We arrived at the Polynesian on Thursday and headed straight for the expo. There was nobody at packet pick-up and we walked right up and got everything we needed.
I love the maps on the back of the I Did It shirts
We checked out some of the vendors and I picked up my Sparkle Athletic Minnie Mouse skirt that I was going to wear for the marathon. I spotted Bart Yasso at the Runner's World booth and stopped to say Hi and take a picture. Such a cool guy!
We stopped for the obligatory picture with the sign of the race you are running and headed back to the Poly.
Saturday morning rolled around and we had our 3:30 am wake up call. Since we were using the monorail as transportation we felt like we could sleep in a little. We learned last year after getting on the monorail at 3:30 that we could have gotten to the race much later haha. We left the room around 4:10 and decided to ride the monorail around the loop instead of walking to the TTC because it was cold out! I was planning on wearing my blue #teamsparkle skirt with my striped shirt and dress as Mr. Smee, but I had to add capris and long sleeves to the outfit so I didn't exactly look like him. It was comfortable and kept me warm.
We got to Epcot and stop to use the bathroom then started the cattle crawl to get to the corrals. The National Anthem started playing as we got to the corral entrance. I dropped back to corral M so that I could run the half with Em. The wind was bitter cold and I couldn't stop shivering. I just wanted to run! I knew as soon as we started I would warm up, but waiting took forever. So after 45-50 minutes it was finally time for us to start! Our plan was to take it easy during the half and save our legs for the full the next day.
We ran the first mile straight in hopes that the crowds would thin out a little bit. The crowds didn't really thin the entire race which made for a lot of weaving and running in the grass to get around people. We ran the rest of the race using 4:1 run-walk intervals.
The first "entertainment" we came upon were the stilts guys from one of the Magic Kingdom parades. They were cheering and "Pumpin' Up the Party" was playing (I find that song so catchy haha!). They were also on the course again towards the end.
My favorite part of the half marathon is miles 4-7. You go under the Magic Kingdom sign and then through the transportation and ticket center. The energy level of the spectators there was incredible! Definitely a highlight from the races on both Saturday and Sunday. People had some hilarious signs at the TTC that also kept me chuckling. I gave out lots of high fives here.
Then we then came up on the tunnel that takes you past the Contemporary. The DJ on top of the bridge is pretty awesome and keeps your energy level up. Then before I knew it we entered a backstage area and were headed towards Main Street USA! I couldn't believe everything was still decorated for Christmas!
I love making the right hand turn and looking down at all of the incredible spectators cheering on Main Street. Running towards the castle is the cherry on top. We stopped for a picture with the castle and Em saw a group of girls taking a picture with the castle and said, "Isn't that Liz?!" I was so excited to find one of my high school friends in the middle of Magic Kingdom. She was running her first half and doing an awesome job! We saw her several others times throughout the race too. Side note: She is now hooked on distance running and runDisney (it just happens!).
We ran through Tommorrowland and Fantasyland. There were quite a few characters out. I snapped a picture of some random people with the Mime from Tangled.
I really enjoyed the music that they were blasting between miles 11-12 prior to entering Epcot. They had a large screen with cartoons on it that kind of went with the music.
Right before entering Epcot there was a DJ blasting “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston and that gave me a huge burst of energy and I was ready to finish strong! We dashed through Epcot in what seemed like a few seconds, passed the Gospel Choir and there it was – the finish line! We finished in 2:59:32 and were feeling great! One third of the Goofy Challenge was now complete. After lots of stretching we headed back to the Poly to relax for the rest of the day.
Cameron ran his own race during the half and was sweaty and cold at the end of the race so he went back to the Poly when he was done. He ran a 1:51:08, less than 2 minutes from his half PR! He was crazy and definitely feeling it the next day.
I love this half marathon! I think it is near and dear to me because I ran this course as my very first half marathon last year.
Check back for my Marathon recap in the next few days!
That's all for now!