Friday, January 21, 2011

WDW Half Marathon

Wow, what a great race! I had no idea what fun I would have running this. I admit I entered the race with some trepidation, not knowing what was going to happen, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Since I was running the marathon the next day, I knew I needed to take it easy on this race, but it was difficult to do because of the crowding in some areas. I kept getting ran into so I ended up going faster than I had planned. Still, I felt great at the finish, not sore or tired. I had wanted to run this at about 3 hrs, but finished in 2:46:48.

I arrived in Orlando on Thursday evening and didn't make it to the expo until Friday morning. I got there when it first opened, and the lines were long, but moving quickly. I was able to get in and out of there, with a bit of shopping, in less than an hour. Disney does a good job of organizing.

The night before the race, I went to bed at 7:30, knowing I had to get up at 1:30 to catch the shuttle to the start line before 3:00. Unfortunately, I only slept for 2 hours and then woke up and couldn't go back to sleep until about midnight. I was still on Pacific time. The race info said you needed to be in your corral at 5 or you wouldn't be able to race. I found out that really wasn't true at all, but who knew? I was the first one on the shuttle and made it to the start at just a little after 3:15 AM. I had purchased the race retreat package and was SO glad I did since it was pretty cold. The tent was climate controlled, there were chairs, tables and a padded area for stretching, food, and a private bag check. We had a brunch after. I will definitely purchase this again.

I had met up with a couple of ladies from my hotel so we headed over to the start line at 4:30 since we were told it would take 20 minutes to get there. It was VERY crowded and DID take about that long to get to the start. I was one of the first ones in my corral (D) so I ended up starting the race at the rope.

I started out at a 2 min run/2 min walk and did that for the majority of the race. The race is said to be flat, but there are a lot of on-ramps which are uphill and have an extreme camber on them. I walked those and ran the decline portions. It was SO much fun running through Magic Kingdom and through the castle. I usually run alone or I'm at the end of race (I'm slow), and didn't realize how motivated I stayed, just because of the support of other runners and spectators. The cast members in Disney were also there to cheer us on. It was fantastic.

I managed to finish this race running strong, got to high five Mickey at the end, and left feeling great and ready for the race the next day. I DID spend the remainder of the day in the hotel and didn't give in and go to one of the parks.

I'll say it again, it was a fantastic race! I'm doing it again next year.

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