I’m so excited to finally begin my race recaps! I’m not going to lie, this one is going to be rather short (for reasons explained later), so bear with me on this one.
But, let’s get started with a fun fact: it’s warmer at my house (in the Northeast) today than it was for the start of this race….UGH! You guys, this race was COLD….and I’m used to running in cold temps!
I woke up at 3 a.m. on race morning, and I was feeling pretty good. I had woken up extremely early the morning before to catch my flight, so I was nervous that this would mess up my sleep schedule all week. But, spoiler alert: it didn’t!
I made my way to the sink to wash my face, throw on some sunscreen, and brush my teeth. Then, I checked the weather….and, boy oh boy, was I stuck on what to wear. Don’t get me wrong, I brought plenty of clothes with me to choose from (for all weather types), but with a real feel of 24 degrees, you really start to question if 3 layers is enough HA!
I decided on my outfit (see the photo at the end of this post), and then Steve and I headed out the door.
We took the first bus from our resort and got to the race area just before 4 a.m. IT WAS SO COLD. Like teeth chattering, knees shaking, mind-blowing cold.
Once we entered the family reunion area, we saw a LONG line to our left. We aren’t used to seeing long lines as you enter into the family reunion area, but we were intrigued, so we decided to check it out. It was for coffee and hot chocolate, and you better believe that we got in that line! Now, I’m not one to eat before races, unless they are 13 miles or longer, but I knew that I desperately needed that hot chocolate to warm up my insides.
After drinking the hot chocolate, I made my way to the corrals. I knew that I wanted to make my way to the front of my corral (A) so that I could start right away and get the race over with. After a few minutes of waiting, the announcers asked all participants to enter their corrals, which then filled up quickly.
Although I was freezing in the corral, I did meet a TON of new friends on the walk to race start. We all huddled together and chatted about our training and excitement for race weekend. I just love my runDisney peeps 🙂
After the National Anthem and a few last-minute announcements, we were off! Well….we all tried to take off…BUT, our legs were frozen! You could hear everyone writhing in pain from the numb limbs and tight muscles. It was definitely painful, but it was also funny at the same time.
My original goal for this race was to take my time and stop for every race picture. After the weather changed, that plan changed as well. I honestly just wanted to finish the race as fast as I could so that I could go warm up. I didn’t even do my intervals – I just ran the entire time!
I felt like I was flying by everything! We started the race on the roads outside of Epcot, where there was not much to see. In fact, it was very dark on the roads, and I even saw a few people trip because they weren’t paying attention to the person in front of them.
Then, we made our way into Epcot. It got brighter, but, to my surprise, there were no character stops! What?! Now, I know that I wasn’t going to stop, but what if people did want to stop and take advantage of the opportunity? I found out later that the characters didn’t make their way out to the World Showcase until after the front pack had gone through. So, other runners were able to experience them – thank goodness!
Before I knew it, I was passing the Mile 3 marker and heading for the finish line!
I finished in just over 26 minutes, and I was OK with that! I quickly grabbed my medal, food box, and mylar blanket and then headed straight for the buses (as Steve and I had planned). We were able to get on the first bus back, but because I finished so quickly, our bus was not able to leave right away. There were still some corrals that were running on the bus route.
After about 20 minutes, our bus took off for the resort. We took a quick nap on the bus and then headed for our room when we got back to the resort. I took probably the longest shower of my life and then got ready for the day!
We spent the rest of the day in Animal Kingdom, and it was so much fun!
After a fun-filled day in Animal Kingdom, we headed for Epcot and then took the resort monorail loop. Steve had never seen some of the resorts on the monorail, so we got off at each one and had a celebratory drink. It was so fun!
Then, it was back to the resort for an early bedtime.
Yes, the 5K was SUPER cold, but I still had a lot of fun just running through Epcot! Next up for my race recap series: the 10K!
Stay tuned! 🙂