Saturday, March 15, 2014

2014 Princess Half Marathon Race Report and Video

Here's Holly's report on the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World:

Part two of the Glass Slipper Challenge has me getting up at 2:15am. This is why I am going to be taking a break from Disney races. These early mornings are way too tough! Dave was tagging along to the start line this morning, he would then go to the Magic Kingdom to cheer us on.

We arrived at the Epcot starting area way too early again and had a lot of time to kill. I was trying to find another runner who was in Corral E and was thankful that my friend Laura was in that corral. She is faster than me, but I was grateful to have someone to pass the time while we were waiting in the corrals. I was excited to be so far forward for a Disney race. I could actually see the Start line from my corral. Laura was great and said she would run with me in the beginning and see how she felt. We ended up running the whole race together and had fun running and stopping for characters.
This course is also the same course as the January half marathon and it started out the same way, with the kites at mile 1 and the pirate ship at mile 3. I was thinking this was going to be boring. But they had the villains out right before the TTC and thankfully Laura and I decided to wait in the huge line. It took about 10 minutes, but it was worth it! Soon we were running into the Magic Kingdom and saw our cheering section! Thanks Dave and Stan.

We managed to photo bomb Eddie and crew at the Winnie the Pooh ride. After a quick pit stop at those famous Frontierland bathrooms we were soon exiting the Magic Kingdom. I told Laura the one picture I have never stopped for, but that I wanted was with Stitch by the Polynesian. We first stopped for a picture with Mary Poppins and Bert. We got to Stitch and he was there with Lilo! Very Cool. Unfortunately when we were next in line, Stitch left to take a break. I was disappointed, but I think Laura felt worse for me than I did.

After that we had one more picture we wanted. All the heroes/princes were out. We stopped for that one and it was worth the wait! We were both getting tired now, but still having fun and we were happy to get back to Epcot and see our cheer squad again. We did get on last picture with Princess Sophia with no wait! A quick lap around spaceship earth again and we were heading into the finish. A fun race for sure. It was a warm race and Laura and I both wanted a cold beverage. Champagne for her and beer for me! The Glass Slipper Challenge was complete!

Dave's Comments
My original plan was to skip spectating entirely (evidenced by my lack of camera equipment) and just sleep-in and eat some pancakes. But then as I started to think about it, I could sleep some other day. I went to the start area and hung out with Holly and friends, then a few of us made our way to Magic Kingdom and arrived just when they let folks into the park. I'm usually nervous about snagging my preferred spot, but luckily spectating at this race seemed more relaxed and we got to the Tomorrowland Bridge with no issue.

Since I didn't have to worry about cameras I had my hands free for coffee and a chocolate croissant. When Holly and Laura passed us on Main Street I moved over towards the castle to film them (with my point-and-shoot) leaving the castle. After that I moved down Main Street to chat with a Facebook friend I never met before. While walking around I noticed people were on the Omnibus watching the race. I had to go up there! Great perch for spectating even if you are only seeing runner's backs as they turn the corner onto Main Street. I saw our friend Pam and was able to give her husband Stan, still at the hub, an early warning of her arrival.

I waited for Stan to make his way down Main Street then we made our way over to Epcot via Monorail. We did not have the usual transportation hassles associated with Marathon Weekend and made it quickly to Mile 12. We watched our wives from this vantage point, then high-tailed it over to the finish area.

Here's our video from the weekend


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