On Friday, my plan was to go to Animal Kingdom in the morning with Erik and Eli (Alex decided he was “over” Disney and stayed home with my mom instead – it’s not easy being 14), eat lunch at Yak & Yeti (our favorite!) and then stay at the hotel to rest up for the race. As Erik and Eli were getting ready to head over to the Magic Kingdom for the evening, I couldn’t resist and got my shoes on and joined them. I’m glad I went because we had a ton of fun.
When we got back to the room, I started laying out my race gear and realized my Garmin Forerunner 10 was BROKEN!!! That thing is my security blanket, I do not run without my Garmin or my sparkleskirts. It’s about 1.5 years old, but I’m not happy that the strap just somehow broke off in my suitcase. We didn’t fly and I didn’t mishandle our luggage, so I have no idea how it happened. I tried to put it back together but clearly it’s one of those “planned obsolescence” kind of things. I refuse to run without it, especially since I was planning to do run/walk intervals, so I used my McGyver skills to come up with this “solution”:
That is the soft side of a velcrostrip and two safety pins. I could kind of slide it to the side a bit to see my pace and distance and could still hear the beeps. Not an ideal solution and it did occasionally slip out and start flapping around on the run. Oh well, I wanted the purple one anyways.
I got on one of the first buses to the race, no waiting, no traffic. I know sleeping an extra 30-45 minutes is nice, but 1am feels pretty much the same as 3am, so I’d rather just get up earlier and not deal with the stress of lines for the bus and traffic jams.
I liked that they had these lounge chairs out, I don’t remember that from earlier race staging areas, but maybe I just never noticed.
Here’s a terrible photo of the viewing stands at the finish line.
And here’s the pretty short lines for the port-a-potties.
I also got some photos using the race backdrops. The lines were much better on the 10k morning than they would be on the morning of the Half:
I ended up tossing the sleeves before we even started, so these are the only pictures of me with the sleeves on. The headscarf worked perfectly though. I made it out of an old stained white tech shirt and the material worked great for the sweaty conditions.
The start line loomed up ahead, just waiting for thousands of runners to pass through.
I headed towards my corral (a little early):
On the way I met the infamous balloon ladies. They were super nice and were happy to pose for a photo for me. Thank you ladies for pacing the race!
Here’s what Corral B looks like when you get there way too early:
It did fill up pretty quickly and before I knew it, the race started, Corral A was off and then we were sent off. Right after the start we saw Elsa on top of the overpass with gorgeous “snow” falling. It was just beautiful and I wish I’d gotten a better picture.
The 10k course is pretty great. The first three miles are just parking lot and boring streets, but that’s ok because you have the last three to look forward to.
There was a hint of dawn, but the Epcot torches were still on and it was just magical. The course wasn’t very crowded and it actually kind of reminded me of the runDisney meetup runs through Epcot and the Boardwalk.
I did have a bathroom break somewhere in Epcot (is it sad that I can’t remember where?) all I know is that it was a real bathroom and I met a lady who told me she was the real Cinderella. I’m not entirely sure what she meant, maybe I misheard her or maybe she used to be a character in the parks or maybe she was crazy, who knows? I do know that I saw her on my only bathroom break during the half marathon the next day which is a strange coincidence.
We left Epcot through the International Gateway and did a brief run along the Boardwalk, which is always fun. I know some people were worried about the footing being slippery with the wet conditions, but I didn’t have any problems with it and just ran like normal.
Right before the finish line I saw one of my favorite guys and had to stop for a picture:
I have to admit, my memories of the specifics of this race are a little fuzzy two weeks later. I think I was so worried about a repeat of my 10k/Half experience at Tink that I let it overwhelm my race.
What I Didn’t Like:
- I wish there were more characters on the course. I know I skipped a few, but there weren’t that many to choose from.
- The crazy early start. It seems like with a shorter race we could have started even later, but it is what it is.
- I loved the medal, but if I’d designed it, the coach rounded part would have been on a spinner and when you spun it around, there would be a pumpkin on the back side. Wouldn’t that have been awesome?
- I didn’t like having to do this race at a slower pace than I wanted to because of the impending half the next morning.
What I Loved:
- I love the distance. It’s long enough to be a challenge, but not long enough to be stressful or exhausting.
- I loved running through Epcot and the Boardwalk, the course was great.
- The transportation was well run and I didn’t have to wait for anything.
- We got the same snack box and drinks as after the half.
I am not really happy with my pace, although I intentionally kept it slow.
I’m seriously considering signing up for the WDW 10k if they have it again next year as the only race I do that weekend. I’d love to see how fast I can do a 10k at Disney when I’m not saving my legs for another race.