When I went to bed on Friday night, my throat was a little bit scratchy. I was hoping it was just because I was running around all day and talking to lots of people. Unfortunately, when I woke up at 2:30 to get ready for the race, my throat was feeling worse and I was feeling stuffed up. I dragged myself out of bed by 2:45 and Mel and I got ready. I ended up with a room with two double beds so Mel came over so that she didn’t need to drive over in the morning. It was nice to have her there to get to the start in the morning.
We headed down to the buses at 3:15 and one was there waiting for us. The staff at the Swan also had water bottles and towels set out for us to take to the start. It was a nice touch that I wasn’t used to having. I only had one bottle with my Nuun in it so I grabbed a bottle of water and a towel to sit on. The bus left quickly and stopped at the Dolphin before heading over to holding area.
I was really impressed with the way that Disney set up the bag check and holding area. It was a big change from past races, but they had several security cast members with a huge space (about half the distance of the parking rows) before you actually get to the holding area. I did notice after the race that the finish line had a large buffer area too and the only way to get to it was through the back check area.
We headed into the holding area and I saw my friends Shalon and Doug. Doug was doing his first half marathon! We waited for Mel’s friend before heading to the corrals. There were tons of porta-potties and we went to the ones behind the last corral before we went to find corral K. I really love the set up of the corrals that Disney implemented this year. Even though I was in K, there were still several corrals after me, all the way up to P. And with much fewer people in the corrals, we were able to weave our way to the front of the corral easily.
At the start, the first several corrals started only a few minutes apart. Maybe 2-3 minutes each. As we neared the start, we saw several more porta-potties and decided to hop out of the corrals and use them one more time. We had plenty of time and we were even able hop back into the corrals. We actually waited for our corral to move up to us! The volunteers leading the corral thought it was crazy, but that is what we did!
When we got to the start line I was so close to it that I was able to snap an awesome picture before it was time for us to start. We crossed the start line around 6:10 and I quickly realized that we were a little bit further up Epcot Center Drive than the normal starting point. I was curious where they would make up the extra mileage. Aside from that change, the course was still the same.
With the humidity, I was already dripping wet by the time we got to mile 2. The first two miles I was afraid that we were going to fast, but I was feeling good. After we went through the Magic Kingdom toll booth though, things started to go downhill for me. The stuffy nose was starting to get to me and drip into my throat. (TMI, I know. Sorry!) We kept pushing though and made it to the Transportation and Ticket Center where I saw the awesome support team from Give Kids the World.
Mile 1: 13:11
Mile 2: 13:34
Mile 3: 13:55
Mile 4: 13:44
Mile 5: 13:47
When we made it to mile 5 and turned to enter the Magic Kingdom, I turned to Mel and told her that I was really starting to feel like crap. My sinuses were bothering me and my stomach wasn’t feeling too good either. I was also pretty hot and sweaty. We decided to skip a run interval and the timing sort of worked out for us. We were able to turn the corner and run down Main Street despite the fact that people were walking 5-6 people wide. I find that funny since that was something specifically addressed in the race instructions. I guess I’m a stickler for rules!
For the first time in a long time, the run through the castle was not completely backed up. It was so nice to keep moving through it. I was a bit sad that there were no trumpeters standing at the castle. It could be the weather, but I also heard that they weren’t there for the full marathon either.
Mile 6: 14:57
Mile 7: 14:19
Mile 8: 14:51
After leaving Magic Kingdom, I know I started complaining that I wanted a pretzel. My stomach was just off. I had my Jelly Belly Sport Beans with me (there was only about 5 left in the bag) and my Clif Shot Blocks too. They were helping to keep my energy up, but something wasn’t feeling right in my stomach that I thought only having pretzels would fix.
For the next 4 miles, Mel kept us going. We swapped our intervals from 1:15 run/ 1 walk to 1 run/1:15 walk. That kept me moving at least. I was just thankful when we were able to move.
Mile 9: 14:51
Mile 10: 15:45
Mile 11: 14:30
When we got to the on ramp at mile 10, I told Mel that I wanted to start singing the Terrance and Phillip song. She definitely agreed with me. We hate those three hills. We did manage to get up it, but we walked mostly. I think we can really conquer it next time. We did take a nice long run down the ramp and we managed to make it through the next two ramps without collapsing.
Mile 12: 15:40
Mile 13: 14:35
Just before we entered Epcot, I saw some of my Disboards WISH friends. And they had pretzels!!!! I grabbed one and said hi to my friend Cam then went backstage. Since it was a bit wet out, the pavement inside Epcot was a little bit slick so we ran cautiously.
As soon as we got to the gospel choir at mile 13, I was so relieved. We started to run once we hit the pavement. We stayed to the left and we saw Mel’s family and just before the finish line I saw Rob cheering for me up the the stands. 🙂 I also got a high five from Minnie. Not a bad way to finish the race!
After icing and getting my gear, I found Rob. He officially wins the title of Best Boyfriend Ever! Yum Yum Cupcakes had their truck in the finish line area and he got me a Peanut Butter Choco-Rama and Chocolate Salted Caramel. I’m sure everyone agrees that he deserves that reward after that treat!
I have never been happier to finish a race. It didn’t go as I expected, but miraculously, I managed to finish in a time only 10 seconds slower than my Space Coast Half Marathon time. I have to say that right now I have really high hopes for the Princess Half Marathon in February. I can’t wait to see what we can do for that!
If you ran one of the Walt Disney World races this weekend and you have a race report to share, post a link in the comments below!