Disney World 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

State #12

Half Marathon #14


Pre-Race
Sara and I were up at 2:45.  We got dressed and walked over to meet our team at 3:30 for pictures and to get on the bus to head to the start.

The GA TNT team 1/2 marathoners

There was quite a bit of traffic getting to the start drop off area-I think we were there by 4:15-4:30.  The volunteers were AMAZING.  Incredibly cheerful and perky at 4 something in the morning.  It was very crowded and we were trying to keep all of the GA TNT team together.  We checked our bags and realized it was going to be too hard to stay together.  I had to stop and use the porta potties.  Sara and I stopped and began to move with the herd of cattle runners.  It was packed.  Little did I know, as we kept walking, there were plenty more bathrooms along the walk (note to those of you running a disney race).

It was probably 5:15 before we even made it to the corrals.  Yes, it was that long of a walk-easily 3/4 mile and that crowded.  We were hurrying to get to Corral A.  This was my first time being up front and not really caring about my time.  It’s kinda funny to watch how serious everyone is.  I hope I don’t always look like that. 🙂

Sara and I staying warm right before the start (yes, garbage bags)

Sara and I made a pact that no matter what-we were running both races together.  1/2 marathon goal was above 2 hours-hopefully around 2:30.  We really just wanted to be in A to take advantage of short picture lines.  Because let’s be honest, those runners in Corral A could care less about photo ops.  We wanted to stop at every single one.

With a few words from Mickey and the gang and some fireworks, we were off.  5:30 in the morning and pitch black!

Miles 1-8
We did our best to not get wrapped up with the speed of the group.  Within mile 1 there was a marching band.  The one thing I noticed that wasn’t so great was running on “on/off” interstate ramps.  This made for quite an uneven running surface but luckily they didn’t last long.  The crowds were pretty heavy on the course-even in the first corral.

We passed the Disney Motor Speedway area and they had several old vintage cars set up.  We skipped the pics with the cars but could hear the Ducktales themesong.  Time to find the character for a pic!

DUCKTALES!!

Not really knowing a ton about Disney and the parks, I can’t tell you much about where we were on the course (thankfully I kept the map to reference for the blog posts).  The race really seemed to go by incredibly fast-maybe because it was so much fun.  Sara and I were both treating this as a training run.  There were TONS of spectators all along the course and that really helped our spirits.  I was really impressed with how many people were out at 5:30 in the morning.

We ran into the Magic Kingdom around mile 4 I think.  LOVED all of the characters.

The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland 
Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled (which I haven’t seen)
Mary Poppins and the gang

 We got yelled at by the camera people at the Castle for not following the arrows for the picture.  I am sorry but we are running a 1/2 marathon-not focused on following directions for pictures….either way the shot was cute.  One of our teammates, Mark, heard us getting yelled and realized he knew us.  He decided to join us the rest of the race as well.

The Country Bears

I must say I was a big fan of The Pirates of the Caribbean stop.  The Johnny Depp look-a-like was quite entertaining.  The camera people reminded us to show “our numbers” (bibs) and the character began to give his number out back to us.  Pretty funny.  And thank you Jack Sparrow for the compliment. 🙂

we tried to make pirate faces but they only look weird

We headed out of the Magic Kingdom area and were headed towards Epcot on some road near the Polynesian Resort.  This was around mile 8.  We still felt great-but were starting to realize how early it really was because the sun still wasn’t up.

Mile 9-13.1
The last few miles were somewhat of a back-track to the start towards Epcot.  One of my favorite characters was the army guy from Toy Story.  He was yelling at everyone coming up the interstate ramp and was highly entertaining.  I love that this was a “hill” on the course.

Scrooge McDuck
We saw our coach Lisa around mile 11.  This was the last turn I believe before heading into Epcot.  The last mile or 2 really flew by.  There was lots of turns and curves on the course around the park.  You could see other runners on the course and I spotted Ethan Zohn again.  Gave him a shout out of course!
my favorite photobomb.  I have lots of these. 🙂

We hit the gospel choir and knew the finish line was just around the corner.  Sara and I crossed hand in hand.

Race Results

2:15:50
6502/22421 overall
2326/12322 females
427/1877 females 30-34
I hit my “over 2 hour” goal.  My first 1/2 marathon over that.  By far the most fun.  Each picture taken probably only added a minute or so to our time.  

Garmin Results


The pics only added 6 or so minutes to our time. The longest line was at mile 7- for a pic with Jack Sparrow.  You can see where our adrenaline was pumping and the crowds were cheering us on.
Post Race
Sara and I grabbed our post race food (nothing fancy-powerade, banana, builder bars, fruit chews) and went immediately to the ice tent to go ahead and prepare for the marathon (very good advice from a volunteer).  
We checked in at the TNT tent and waited on our teammates to finish.  
We headed back to the hotel and tried to relax the rest of the day.  We had dinner at Portobello with the team at 4:30.  Yes, 4:30.  We had to eat early to be in bed early.  I did manage to squeeze in time to pick up my Disney ornament.
front (purple for TNT)
back (had it customized in downtown disney)
Sara and I set out our stuff for race day and were both in bed by 8-830.  I am pretty sure I was asleep by then too.  Wake up call?  Oh yes, 2:45.  Again.
Overall:
Favs:
Running with friends
Crowd and volunteer support
Stopping for character pics
Not so Much:
Start time
Crowds to get to start line
Crowds on course
The Bling:
This medal is pretty cool.  It is a special anniversary medal with color and the “old school” donald face.  Just an FYI-the 1/2 is always Donald, the full is always Mickey, and well, the Goofy is, obviously, always Goofy.  I love the lanyard-it actually velcro’s-which I think is pretty nice.
Final Thoughts:
Just on the 1/2?  Highly recommend.  A very, very fun race.  I am not sure I would spend the money to do this race again but it is definitely a must-do for a Florida event.  
Also my first race in my 12 in 2012.  Only 11 to go. :):)


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Elizabeth

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