I couldn't believe when I found out they closed registration for just the half marathon at 27,500. Though that thought sank in when I got to Wide World of Sports to pick up my race packet. They used one building to pick up your bibs and activate your chip and a separate building for the health expo and goodie bag pick up. I was so intimidated. DH and I went to a restaurant that serves Chicago style deep dish pizzas for dinner. Not the healthiest way to eat night before a race. However, made the DH so happy
to get yummy pizza. (DH grew up hour outside of Chicago).
As most of you know I do not do mornings. I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. I had to be at Disney by 4 am. I was so worried the hotel alarm wouldn't go off I set that and my cell phone to go off. Laid every single thing I needed for the next morning out on the chair next to the bed. Got maybe 3 hours of sleep. I think I woke up every 20 minutes. Can I just say with low lights a peanut butter chocolate chip protein bar looked like pressed vomit and it tasted about as good. It could have been just my nerves. Argued with the DH about following exactly what the race instructions say about which way to enter Disney. DH has never been to Disney but kept wanting to go a different way. Finally get through the crazy merging traffic. I kept thinking HELLO we are ALL going to the SAME EXACT PLACE. What else was going to be open at 3:45 am? Though this is Florida it was not warm. Not warm at all. It was maybe 50 degrees or so people keep telling me. All I know is I could see my breath. DH kissed me for luck and I was off on my 20 minute walk to my corral to wait for the start.
Here and ready now we must stretch
This is Melanie she started stretching first. Therefore got her picture taken first. This is Val she was saying how cold it was.
Val and I vowed to finish it together.
We were so far back from the start line they had a HUGE TV on a truck on the overpass nearest us.
After hour and half standing in the cold our corral, the last corral, was called to start. Counted down to start by no other then DONALD DUCK. Come on how cool is that
We started out walking but our partners Melanie and Barbara were setting almost a 18-20 min. mile pace. We soon got passed by the pace bikes. Val and I hung back to let the others know she and I needed to go. We sprinted out past the bikes. Safely after passing them ran into the most interesting woman walking in the street. Val decided to see just how short she could look.
Close to mile three we couldn't help but ham it again for another picture with a couple of characters. Do you recognize these two?
Running on on ramps, overpasses, and off ramps not fun in the dark but soon we saw the arch and heard the sounds of "It's Small World"
So excited little did I know a "Disney Hill" was coming. I could hear some one yelling for everyone to pick up their knees pick up their ankles their feet would have to follow and my favorite Quackin' up your pace. Took a minute and then I saw him. He had the biggest Mickey hands I had ever seen. He was standing on the overpass yelling encouragement to runners at they ran under only to find the steep other half of the "Disney Hill" awaiting them. Seriously, that's what the volunteers and Disney employees lining it were calling it.
Then I saw him. My loving DH. He was there just as we got to the top. I have never ever been happier to see him. I couldn't resist blowing kisses to him.
I could finally see my first Disney attraction and I couldn't help wanting to get a picture. Space Mountain anyone?
It was during this picture being taken we met someone we dubbed Grumpy. Couldn't help it. He grumbled at Val for being in the course. Just for the record we were both off to the side of the course to get this picture. We went through some back/side entrance of Disney and wound up on Main Street.
Paused for a quick pic in front of the castle before running through Tomorrow land.
While working our way to the backside of castle we met up with Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, Alice & the Queen of Hearts. All I kept thinking as we were going through was how much Disney had changed since the last time I was there. Passed Rapunzel and her Prince. Picked up the pace to a run so we could run through Cinderella Castle. Down and around the corner from the castle I was feeling good.
Ran passed the main characters from The Frog Prince. I also ran passed so many places I had been with my family in Frontier Land. Country Bear Jamboree. Such happy memories kept me moving. Ran through some back lot on our way out of the Magic Kingdom passing Daisy and Donald, Captain Jack Sparrow, Mary Poppins and a penguin or two. Passed the entrance to the Wedding Chapel then Chip & Dale. After that things started getting more difficult for me. Val made me think it was both of us. We called a friend of Val's who is also our boss's sister. She helped distract me. Miles 7-10 were harsh. Didn't even bother with a picture with Mickey & Goofy. Miles 10-12 were miserable. So many people and we were back to on ramps, overpasses and off ramps.
I kept thinking it was never going to end.
Only 1.1 miles to go. Entering Epcot, we ran into someone we had seen in the beginning of the race. Val couldn't help but have a picture taken.
We kept going and I saw the most beautiful sight of the morning. Tell me this wouldn't help fuel you for the last mile.
The volunteers and employees kept saying a little more. Just a little further. No one would tell us how much. I though maybe they wouldn't have a mile 13 sign.
BUT I WAS WRONG!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT MILE 13
Then I saw my hubby again. God love him. He gave me the strength to sprint the rest of the way in. He snapped a picture as we ran past toward the finish.
He couldn't get any closer then 800 feet to the finish. Too many people. Still no pictures from the professionals that were taking pics for Disney. I guess they are still uploading. Can't wait they have video of Val and I crossing the finish line too! Guess you'll just have to settle for these post race pics. Finished in 3hrs 28 min. Could have been quicker but as you can see we took quite a few pictures.
All I have to say is I AM SO DOING THIS AGAIN NEXT YEAR