Happy Saturday, friends!
Can I start off this post by saying how incredibly jealous I am of everyone who is down in Disney for Princess Half Weekend?! Princess Half Weekend is one of my favorite runDisney weekends because of all of the glitz and glamor, as well as the girl power mentality throughout the weekend! Good luck to everyone – you’ll kill it!
Now, let’s move on to my Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2018 recap!
Flashback to January 6th at 2:30 a.m. Because the buses left earlier for the half and full marathon mornings, I had to wake up slightly earlier to make sure that I had enough time to quickly get ready and catch one of the early buses. I followed the same routine from the 5K and 10K mornings and headed out the door with Steve. Our friends had come in the night before, so we were sure to be very quiet when leaving the room.
Steve and I caught one of the earliest buses and zipped over to Epcot to meet up with my bestie Alexa who was going to run the half with me. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad outside – still colder, but MUCH warmer than the previous two mornings.
We met up with Alexa by the stage and enjoyed the pre-race entertainment before heading to our corrals. This was Alexa’s first half marathon, so we wanted to get to the corrals early so that she didn’t miss a thing!
I was originally placed in Corral C, but I moved back to E to be with Alexa. We snuck up to the front wave of the corral and did the Cha Cha Slide and Wobble with the crowd around us to warm up. Before we knew it, it was time to take off!
You can kind of see Alexa’s Sorcerer Mickey costume in this picture!
Alexa and I had a plan to run until Magic Kingdom and then stop for photos. She wanted to get a good groove going before stopping. So, we ran on the typical Disney roads for the first few miles before we hit the Magic Kingdom gates. The weather was beautiful now that we were warming up!
I just loved Alexa’s costume!
We continued on past the TTC, drummers, and the Contemporary resort. I was super bummed that the DJ was not there to “help” us cross under the “water bridge” – he is always my favorite part of any Disney race!
But, we made the turn past the Contemporary and headed toward the Magic Kingdom entrance via a new path. Usually, runDisney has runners travel past the Contemporary, make the turn by Space Mountain, and then head through the side cast member entrance to Main Street. This year, they forced us left, and we traveled around the bus platform before heading into the main Magic Kingdom entrance. Let me tell you, this was seriously so awesome. Not only was the route smoother (no sharp turns), but it also seemed so much more magical.
We ran through the entrance and truly took in the magic. I always tear up during this portion of runDisney races! We made the turn into Tomorrowland and veered off to the right to catch the first character stop.
The line for these two was not long at all, so we only had to wait a brief time before heading on our way.
As we ran around the bend and back toward Storybook Circus, I saw another line forming. It was Goofy! Goofy has always been my favorite classic character, so this was a must-stop for me. And, the line wasn’t long!
We proceeded onto the route and ran passed Ariel’s grotto. There was a line there, but no character. I’m assuming it was someone from The Little Mermaid. Because we weren’t sure how long the character would be gone, we decided to keep moving through Fantasyland toward the castle. I told Alexa to get to the far left so that we could veer off to the left and get a picture in front of the castle after we ran through it.
Our goal was to get to the castle while it was still lit up, and we were able to do that! I swear that the pictures are so much better when the castle is lit up!
We headed back onto the route and made the turn into Liberty Square. By this point, it seemed that some of the food locations in the park were starting to prepare breakfast. Specifically, we could smell waffles and bacon, which made us SO hungry!
As we entered into Frontierland, we saw a VERY long line. From past experiences, I knew that this was a character from Toy Story. Because I was dressed as an alien from the movie, I really wanted to stop. But, I just couldn’t do that line. It was at least 15-20 minutes long. So, Alexa had me stop right beside the line so that she could snap a photo of me by Woody and Bullseye. I’m glad that she thought of this – it’s perfect!
You can see my new Goodr sunglasses in this picture. This was the first time I tried them out, and I was in love! No fog or slipping!
We ran through the rest of Magic Kingdom and headed back out onto Disney roads to make our way back to Epcot. We ran by the Grand Floridian and wedding pavilion (and singers), and then we were handed Sports Beans somewhere around Mile 9. These guys were SO good! I heard wonderful things about them in the past, but I had never tried them before. Because I was taking it easy for this race, I broke my rule of “not trying anything new on race day” and ate them. YUM – definitely my new favorite source of fuel!
Before we knew it, we were heading down the long straight away toward mile 10. Alexa couldn’t believe how fast the race was going! And, by looking at our watches, we realized that we were going to break 3 hours, even with all of the photos that we stopped to take!
We passed mile 10 and made the turn to run up the on-ramp with the Toy Soldier. Again, because I was dressed as an alien, I knew that I wanted to stop to take a photo with him. Alexa was nice enough to snap this fun picture for me!
He looks thrilled haha!
After we stopped for this photo, we decided to kick it into gear and pick up the pace back to Epcot. We did some singing as we passed miles 11 and 12, and before we knew it, we were heading into Epcot for the last mile of the race. We knew that we wanted to stop to take a selfie in front of Spaceship Earth since we snapped one in front of the castle. But, other than that, we were ready to be done and to get Alexa’s first half marathon medal!
Alexa and I kicked it into gear and sprinted toward mile 13 and the finish line! As we approached the finish line, we heard our names being yelled. It was Steve and our friends, Jenna and Logan! How sweet!
Alexa and I grabbed hands and crossed the finish line together.
I was so proud of her! She killed it!
We proceeded through the finish line area and grabbed our medals, food boxes, drinks, and mylar blankets before having our own little photo session to celebrate the occasion!
We caught back up with Steve, Jenna, and Logan and then walked to the buses to catch a ride back to the hotel. Alexa had driven to the race, so she was going to head back to her friend’s house to shower before meeting us in the parks.
When we got to the resort, Steve, Jenna, and Logan ate breakfast while I got ready for the day. We spent the entire day in the parks, split between Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. This was Jenna and Logan’s first time in Disney, so we were sure to do it right!
We did decide to miss out on the fireworks, however, because we had to get to bed early due to the full marathon the next morning.
Overall, the half marathon was so much fun! I’m so glad that I had Alexa to do it with me. We stopped for plenty of photos and really took in the magic.
Next up: I’ll conclude my series with my Walt Disney World Marathon recap.