We did it! Sister and I finished This was Sister’s very first half marathon and I think she is happy to say it is over But I am very proud of her for staying strong throughout the race and not doing too much whining – kidding! (she was whining a little bit) So now, on to the race recap…
We started out our morning at 2am. Yes, 2am. This is by far the earliest I have ever had to get up for a race before. Somehow I missed the time of this race when we signed up but I don’t know if it really would have changed my mind that much? Regardless, we were on the bus to get to the start line by 3:50am and it took us about 40 minutes to get to the start line from our hotel 2 miles away. Pretty sure we could walk faster than that? WDW could definitely use a little more organization as far as transportation to and from this race is concerned. Yesterday trying to get to the race expo took us forever to get one mile and today it took us forever to get two! I guess that is why they say to get to the bus no later than 4 am…
Once we got to the start line, I needed to pee so bad I pretty much rushed to get there and wait in line. The port o lets were not that great actually and another area I though Disney could have done better with. There were huge lines for all of them and they were dirty. I guess this might mostly be a capacity issue but it’s nasty to say the least. So after our bathroom stop, Sister and I decided to make our way to the corals and said good bye to Mom who went to go participate in the Chear Squad.
No joke, sister and I walked for 40 minutes to get to our corral and again maybe walked one mile? It was relatively ridiculous actually… they led us through this dusty back alley and in rather cramped conditions. I understand it’s a large race but after all it is Disney and I thought they did everything perfectly?!? By the time we FINALLY made it to our start corals, it was practically 5:30am (Wheelchair start) so we lined up and got ready. It was very nice that they had huge screen TVs that we could see the starting ceremonies on. Donald Duck gave his little speech and the Wheelchairs started followed by corals A and B. I was slated to be in coral B but Sister was in C so I dropped back so we could run together. We figured since this was her first race, it would be more fun to do it together. The countdown commenced for our coral to begin and we were off! Fireworks and all!!
The race was very congested from start to finish which also surprised me quite a bit. I guess I just assumed since Disney is so large, we would have no trouble keeping whatever pace we wanted but I guess that was an incorrect assumption. We ended up stuck at only about 12:30-13:00 pace for the first mile or so and it was a little hard to keep that up for us but eventually we could speed up a little bit and be more at the jogging pace we wanted to keep. (Still dodging people everywhere we went though…)
The whole race felt really good for me but I think Sister started freaking out a bit around mile 7 or 8 when she realized she had never ran further than that in an actual race before. It also started warming up a bit to us MidWesters and I think Sister and I were both wishing we had shorts and tanks on instead of long pants and t’s. We were both pretty darn drippy
Running through Cinderella’s Castle was pretty much awesome but I think we were both sad it was still so DARK! Pictures turned out really awful and that was kind of sad. After running through the castle, we managed to hear Mom yelling for us so we stopped for a picture together. Then we kept trucking right along through FrontierLand and other park backlots. That was another surprising factor for me… all the parking lots, highways and backlots we ran through.
After the castle, it was pretty much boring roads until mile 12.5 maybe and I think this got to Sister a bit too. I looked at my watch around mile 10.5 and did some pace calculating and asked Sister how hard she wanted to work to make one of her secret goals (2:30 finish) and she thought about it a bit but then decided to go for it so we had to pick up our pace a lot and at the same time, Disney decided to throw in a few hills (3 to be exact, in 1.5 miles). So these last few miles were much more challenging than the whole rest of the race was but we kept getting closer and closer and I kept telling Sister she could do it and was doing great and then we finally rounded that darn last of like 10 turns that seemed like it would lead to the finish line and saw the actual finish line!
I was so excited to cross it but wanted to make sure Sister and I crossed at the same time so I grabbed her arm and
draggedhappily and energetically skipped with her across the finish line! And we technically made it with 6 seconds to spare of Sister’s goal! Finish time 2:30:54!
And there you have it! Sister is now an official HALF MARATHONER! I was actually so excited for her that I was going to walk away without grabbing my own medal… dork!
After the finish, it got a little rough again. We both just wanted to get a banana, water and sit down but nope… gotta “Keep Moving” really folks?!? And wait in a huge line for a banana… so we passed and just tried to find Mom. We both saw Mom right away but she was not really seeing us so we schlupped over to her instead and finally plopped down to stretch out a bit!
We sat around for awhile, took pictures and tried to recover a bit before boarding a bus AGAIN to ride back to the hotel. The shuttles were actually very nice to have but just a bit congested – but then again, the whole race was kind of like that.
All in all, I would say this was a fun race but I am actually not sure if I will want to do it again. I was thinking this was going to ruin all future races for me but I think I realized I am more of a small town local race type of person versus a big race fanfare kind of person… But this was still an excellent experience and I am very glad Sister and I got to finish this together We earned these medals for sure!!