The Dopey Challenge Race Recap fun is back! Check out Part 3: The Walt Disney World Half Marathon and join the Wild Workout Wednesday link up.
Welcome to another great Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up where Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, linking up and grab the button to proudly display on your blog/in your posts!
Welcome back to the Dopey Challenge Race Recap series! Last we spoke on this topic, Angela and I were hitting the hay after running a fun 10K and exploring Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Need to catch up? Read all about the 5K here and 10K here.
I’m pretty sure I passed out on Friday night at the hoppin’ hour of 9pm, and I slept like a rock. Thank goodness!
I popped up to my 3:15 alarm, donned my Piglet outfit, whipped up some oatmeal with banana slices and almond butter (my go-to breakfast for long races) and headed out the door with Angela to meet the bus. Once again, we were able to pop right onto the bus – no wait, no worries.
- Bonus Tip: I highly recommend staying at a Disney Resort if you are doing a Disney race. They offer free buses to each race, which just makes planning and getting going so early in the morning that much easier. You won’t have to deal with cabs or parking. Though the hotels may be a bit more expensive, it’s worth it to not have to think about transportation to and from the race each day. Plus, the buses run VERY frequently, so you’ll never have to wait very long.
When we got off the bus, we realized there was quite a big line for security. I suppose there were a lot more people there for the half than there had been on previous days. Fortunately, we still had over an hour before the start of the race, so I wasn’t concerned. In fact, I actually welcomed the line. Standing in a crowd meant we were surrounded by body heat (Angela calls this penguin-ing), which was great considering I was in shorts and tank top.
When we were finally through security, I headed right to bag check. This was my first day actually checking my bag and it was a piece of cake.
It took us another 10 minutes or so to go through the porta-potty line and then we just sat down a bit before making the trek to the corrals.
- Bonus Tip: The corrals for the Walt Disney World half and full marathons are a good 15 minute walk from race day central, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there.
We peed again at the porta-potties right by the corrals and then got ready for the start of the race. Of course, we took the obligatory pre-race picture. Hello, from Piglet and Eeyore!
Soon enough, we were on our way! The weather was warm and hazy, but no rain! I was happy we wouldn’t have to puddle hop in the dark again.
Like the two days prior, we started off at a nice easy pace. It was so much more important to both of us to have fun, take in everything that Disney races have to offer (like a million character pictures) and finish feeling strong enough to tackle a marathon the next day than to try to PR.
After totally wrecking the first 2 miles of the race, we stopped for our first character stop – Wreck It Ralph!
We had a few more miles of highway and behind-the-parks running before entering Magic Kingdom. We were so giddy and excited to see the castle lit up. Is this not the most beautiful thing?
We really took our time here to get picture of the castle, pictures of us with the castle, selfies with the castle – we were all about that castle.
Then we were off through Tomorrow Land and into Fantasy Land before stopping for a quick bathroom break, and then we were making our way around the back of the castle.
- Bonus Tip: The bathrooms in the parks are open during the races! If you really need to make a pit stop, these are your cleanest option.
We witnessed a beautiful proposal (yey for runners loving runners!) and, of course, we stopped for more pictures! I figure if I take enough pictures outside of the castle, they’ll eventually just let me move in, right?
On our way out of the Magic Kingdom we spied a huge crew of Peter Pan characters. If only they’d been around when I was Tinkerbell! Oh well, Piglet and Eeyore could totally rock it in Neverland.
Upon leaving Magic Kingdom, we were greeted by a stretch of highway. This part is boring for a lot of runners, but Angela and I were having a blast. We rocked out to the DJ, sang when we passed every mile marker (there’s music at each one!) and stopped for a picture with Donald Duck! We got lucky again because as we were waiting in line, Goofy came out to join Donald.
At mile 7, Angela and I decided to switch to a run walk (8 minute run, 2 minute walk). We were feeling strong both mentally and physically, but with 32.3 miles still to go in the weekend, we figured anything we can do to save our legs a bit would be a good idea. We still wanted to walk around the parks in the afternoon, after all.
Toward the end of our highway tour, we stopped for a picture with Sebastian. This would have been perfect for our Ariel & Sebastian costumes, but oh well!
Then we were in Epcot for the final miles. But first, Genie!
Then it was time to gun it to the finish line, and just like that, we had another medal to add to our collection. As you can tell my our time, we took it nice and slow (for reference, my half marathon PR is 1:53:49) and just made it about having fun!
22.4 miles down. 26.2 to go!
Angela and I headed back to the hotel, stretched and rolled, showered, got breakfast, put our feet in the hot tub and headed out to Universal Studios.
When we got there, we realized immediately that we weren’t in Disney anymore. I mean, I know we were actually in Disney anymore, but the whole vibe was just so different there. I actually wrote out a huge long review about our whole experience at Universal, but then I realized this race recap is already really long. What I had written was also more or less one long rant, and I don’t want to end this post on a negative note. Let’s just say that Universal is not nearly as organized or magical as Disney. We had a good time on the rides we went on and Harry Potter World was awesome (and I have to give a shout out to the amazing Alan Rickman – RIP, Professor Snape, RIP), but there a lot of things about Universal Studios that I would change if give the chance. We did, however, enjoy our Butter Beers :).
After being underwhelmed by the park, our feet were beyond exhausted, and we were ready to get back to Disney territory. I actually starting worrying that we had pushed our feet too far with all the park walking after the half, but, as you’ll find out tomorrow, that proved not to be a problem.
We took a cab to Disney Springs and were able to get into our dinner reservation at The Dining Room at Wolf Gang Puck Grand Cafe an hour early (hello, early bird special). We were relieved to sit and eat! The restaurant was very accommodating to all my food allergies thanks to my handy dandy allergy cards.
After dinner, we had to brave a downpour to get to the bus back to the hotel, but soon enough we were in our room, in dry clothes, and in bed by 8pm, ready and eager for the last 26.2!
Come on back tomorrow for the last part of the recap, the marathon, and don’t forget to join the awesome Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up below! Full link up rules here.
Which character spotting do you like best from half marathon day?
Universal or Disney – and go!