Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Disney Princess Half Marathon Part 1

This is a post that is 14 months in the making. On February 26, 2012 I achieved a goal that I have worked harder for than any other.  I did it!  I am now a Disney Princess. 

The morning started early to say the least.  I got up at 2:30 am, got dressed and met a few friends in the lobby of our hotel at 3am.  We drove from the Bay Lake Tower to the Polynesian Resort to catch the race bus.  After stopping at Captain Cook’s for a bagel and some coffee, we boarded the race bus and were off to EPCOT.  The excitement in the air could be felt by everyone, all smiling and laughing.  The aisle was covered in glitter.  As the bus pulled into EPCOT, I was so happy we opted to use official transportation instead of riding the bus.  Traffic was crazy! 

We got off the bus and headed toward the staging area until the corrals opened at 4am.  The DJ was pumping, people were dancing, lights were flashing in the dark of night,--it was almost a club scene.  More and more runners were filtering in.  Lots of Disney characters were ready for photos.  I loved every minute of it! It was so exciting.

 I had several groups to meet up with.  First was my running mommas group.  I love these ladies!  They are so supportive.  It was so great to meet you in person Hope, Jenn and Liza.   Next, I meet with some of my Princess Half Facebook friends.  By then, it was time to head to our corrals!  Along the way, I meet some of my Team in Training friends.  The walk to the corrals was long and very, very crowded.  It was stop and go, like rush hour traffic is Los Angeles.  I made a porta potty stop along the way.  It took me over and hour to get from the staging area to my corral.  For a while, I was afraid I would not make it to my corral by the time my corral started.  I finally got to my corral about 15 minutes before the start of the race.  The corral was tight!  I tried to make it up to the front of the corral to meet my friend Jane, but I could not get through the crowd. 

I began to feel overwhelmed with emotions as I got a glimpse of the starting line.  I remember thinking, wow, am I really here?  How did I get so lucky that I get to experience this?  The moment that I had planned for and worked really hard for was finally here.  I thought about all the time and effort I put into my training.  I now had to hold back the tears.  Was all the hard work and training that it took to get me here worth it?  Yes!

What I loved about the beginning of this race was that they made each corral feel like the first.  Corral A started and then corral B.  Next was corral C—my turn!  When each corral started, it was like a brand new race.  First, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother sent us off with a bippity boppity boo.  Then we heard “ready, set, go!”--all followed by fireworks!  What a way to start a race! 

The first few miles were tough for me.  I woke up that morning with a cold.  I had a sore throat and a runny nose.  It took me a while to get my breathing in check, after stopping at the first medic tent for a wade of tissues.  By the time we hit mile three and the Magic Kingdom parking entrance, I found my stride.  I made a deal with myself a while back to push hard and not stop until I hit the Magic Kingdom.  There were a few fun photo stops I was tempted to make, like villains with Maleficent and Cinderella’s step mother, but I keep going strong.  The first really challenging part of the course was a major dip and back up right in front of the Contemporary Resort.  There is a boat overpass where the road dips.  The steep uphill was tough, but then, there it was—a glimpse of the castle!  

To be continued (read part II here)...

A dream is a wish...



  1. The tissues they have at the med stops are a lifesaver! I laugh now because I remember thinking my predominant thought throughout the entire Rock N Roll Half in Savannah wasn't so much "Wow I'm rally doing this" or "This is so awesome" is was "Oh my goshhow badly do I need to blow my nose!" :) Congratulations to you!

  2. I used the med stop at mile 10 for some BioFreeze! Love how many they had on the course at Disney. Great Job! Cant wait to read part 2.

    1. I was very impressed with the med tents along the course. Before the race, I thought they were just a place for runners with major injuries. I was pleasantly surprised that they also help runners make their runs more comfortable--Biofreeze, Tylenol, ice, tissues ect.

  3. Woohoo! I love that Disney made every Corral feel like the start of it's own race! It sounds tiring just getting to the start. You earned it!

    1. It is hard for "back of the pack" runners to feel special in most races. Disney did it right!

  4. Amy, I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm planning to run the princess next year as my first ever running race. I am super nervous about being swept though. Right now I can't run a full mile and I'm walking about a 19min mile, but I'm training and slowly but surely I'm improving. I was wondering, did you submit previous race times to get coral C or was it just luck?