The Princess Half was the last leg of a Coast 2 Coast journey that started with the inaugural Star Wars Weekend in Disneyland. This race would net me 3 pieces of bling (half medal, Glass Slipper Challenge & Coast 2 Coast) and put my 2015 Run Disney medal total at 9!
44.8 miles - 6 races - 2 coasts - 9 medals
Would you be shocked if I told you I was psyched for my costume for the Half? Haha. It was a theme for the weekend. I loved everything the wife and I had come up with.
So for the half I would be...
The Evil Queen
Anyone want an apple my pretties? ;)
The wife and I boarded the busses for the final time of the weekend and headed over to the EPCOT parking lot. It was like the 10k all over again - we jammed out to the DJ and found a place to hang out (near a heat lamp) until it was time to take the (what feels like a mile) walk to the Start Corrals.
We walked to the corrals together before I headed to A and the wife walked to J.
The pre-race scene at Disney thankfully keeps you entertained since you are in the corrals for quite awhile. Especially if you are in J like the wife was.
One of my other favorite things about a Disney start are the fireworks!!! One set for the wheelchair participants then one for my Corral.
As we left the Start area and started the race, it was a mile on the dark highway. No character stops in the first mile, which I was getting used to for a Disney race. I knew they would make it up to me in future miles. ;)
Mile 1: 8:07
And almost immediately after the first mile marker, there was the Pirate ship! I love this stop. While waiting in line for my picture, I started talking to a girl dressed as Donald Duck behind me. Her name was Allison. She didn't normally stop for character pics during her Disney races. I of course went off on how awesome it was. Well I wished her a good race, got my pic and headed off.
Well Allison and I met back up at the next character stop. So I asked her if she wanted to run the race with me. She was up for it and our journey to complete the Princess Half together was born. :)
Mile 2: 8:11
Haha! Can you still make out where I was? ;)
I basically wanted to fly through here to FINALLY make it in to Magic Kingdom. It was the first race of the weekend where you see THE Castle.
Mile 3: 10:05
Ahhh Vanellope and Wreck It Ralph!
And then the stars aligned and my evil heart met my evil matches... :)
Allison is a super speedy runner so I told her if she wanted to go ahead she could. But if she wanted to hang with me for a fun run full of pics, I would be more than happy to have her run with me. Lucky for me she chose to stick it out with me. :)
Mile 4: 9:05
Since Mile 5 didn't have any character stops we were able to just fly to towards the Castle.
I am also upset with myself for the lack of mile maker pictures for Miles 4 and 5. :/ I let myself down.
Mile 5: 8:20
And there it was!!!!
Oh happy day! Not my best photo, but it will do when I am snapping a pic on the go!
As we headed to tomorrow land, I spotted my guy Buzz. I tried to get him to eat the apple, but he just wouldn't.
Boy do I love running through the Castle.
The Evil Queen was having a hard time staying evil with all of these amazing Disney character around. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb kept her smiling!
As we left the Magic Kingdom, I finally remembered to grab a Mile Marker pic.
Mile 6: 9:27
Now that we were out of the Magic Kingdom, it was back to the highway as we headed to EPCOT. A lot of participants hate the time on the highway, but for me Disney does a great job of keeping you entertained. Since they own the land, they can set up character and music stops... unlike Disneyland!
Yes clearly the official MarathonFoto (on the right) is the best photo of them all! :)
I figured it was finally time to try and grab an action shot as we headed toward the Mile 7 marker. Not my best attempt, but I will take it... especially since we were going up an incline! PLUS there was a DJ so we were trying to run and bust a move simultaneously! :P
Mile 7: 9:16
It was awesome taking in the race through someone's eyes that hadn't really taken advantage of all of the character stops before. Plus meeting someone new and hearing all about their life and family is a great way to distract you from the miles. Am I right?
Oh Marry Poppins! I don't know why she wouldn't take my apple?
The Princes were out in full effect trying to get me to try on that glass slipper. But I wasn't about to fall for whatever trap they were trying to set.
I tried to talk the Genie into a bite of the apple, but for some reason he wasn't biting. HAHAH! Get it? Biting? ;)
Not only are the character stops amazing, the signs along the course are pretty awesome as well.
