2018 runDisney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Last Sunday, my best friend and I participated in the 2018 Disney Princess Half Marathon. This was a special weekend for both of us, as we celebrated milestones together. In 2012, Keri ran her first Half Marathon and I ran my first 5K during Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I spectated Keri's first half and at that moment, I decided to start my blog and journal my running. Needless to say, if it weren't for that magical weekend in 2012, this blog would not exist.
We made this a girls race weekend and spent time at the parks on Friday and Saturday. While I always tell people to be cautious and not overdo time at a park prior to a run, I didn't take my own advice. We ended up walking over 10 miles on Friday and 8 miles on Saturday. Oops. We had fun though!

I had such a hard time sleeping the night of the race, more than the normal "did I set the alarm clock" anxiety. When the alarm clock went off at 3:15am, I had already been awake for 30 minutes. Something I haven't talked at all about on this blog is that I went vegetarian the month of February. Well, the night before the race, I ate Bolognese Pappardelle. To say I wasn't 100% prior to the race is an understatement. I vomited more than once prior to starting the race and felt so sick - dizzy, heart racing, etc. I honestly thought there was no way I would make it to the start, let alone finish 13.1 miles.
We got to Epcot and started making our mile long walk to the start line. The crowd was so dense and multiple people around me were saying the same thing. We hadn't even made it to the split of the corals when the gun went off for the wheel chairs. I knew right then and there we wouldn't make it to Corral D in time for our start. We were pushed to the very back of Coral E. This was 100% our fault for not being in the Corals at 5:00am like race instructions state, but there were quite a few volunteers let us walk up to D, only to be turned around. It was a cluster.
We finally crossed the start line, decided to do the Galloway 1 minute run, 1 minute walk and not stop for any photos prior to getting inside of Magic Kingdom (with the exception of the entrance of the TTC). I will say, knowing now what the rest of the race would be like, I 110% regret not waiting in the very long line for the Evil Queen and her Cauldron.
Our pace time was much slower than we should have been at, even with maintaining a steady 1:1. We ended up falling in with a 30:30 Galloway group around mile 4. Due to how packed the race was, staying with them made it a lot easier to get through the crowd.
The course has changed a little since we last ran Princess. Being the 2017 WDW Half was cancelled, I realized it had been over 2 years since we last ran this course. We had to make a quick stop to take a photo with Bay Lake sunrise behind us. We quickly caught back up with our new pace group and ran through the entrance of Magic Kingdom. I truly loved this change to the course!
After running through Main Street, we stopped for a few castle photos and at that time got separated from the pace group, which was fine as we planned on taking some photos inside of Magic Kingdom.
I spotted a long line near Gaston's Tavern. I noticed Gaston right away (I mean, how could you not), then I saw Belle. I told Keri we had to stop. We were told the line was about 15-20 minutes but knowing how rare this photo opp was, I really wanted to take advantage of it.
Do I regret waiting in line 20 minutes for that photo? Yes and no.... I will get into that later. We got to the back of Cinderella's Castle to see the Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters. The line wasn't too long so we stopped.
Then we ran through Cinderella's Castle and waited in line another 5 minutes for the Castle Photo. This is the epic runDisney race photo of all race photos.
We stopped for one last photo inside of Magic Kingdom which was for Cowboy Goofy. This was around mile 7 and I already knew we were looking at a 3+ hour Half Marathon. We decided not to take any additional photos until we got inside Epcot. What we weren't expecting is to be forced to walk for nearly 2 miles.
That 2 mile walk is the only reason I regret waiting in line for the photos at Magic Kingdom. For those familiar with the course, miles 6-8 were far narrower than I ever remember and there was zero chance at running during the majority of this time. Once the course widened, we had already been walking for those 2 miles and it was difficult getting back into it. We decided to do the 30:30 the rest of the course but almost everyone was walking and at times, doing such a short interval was impossible.
Did I mention how hot it was? I am talking nearly 90 degrees with near 100% humidity. It's February!! By the time we got into Epcot, I was beyond overheated and didn't realize how red my face was until my Mom responded to this photo.
I love Epcot - it is my happiest place on earth. However, I cannot remember the last time I was so happy to see the Epcot Ball.
I was mentally and physically over the day and wanted to take a nap, drink a glass of champagne, take a shower and drink a margarita....in that order.
We finally got through and saw mile 13. I was so happy to see that finish line.

A few thoughts after the race.....


#1 The Crowds: Why was it so crowded? I have ran MANY runDisnsey races and never experienced anything like this before. There weren't additional runners.... so odd.

#2 SO HOT: I am not looking forward to this summer in FL.

#3 Long Distance Running: At this point, I think I am done running anything longer than a 15K. This may change....I've said this before.

#4 Judgmental Friends: I am not going to call anyone out, and can write an entire post (or two) on this.....but when did running turn into a judgmental sport and when did friends become our judges? It doesn't matter how long it takes someone to finish a race. They are out there for their own reasons and if that reason is to take it easy and enjoy the experience at Disney, you should still support them. Running is personal and it is not a platform to make fun of others because they are slower than you.

1 comment

  1. Love that you ran Disney! I ran the full many years ago there and you don't even feel tired from running because of all the fun scenery all around. Grateful for the Disney races for helping you create your blog! Pics are great! :)


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