Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Disney World Half Marathon - Recap

So, the thing with runDisney, is you get an impeccably organized race, well supported by tons of friendly voluntears, and Disney magic throughout the course.

The price for all that fun is a 3am wake up call.

It was pretty warm - I think 60* when we headed out for the bus (runDisney provides transportation during marathon weekend to and from the start/finish area) at 3:30ish.

The buses deliver you to the staging area, where there is entertainment, food/drinks for purchase, and bag check. The actual start area is about a mile away, and you're herded there on a dark back road with 25,000 of your new close friends.

The race started right on time, with the wheelchairs at 5am, and then a new corral every 7 minutes.

Our plan was to run easy, walk the aid stations, and stop for all the pictures.

And we pretty much did exactly that. The first 4 miles are pretty uneventful - a lot of it very crowded {I mean, I really get that people are out there just having fun a lot of the time - and obviously we were too, we were not trying to PR - but it is kind of annoying that basic runner etiquette was just tossed out the window all weekend. If you're walking, stay to the right. And don't stop in the middle of the course to stretch or fix your hair}.

We hit our first picture stop pretty early on - Captain Jack!

This was probably our longest wait of the day - probably 15 minutes?

Just after mile 5, you head into Magic Kingdom, up Main Street USA, through Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, through the castle, and out through Frontierland.

After exiting MK, You circle down a back road out towards Grand Floridian, and then back to EPCOT the same way you came in.

It's the same course as Princess, which I ran in 2011. After leaving the Magic Kingdom, from miles 7-10, there were only a few character spots - maybe 2 or 3? I thought there were more during Princess, but I guess not.

The only "hill" on the course is at mile 10, an overpass when you circle back onto EPCOT Center Drive. The Army Men stand at the top of the hill "motivating" you on.

At mile 12, you head into Epcot, an out and back through Future World, and then finishing back in the parking lot where the start staging area was.

The course is fine. It's flat and could be fast, if you are not surrounded by billions of people. Because we stopped for so many pictures, we ended up towards the very back of the pack, and it was hard to run - people were walking in large groups, and there was not a ton of space to maneuver. It just seemed very, very crowded.

We stopped for 17 pictures. SEVENTEEN. 
Our official time: 
5k pace: 15:25
10k pace: 20:19
15k pace: 18:16
End pace: 16:31

Yay negative splits? (My Garmin had us at 13.5ish miles, due to all of the excessive weaving around for pictures/around people, which had us JUST under 16 mm pace. HILARIOUS).

Aaaaand, all the pictures...

Running through Epcot makes me so happy!

The medal....
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The shirt is a long sleeve tech, in BRIGHT ASS YELLOW... This picture was taken in the evening, and does no justice to how BRIGHT this shirt is.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The sleeve has the icons of the two parks we ran through...
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Overall..... This was a fine race. There was a Clif station at mile 9, but when we made it through, they had packed everything up, and there was no fuel there. Not a big deal for me, since I normally train with GU, and had my own fuel with me, so I wasn't in any need. But kind of lame to run out like that.

The aid stations were great. There were spectators along a lot of the course, so that was fun.

That said, given my other choices, I probably wouldn't do the half marathon on its own. It was too crowded for me. Disneyland, Tink, and Princess were all less crowded, and 2/3 of those are local races for me. I'd obviously do the half as part of Goofy again (in 2015....), but on its own, eh. It was a TON of fun, and in all honesty, it was just a rough day for me with the Funk, and the Hot, so I'm sure that impacts my overall feelings for the race.


  1. 17. Totally forgot to include us on the other side of the castle. We have the best pics ever!

  2. Your pictures are so much fun!

  3. i did the half in 2007 and i agree with all things you said here... sucks to wake up so early, very crowded, i (stupidly) didnt know about all the character photo ops so i didnt even bring a camera, our shirts were SO yellow, and the race was just meh...
    next time, im going goofy. 2015 to be exact (i hope!)

  4. the army guy was one of my favorites! i do remember this race being much more crowded too-but, we got lucky and started up front so i somehow avoided most of the lines. you're so photogenic! congrats on part 1 :)


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