Once upon a time…
She chose sneakers over heels.
She chose training over the chariot.
She chose the medal over the tiara.
She ran like it was midnight.
LOCATION: Epcot, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL
DATE: Sunday, February 22, 2015
LENGTH: 13.1 miles
RUNIT RATING: 2 magical thumbs up!
Last weekend, fellow blogger Lisa and I awoke bright and early to make our way to the start zone for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Lisa and friend Jenna made their way by bus from their Disney resort. I quietly got dressed and tiptoed out of my hotel room leaving three sleeping babes and a drowsy husband to rest a while longer. I hopped on the monorail just after 4 AM in my Beauty and the Beast inspired ensemble. Upon my arrival at Epcot, I made my way to my starting corral after stopping to grab a coffee. It was about a 20 minute walk to get to the corral and this is when the magnitude of the race hit me. There were so many people! I had never ran in a race this large! There were 18,498 finishers this year. Congratulations Princesses!
With a little help from the Fairy Godmother, I was able to meet up with Lisa and Jenna and we started the race together with a bang (literally as fireworks were set off with the start of each corral)!
The starting line was just outside of the Epcot parking area. We ran up World Drive passing through the entrance gates to the Magic Kingdom, where Lisa reminded me to watch my footing on the speed bumps. Thank you! There were plenty of opportunities to stop for character photos for those who wanted to. I considered stopping for the villains but decided against taking a break so early in the race.
As we approached the park, which was lit up like a Christmas tree, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was still dark outside and Cinderella’s Castle was glowing in the distance. Spectators were cheering and there were bands playing. We ran through Tomorrow Land, the Castle and Frontierland. I will tell you that there is nothing quite like running through the Magic Kingdom without the crowds. The park was so beautiful and serene and I felt that Disney magic that I remember feeling as a child all over again.
At Mile 7, we made our way past the Grand Floridian, where my family was staying. We gave a quick wave to Mary Poppins as we ran by but my favorite peeps were nowhere in sight! Because I was running a bit faster than I had planned, my sleepyheads missed me!
On our way back to Epcot, we ran into a live toy soldier urging us to push through and finish strong. It was daylight now and I could see Spaceship Earth! After a quick potty stop, I snapped a photo with Sophia and headed to the finish! There was tons of crowd support in Epcot and the atmosphere was festive!
After crossing the finish line, I was presented with my amazing princess crown medal and my head was sprinkled with pixie dust! Snack boxes, bottled water, powerade and thermal blankets were readily on hand for finishers. I had my official finisher photo taken and then met up with Lisa and her family. Lisa’s boys were waiting with flowers in hand and ear to ear grins. How sweet!
I probably should have expected nothing less than spectacular from Disney but this event was off the hook! runDisney hosted a wonderful race with all the bells and whistles and MORE. My first Disney race was an experience that I will never forget!
If you are looking for a fun, new race adventure, check out runDisney’s future events and mark your calendar for registration day. Bring the family along and enjoy the parks after the race. For me, this was a vacation out of the storybooks!
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