Our first ever family running event was the runDisney Jingle Jungle 5k on November 10. 2012. We spent the night at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, so we were right near the Animal Kingdom park for race morning. As I am a seasoned runner and used to the very early morning, my family is not. The kids got up ok, but my husband was not so cheerful. From the balcony of our room we ate breakfast while we watched the animals. We could hear the music and the DJ at the race.
The trip to the race was very quick. As we got closer, the music got louder and the kids got more and more excited. I know its a race day no-no, but we all wore our race shirts. It was fun for the family to all be dressed alike. I figured that since it was an untimed family run, it would be ok just this once. Once we parked, we met up with some of the runDisney friends and got in line for a photo with Santa Mickey.
This was the first runDisney 5k that I have been part of that actually had corral placements. Since we had my daughter in her stroller, the whole family started back with the stroller division. We all stayed together until we crossed the start line, than my son, Nathan, and I ran ahead. The first mile was through the Animal Kingdom parking lot. We had to do a lot of weaving to get around walkers and slow runners. Around the time we got into the park, we found our pace. We ran past the Tree of Life and toward Africa. We then turned into a "backstage" area. This looked to be parts of where they house the Savanna animals. One of my favorite parks of runDisney races is getting to see the back stage areas--they fascinate me!
By around mile two Nate and I caught up with some of my runDisney friends. They are usually much faster than me so I never get to see them during a race--just before and after. With stopping for pictures, I finally had a chance to catch up to them. We ran the rest of the race together. There were a few picture stops along the way. That made keeping up with them easier. We crossed the finish line together with a big leap!
As much fun as it was to run with my friends, it was more special to finish with my son. I could not wait to see Mike and Andrea finish too. I could not wait to hear how much they liked the race and see them get their medals. The kids loved the race! They were so proud of their medals. Mike did not love it so much. I don't think he got the running bug, but I am very proud of him for doing it. This was a great event, and in true runDisney style there was lots of characters on the course. This event will always be special to me because it was the first race I got to do with my whole family.