I will confess that I rarely keep any of my race shirts. The year I ran 14 RnR half marathons, I got 14 shirts but did not keep any of them. They were all nice shirts (Brooks) but really what was I supposed to do with 14 shirts? There has been one or two races in which I had the option of not receiving the race shirt in exchange for a few dollars off my registration fee.
However, I have kept a couple of them mainly because of the materials and the color/cut.
Route 66 Half Marathon
2. Princeton Half Marathon >>My favorite one.
3. Des Moines Half Marathon
I like the shirts from the Bank of America races (Nike brand) but do not keep them either. Not sure why since I do like the cut. But I prefer the finisher’s shirt I bought at the outlet store. It was about $16 three weeks after the marathon.
The “ugliest” looking shirt is this one. I mean, seriously?
I did keep my Run Disney long sleeve shirts but only because I wear them at night when I go to sleep. That extra layer keeps me warm throughout the cold Chicago winters.
I know some runners have had quilts made from their race shirts and I kind of regret not saving mine. Seeing hers made me want to have one for me so you bet I will start saving my shirts. Pretty cool right? This one is from Kimberly who blogs at KookyRunner.
Do you keep your race shirts? For you or to make a quilt as well?
So this year I ran a few Disney races. I ran a total of 8 races which equals to 104.10 miles and 14 medals. I won’t get into how much money I spent. I had fun traveling to Florida and California but prefer going to Florida because 1) It is closer and cheaper and 2) More parks and more things to do.
I remember when I signed up for the Goofy Challenge and I was nervous and scared. Running a half marathon is tough but then to add a marathon the next day? What was I thinking? I wasn’t. My friend, Jaime, convinced me to do it so I did. She did Dopey Challenge (5k, 10k, 13.1, and 26.2). At the end of the marathon I was almost in tears because I had accomplished something that I did not know I was capable of. Plus, I enjoyed the course more for the full than the half. I was also very sore.
But I recovered quickly because the following weekend I went to California for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Traveling there was nerve wrecking because there were problems with my flight and I got to the hotel after 5pm. I was too late to pick up my packet but luckily I picked it up on race day. I was not able to get my shirt but someone was nice enough to mail it to me. I liked the race and the course. The weather was perfect too. The last time I was in Disneyland was in 1991 so I stayed an extra day to hang out in Disneyland.
In February I went back to Florida for the Glass Slipper Challenge (10k on Saturday and 13.1 on Sunday). Definitely so much “easier” than Goofy Challenge. I ran the Enchanted 10k with Jeff Galloway and it was nice to chat with him. It was muggy and humid that morning but I finished early enough to head back to the hotel, shower, eat breakfast and hang out at Magic Kingdom with Arasally. We had a blast! The last time I was there was in 2004 (I did run through there in January but did not stay at the park). The half marathon was OK. Nothing too exciting about it.
At the end of August was another trip to Disneyland for the Dumbo Double Dare (10k on Saturday and 13.1 on Sunday). This time I made sure to leave early enough to avoid any problems with my flight. I saw Jaime again and it was fun hanging out with her. I knew Emily was also planning to run the half marathon but I did not see her at all. I liked the 10k but not so much the half marathon. It was cool running through Disneyland and California Adventure Park but could not wait to finish the half marathon. I did like the medal I got for completing both races.
Finally my last race was last month. I was nervous and excited about that one. The race was at night and I am not a fan of night races. The weather was pretty decent during the day but then things turned for the worst. It rained pretty much the whole time for the whole race. I heard good things about the race and was looking forward to it and the post race activities. I was cold and miserable. I could not wait to finish. I walked a lot, which made it worse. I know this was out of Disney’s control but the rain ruined it for me. However, the best part of the race was seeing all of the beautiful lights in Hollywood Studios.
Each race is a fun experience. I like the Disney theme and seeing the various costumes.
I prefer traveling to FL than CA. But unless you have a car or stay on property, it is much easier to get around in CA.
When traveling to FL make sure to stay at a resort. Disney does a great job of providing shuttle busses from/to the airport and to/from the expo and race.
Why, oh why, is it so expensive for these races? I know I spent over $300 for Goofy Challenge and while I did get 3 medals and 3 shirts, there pretty much nothing in the goody bag and in the post race box snack.
I told myself I would never run another Disney race but am finding myself drawn to the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in 2015 and the Glass Slipper Challenge in 2016.
On Saturday I ran my last Disney race of the year. I read several reviews prior to the race and they all wrote about how much fun it is. I was excited and looking forward to it. However, I was not ready for the weather.
I got into Orlando Saturday morning on a 5:30 am flight. Once I landed I made arrangements with Emily to head over to the expo. We got our packets and proceeded to see what items we would buy. It was pretty much set up the same way with the same vendors as in previous Disney races. I bought two Team Sparkle skirts. One to match my Oiselle singlet and a pink one because well why not? I also purchased a pair of Balega Hidden Comfort socks. Wow, definitely did not get one blister even with all of the rain!
Perhaps a future race for me?
Great shirt but not much good stuff in the bag.
