It was a cold, blistering morning at Disney World. We awoke in our rooms just after 4 am to make it to the shuttle and then to the starting area for the 6:15 start. We arrived in the staging area and met up with a few friends as everyone huddled together for warmth. The DJ was playing music and there was some dancing going on, but almost every runner was trying to block the wind from reaching them before being herded into the starting corrals. I was in Corral A so I ran out with the first set of fireworks, but not before stopping for a quick picture with Bart Yasso!
runDisney 5ks are still labeled as a “Family Fun Run”, although very few families are still running this particular event as it has been overtaken with Dopey Challenge Runners, but none the less the event is untimed. However, you wouldn’t know it from the way some of the runners took off out of the starting chute. This was the first time I’ve run holding my phone since getting the iPhone 6 Plus, and quickly realized that I was not going to be able to do that the rest of the week. The course wrapped around the Epcot parking lot and along one of the Disney roads to the backside of Epcot before coming in to the World Showcase area and running back towards Spaceship Earth and out into the finish area.
This was my first runDisney 5k experience, and I was pleasantly surprised with the number of character photo opportunities along the way. Especially after realizing that each character was n,y available during the 5k. No other race featured Flik, Pinnochio, Canadian Donald, Marie, Japanese Chip & Dale, or Gypsy Daisy. I love character photos and of course had to stop for them all.
I finished the run and picked my Pluto themed Finisher Medallion and headed back towards the staging area. One of the biggest complaints I saw from people last year running the Dopey Challenge was that Dopey was only along the course for the 5k, so several runners ever got a picture with him. It seems runDisney saw this complaint too because Dopey was out in front of a backdrop for pictures after all 4 races in the staging area! Along with various other runDisney themed characters.
After a few pictures it was back to the shuttle to the Coronado Springs Resort for a shower before heading out for another day in the parks with friends.