Note: With this being Dave's first half marathon, we'll leave all of his thoughts on that topic for another post and try to keep this report as focused on the race as possible.
We were in Corral E which meant we would actually start the race around 6am. Each corral was sent off with fireworks. Drew Carey, star TV's The Price is Right, was at the start waving hello to the runners. At 6am the course is still pretty dark. Disney had some generator lamps brought in to supplement the other street lamps, but for our pace it remained mostly dark until around mile 4. We decided at the beginning to run our own races which meant Holly would go faster than Dave.
Disney strives to entertain runners the whole way. Between Miles 0 and 4 we saw high school bands, Chip and Dale with NASCARs, Jack Sparrow and a pirate ship, Jack Skellington and Sally, and kites. Yes, mile two's entertainment was people flying kites - in the dark. At Mile 4 we hit the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), which is the first large spectator area along the course.
|Thanks for the nice picture Dan|
After leaving the backstage area there was a good two mile stretch of narrow course. We never really thought about how many one way roads there were on property. When you cone-off all those roads to divide them in half it creates a crowded situation. During this time we were passing The Grand Floridian, Polynesian, the speedway, and a golf course. There was a Lilo and Stitch photo opp and some fake wedding by the wedding pavilion. A bit after mile 8 the course opened up as we approached World Drive for the return trip.
This is the time we started really feeling it warm up. Miles 8 - 12 are pretty much wide open streets with no sun protection. Disney did a great job with water/Powerade stops a little over a mile apart from each other. After mile ten some uphill work starts. Time to take a steep exit up to an overpass. This ended up another slow bottleneck area. Coming into Mile 11 was a nice downhill complete with entertainment by more kites. Dave spent some time here with friends Tom and Molly. As racers go down the hill they can see the next step is a hairpin turn up to another ramp. Holly spotted Dave from the ramp - must have been 4-5 minutes apart. We were separately greeted on the overpass by our friends Eddie and Mike. They finished the race and came back through to cheer for folks. When you get to this final overpass Spaceship Earth (the ball thingy in Epcot) looks pretty close and you get the feeling it is almost over.
Before getting into Epcot and Mile 12 there was a Phineas and Ferb meetup and a large spectating area. We saw lots of friends cheering on the runners at this location. Dave met up with Holly just after entering Epcot. We did the last mile together through Future World. We stopped for a picture of two and looked for a Duffy photo opp, but there was no Duffy today. We crossed together with a time around 3 hours 12 minutes and were met at the finish line by our friends Faye and Jim.
We went through the lines and picked up our bananas, water, Powerade, and snack box. RunDisney puts together a pre-packed box that includes things like Larabars, almond roca, nuts, raisins, chocolate......
We drove back to The Boardwalk, showered (Dave had a beer to celebrate his first half marathon finish), went into Epcot for a World Showcase lap, went to our Team AllEars meet in The Dolphin. At our Team AllEars meet we learned the team had raised over $78,000. Since Team Tizzel was the highest raising team we got to be part of the reveal and it was an honor. After the meet it was back to Epcot for dinner at Tutto Italia with our friends Faye and Jim. We called it an early evening since another 2:30 wake up call was coming for Holly and Jim to run the marathon the next morning.
Here's our video from the race. Sorry if it's a little long......
Overall RunDisney put on another great race. The one complaint we really have for the half relates to the overall crowd levels and bottlenecks. With that aside we both had a fun time during the race.
Next up, Holly's report on Sunday's Marathon/finish to the Goofy Challenge.
Half Marathon Course Map and Medal