This was my 4th runDisney weekend; my previous races were the Walt Disney World Half in 2012, as well as the Tinker Bell Half and Wine and Dine Half for the Coast to Coast medal in 2013. The Princess weekend had always been on my bucket list, so now living only a few short hours away, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to run another race. Plus, training in Charleston over the winter was much easier than my previous trainings in New England!
Mike and I arrived to Disney World on Thursday afternoon and headed straight to the Wide World of Sports for the Expo. Apparently we missed the whole first-morning rush and didn't have to wait in a single line to print waivers (left ours on the printer at home - haha!), pick up race bibs, or even at merchandise check out (they had also replenished all the stock so nothing was sold out)! I was good this time and didn't buy a million things I didn't need (like I've done in the past). A 19.3 magnet, 19.3 headband, pair of favorite compression running shorts with the Princess Half logo, and pins for each 3 medals were my souvenirs of choice. No, Mike did not buy that shirt, but we did get a kick out of it!my shirt, my socks, Mike's shirt) and headed to the buses. If you ever run a Disney World race, I highly suggest staying at one of their resorts. Many roads are closed throughout Walt Disney World on race mornings and parking is very scarce. There was no line for the bus, and we got to Epcot with plenty of time to take a few photos with characters and dance around before heading to our corral.
The second day of 2:45am alarms seemed even earlier than the first. I actually wore the same costume I wore for my Wine and Dine Half a couple of years ago, so getting ready was easy. Once again, I boarded the bus to head back to Epcot. This course was actually 100% the same as my very first half marathon, so I knew exactly what I expect. What I also love about this course is that all of it is along the monorail (Magic Kingdom and Epcot), so Mike could (get a couple more hours of sleep than me,) take a bus to Epcot from the hotel, and ride the monorail back and forth to see me at 5 different spots throughout the race.
Well, before I knew it, I was 5:30 and time to start the race. The corral starts went by much quicker than with the 10k, and because I got there early, I got to be in the front row for my corral. After running the full 6 miles the day before, I wasn't really sure how the half would go, but I figured I'd take off running and see what happened from there.
Miles 1-4 went by quickly, and I saw Mike at the transportation hub. By mile 5, I was entering the Magic Kingdom and hadn't yet stopped to see any characters so I was hoping for some good ones!
Heather yelled my name. She was only a few people in front of me, so she dropped back so we could take a photo together!
Star Wars - Dark Side Half Marathon weekend as well as Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival!