For those of you who, like me before I signed up for a Disney race, don’t know, race weekends at Disney World aren’t just one race. No, no, no — why would they do that? They’d lose out on so much potential revenue. I actually listened to a podcast before I came (I know, I know), and it talked about how runDisney was started in an attempt to fill hotels on “dead weekends.” Judging by the amount of people I saw doing the race this weekend, I’d have to applaud Michael Eisner. I digress.
There are three races during the Princess weekend: a Friday morning 5K, a Saturday morning 10K, and the Half on Sunday. The Glass Slipper Challenge is for crazy people who do both the 10K and the Half; sadly there is no prize for doing the 5K + Half – 16.2 miles is a lot, runDisney. Get on that.
Back when we were signing up for the races, I signed up for the 5K as well as the half. I don’t remember the exact reasoning behind this decision, but I feel certain it had something to do with medals and the chance to make another awesome costume — not running 3 miles. I know I’ve talked about my costume choice at length (well, for a paragraph), but I couldn’t have been happier with my choice to be the Duke of Weselton.
I ordered the pants from Old Navy, the shirt from Amazon, and Liz and I crafted the medals/epaulettes on Thursday night while having a beer in the hotel room (#carbloading). Not only was it comfortable and warm, it was unique! I only saw one other Duke before the race, and I even got a shoutout from our favorite Frozen characters at the end of the race. Sudie (the other runner – Liz and Berk decided to sleep) dressed as Olaf in Summer, and even though she didn’t carry her own personal snow cloud like one committed man in a snowman onesie, she looked adorable! I may be biased.
One of the hallmarks of the Disney races is how GD early they start. I assume this is an attempt to clear the racers out so that parks can open on time, but it really means waking up at an ungodly hour. For the 5K, that was 3:30 AM. Woof. Sudie and I were up, costumed, and on the bus headed to Epcot by 4 AM.
Earlier in the week, we had gotten a notice from Disney that there would be “below average” temperatures the morning of the 5K, and I’m the first to admit that I scoffed. It had barely been above freezing in DC, so bring it on, Florida. Hubris. It was somewhere in the mid-twenties when we left the hotel, and it didn’t really warm up. Luckily, the lovely folks at runDisney had set up a tent at the start line, so we were able to hang out there until they started herding us to our corrals at 5:45.
The race started at 6:15, and Sudie and I were arbitrarily assigned Corral B, so we started at about 6:20 or so. I’ve never done a Disney race, so I will admit that I enjoyed the fanfare around the start of the race — the fireworks, the music, the entertaining MCs. By the time we started, I was ready to go, and I had lost my mustache (on purpose). Other than that, our costumes both remained intact.
We saw lots of Annas and Elsas on the course, but I think my favorite costumes were the “unique” ones. There was a woman who had a full-on reindeer stuffed animal on her back (hi Sven), a few people dressed as Ogden’s family in the sauna, and not as many trolls as I would have thought. Friday morning was also super cold, so I think some people may have bailed on planned costumes in an attempt to stay warm. Wusses. (I kid. Mostly)
Unlike the other Disney races, the 5K was untimed, and I was happy that Sudie was willing to slow down her speedier pace to run with me. We decided to take it slow, knowing that we had a half in two days and a lot of time on our feet in the parks. We also wanted to be able to take pictures. The course was also super crowded, so I think it would have been harder to run any finish much faster than we actually did (somewhere around 38 minutes, including photo breaks, bathroom breaks — me, and walking through the bottlenecks).
The first three-quarters of a mile or so are on a road leading to Epcot, then you come in under the Test Track and enter through the back of World Showcase. Cast members from all the different countries were out waving, and Let it Go was playing throughout the entire park in different languages. I think that’s the only song that we heard all race.
About a mile or so into the race, I felt my stupid right foot pop, and I think I started cursing outloud. I had so much ahead of me this weekend, and it decides to crap out now?! Luckily, I was able to slow down and walk when needed, so it felt okay by the end of the race. We weren’t out to set any landspeed records, and Sudie is a saint for dealing with my
The only character we stopped to get a picture with was Goofy, in Canada. We had both heard to take advantage of character photo ops during the 5K, but it didn’t seem like there were that many. The line for Minnie was 20 minutes, and I think she was the only one on the road section. Inside the park, we saw Goofy, we saw a line for Mickey but no actual Mickey, and maybe one other? Anna, Elsa, and Kristoph were there, but they were on stage, probably to prevent the line to end all lines for photos with them.
The race ends by running towards Spaceship Earth, and that’s where our Arendelle royalty was waiting for us. We (obviously) stopped to selfie, and I got shouted out by Anna and Elsa. One of the highlights of the trip, for sure. Once we rounded the corner to finish the race, Sudie and I grabbed our medals, snack boxes, and thermal blankets, and we jumped on a bus back to our hotel by 7:15.
Done and done, and in a hurry — our first FastPass was at 9:30 for one of my favorite rides: Space Mountain.