On Saturday, January 11, I ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon as part of the WDW Goofy Challenge. This was also my first race of 2014 and my 50th half marathon.
I arrived in Orlando on Thursday night and slept till about 7am on Friday morning. After breakfast and a shower, it was off to the expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. I went to one location to pick up my bib and then another location for the expo and then to another location for another part of the expo. Did that make sense? I thought it was ridiculous! As for the actual expo? I was not impressed AT ALL. I thought that for it being a big weekend for Disney, there would be more vendors. And remember the expo was in two different locations. I bought two skirts from Sparkle Athletic and two headbands from Sparkly Soul.
I got three nice shirts. Umm, don’t two of them look like they’re the same color? I thought so. However, my friend JB told me that one is black and the other one is navy blue. Upon further inspection I realized that she was right. I got a small Clif Bar in blueberry which was yummy! Now, have I mentioned that I paid $340 for both the half and full marathon? You’d think that for the amount of money I paid I would get much more then that? Yes, that’s what I get for paying that much money…three shirts and a small Clif Bar. OK, enough complaining….for now.
The start time for the half was 5:30am. So that meant we had to leave no later than 3:45am. The night before I set my alarm for 3:00 but then forgot to actually turn it on. JB woke me up at 3:30 and I frantically got ready, made coffee, and ate a light breakfast. Then off we went to the race. By the time we were at the start line, it was about 5am. It was a humid morning. Oh and I was nervous but excited too.
Off we went. Did I mention it was humid? I was sweating before mile 1. It was cool running when it was still dark. There were some areas where it was not crowded at all but then there were areas where it was. I ran mainly on the right side and let others pass me. 🙂
It was pretty cool running towards Magic Kingdom. It was even better running down Main Street. There were so many people cheering for us and it motivated me to keep on running. I wonder how early they got there to wait for us? The view of the castle was amazing and I loved it! Gorgeous. I took some pictures but they’re blurry. Boo.
Along the way I stopped to take pictures with some of the characters. The line for Goofy was way too long and I did not want to wait.
I took it easy and was not worried about my time. I just wanted to enjoy the race. The overpass is what killed my good mood. Ugh! It was long and not fun at all. I knew that was the most difficult part of the race and that it was just a few more miles till the end.
When I saw this I knew I was close to the finish line. It was great seeing so many spectators cheering for us.
Finally done! Finish time is 2:47:36.
I felt pretty good throughout the race. Yes it was humid and I made sure to drink something at every water stop. Also, I took a Gu about every 4 miles.
This was my first Disney race. Here are my two cents:
- Disney theme
- Running in/through Disney park
- Runners in various costumes
- Two separate areas for corrals A-H and I-P
- Plenty of spectators
- Abundant of water stops
Did not like
- Expensive race
- Too early start time
- Not much of a goodie bag
- Part of the course was boring
- Boring expo
I have mixed feelings about my first Disney race. I really, really wanted to enjoy it. I am not saying that I didn’t but I can’t say that I had a fabulous time. Spoil alert: The marathon was so much better. I think it could have been better (expo, goodie bag, and course) for the amount of money I paid. I know I did not pay to see characters along the course but it would have been nice to see more of them along the way.
Since there was a group of us running this race, JB got a suite at the Residence Inn (about 15 minutes away from Epcot) and it turned out to be cheaper than staying at a Disney Resort. Of course it helped that one of the guys running also had a car so he was able to drive to/from the race. That also gave/saved us time getting to/leaving the park after the race.
Would I do this race again? Maybe. I just wished they weren’t so darn expensive!!