Over the past few months, we planned everything from hotels and flights to which princesses we'd dress up as. I opted for Sleeping Beauty (you get to wear pink? yes please!) When Thursday came, I couldn't believe it was already time to fly to Orlando. We got in pretty late and a couple of our friends were getting up early to run the 5k, so we went straight to bed.
Friday morning, Erin and I squeezed in a quick run before getting ready to head to the Expo and parks. The expo was basically how I remembered it last year, though this year there was a huge wall with all of the runners' names. It was pretty neat seeing my name up there. I felt so special!
After grabbing our numbers and shirts, we were off to the Magic Kingdom.
Last year, Erin and I were a little laid back about getting to the race, but this year we actually read the literature and took into account their recommendations. We needed to be on the bus by 4am, so we left our room by 3:30 to give ourselves time, I'm glad we did because there was a huge line waiting to get on the shuttles! I think 3 buses came before we got on one.
|waiting for the bus|
There was a bunch of traffic, so we arrived about a quarter til 5 am along with thousands of other delayed runners. There's about a 20 minute walk to the corrals, so we got a little anxious that we wouldn't make it. While we still had plenty of time, one of the volunteers yelled that we had 5 minutes to make it to our corral and if we didn't, then we'd be disqualified. Definitely not what you wanted to hear on your way to the race! Luckily, we made it to our corral with some time to spare.
|We're ready to run!|
"Team Princess" was 7 members strong, but our Mulan was ready to race so we lost her shortly after the start. Two of our team members were placed in a corral further back. They were concerned for their pace and didn't plan to stop for characters, so they ran their own race. Meghan, Anne, Erin and I wanted to stick together, so we worked as a team through out the course. We even used the code word Mushu (like Mulan's dragon) to yell when we were separated.
A few miles in, we saw a giant pirate ship and decided to take our first character photo with Jack Sparrow and Barbossa. It was quite a site to see the ship through the dark. It was a bit of a long wait, but it was fun to see our first characters. We also visited with Chip and Dale and then Jack and Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas. We were especially excited for Jack, as he's my friend Meghan's favorite.
Our ChEAR squad was supposed to see us at mile 4, but they had a transportation fiasco and had to wait until mile 8 to see us. I think this worked out for the best, as there were a bunch of people at mile 4, and it would have been a quick hello.
Around mile 5 we entered the Magic Kingdom and saw a few minor Disney characters that we decided to bypass. We saw Belle with the Beast and Ariel, and we had to stop with them as their twins were our running buddies. The characters were super nice, and I think they loved seeing our costumes.
We paused for a photo in front of the castle before running through the rest of the Magic Kingdom. It was getting hot out and our pace slowed down for a bit. We started talking about all the wonderful food and drinks that we would enjoy later on, knowing that it would taste especially delicious because we earned it.
At mile 8, we were serenaded by our ChEAR squad duo who sang "eye of the tiger" as they ran beside the course. It was a crowded stretch without a ton of entertainment, so it was just the boost we needed!
We were also fortunate enough to run into our pals around mile 9, so our expanded team princess got to run/walk together.
The girls all hung in, and we stuck together. Pretty soon, Meghan and Anne had finished their first half marathons!(in costume no less!)
Team Princess totally rocked it on Saturday, and I was so happy to be a part of it. Can't wait to run with these ladies (and gentleman) again!