Our race in numbers;
32568– the number of steps my FitBit told me I had taken the day before the half marathon around the Magic Kingdom
3– the number of visits to the medical tent during our run- two for tom, one for me
4– loo stops along the way, I think I was a little worried about getting dehydrated so drank a lot of water.
2-disney keens wearing matching Mickey and Minnie ears. One of us was happier about wearing the outfit than the other.
11– mile markers that I took photos of. Not sure what happened to mile 9 and 13!
5- photo stops with characters along the way.
1 selfie with Mickey!
After hanging around in the carpark waiting for the 10K race to start, we decided to get to the start a little later for the half marathon. Of course, we didn’t expect our breakfast to take so long, hadn’t taken into account the increase in runner numbers nor the warmer weather on the Sunday so we literally raced to the start and missed our corral. The start was a good mile from the car park entrance- add that to our mileage!! Luckily we snuck into the start behind us and started running only 5 mins later.
So pleased to be able to ditch my throwaway right at the start, and show off my costume in the perfect running conditions.
Tom’s knee wasn’t happy for the first 2 miles, and he hobbled along. Both of us were worried he may not actually make it round the course. We took it slowly, walking when he needed and making a stop at the medical tent for painkillers and freeze spray. Luckily it seemed to loosen up and he was fine for the rest of the race.
The half was far more crowded than the 10k, perhaps due to our later corral start. We ended up spending a lot longer queuing for characters along the way, although this was part of the fun! Our first characters were some of the Disney villains;
As you can see it was pretty dark during the race due to the 5.30am start time, however it was already quite warm. Tom had to ditch his long sleeve top when we saw my parents in the Magic Kingdom (to shouts from the crowd about his ‘six pack’ and asking whether he was proposing…erm no).
The sun was rising as we ran into the Magic Kingdom, the highlight of the half. It was amazing running down Main Street with the crowds cheering. Tom told me he felt like we were in one of the parades- he loves the parades! Running through the near empty park was so much fun, and I only wish we could have spent more time in the Magic Kingdom and jumped on a few rides!! We ran straight down Main Street before turning right into Tomorrowland. Tom’s nephew loves Toy Story so we had to stop for pictures with Buzz and Woody.
After Tomorrowland, running past Space Mountain, we ran back through the Castle and into Frontierland (where the Woody pic was) and past Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. So fun to see all the rides that we’d been on the day before. If you were thinking of doing either the 10K or the half, I would definitely recommend the half to run through the park. It was easily the best bit and it’s such a shame it’s not part of both races.
We left the park around mile 6.5 and were back out on the main roads, at least it was now light! There was a bit of a stretch of nothing which was a little disappointing- I expected there to be more music out on the course. It was also really starting to warm up, which I loved despite the humidity. Plenty of loo and water stops along the way. On one of my loo breaks my GU must have fallen out of my pocket and I was hungry! So glad they had Cliff gels at mile 9.
I had woken up with a banging headache that morning (story of my life, but haven’t had to race with a bad one before) and I was really struggling at this point. I walked through all the water stations and chatted with Tom to take my mind off it- he was amazingly supportive throughout the run and I was so glad to have him there. The Minnie headband probably didn’t help but there was no way I wasn’t wearing it all the way round. I wanted to smile through the entire race and wasn’t going to have my headache ruining that.
Once we could see the Epcot golf ball in the distance we knew we didn’t have far to go. Soo excited. I didn’t mind the last few miles in the sunshine, and enjoyed running with Tom and so many happy dressed up Disney fans. Turning into Epcot and we knew we had less than a mile to go. As well as the parades, Tom is also obsessed with the monorail.
My knee randomly started hurting about a mile to go, and although I could put weight on it, I couldn’t pick up the pace at all. Stupid knees (I later noticed I had a massive bruise on it so figured I must have bashed it along the way as there’s no lasting pain). After a looping around Epcot, we turned into the finish straight…
Mickey was waiting just before the finish line- we were surprised more people weren’t queuing for a photo with him. Thrilled to be done in about 2hrs 45- definitely my slowest half to date but one of the most fun!
So Tom’s weird patches on his top are from rubbing WAY too much vaseline onto his nipples during the run. Haha- he’s learning, slowly!
The support from the volunteers was incredible, there were plenty of loos, water stations every mile and medical tents along the way. I’ve never seen such well stocked medical tents with ice, freeze spray, painkillers, plasters etc. We both had our knees iced immediately after the race. There aren’t a huge amount to supporters cheering along the way, except for in designated zones which is a little disappointing, but the characters and stations along the way more than make up for it.
Overall we both had a brilliant time during the Glass Slipper Challenge, and we’re keeping our eye on the proposed Disney half in Paris next year! Totally worth it for all the bling…