Princess Weekend 2014 – Part 4 – Half Marathon

Princess Half Marathon

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The alarm went off at 2:15 am. Jamie answered the phone but said there was no Olaf, only music this time. We got ready quickly since I had no wig this time. We made our way to the front. I did have to run back to the room and grab my phone when we were almost halfway to the bus. We got in line at 2:50 am. Oh, after the chilly experience of the 10k, I packed a shirt, bra, and all the space ring pops in my clear bag to check. I also brought the extra purple mardi gras bead necklaces I had left. I tried giving them away in the bus line, but one a few people accepted them. I ended up putting them in the bag, too.  The first bus loaded shortly after we got in line. We left at 2:55 and had to take a longer way to EPCOT since the easier road was closed for the race. We got to the drop off area shortly after 3.

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Nicki was already in the Race Retreat when we got there. Her balloon was missing, though. I noticed Alice, Tweedledee and Tweedledum were there for pictures. I got in the line. Shortly after I got in line, Tweedledee and Tweedledum left. I was a little bummed, but at least got Alice.

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After my picture, I grabbed a bagel, banana, and hot cocoa. I waited to toast my bagel and out jelly on it. I also grabbed a couple bottled waters again.

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When I got back to the table, I realized I didn’t have my handheld water bottle. Oh well. I figured I’d just run with one of the water bottles I grabbed. Nicki was feeling bad and her ankle was hurting. I was hoping she would feel better before the race because I really enjoyed running with her. I decided to use the Port-o-potties in the race retreat before I went to the Princess Posse picture. I finally found them and missed my other pre-race picture (Team runDisney). The PP picture finally happened at 4:30. I met back up with Nicki who was starting to feel a little better.

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We decided to make one more PoP stop in the race retreat before heading to the corrals. The lines at this point were longer. They actually pulled some of the ladies over to the men’s area. We finally started walking to the corrals. I actually ran into Brenda from CAPS on my way.

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Cindy was in J and Nicki and I were in I. We saw the balloon ladies on our way to the corrals, too.

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Nicki needed to make another PoP stop at the back of the corrals. Cindy and I waited. The line was pretty long.

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I was getting nervous when the fireworks started for the first few corrals. Finally, Nicki was done. We started up the line and said goodbye to Cindy. We ducked into I and realized we were actually in the front of J since they had already started walking forward. We didn’t see an easy way to get up to I, so we just stayed where we were. For every corral, they played a song before the fireworks start.

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The one for I was Girl on Fire so we were both glad not to get that one. Corral J got a Jackson 5 song. Soon, the fireworks went off and we were on our way.

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I wanted Nicki to set the pace since she was the one hurting. She decided to start with our 1:1 intervals. We also decided not to stop for any pictures on the main road to the Magic Kingdom since they would still be there on the way back and it would be light out. At the beginning of the race, there was a lot of fog. The temperature was not too bad, though. The humidity was really high. Along the first stetch of road were quite a few spectators and a band.

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We also realized we could hear the DJ from the family reunion area through the trees. Soon, we got to the first water stop.

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Not long after that, we got to Mile 1.

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Just after Mile 1 was the first medical tent.

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We could see big ball lights in the distance. As we got closer, we could hear Let’s Go Fly a Kite. Once we were in the area, we could see these colorful kites in the air.

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I loved the song and it did lift me up a little. Soon we were on the curving ramp talking us to the road to Magic Kingdom. Nicki decided to walk that. Anything that was slanted hurt her. We did run all the down hills even if our interval ended in the middle. There was a group of people cheering us on.

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Soon we saw the pirate ship ahead. Just after that on the right side was Mile 2.

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The pirate ship was almost right across from Mile 2.

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Further up this stretch was the very large Princess banner.

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Soon we could see the Magic Kingdom sign that marks the entrance to the parking lot. I tried to recreate my picture from last year, but it was just too foggy.

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The princes were right by this area, too. Shortly after running over the speed bumps of the parking entrance was a medical tent.

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Also the second water stop.

