Princess Half Marathon 2013
Happy Belated Birthday to me! What better way to celebrate my 30th birthday then to run 13.1 miles.
For once I did not go to a race expo, with the Princess race the expo was open on Friday and Saturday but I foolishly decided it was a good idea to schedule TJ’s first birthday party on Saturday from 12-2. Luckily I was running the Half with Kristen so she graciously picked up my packet for me on Friday. She also brought me home a surprise a RunDisney backpack that she was given when she signed us up for Wine and Dine!
Race morning my alarm went off at 2am playing “I Wonder” from Sleeping Beauty. I drank my coffee, pumped and got partially dressed. I planned to add my shirt and tutu when I got to Disney. I loaded up the car and got a good laugh when I realized my neighbor was coming home and I was leaving.About 5 minutes from my house I had to U-turn and run back because I had forgotten my wallet. After running in and grabbing it I was on my way to Kristen’s house. We piled in the car and her awesome Mom drove us to Disney. Without too much trouble we parked, finished getting dressed and headed towards the crowds. And then I heard someone yell my name from behind, one of the teachers I work with who was running her first half! I guess wearing something distinguishable is a good idea.
A quick pit stop at the porta potties and we joined the crowd and headed to our Corral. Quick tip Kristen taught me, always go to the corners for a porta potty, there is one line and more toilets. We joined Corral B (women only) and waited. Finally it was time for the send-offs, with our blessing from the Fairy Godmother we were off!
It was crowded as all Disney races are, but we discovered the Princesses around us were not the most cordial. There was very little excuse me and more pushing then I would have cared for. We skipped our first interval and fell into a groove after. Well until I saw the Princes and made Kristen wait in a 10 minute line. We caught a picture with Captain Li Shang while we waited in line.
It was funny because most girls were standing between Aladdin and Eric but I wanted to go between Flynn and John Smith and I had to practically push because John Smith wasn’t paying attention.
We hit the road again and for some reason that break made it harder to start back. Our intervals were actually all over the place thanks to stopping or walking the monster hill. We hit the Magic Kingdom and the energy around us was awesome. We paused at Cinderella’s Castle to snap a picture of Princess Minnie and Prince Mickey since the line was at least 15 minutes long.
I turned only to discover Shadow standing behind me! Shadow and I know each other from our days at Camp Hidden Falls. I failed to take a picture with her but then discovered Marathonfoto caught this gem she is behind us in the black and pink.
We ran through the castle and stopped for our photo only to be yelled at for stopping. After not getting a picture coming out of the castle at the marathon I wasn’t missing it again.
Our journey took us next to Tiana and Naveen where the line for pictures was short.
Then Kristen realized Dennis from RunDisney TV was across from us. We ran over to say Hi and for this to happen.
Kristen was RunDisney TV’s 1000th Twitter follower so Dennis had planned to interview her. While she interviewed I went to the stocks.
I hate the stretch when we leave Magic Kingdom it is so narrow and crowded, once again I ended up in the grass. Mile 6.5 was the halfway point and the song “This Girl is on Fire” was playing on repeat. I would have hated to be a volunteer near there.
We saw Kristen’s mom again at mile 7 and split right after this picture.
I was feeling good and Kristen was struggling with the heat. Once we split I decided to skip my intervals and walk the water stops. My plan was great, I never hit the wall and I was averaging a 10:30 pace. I walked the water stops, made sure to eat and stopped for pictures. My 15k split time was roughly 2:19 I finished in 3:07, so I did 4 miles in 48 minutes with a few more photo stops.
I was feeling great my only obstacle once again was all the people walking. I love running a race I have run before, because I got to the bridge just before mile 12 and knew that when I reached the top I would see that mile 12 sign. As people around me slowed I made sure to tell them #12 was over the hill.
I finished in 3:07 and I was disappointed to say the least, but I can’t run Disney for time. I grabbed some ice for my knee, headed out of the finish area and waited for my text alert that Kristen had finished.
Once again her Mom rocks she brought us Chocolate milk and drove us home where I was happy to see my boys!
A few things I would have loved to see differently. With 26,000 runners I know it is hard to make it so it is not crowded but Disney needs to find some wider roads or help keep the walkers to the side. Also leaving the Reunion area was a nightmare. People were waiting on the other side of the red carpet right as the runners exited making it so we couldn’t get out. That combined with the people entering made it so it took us at least 10 minutes.
Overall I love running the Princess Half but may take a break from it next year and try something different.