Today we are covering an interesting topic.
What do you find on the side of the road when you run?
Ever take pictures or pick something up? I know, eww, but maybe you found money or a wallet or something else of value?
Princess Half Marathon Race Recap
I really couldn’t come up with anything specifically weird or unusual to cover the topic, so I’m going to catch up on a much too late race recap.
The 2016 Princess Half Marathon happened in February (yeah, I know- I said it was late!) and I ran this one as a Miracle Maker charity runner.
I ran in memory of my son, Jacob.
It was the first time I was running with a charity, and it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that it was a more meaningful experience due to that fact.
Leading up to this race I wasn’t feeling my best. I had the flu for a week about a week before I traveled, and I hadn’t completely recovered by race day. But I knew I was going to get out there and cover those miles as a thank you to the donors, and because frankly, I COULD.
Going in I knew this would be even slower and more painful than normal for me. And it was.
But I had Diane and Julie, two of my best runner friends, by my side, so I knew we’d at least have some laughs.
We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the races buses were not running well for us. The line was long, princesses were less than princessy, and we were sweating getting out to the corrals on time.
Eventually, we got on a bus and got where we needed to be, but it was the first time at a Disney race I’d experience this issue.
We walked out to the corrals, had a short wait, and saw all the early corrals go off.
It felt like they were sending us out faster than normal, which I always appreciate!
The temps were pretty perfect as far as I was concerned. It was 55 degrees with 100% humidity. I won’t even complain about the humidity since it was nice and cool. Thankfully it was also overcast, and that made a big difference in how this race felt for me.
The course is a semi out and back course. We start in the Epcot area and head toward the Magic Kingdom, run through the park there, and back toward Epcot for the finish.
Since this was the 6th time I’ve covered this course, I know what to expect. There’s comfort in that for me, and since I wasn’t feeling my best I set the pace.
We stuck to 15-second run, 45-second walk pace for the first 7 miles, averaging 15:30-minute miles. I felt fine as long as I kept moving.
But you know, PICTURES.
I had a lot of waaaahhhhs going on this morning, so you know, we had to stop for this one.
When I tried to stop and take pics, it was hard to pick back up where I was. So I had to stop stopping.
But not until we hit the castle, of course!
We all perked up through Main Street, I mean, how can you not?
It’s the most energetic street in the USA on race day morning!
And we smiled even bigger when we saw the Princess Men ahead of us. BINGO!
We followed them to the castle picture stop where we took a quick selfie.
These guys are a lot of fun on the course, and say they will keep coming back as long as the rest of us enjoy them out there!
So after this, we hit the bathrooms and then left the Magic Kingdom.
And I hit my wall. I was pretty much done. By mile 7 I had to walk if I wanted to finish the race.
The flu left me just exhausted all weekend long. I spent most of the time in my room napping, which if you know me, is NOT the way I do Disney! So I was happy that I made it to mile 7 running.
We had one other must-stop picture: Mr. Richard. If he was out when we passed the Grand Floridian, we were stopping for a picture with him.
No surprise, he had a small line! Ha! Excellent character placement, Disney. Since, you know, there wasn’t much else on the course this year (more on that in a minute).
After this, the course turns right into the sun, and the sun finally came out.
We had a small breeze, and we were walking, so it never got too hot out there. Thankfully!
My highlight? My friends showing up at Celebrity Corner, aka mile 12.
These girls and their signs- laughs for days!
And, yeah, that’s Faith wearing her medals. She’d been done for HOURS by the time we got to her! Being fast has some perks, right? You can circle back around and cheer your friends as the pass!
In Epcot, we hooked up with our friend, Jamie, and she finished with us.
So what was good about this race?
The same things that are always good: my friends, the medals, the post-race feeling of badassery of finishing 13.1 miles. And of course, completing the miles in the name of my son and all the kids who are treated at CMN hospitals. And the weather was pretty spot on perfect in my opinion!
What was not good about this race?
I didn’t feel 100%, and as the miles went on, I felt worse. I was ready to get on that bus and head back to rest ASAP.
Speaking of the buses, man, they were a bit of a mess that weekend. My driver back got turned around, and we had to give directions to him to get back to AKL.
The course entertainment was WEAK. No Pirates? Whaaaaa? They have ALWAYS been at the Princess, and they were missing this year.
I don’t remember seeing the Heroes, either, but I wasn’t looking to stop at that point either.
Asking others, they felt the same way. C’mon, runDisney. The Princesses are some of your most loyal runners- they deserve better!
Back in 2013, we had princess picture-palooza; it’s gone downhill ever since. #ThanksShanghai
I’m signing up for something again this year; I’m just not sure what race I’m going to do yet. I may just skip the half since the characters are not what they once were.
But that means missing out on some pretty great medals, soooo…
Will you be running the runDisney Princess Half Marathon this year? We have bibs ready to sell NOW if you need one! Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)