Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Disney Princess Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, February 27
State #22/50
Half Marathon #23
Weather - Hot. Humid. Blah.

2:59 came super early. Shuttles from the hotel stopped running by 4:00 am. The resort offers a babysitting service, and she was scheduled to arrive by 3:30 am. We got dressed, and the sitter arrived a bit early - around 3:20 am. We were out the door by 3:35 and walked over to the lobby to catch the shuttle. There was a jillion people in line, but luckily they provided quite a few buses and we didn't have to wait that long. Checked the weather on the bus. Oy.

The bus dropped us off at the finish line, which was about a mile from the start line. We didn't have any bags to drop, but I did want to meet up with the Half Fanatics for the group picture. By the time we sorta figured out where we needed to be, it was already 4:30.

Princess Snow White
The picture was supposed to be at 4:45 in front of the stage. I kept wandering around trying to find it... Luckily Dave is pretty easy to spot. We did a quick group shot - I actually look normal!

We were getting yelled at by volunteers to get to the start line. We were thinking... how long could it possibly take? The info said 15-20 minute walk. Well... there were a jillion people. And we were all trying to get one place at one time. Giraffy says it was a mile walk, and it took close to a half hour.

Quick stop at the bathroom. By now it was 5:15. Then we still had to get to our corral which took another 5-10 minutes. We lined up in the back of Corral B. As we were standing there waiting for the race to start, L told me the girl next to us looked familiar and thought she had seen her in Bermuda. She asked her, and sure enough... she was. Small world.

Me and L
The start line was absolutely INSANE. Our corral was due to have a 5:53 start time.

People everywhere!
Fireworks went off, and we were on our way. Well. Sort of. This race is a perfect example of what I don't like when I run. I don't like getting "stuck" at someone else's pace because I can't get around people running slower than I want to pace. The first miles was trying my best to dodge around people and get to a comfortable pace. Didn't really work. The first mile was about a minute slower than I normally run. My goal was to get done as soon as possible before it got super hot. As you can tell, my outfit is SUPER awesome. However... it is also made out of polyester and I was boiling in it.

One good thing about this course is that there were NINE aid stations. AWESOME! I knew it was going to be hot, and I like walking the water stations. The first one was actually right before the first mile marker.

Now keep in mind, we started racing before the sun was up. The first few miles were in the dark, so I really felt like I had to be aware of my surroundings. I kept trying to run in the grass next to the road to pass people but it was hard to run on and was hilly, so I had to just suck it up and run slower.

Mile 3 - Princess Ariel
The next aid station was at about mile 3.5 and I needed it. Bad. I was sooo tired and dehydrated and hot already. I was starting to get concerned. At least in a race like this, walking wouldn't be the WORST thing in the world (but it would be close). I really wasn't feeling well, and by about mile 4 I had to stop at the bathroom. Next aid station was about mile 4.5. It was about that point that I decided that I would go ahead and stop to have my picture taken with the characters. I mean, why not. If nothing else I could stop for a few seconds and catch my breath. (Have I mentioned I was absolutely MELTING in my stupid polyester costume??)

Princess Tiana
Woody and Bullseye
Cinderella's Carriage
Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming

The stops seemed to help, and I started to feel a little better. Even with the stops, I still was moving at an ok pace. Once we got out of the Magic Kingdom, we got back on a narrow road. Ran past the firefighters for Disney, and then back out on the open road. Just before mile 8, I spotted the other L, and I tried to speed up a bit to catch up with her to say hi. She and her friend, B (ironic, right??) are also running 50 half marathons in 50 states!

I'll call this "Disney Dudes"
Pirates of the Caribbean
I don't normally run with anyone, but L was struggling a bit too, and between talking with her and doing the pictures, a few miles of the course actually went by decently fast.

Pain & Panic
Around mile 11.5, L said she was going to walk for a bit, and I was on my own. There was an aid station just ahead and I was sure it was going to be the last one on the course. I walked a bit longer than usual and then headed up the overpass headed into Epcot. I was pretty happy when less than a mile later there was another aid station. Man, I can't ever remember being so exhausted in a race!

