This past weekend, Disney Bride and I ran our first half marathon, the runDisney Princess Half Marathon. The event was an absolute blast. While we did not run the event side-by-side,Disney Bride’s determination was an inspiration to me. I did not quite reach my time goal, but I finished the race feeling good and looking forward to the next. I think I finally experienced the “runners high” that I have heard so much about.
|In our corral, waiting for the fireworks|
I had planned on running the race straight through to achieve a time goal, however a few character stops and several bottlenecks quickly ended that desire. Coming out of the gate, and for about the first 5 miles, I was running far faster that I had expected. The first several character stops did not appeal to me or were far too packed to stop. However, once I turned onto Main Street, I had to get a picture with the Cinderella's Castle in the background. I had to ask a couple of spectators to take the picture before I found a kind woman who would take the picture for me. Given my place on the street, the picture is not the greatest. The woman did an amazing job given the crowd. Thank you mystery lady.
Running through the Magic Kingdom was a really neat experience. After running down Mainstreet, next up was my favorite place in the park-Tomorrow Land. Buzz Lightyear never disappoints and was in front of my favorite ride, Space Ranger Spin. Of course, I had to stop and get a photo, we are BFFs after all.
I was truly amazed at the speed with which people moved through the line. What looked like would take 15 minutes, probably only took 7. Next, running out in front of the Castle to a mob of ecstatic ChEAR squad spectators was an experience I will not soon forget. Finally, running out of Frontier Land right in front of the WDW Railroad was a nice touch. Nothing motivates you to run like the thought of a train coming after you.
The rest of the course was full of entertainment, far more than I had expected. While many of the stops were very much female focused, there were plenty of opportunities for a Prince to have a great time. The short run through Epcot was a nice end to the course. Unfortunately, I did not see Peggy Sue (it was extremely crowded when I went through), however Disney Bride did get a picture with her.
Exiting the park and hearing the Gospel choir provided the final bit of inspiration to cross the finish line.
One last thing, I had heard that some of the women running can be harsh towards men in the Princess Half Marathon. (There were 1499 guys total that crossed the finish line, and the ladies outnumbered the guys more than 20 to 1.) I did not have that experience. Everyone was very supportive and encouraged their fellow runners throughout the entire course. I would definitely be up for running Princess again in the future.
-DG aka DisneyGroom