Princess Sunday Part 1 – Half (Start to Halfway)

The alarm went of at 2:30 am. We got ready.

We moved a little slower this morning. We headed to the bus but just missed the first set at a couple minutes after 3. We got on the next buses that left about 3:15. We got split up since Jamie had a bag to check. I made the walk to the Race Retreat.

I noticed it was right by the finish.

That’s different from last year and a longer walk to everything. I enjoyed the prerace food and got a bagel with jelly, a banana, and a couple waters.

I drank part of one and used them to fill my water bottle. Jamie got a picture. While Jamie checked her bag, I used the port o potties. The nice thing about race retreat is the hand washing stations and shorter lines. They did direct me to the area marked for men. We started walking to corrals but Jamie forgot earbuds. We went back to Race Retreat and I ran into Eric.

I had to get a picture with him in his Princess Leia costume. Jamie was not the only one going back for things in a checked bag. Soon we headed to corrals again. It was a much longer walk from race retreat to the corrals this year. It seemed to take forever.

I left Jamie at her corral and kept walking to I.

I wove my way through people into empty spaces. I noticed the 2:45 pacer at the front of my corral.

Before long, they sang the national anthem. Then the first group was off. Soon we were walking to the start. I did get a few pictures of the fireworks at the start of the other corrals.

By my corral, Carrisa had already left to go to the finish. The guys and the DJ were great, though.

Shortly after we started, there was a band on the left.

I’m pretty sure this was different from last year. Before long, we were at the first water stop.

My plan is always to grab on of the first Powerade cups. I drink it while walking and finish it in time to grab a water cup. Shortly after the water stop was Mile 1.

It’s hard to see in the dark, but next came the Children’s Miracle network balloon and some of their people in the center median area.

We took the right ramp and were on the road to Magic Kingdom.

Next came Mile 2.

The pirate ship was in the median across the street. I knew I wanted that picture and the heros since I didn’t get them last year, but I wanted them on the way back in the light. The heros already had a good sized line just before we entered the parking pavilion.

I tried to duplicate my picture, but wasn’t as close.

There was a medical tent after passing through the pavilion.

That might be good timing since there are speed bumps that could trip you up even though there were great volunteers to warn us. Next was the second water stop.

They had some cars for the driving experience on the left across from the Mile 3 marker on the right.

We got to the 5k mark right at the driving experience sign.

Just after turning in the parking lot was a character line. It was relatively short and a character that had not been there last year, so I got in line.

I think I had my first GU while waiting in this line. I think Wreck It Ralph and Vanelope were worth the short wait.

We continued around the parking lot and got to the LONG line for the Villains.

I got this picture last year so I didn’t want to waste time in line. They also have thrones on either side you can take a picture with that I don’t think you have to wait in line for. Shortly after the Villains, the spectators start. Then you can see the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

We run down under the road and back up. Mile 4 is just before turning right in front of the monorail station.

The Japanese drummers were out in this area again.

I still love their beat and wish they could follow me the whole race. Soon we came to the third water stop.

There was a line of port o potties here.

They also had a medical station.

Shortly after this, we merged onto the main road. We only had the left side and cones were set up all down the middle to avoid trouble.

The crowding started here due to the narrower path. After joining the main road, you could see the Contemporary. It was much better than last year’s fog. Shortly after that, we ran under the water bridge.

The crowd is even worse here due to the amount of people walking up, myself included. The DJ on this bridge is great with his large Mickey hands.

You can barely see the projected logo since it is so light out. I never even noticed it when I was running. On the other side, there are a few spectators in front of the Contemporary.

As we make the left turn in front of Space Mountain, we got to Mile 5.

Next we passed by the guard booth with the bowl-a-thon banner again.

We run around to the right and under the railroad tracks. Then we turn left and we’re backstage at the main street entrance.

The path in seemed wider this year to me.

There are tons of spectators along Main Street.

It really does make it more of a breath-taking and magical moment. There was some construction going on which is why the ride side looks funny. We ran around to the right at the main hub.

I stopped in the nook and waited a couple minutes for another runner to take my picture.

Then we continued into Tomorrowland.

Buzz Lightyear was under the Astro Orbiters.

We veered left here. We ran by the speedway and around the Tea Cups. Tweedledee and Tweedledum were on the other side of the Tea Cups.

I would have stopped, but wanted to make sure I had plenty of time for the 2 pictures on the way back.

There were no characters posing in Fantasyland this year. We turned left towards the castle and people were stopping.

Mostly they moved to the right to stop but I heard farther back they just stopped dead where there were. It was due to Anna, Elsa, and Kristophe being one the castle.

This is where the trumpeters used to be. I’ll be honest, I missed running through the castle to the Rocky theme being played. This is the first year I got to actually run through the castle instead of walking like cattle. I ran down the ramp and veered left to get in line for the official castle picture. I only had to wait for 3 people. The lady let me do one jump picture and then had me stay for a regular picture. The jump actually turned out pretty good. I finally realized I have to kick my behind with my heels for it to look like a high jump. I then joined the other runner going to Liberty Square.

For the first time, I didn’t feel the need to stop for the bathroom in the cut through to Adventureland. I was still banking time for my 2 stops. Woody was taking pictures just after the bathroom area.

Then we came to Mile 6.

Soon we were leaving the park and runner by the railroad train and its operators.

In the backstage area, the castle float was out. Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Prince Phillip were out. I tried to do a drive by selfie, but it’s not that great.

The line was long enough that I didn’t want to waste time. I will say I like her dress this year much better than last year’s version. Shortly after them, we got to the 10k mark.

The came the 4th water stop.

Then a medical tent.

And finally a smaller line of port o potties.

Cars did pass by us on this stretch as we only had half the road again. There was a DJ and fire engine in this area.

Somewhere along the way was the halfway point, but I don’t remember seeing the sign. There were speakers set up playing a song that I loved. I think it was Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger.

About kristincooke

I am a mother of 2 that started running in 2012. I also enjoy baking and some crafts.
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