Phineus & Ferb
Once I was inside Epcot I really tried to kick it up a notch, but I was just so hot and tired I really had nothing left in me. Then the lady announced - "only a quarter mile to go!" What??? I showed that we should almost be done :(

I don't know if it was all my weaving in an out of people or what, but the course measure LONG for me. The race ended the same place as the 5K did, and I have not been this happy to see a finish line in a long time. I find L almost immediately, and she was impressed I hadn't burst into flames and ripped the costume off mid race. She really expected me to cross the line in my bra and compression shorts. LOL.

Official Time - 2:13:36
5K Split - 29:28
10K Split - 1:04:06
15K Split - 1:35:45
Overall Place - 2105/13091
Division Place - 351/2113
Garmin Time - 2:13:37
Garmin Distance - 13.29 miles (!!!!)
Mile 1 - 9:43
Mile 2 - 9:22
Mile 3 - 9:09
Mile 4 - 9:41
Mile 5 - 10:46
Mile 6 - 10:49
Mile 7 - 11:05
Mile 8 - 10:38
Mile 9 - 9:30
Mile 10 - 10:49
Mile 11 - 9:48
Mile 12 - 9:48
Mile 13 - 9:35
Miel 13.1(ish) - 8:17

After the race we grabbed our goodie bags (Luna protein bars!!) and headed to catch the shuttle back to the hotel. We arrived just before 9:00 and the sitter said A had been very good and had only been up since about 7:30. We took quick showers and then took A to the pool for about an hour. Just as we were leaving the pool area, we ran into Giraffy who was SUPER PSYCHED about her first half marathon finish.

Somehow we were all able to be out by 11:00 (we were not able to get a late check out). Giraffy still had a day left on her pass so she was headed to Epcot. We were starving and headed to get food. We figured that we would have more options if we went to Downtown Disney. We found this cool place with dinosaurs and decided to eat there.

So. This place is called "T-Rex Cafe." They call it family oriented and "interactive." Well. What I call it is loud and not the place to take someone prone to seizures. The service was slow, it was chaotic, and we had to endure three "meteor showers." But the burger? FREAKIN FANTASTIC:

After we finished eating we had about an hour to kill before we needed to head to the airport, so we walked around Downtown Disney. This dragon is made completely out of Legos!

A finally got the face painting that she had been begging for (and it was WAY cheaper than what we were quoted at Disney).

We headed to the airport just after 2:00 and dropped off the rental car. Our flight left at 5:00 and was pretty uneventful.

I had an awesome trip with A and it was great to see Giraffy again!

State #22? Complete.


  1. Just an awesome report! (I think you write the best reports in the bloggo-world, always very detailed and interesting!) My wife wants to run that one and the marathon, but the early start times have her a little hesitant. Great job!

  2. IT. WAS. SO. FUN!!! :D

    I think I had an exponentially more fun time running than you did, lol!

  3. You really looked fantastic. Great report, if I ever do this one I'm stopping for every.single.photo op. You can PR in one of the other 28 states!

  4. Costume: EPIC!
    Face painting: fabulous. Learning to do that (well) is on my bucket list. :)

    Great report!!

  5. Great report! This looks like a fun race, and I hope to do it someday.

  6. You rock for running in that costume! :)

  7. I always love your race recaps - this one was right on par! Great job!

  8. Oops, sorry - ha, I thought this looked familiar - two comments, oh well - I REALLY enjoyed it!

  9. The weather was INSANE!! I never saw the temperature -but 65ยบ sure seems right for that early time. It was crazy - and not what I expected. My first mile was also a minute slower than normal - more than a minute actually. Like you, I was so happy to see all the aid stations. I was soooo hot by the end I seriously thought I was melting - and I actually thought of you after what you had told me about your costume.

    Had I known we were in the same corral I would have looked for you - of course it was a sea of humid, sticky people already, so I would have had a hard time finding anyone.

    So much fun though!! I'd have raced an hour earlier if they would have let us - just to avoid that crazy sun at the end!


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