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.


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?


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

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

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

    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 :)

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

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

  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?


    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?

    2. Yes we do! Please join us at