Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon Part 3: Race Recap/EPCOT

I crossed the start line and immediately there were spectators cheering for us. It was difficult not to sprint out right away, but I held back knowing that I would surely regret it later on – not to mention the humidity felt like it reached 100%! The first picture moment I encountered was the Princes. I paused my Garmin and stood in line, and when it was my turn for the picture, Flynn Ryder smoldered at me – it was great! I started to run again and un-paused my Garmin, and what happened? It restarted on me! I shrugged it off and just let it run, and did not bother to pause it again after that, nor did I even look at it again for the remainder of the race. Next, I took a picture with the Villains – there was Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, The Evil Queen, Lady Tremaine (evil stepmother) along with Anastasia and Drizella (evil stepsisters). They played their parts so well!

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Another couple of miles, and we entered Magic Kingdom. I knew the best part of the race was about to emerge. I made the turn down Main Street, and there it was, Cinderella’s Castle. It was early dawn when I arrived and the castle looked more magical than ever and I found myself getting choked up. I was actually running a half marathon in my favorite place in the world. It was a moment to remember! When I ran out the front of the castle, I heard my name being shouted and Robert was there at the very front of the spectator crowd, cheering for me! I was so excited since I had told him to enjoy the race retreat while I was running, and just try to get a few pictures of me crossing the finish line, but he decided to surprise me there instead! He is the most incredible husband ever!

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While in Magic Kingdom, I was able to get photos with Gaston, Tiana, Naveen, and Louis, as well as Cinderella and Prince Charming. Not too long after exiting the park, it was the half-way point, where Disney played the song chosen by the majority of the runners. This year’s song was “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys. Good song, but I voted for “Touch the Sky” from Brave!

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The miles really flew by; I was lost in the magic of running at Disney, and was able to get in my zone. Apparently there were markers at every mile during this race, but honestly, I missed the majority of them! Along the back roads, I was able to get photos with Mary Poppins, Burt and the chimney sweeps, guys in tuxes presenting each runner with a beautiful glass slipper, and Genie. Lots of pictures and lines, but I figured it would be alright since it was my first half marathon, and my time would be a PR no matter what! Eventually, I passed the point where they hand out the gels (Clif shots), and finally made it to the Biofreeze area. The back of my legs were starting to feel a little tight, so I put some Biofreeze on, and felt like new after a few minutes.

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Around mile 10 or so, I was heading towards the dreaded “hills” – they are highway overpasses – but still, a hill at mile 10 is rough! As I was about to go up the first of THREE, an Army Man from Toy Story was shouting at us military style – “Run soldiers run! Faster!!” – I absolutely loved it! I made it through the first hill, then the second, and finally the third. During the third hill, I decided to just put my camera in my fuel belt because I was not stopping anymore until I crossed the finish line.

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I got back into my zone, and the next thing I know I’m staring at Spaceship Earth in the near distance. At this moment, “Go the Distance” from Hercules came on my iPod, and it was all I needed to pick up my pace. When I entered EPCOT, the instrumental build-up to the final part of the song helped boost my spirits and pace even more! When the song was over, I pulled out my earphones, and soon after passed the choir singing joyous music. I made the final turn and saw the finish line; I sprinted and crossed it, with a final chip time of 2:40:47!

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I grabbed a box of snacks and a Powerade that the volunteers were handing out, and then received my medal. After going through the post-race picture line, I found Robert and promptly sat down and forced myself to eat. After a little recovery time, we boarded the bus back to the resort and were in EPCOT by lunch. It was a glorious day – we rode all the rides, got some pictures with Chip & Dale, and Aurora (I did not see her during the race), ate a huge pizza for lunch at Via Napoli (best post-race lunch ever), drank a couple beers in Germany, and closed the park down watching Illuminations! It was wonderful walking around wearing my medal, and when I would see others in theirs, we would give each other a congratulatory smile and nod. The cast members were also very enthusiastic about the medals, and always congratulated everyone!

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Overall, this was a wonderful weekend, and I hope that everyone who is able to experience the Princess Half Marathon has as much fun as I did!

QOTD: Have you done the Disney Princess Half Marathon? What was your favorite part?

9 comments

  1. LOVED reading your race recaps Lauren!! Thanks for sharing! 2014 is my year, I'm really excited!

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    1. Thanks Karen! You are going to have so much fun!!

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  2. I LOVE Touch the Sky, also helps that I love Brave. I listen to that song a lot when I'm running.

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    1. Brave is such an awesome movie, I love that it really shows the strength of the female spirit! 'Touch the Sky' Would have been a perfect song for a women's focused race like this :)

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  3. Princess is on my to-run list! I loved reading your recap. :)

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    1. That is awesome, you will have so much fun!

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  4. Lauren, you made great time for your first half AND for getting all those pictures! I am hoping I can do as well as you at the princess half in 2014. I am enjoying following along with your blog. Do you have a facebook page too?

    ~Meranda

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    1. Thanks Meranda! All those picture opportunities really had me motivated to run faster I guess haha :) Good luck for 2014, I bet you will do great!

      I do not have a facebook page yet, but considering making one. Do y'all have one?

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    2. Yes we do! Please join us at facebook.com/fairytalesandfitness

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