Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Disney Princess Half Marathon

In February 2014 I ran my first ever half marathon...and I finished it!

If you're unfamiliar with Run Disney events, Disney organizes races of different lengths throughout the year at both US parks. The courses literally go though the parks, costumes are encouraged, and Disney characters are all over the place.

It was the middle of 2013 when I first learned about these events (particularly the WDW Princess HM) and sent it to my bestie saying we should get in shape and do it "next time". She promptly told me we were doing it this time. It basically went like this:

So, nine months before the race, I stepped on a treadmill and went for my first ever run. I've never run. I've been the adamant "I hate running" chick. But now....while I still hate the treadmill, I'm starting to like running. Sorta. It's a weird sport.

By the way, I suck at running. When I say I'm "running" what I really mean is "I'm walking fast with some bursts of running in between". My average pace is considered power walking by most tracking tools. I am getting better, though! Very slowly but surely.

Anyways, the main event starts uber early, since it needs to be over for the parks to open. We were up at 3am to get into our Princess Woody and Princess Buzz costumes (best friends....princess-themed I really need to explain our decision?) and to the bus with plenty of time to spare. Then we spent an hour or so waiting in our O corral, excited but sleepy.

Finally, it was our turn to start! As each corral starts, Disney sends the runners off with fireworks!

Then the run is on! Because we weren't used to the heat, and we both had a rough start that morning (and I was having...female issues), we ended up power walking most of the race, but still. We finished! The course for this race was more highway than I expected, but hey- it's the Disney highway! And they've got a lot of character photo-ops along the way. We didn't stop, since we were going way slower than we expected, but it was still high energy and fun! Disney runners are the greatest, most encouraging people ever!

Here, have some race selfies:

So, the course. It starts outside Epcot, onto the Disney highway heading past the race track towards Magic Kingdom. The most exciting part is when you turn a corner and realize you're on Main Street heading towards the castle. It's this burst of energy at the half point of the race that spurs you on! After running through Tomorrow Land, you come up behind the castle and there're two heralds blasting their trumpets as you run through the castle! Then you head out the back of Magic Kingdom, back on the highway, and end up at Epcot via back stage Epcot.

Just before you reach the finish line, at mile 13, there's a live gospel choir spurring you on to the end. And at the finish line? Mickey and Minnie are giving high fives. It's super exciting, and then they give you a medal, a cold towel, and a snack box!

That's what I look like after a crazy 13.1 mile expedition that I fully didn't expect to finish! At mile 3 I was certain I wouldn't finish, had a brief revival around mile 6 at the castle, then lost faith again from mile 8 on. It wasn't until around mile 12.9 that I thought I might actually make it. But I did. I still can't fully believe that I did a half marathon.

The night before we left, RunDisney announced a brand new race in DisneyLand: The Avengers Half Marathon!! Guess what we're signed up for?

Also on this trip? Other amazingness. I had dinner in the Beast's West Wing. THE WEST WING! It's forbidden, you know.

Belle had the napkins folded like roses (obviously), We got to see THE rose, and Beast was even home to meet us. Yes, I tried the grey stuff (and, yes, it was delicious).

And, to satisfy my geekiness, I had a butter beer in Hogsmeade after a terrifying broom ride around Hogwarts.

This was such a fun week! Definitely one for the memory bank! 

Have you done a RunDisney race? What did you think?


  1. You looked absolutely adorable as Princess Woody! Go you! A half marathon sounds like an insurmountable challenge. But you rose to the occasion! Get it girl!

    1. Thanks so much! It was intense, but felt so good to finish! Makes you feel like you can do anything :)


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