I fell asleep at 8:30 pm the night before the half which was a good thing since my first alarm was set to go off at 2:40 am. I had planned just as well for that morning as I had for the 10K so it was an easy process. I wanted to be on my way to Epcot by 3:15 am for a few reasons. The first being I knew that there would be road closures due to the half that would not allow me to take the same way I had taken the prior day. And the second was I had gotten the Race Retreat for the half and want to take advantage of it before and after the race.
One thing I had not counted on was that I would be heading to the race at about the same time the bars were closing for the night. Getting a cab that morning was not as easy as it was the prior day. I waited for about 10 minutes and while I was waiting three other women came out of the hotel to get a cab as well. We decided since we were all heading to the same place we would share a cab. I am so happy that we did!Why you ask? Because we had to take an alternate route to Epcot due to road closures associate with the half marathon but the cabbie refused to listen to me. He said that we would be just fine and that there were no closures. It took all four of us telling him that we were sure there were closures and he still tried to take the other route. Thank goodness one of the ladies knew that he was trying to take the closed route and caught him before he had us stuck in traffic.
We ended up getting to the drop off area early enough but we were all frustrated! Since I had been there the prior day I showed the “Georgia Ladies” where they needed to go and then I was on my way to the Race Retreat.
It was a bit of a walk but I would soon find that it was well worth it. I was looking forward to having a heated area to spend my time before the race. Not only was it heated but there was padded areas to stretch and private port-a-potties. Now, that is worth it for me alone but on top of that we got a continental breakfast before the race. They had bagels, cream cheese, peanut butter, butter, jelly, fruit, juice, water, and coffee. Oh, also they had toasters for the bagels! It was really nice not to have to worry about food before the race.
At 4:50 am we had to be out of the Race Retreat for about a 30 minute walk to the start of the race. I had just about three miles worth of steps before the race even started!
I made the decision as I was walking to the corral that I would take it easy and enjoy the “race”, I would stop at the character stops that I found interesting and any other interesting picture opportunity. I wasn’t sore from the 10K but I knew that it could happen really quickly if I took it too fast. I wanted to be able to enjoy the rest of the trip so taking it easy was the plan.I was in corral I and we went off at just before 6 am. The first character stop was Captain Jack Sparrow. The line was really long and I was super sweaty already, I didn’t want to stand next to a Johnny Depp look-a-like as sweaty as I was. I am not vain but in this situation I totally was!
After that I saw the entrance to the Magic Kingdom! I was happy to see it, I was really looking forward to running through that park. I couldn’t wait until the castle!
After that stop, is really where the park started! It was pretty cool to run through the Magic Kingdom since that is my favorite park! I loved winding through the streets and the crowds of spectators were amazing! When I saw the castle my heart swelled! It was an awesome site to see the runners, the crowds, and the castle all at once!On the way to the castle I run into Buzz Lightyear! I actually ran past him but turned back around to make sure I got a picture with him. (I did that a few time, run past the character and then come back. I had nearly a half mile more in my half marathon!)
After all of the pictures, it was time to be on my way. I was feeling pretty good about time at that point. I had only waited about a total of 30 minutes for characters and the bathrooms which in my mind wasn’t bad. That all changed when I came upon Snow White! Oh hell yes!!! I will stand in the super long line for her. I ended up running past the end of the line and had to come back to the end of the line because it was forever away. For goodness sakes, it was the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I had to take my picture with a princess!I waited at least 25 minutes but it was worth every minute of waiting!!!
Snow White was really the end of the Magic Kingdom so from there on (until Epcot) it was pretty boring, not much to keep my attention. I started to feel my body breaking down at that point. I was getting sore and my feet really started to hurt but of course I was going to power through it. So even though I started to really hurt I started to push myself to get to Epcot. The crowds of runners were a bit better because we had a little bit more room to spread out. I ran those 2-3 miles at a good pace for myself based on how I was feeling (14 minutes which when you consider the bucking and weaving due to a lot of walkers and that my body was done, I was impressed with myself).I did have to stop and get a picture of the sign below! It made me smile and gave me a little bit more energy to finish out strong!
And then I could see Epcot! I was interested to see where we would be running in regards to where we had run the prior day. This time we stayed in the center of the park and that there really wasn’t much new to see during the half. I also knew as I got into the park that I had time so I decided to stop for each stop no matter what.Good plan except when you don’t know who the character is! Thank goodness I have a phone a friend who is 3 years old, thanks Keelie and Aubree for letting know who Princess Sofia is!
The race finished in the same place as the 10K. I was really happy to see the finish line! I got my half medal and made my way over to get my Glass Slipper Challenge medal. I stopped and got my picture taken in the photo op area (I haven’t ordered those yet) and then got my GSC medal. After that I grabbed my snack box and headed to the Race Retreat.When I got over to the retreat they were serving a warm breakfast. They had eggs with cheese, sausage, fruit, and other items I cannot remember (obviously I ate the previously mentioned items and not the others). They also had every beverage you could think of minus alcohol. I will be honest the food didn’t look all that great but it tasted amazing. I am guessing that I was just really hungry but it did hit the spot.
After finishing up with breakfast, I checked on having a message (they were offered in the Race Retreat for an added cost). I was able to get the last appointment! It gave me time to get some champagne and run to the restroom before my appointment. On my way to the restroom I came across the stained glass window from Beauty and the Beast.
The massage was great even though it was only 10 minutes. I liked it so much that I went back to the hotel spa and got another one that afternoon!After getting back from the hotel massage I just relaxed. I was really beat from getting up really early three days in a row and the running.
I had an amazing time doing the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge! I went into the weekend thinking I would probably do this Disney race and that would be it. It checked a box per say. Well that sentiment changed rather quickly once I got there and experienced the atmosphere! It is called the most magical place on earth for a reason. I know that I will be completing the Coast to Coast Challenge, probably next year, and who knows there are still a few races that I can register for this year…