I’m so excited to finally have time to sit down and share my experience with my first runDisney race a couple weeks ago!
Last fall I signed up to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon, whose route covers Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. The race was on February 26th. A neighborhood friend, Stephanie, and I made the trip together over a long weekend. We had a wonderful trip and it was fun to be part of such a magical weekend. There were nearly 20,000 runners. While men are allowed to take part, they cannot win race awards. There were about 1000 male runners.
|Can you see me? I am towards the right, just past the finish line. Do you see the man in the light blue tutu to my right?|
The training for this race was very similar to the program I did for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon last spring. Like last year I was able to take advantage of the Pensacola Double Bridge Run as a good mid-point for training — and it was smart to incorporate the hills because the Disney course isn’t flat at all!
It’s tradition to dress in a costume for this race. Needless to say, most of the women racing dressed as their favorite princesses. Many of the men dressed up, also. I chose to run as Mulan, due to her military and Asian backgrounds.
After ditching the tulle tutu option after a test run (I don’t know HOW all those other women did it), I opted to just stick to modern running clothing with a couple of additions. I bought a pink running skirt, and I had several lighter pink running shirts to choose from already.
I had this old Susie Wong-style dress that I had bought in China years ago. I outgrew the dress and the silk was looking worn out in spots. I cut off the top and bottom to make a corset-style belt.
|This could fit over my head and then zip into place w/ the original dress zipper.|
|This was the flower for my hair.|
|I after hot glue not holding the flower onto this comb during a run, I used floral tape to really bind it on. It held up for all 13.1 miles!|
|A friend gave me this pretty lace scarf that served well as a gold sash and bow in the back.|
Now that I had a costume ready to go, let’s talk about the race experience itself!
Stephanie and I arrived at Walt Disney World around 5pm Friday. We headed straight over to the “Fit for a Princess” Expo, which featured numerous fitness vendors selling all the typical goodies. We enjoyed samples of Clif Gel, Luna bars and got to test iPod armbands, headbands and other gadgets and gizmos.
I had wanted to look at the Dooney & Bourke commemorative handbags Disney had commissioned for the race. They were sold out. An employee said they had all sold out in two hours. Gee, I wonder why they sold so quickly? I wasn’t necessarily planning to buy one — I’m not a super Princess-ey kind of girl — but I still wanted to see them in person.
|Forget the Princess race bag, this is the one I want!|
We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter hotel on the Walt Disney World property. This helped getting to/from the race venues more easily.
|The landscaping and ambiance of this hotel is so beautiful!|
We enjoyed a fun evening at the Boardwalk Resort. We visited a piano bar called Jellyrolls and met up Debbie, with an Air Force friend who lives in Tampa now, as well as fellow blogger Rosalind of Girls Are Geeks.
|Rosalind and me.|
On Saturday, many runners who had their families at the resort with them took part in the Tangled Family 5K race. I didn’t go to see the race, but I could see that being a nice warmup for the biggie the following day.
Steph, Debbie and I enjoyed a leisurely day at Magic Kingdom. For the first time, I could spend the day at Magic Kingdom doing GIRLIE things!**
We browsed all the stores we wanted…slowly! The lines weren’t bad at all, and we could manage our Fast Passes well enough to go on any rides we wanted to. For the most part, we stuck to leisurely rides, but we didn’t let a trip on Splash Mountain escape us!
**On my 30th birthday my Mom and I spent the day at EPCOT…similarly doing girlie things and it was great!
|Because we were wearing our race t-shirts, many cast members wished us “Good Luck tomorrow”.|
|This was about 30′ from the big drop at the end of the Splash Mountain ride. The ride STOPPED for about 2 minutes. Which is why I got this picture.|
|Enjoying some shopping!|
We had dinner at Downtown Disney Saturday night, said goodbye to Debbie, and then Steph and I attempted to go to bed early — we had a 2am alarm set for Sunday morning! But I was too excited — I hadn’t been this excited in YEARS about anything. I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve! I probably got about 3 hours of sleep before the race.