Allison and I had to snap a pic with this one before taking a quick snack/potty break.
Mile 8: 10:57
There weren't any character stops along Miles 9-10 so Allison and I were able to focus on enjoying the run, stopping for water breaks and letting my family know where I was.
Mile 9: 8:29
It was during Mile 10 where my dad told me to slow down because they were on a bus that was caught in traffic. HAH! I was apparently running too fast for them to make meeting me at the Finish Line. I told them to not worry about it and that I would catch them back at the hotel.
I don't know why, but I always feel the need to text Eric during Mile 10 of any Run Disney Half so I made sure to keep the streak alive.
Mile 10: 8:56
During Mile 11, we were heading towards the final turnaround before heading into EPCOT. Plus it was time for the Army Men! He let me take a selfie with him as long as I did at least one pushup.
As we made our way up the overpass, we actually saw the main wheelchair participant.
We would learn after the fact that at this point in the race she had already tipped over and got a flat tire. That's right she was pushing up a hill on a flat tire when we passed her.
The inspiration was overflowing and her energy was electrifying!
Mile 11: 8:59
Oh my gosh how could our journey together almost be over. I couldn't stop thanking Allison for hanging with me. It was awesome to have a friend along the way. I normally race Disney runs solo.
She was up for selfies, which always makes me smile. And we were READY to head into EPCOT!
Mile 12: 9:02
We had to stop and get a picture with Princess Sofie. Allison said her daughter would be PSYCHED to see it. I think Sofie knew my apple wasn't on the up and up.
I was trying to stay in character. :P
One we entered EPCOT, we ran up and down the main strip starting at the Ball. So we avoided the World Showcase, which was the main feature of the 5k and 10k. So it was nice to switch it up.
Thank you Fairy Godmother for the extra wishes to get me through the run.
I couldn't pass up an opportunity for a pic with THE BALL.
Man I love the Cape my wife made for me. That was SUPER fun to run with.
With the fun done, it was time for Allison and I to head to the Finish.
Mile 13: 9:20
FINAL TIME: 2:00:33 (9:12 min/mile pace)
YAY!!! GAH! Just missed 2 hours. Damn my final port-o-potty break. ;)
I loved the pixie dust from Chanda as we headed to pick up our extra bling!
All the bling!!!
Oof as soon as we took these photos and I grabbed my water and snack box, my stomach took a turn for the worst. I left my stuff with Allison and sprinted to the port-o-potty. :/ I don't know what happened, but it wasn't a good time. After two trips to the port-o-potty, my stomach was finally starting to get back to normal.
Allison had to meet up with her family so we grabbed a few photos together before giving each other a goodbye hug. It was awesome literally bumping into her and deciding to run a half together.
One I bid farewell to Allison, I bumped into Pam and Christine from We Run Disney (now Two Runners Travel)!
These two ladies inspire me on a daily basis! They are an out of this world Mom-Daughter blogging duo who you have to follow. :)
They were off to breakfast so I headed over to the Princess photo area so I could get some shots while I was waiting for the wife to finish.
With pictures complete, it was celebration time. There were actually beer and champagne stands set up. With my magic band hooked up to my credit card, I was able to celebrate even though I didn't have money with me! :)
While waiting in line for my champagne, the #PrincessMen came up to me for a pic. They loved my fierceness as the Evil Queen and I was happy to stay in character. ;)
I received a text from the wife that she had just finished so I hustled over to the Finish chute to catch her as she came out from receiving her medals.
I was beaming with pride. She had done it. She had completed the #RebelChallenge (10k and half) and the #GlassSlipperChallenge (10k and half) to earn her Coast 2 Coast medal.
We headed to the Aid Station to get her some ice for her knees before heading to the busses to return to Saratoga Springs.
Ahhh 22.4 magical miles!
As always the race was one in a million. Would I love to see more character stops - always. Would I love to see more entertainment on the course - always. Would I love to see more time in the parks - always.
But what we did get to experience was magical. The volunteers were enthusiastic, the spectators were energetic and the Park time was spectacular!
It capped off an amazing Coast 2 Coast ride.
After quick showers and breakfast, we were off to the Parks to get THE picture!
Next Up: Park Fun