After the expo Emily and I headed back to the hotel for lunch. Her husband, Adam, also met us there. I was tired and in need of a nap. Well, that didn’t go well because I ended up not taking a nap. I tried. I drank a Coconut Mojito, watched TV and even graded some homework. Nothing worked. I finally got up at 5:30 to get ready and head over to the cafeteria for dinner.
After dinner I got in line for the shuttle bus. I did not have to wait long and was at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex around 7:30. I waited for Jeff and Elaine as we had plans to hang out prior to the race. A few minutes later they arrived and off we went to wait a long time for the start.
There wasn’t a lot of people yet so the bathroom lines were not long. Of course I did not have to go at that moment but did have to go just before the start of the race.
There was so much excitement around us. It was cool looking at costumes and for a minute I regretted not wearing one. There was a DJ playing great music and some people were dancing. Finally it was time to check my gear bag and head over to our corral and to wait some more.
I was in Corral D but moved back one corral to join Jeff and Elaine. By then it was drizzling a little so I put on my poncho. Thanks to Jeff and Elaine for buying it for me!!
Love the fireworks to announce the start of a new corral. Finally it was time to run. It was dark. I did not like that at all. I took it slowly to take it all in.
The first few miles were on the road between the parks. There was nothing exciting to see. There might have been some characters but honestly I do not remember. Finally we arrived at Animal Kingdom. There were a few characters but I only took a picture of Timon from my favorite Disney movie “The Lion King”.
Then it was back on the road. It started to rain more and I was cold. I could feel some chafing in my inner thighs. Halfway through the race is when I lost it. I had little energy and blamed it on so many things. But I kept going. Well, mostly walking. My right hip was bothering me and my toes too from the neuroma and the bunion.
Then we got to Hollywood Studios which was my favorite part of the race.
I spent a good few minutes enjoying the view and taking pictures. It was definitely magical for me.
Then on to the Boardwalk which left us with about 2 miles to go. I was miserable and could not stop feeling sorry for myself. I really, really tried to enjoy the whole race but just couldn’t.
I was so happy to see this sign. Once I saw it, I took some pictures and ran to the finish line. I think I heard the announcer say my name but am not sure. Heck, my name is not common and so easy to mispronounce.
Each mile marker had a different travel destination picture and music to go with it.
Before the race I had decided to enjoy the post race festivities. Ha, big change of plans. I walked a long time (it seemed long to me) back to the shuttle buses to take me back to the hotel. Once in my room I cranked up the heat and called it a night. I think by then it was almost 3am.
This was definitely not the experience I was expecting for this race. I did not like running through the parks at night. There was definitely nothing pleasant about running in the rain. I liked the crowd support and volunteers. It was very well organized even with over 14,000 runners. And yes there is something magical about running a Disney race. The metals are pretty neat. And I got two of them!
I did like staying at the Disney All-Star Sports Resort. My room was about $113 with taxes and it included transportation from/to airport and resort. Plus, it included transportation to the expo, parks, and race.
Disney races can be fun but also EXPENSIVE. Next year I would love to do the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in Disneyland. And I am hoping to get together with some friends for the Princess Half Marathon in 2016.
Next race: Williams Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa, OK, on November 23.
Sunday was the half marathon and last race of the Dumbo Double Dare. It will be my last Disneyland race because I have decided not to run any more races there. Definitely too expensive.
Another 4am wake up call. I did not want to drink another cup of terrible coffee so I made a stop at Starbucks. The line was LONG. I then had to use the bathroom and was glad to use one in Downtown Disney instead of a port-a-potty. Jaime and I were in our corral by 5:10.
I was feeling really good in the beginning but then struggled for the next 12 miles. It was very humid and I was sweating a lot before mile 1. It could have been that I had just finished my coffee. A mistake I don’t plan to repeat. My plan was to run with Jaime but yeah that did not happen.
I took it easy and ran slow the rest of the race. I took pictures and drank water at every water station.
The folkloric dancers were finishing their dance but I could hear the mariachi music as I was running.
It was hot and these sponges came in handy. I remember someone was handing out oranges which were really good but can’t remember if it was at this stop.
Had a blast watching these dancers and the little girl was adorable.
Pretty neat running through Angel Stadium. This was maybe mile 9 or 10. I did not know how much longer it was going to take me to run the rest of the race so I sent a text to Jaime telling her not to wait for me at the end and to instead head over to the hotel. She is a good person and told me that she would wait for me.
Jaime and I with our medals. She got an extra one because of the Coast to Coast Challenge (running a race in both FL and CA in the same calendar year).
My three medals from this weekend. My favorite is the one for completing the Dumbo Double Dare.
Overall it was a great race and I had fun running through the parks. Many people had wonderful costumes and for one second I was jealous of not wearing one too. I can’t remember which characters were at the parks. I saw Jeff Galloway at the expo but not during my races. I ran really slow. I wore shoes with more cushion (Brooks Ravenna 5) but my toes still hurt. I am worried because I don’t know how they will feel for the rest of my long runs for marathon training.