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We got to Mile 3 just before the race track.

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The 5k point was in the middle of the race track stretch.

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I remember the 5k being about the point I tweaked my ankle last year. At the end of the race track were 2 cars with the Richard Petty Driving Experience instructors.

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We did not stop here. Based on the previous year, I knew the villians were just ahead and that was our main stop this time. The line was long for the villians, but only took about 7 minutes. I had a Salted Caramel GU while waiting in line. We did see Maleficent going to the trailer. She did not come back before our picture. We did get the other 3, though.

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We did spot this great shirt while running through the rest of the parking lot.

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There were quite a few spectators as we entered the TTC.

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We got to Mile 4 just after going through the gates for TTC.

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We veered right and saw the Japanese drummers.

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It was not the same kids form last year, but still good. As we joined back up to the resort road, we got to the next water stop. It also had a long line of port-o-potties and a medical tent.

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The awesome DJ was back at the water bridge.

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We ran down and walked up this dip. Next we ran passed the Contemporary resort.

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This picture shows you how foggy it was at this point. Mile 5 was in the turn by Space Mountain.

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We jumped the rails to get a good picture. I loved the Bowl-A-Thon sign on the guard station on front of Magic Kingdom.

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We had to run under the train tracks next.

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A left turn and we were heading to Main Street.

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It got very crowded at this point and we decided to walk into the area. I had seen a lady face plant after hitting an unexpected curb here last year.

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Main Street is always a highlight for me.

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I feel like a parade and seeing the castle at the end of the road is awesome.

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The pictures aren’t as great because of the fog. Along this stretch is where I saw the young men from the boat dock the previous evening.

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I had heard about a nook before Tomorrowland where you could get a good unofficial castle picture. There were a few people in line and they were taking longer than the official stop. So, Nicki and I decided to use the area right next to the nook that had a hanging flower pot.

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I think it made for a great picture spot. We continued into Tomorrowland.

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Buzz Lightyear was in this area, but we decided not to stop there.

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We made a left turn and ran by the race track.

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The White Rabbit was taking pictures by the Tea Cups.

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We had stopped for a picture with him on the 10k. The wall is still up around the new roller coaster.

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Soon we saw an extremely long line and learned it was Minnie and Mickey. They were by the castle last year. Belle and Gaston were in this area last year. So, no Belle or Gaston this year. We agreed the line was way too long so I did a run by picture.

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The herald trumpeters were on the castle again.

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They had just finished a song as I was running up. I did get a short video of them starting up again.

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Then the castle.

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I walked most of the way but it didn’t seem as bad as last year. Maybe the new corrals did help. Nicki and I did agree to stop for an official castle picture. We decided to try to both jump. In the picture, I think I jumped too early as my foot is about to touch down. It is still a great picture and I will probably try it again next year. We ran from the castle picture by the massive crowd watching. The next area was Liberty Square. We stopped for another picture with Tiana and Louis here.

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We turned left into Frontierland and hit up our normal restroom.

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Once again no wait and a real bathroom.

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Next we waited in line for Woody.

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We got to Mile 6 just before Splash Mountain.

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As we exited the park, the train and engineer were waiting for us. We saw some ladies laying on the ground across the tracks for a picture.

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We opted for a nice, normal standing picture with the engineer.

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Next was the Princess picture. We saw Snow White and Prince Charming. We got in the line and were excited to get a picture that you really can’t get in the parks. Shortly before we got to the front of the line, Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip joined them. We thought we might lose Snow white and Charming, but they stayed for our picture.

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Shortly after the Princesses was the 10k mark.

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Also right after the 10k was a water stop.

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At the end of the water stop we turned left onto the road out of the park area and passed the medical tent.

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There was also a line of port-o-potties.

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The road is coned off so they can use the right side for traffic.

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I did see several cars pass as we were running. Next we came to another DJ that last year had a fire engine behind him.

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Shortly after passing the DJ, we got to the halfway point. The song was Let It Go.

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I got some very bouncy video of that since it was during a run interval. Next came Mile 7.

