Let me start my race recaps from this weekend with admitting that I did not train like I should have for this race. There were many factors that contributed to this lack of preparedness, but I am here anyway and I WILL finish all three races!
My alarm went off at 3:45am, which is the latest I’ll be waking up this weekend! Staying at Pop Century, relatively close to the bus stop, it only took about 5 minutes to walk to the race bus. There weren’t a lot of runners in line at the time, so I was able to hop on. The staging area was full of runners, some in costumes, some not – with a large stage and DJ. To each side of the stage were backdrops for character pictures, the lines were long, at the time I was there the characters were Snow White and Belle in her reading dress. I went directly to my corral and relaxed until the race started, with RunDisney races it’s likely you’ll be sitting in your corral for at least an hour prior to the start. The race started on time at 6:00AM, each corral was broken up into 4-5 starts, to space out the runners, this was the first time that I have participated in a race where they started this way.
The race started in the Epcot parking out and ran out to the service road to the lot, took a right and headed down a backroad beside the parking lot. There were lights flooding the road, most of the road was 2-lane so there was some breathing room. Disney music was playing throughout the course, and prior to mile one was the first character stop! Meeko, the raccoon from Pocahontas, was the first character stop with a small line. Shortly after the character stop, runners turned right and entered a backstage area of Epcot that was directly under Test Track.
Mile 2: Continuing past Test Track, runners entered the World Showcase in Mexico. It was dark so all the lights on the countries buildings were lit up. There were photos photographers stationed, what seemed to be every half mile. Disney offers your race photos on your Disney Experience account, so that you can buy the pictures you’d like or purchase Memory Maker and be able to download them all. I spent most of the remaining miles walking quickly at this point, I was not going to exert myself on the “fun run.” The 5K course is pretty amazing, since the majority of it is around the World Showcase. The next character stop was in Morocco, it was Abu – the Monkey from Aladdin. Abu was followed by the mice from Cinderella who were stationed in France. Runners passed over the bridge by France and ran out the International Gateway, which leads to the Boardwalk area. From that Gateway, runners turned right before entering the Boardwalk area, hit the mile 2 marker and entered a backstage area.
Mile 3: This backstage area was short, as we quickly re-entered the World Showcase in England. From England the course covered the remainder of the World Showcase and continued in Future World, where the course took a left in front of the Starbucks and made a loop in front of the Nemo area. Runners ran back into Future world and under Starship Earth (The Epcot ball), back through another short “backstage” area and into the parking lot. Mile 3 was just around the curve to the finish chute – I will always run across the finish line, no matter how much I hurt to how much I’ve walked. I finished, grabbed my finisher medal and some water and headed back to the bus.
The Disney 5Ks are not timed, they are a family friendly fun run which I encourage everyone to do at least once! The course support is amazing, there were 2 water stops on the 5K and as many water/powerade bottles you can carry after crossing the finish line. You also get the runner’s box of little treats and a banana after finishing. There are volunteers everywhere, and port-o-potties galore (of course, if you’re running in the park the air conditioned restrooms are open for use.) The 5K today was fun, relaxed and hopefully my pace will improved for the next two races that “count” toward my challenge!
3.1 miles down – 19.3 miles to go!!