Sunday morning of the runDisney Princess Half Weekend came early, as usual. I was up and out of the hotel by 3 a.m. & after a quick drive to Epcot made my way to the staging area. There were a few princesses out taking prerace pictures and I made sure to find a few of my favorite Princesses around the area before heading on the long walk to the starting corrals. I wanted to get there early to make sure I could get through the course as quickly as I could and make it back to the hotel to head to the Daytona 500.
The Princess Half Course followed along the exact same path as the WDW Half in January. I had to start in Corral B (B for Boy) so I was already behind schedule by a couple minutes right from the start. I plowed through the early miles along the highway as quickly as I could. It was obvious that my legs were sore from sprinting through the 10k the day before. I had to work hard to resist the urge to stop for pictures along the way. There were some great opportunities though. We ran down World Dr., turned just before reaching Space Mountain & crossed into Magic Kingdom. This is where the Disney magic really hit me & I lost the ability to pass up pictures where there wasn’t a line already forming (I can never seem to get past my favorite group of toys without stopping).
We exited the Magic Kingdom and hit the next stretch of roadway travelling down Floridian Way. We passed by the backside of the Grand Floridian, waved to Mary Poppins (Usually one of my favorite stops) and then I saw these Glass Slipper dealing guys on the right side of the road. I was told in January that no matter how busy my morning was going I had to stop for a picture with these guys. So I gave in to temptation (Who’s really surprised by this?)
There was a great photo opportunity in front of the golf course sign. It was Tourist Genie! Complete with Hawaiin shirt and Goofy hat! This was one of my favorite stops during the January races (it is where Golf Mickey and Goofy were setup). Again… I couldn’t resist.
There is an interesting spot in the half course. It is right around the 15k (Mile 9) spot, where you are running South towards Epcot along World Dr. and there are a lot of runners heading North towards the Magic Kingdom (they are still around the Mile 3-4 marker). One of the incredible things about any race and especially the runDisney events is the sense of community. Would you believe that out of the 20,235 runners on the roads around WDW that I would hear my name shouted out across the median as a friend was running toward the Magic Kindom? I was in shock almost that 1) we happen to be passing through at the same time & 2) she looked across the street and noticed me. We both ran into the grass for a quick picture and then I was back on the road heading toward the finish. After the race I saw her picture posted on Instagram, apparently I was a little more eager to get to the end than I thought!
After a few more miles (and 3 big overpasses) I was across the finish line, grabbing medals and running back to the car. I never stopped moving from the finish chute until I was inside the car getting back to the hotel as quick as I could to catch my ride to Daytona for our band’s performance, which I’d like to make known that I arrived at with plenty of time to spare. And by plenty, I mean barely.
The kids played great on pit road, and we able to enjoy hanging around the infield for a few minutes before the start of the Great American Race. A stressful day, but a successful adventure tackling both a half marathon and a time sensitive trip to the biggest NASCAR event of the year. Being rushed and not stopping to wait in line for pictures along the way pushed me up to a 20 minute runDisney Half PR! I finished just 5 minutes away from my overall PR that I set at the 2014 Tuscaloosa Half.
After the race we took the kids to dinner at the Hard Rock by Universal Studios and then to do a little shopping in Downtown Disney. We arrived soon after the Princess Half Cool down Party happened, but the backdrops were still up so I snagged a picture to commemorate the day. The very, very long day.
Finish – 1:39:50
Overall – 82 / 20,182
Male – 26 / 1723