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Then came a picture stop with Mary Poppins and Burt.

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Then we passed a group of spectators with good signs.

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I think they were by the first edge of the Grand Floridian. There was a group of PoP between the GF entrances. There was also a water stop around here.

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Across from the Wedding Pavilion, were these guys trying to find a fit for the Glass Slipper.

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We were in line for Lilo and Stitch when a girl got in line behind us. She said she had just run at 10 min mile to get ahead of the balloon ladies.  I started getting nervous and we decided to skip this picture since what I really wanted was the heros and pirates that were coming up. At this point, we couldn’t see the balloon ladies and thought maybe she was overreacting.

We passed by the entrance to Shades of Green.

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There were a few spectators here. I believe the Genie was next.

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Nicki had me calmed down enough from the scare of the girl to stop in the very short line. Next came Mrs. Incredible (aka Elastigirl).

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Soon we got to Mile 8.

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Notice the sweeper bus in the background. There were some nice signs in this stretch.

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This brought us to the Clif Shots area.

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There was a bank of PoP next to this area. I opted not to use these and used my Cherry Lime Roctane GU instead. The banners did match the flavors at the different tables.

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I started noticing the police at this point. This one had a nice unmarked car.

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Soon we came to another bank of PoP, a medical tent,  and a water stop.

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Also in this area was Mile 9.

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We finally saw the heros and got in line. Soon, a lady on a bicycle rode up to warn us we needed to be ahead of the balloon ladies by the next Mile marker. We asked how far back they were. She told us 2 1/2 minutes. So, I decided to do unofficial pictures with things in the background. No sense putting ourselves in the danger zones for a few pictures. I went next to the line and squatted down a bit so Nicki could get this picture.

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Princess Ada was up just a bit on the right side of the road.

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The 15k banner and timing mats were along this road.

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Shortly after that, the pirate ship and pirates were on the left. We asked and we now had a 5 minute cushion, but I still didn’t want to wait in any lines. This picture was good enough for me.

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This group of spectators was awesome and had a line of high 5s going.

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Just after them was a bank of PoP and the next water stop.

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We were approaching the circular ramp to the overpass to EPCOT. This is the largest sweep spot I noticed on the course. I thought we were safe once we got passed it. Mile 10 was just under the bridge.

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I had to stop briefly since it was my character. Then we were hoofing it up the ramp. Aside from the slant, it’s really not that bad. When we were most of the way to the top, we found the green army guy.

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I thought he was closer to the mid point last year. Looking down form the bridge, there weren’t many people behind us.

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We knew there had been a sweep. There is a little hill while heading to EPCOT. Just at the crest of this, we heard Let’s Go Fly a Kite again.

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This time, we could see the kites. We got to Mile 11.

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Only 2 to go. Shortly after Mile 11 was the last medical tent.

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At this point, we could see EPCOT.

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Also all along this stretch after crossing the bridge, we met cars leaving the marathon. They could honk and cheer for us and we did see people wearing finisher medals. There was a water stop along this stretch right before the turn around.

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They put the bank of PoP between the 2 roads. Right at the turnaround was a large screen playing clips of Disney cartoons to songs. The turnaround is basically a U turn but goes onto a different road into EPCOT. This is a bridge over the parking entrance road so it was uphill.

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We could clearly see the balloon ladies on this stretch behind us.

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As we approached the parking lot on the end of the downhill was this DJ.

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Mile 12 was in the middle of the parking lot.

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Then we got to the bus drop off area for EPCOT. The crowds grew here.

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We even found Peggy Sue and stopped briefly to chat.

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I realized later the reason for the large crowds was that the part was actually open at this point.

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We found Sofia just before the backstage area of EPCOT.

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I had to stop since both of my kids love Sofia. There was also no danger of being swept at this point. This was the last water stop on the course.

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The volunteers were great and I really appreciate their time and effort. Soon, we entered EPCOT.

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The 20k banner was almost missed since it was just inside the park.

