!
We caught a bus fairly quickly from All Star Sports and headed to Epcot, the location of the starting line.
We didn’t dilly-dally too much and pretty much headed straight towards our corral. I was placed in D, but I moved back to F to be with Sara.
Princesses were EVERYWHERE!
When I ran this race in 2010, there were approximately 13,000 participants. This year’s race hosted more than 26,000. Holy crowded race course, Batman!
The race announcers and DJ did a great job of keeping us entertained for the hour or so we had to stand in our corrals. Even Princess Sean Astin had a few words of encouragement for us! (Sorry it’s a bad photo!)
My stomach was doing flips for no reason, but when the DJ started playing some fan favorites like “Firework” and “Don’t Stop Believing”, the entire crowd sang along, and so did I. It was such a good distraction, and I needed to start having some fun.
Around 6:25am, our corral had finally reached the starting line!
And we were off! Since I agreed to stick with Sara, we stuck with her pace and her intervals. It was pretty humid, so we slowed our pace pretty much right out of the gate as not to get heat stroke! I kept my Yurbuds out and decided to listen to the voices and cheers of those around me instead of listening to music. It was really motivating to hear everyone be so encouraging. I tried my best to mimic their enthusiasm and cheer Sara on the best I could.
The first few miles went by quickly, and we soon reached the Magic Kingdom toll plazas around Mile 3!
This is also where we saw Michelle, who was volunteering, and her cute baby bump!
The Magic Kingdom toll plaza is still over a mile away from Magic Kingdom but they kept us entertained with some of Disney’s famous villains. Side note- if I ever run this race again, I REALLY want to be Drizella.
We traveled along the road by the Contemporary Resort and then to Main Street, USA!
A cast member/volunteer was kind enough to snap our photo and told us to look “sassy”!
(photo credit- Running in Pink Project)
I love seeing Minnie and Mickey in their royal outfits!
I’m usually not a picture-taking runner, but we just couldn’t resist skipping around Magic Kingdom and getting our picture taken in front of the castle and with one of our favorite guys. We matched!
Once out of Fantasyland, we headed into Liberty Square and Frontierland where I probably yelled "Sara, isn’t that cast member over there really cute???” a little too loudly. I blame it on running brain. One somehow loses all inhibitions. But this is also where Sara told me to go ahead and run my own race. I was hesitant and told her I didn’t want to leave her, but she was very insistent. So, I popped in my headphones and took off to do my own thing.
At this point, I was in a pack of walkers taking up the entire road, so it was a very hard few miles to catch up and get ahead of the “orange flag ladies" who tell you when you’re falling behind. I weaved in and out of walkers and tried to be as polite as I could. I spent most of miles 6, 7, and 11 in the grass. There was just nowhere to go.
At the 10th Mile Marker…
At the 11th Mile Marker…
At the 12th Mile Marker…
It felt so good to finally see Spaceship Earth! My friends Anne Marie and Bethany were already finished and texting me encouraging words.
It was around this time when blog reader, Jess, said “hi” and introduced herself. Hi Jess! Thank you so much for giving me a huge pick-me-up! I was excited that the photographers caught our moment together.
I always love the last bit of the half marathon in Epcot. There’s always a ton of volunteers, guests, and cast members to cheer us on!
And then, there they were! The iconic choir they place at Mile 13 at every race.
And then the finish line!
And this is how not serious this race was to me. I stopped about 1 foot from the finish line and waited in line to have my picture taken with Minnie Mouse. Ha!
A medal was placed around my neck, and I felt victorious over finishing my 7th half marathon!
I was soon reunited with Sara…
(photo credit- Running In Pink Project)
We marveled over our new, shiny medals and basked in the fact that we were all done and could enjoy the rest of our day!
My official Run Disney finishing time was 3:44:51, but again, this race was solely for fun!
If you’re wondering about any of my running gear, here’s the rundown:
Alice Shirt by RawThreads
Run crops- Run: Inspire Crops II by lululemon
Full disclosure: Some of the links above will direct you to my Amazon Affiliate Store. If you do purchase any of these items, I will receive a referral fee. But I only list items on my Amazon Store which I confidently feel make me a better runner.
Did you run the Princess Half Marathon this year? If you did, post your link below! Have you run any other Disney races? If so, did you love it or would you prefer to run other races?