I’m back from my whirlwind long weekend in Florida, where I ran the Walt Disney World 10K and Half Marathon and had lots of fun playing in the theme parks and eating all the delicious allergy free treats in sight! You can read about my adventures the first time around last year fueling up, running the half marathon, and enjoying the experience. Today’s post is my Walt Disney World 10K race recap, and an overview of the rest of the first two days. Check back for my recap of this year’s half marathon tomorrow!
I flew in on a 7am flight Thursday morning, arriving just before 10am with time to head to the Expo at the Wide World of Sports to pick up my race bibs and shirts before lunch. The Expo was pretty much the same as last year, so I didn’t dawdle there long. Just long enough to pick up a cute new running tank in addition to the race shirts, which are always good quality.
Afterwards, we headed to Hollywood Studios for some family favorites – the Great Movie Ride and the Muppets movie – and then to the Magic Kingdom for the remainder of the evening. After dinner and a few rides, it was time for one of my favorite parts of Disney, the Main Street Electrical Parade and the Wishes fireworks. I just love fireworks, and Disney does them really well, on both coasts. I enjoyed the new colorful projections on the castle like in the California version.
My bedtime after the fireworks was just before 10pm, meaning I got about five hours of sleep beforehand the 3:30am wake-up call on Friday morning. We had to be on a bus from our hotel, the Boardwalk Inn, by 4am, and then waited in the staging area for over an hour before the 5:30am race start. I enjoy the Disney races, but I think the early start and excessively long waiting around before the races could be tinkered with! In any event, it was about 60 degrees, but raining, so I was glad when it was time for Corral B to begin.
I kept a steady pace for the entire 10K, running alongside my dad, and ended up treating the whole thing like any other race in inclement weather. The the first half of the course is in the Epcot parking lot. While the second half in Epcot and around the boardwalk is very scenic, the darkness throughout the race due to the early hour and the steady rain did leave a bit to be desired. Honestly, after getting back to the hotel, showering and eating a snack, heading off to the Magic Kingdom, and riding four roller coasters before brunch, I nearly forgot I’d even run a race that morning.
My dad and I hopped on the Seven Dwarves Mine Train twice before the line was more than 20 minutes, then rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and actually ended up on Splash Mountain in the rain on the theory that we were going to get wet anyway. We dried off in the Main Street shops before brunch/early lunch at the Plaza Restaurant. I had the grilled chicken and Swiss cheese club sandwich on an allergy free bun, pretty good due to the chef’s secret of soaking it in olive oil and grilling it in a pan.
After a tour through Fantasyland and a whirl on Space Mountain, we headed back to the hotel for a break before dinner. My mom and I took a nice little stroll around the boardwalk to stretch our legs for the following morning. I really like the theming of this area, so quaint and beachy like my native New England. My family has stayed in the area on our past Disney trips, and it’s a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the parks. We ate at Trattoria Al Forno, right next to the awesome Seashore Sweets shop, and enjoyed the sunset on the water, the perfect end to a long day that we knew would lead to another early start for the half marathon on Saturday morning.
Have you ever run a Disney race?
Earliest you’ve ever had to wake up for a race start?
Are you a fan of beaches and boardwalks?
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