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They had a crosswalk for the guests trying to enjoy EPCOT first thing in the morning. I saw the sarcatic fairy again who remind me of Kathy Griffin.

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This last mile of the course in an out and back to the edge of the World Showcase lagoon. I was starting to see spots and realized I never took my third GU. At this point, I knew I would be eating a good breakfast once I finished, so I just took it a little easy. Soon we were heading back to the “ball”.

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Shortly before we got to it, we ran into Nicki’s friends. I decided to run on ahead at that point. Once beside it, we veer to the right and into backstage areas. Not too long after that, I could hear the gospel choir.

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I got a short video of that performance. Once we exited that area into the nice landscapes of the parking area, we hit Mile 13.

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Then the finish line was in sight.

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I did just barely notice Princess Minnie on my way to the line.

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Nicki saw Mickey as se got to the finish.

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A nice person put the medal around my neck. Unfortunately, it was backwards. She then hlped me pull it off and turn it around. Then someone handed me a cool towel.

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I grabbed a water and continued towards the Glass Slipper and Coast to Coast area. One lady was telling us we should all be drinking something now. A lady was handing out the mesh backpacks. That was a very smart move. We were able to put all the stuff in it; water, Gatorade, banana, and food box (that we got later). Just before we got to the finisher picture area,  there were lines for the special medals. All lines had both the Glass Slipper and Coast to Coast. They marked my bracelets as I got in one of the lines. I had run with my 10k in my short pocket of my Sparkle Tech skirt. I pulled it out and the lady arranged it and the other 2 and put them around my neck. Then we got to the picture area. There were 2 different backdrops; Glass Slipper and Princess Half. I found a line for Glass Slipper. I made sure to hold my medals spread apart for the picture. I tried to swing my sunglasses around and out of the way, but it didn’t quite work.  I felt slightly strangled trying to do this, though.

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After the medals, you walk through the area to get your food box. Then I walked through one of the bag check tent to get to the Race Retreat. When I came in, they said they didn’t have any flip flops other than small and medium. But, I overheard the lady at the end getting a large out of a box. I asked her and she did get me a large pair. Then I made my way to bag check. I thought I would want to change. I found an empty table and set my stuff down. Then I got a plate of food.

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I saw Cindy as I was going back to my stuff. We found a table closer to where we were before the race and moved everything there. I sat down and soon Jamie joined me. Eventually we found Nicki at another table. Jamie graciously got me a glass of champagne (sparkling wine) to celebrate our Glass Slipper finish.

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The bacon wasn’t quite as crispy today, but still tasted good. We had a good view of one of the TVs broadcasting the finish line. We watched one lady come across with an obvious injury. We thought she might be last, but no confetti flew. So, we waited. A little while later, 3 ladies walked up holding hands. Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy joined their line. They all crossed the finish line together as confetti was sent into the air. Disney really celebrates the last finisher. I had a bunch of ring pops and purple necklaces in my checked bag to give away. Once we were down eating and watching the finish, I started asking people if they wanted some. I gave away most of the ring pops.  I left the rest on the table. We found a nice lady working in the tent that cut off our Coast to Coast, Glass Slipper, and Race Retreat bracelets. Most people were gone from the tent when we left the race retreat. We made our way to the bus. There was a really long line that we initially thought was for the port o potties. We found out it was for Art of Animation. We both decided never to stay at that resort during Princess weekend. The Port Orleans bus had no wait again. We got right on and waited for a few more people before leaving.

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About kristincooke

I am a mother of 2 that started running in 2012. I also enjoy baking and some crafts.
This entry was posted in Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Princess Weekend 2014 – Part 4 – Half Marathon

  1. d20girl says:

    Great recap, I love all your pictures! I also love your blue Aurora costume! I really wanted a picture with Aurora during the race, but she must have been on a break when I went by!

    • kristincooke says:

      We got lucky and got both Princesses before Snow White went on break. Sleeping Beauty had just come back from break. She even commented that I was her twin. I was so glad she realized I was blue Sleeping Beauty and not Cinderella. A lot of people made that mistake.

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