We got to Mile 7 just before the main Grand Floridian entrance.
Just beyond that, was Mary Poppins, Bert, and a penguin.
There were a few spectators as well.
I did see the medical bikes stopped.
I didn’t realized until reviewing the picture that someone was sitting on the ground being attended. There were some port o potties in this stretch.
Just after them was the 5th water stop.
Across from the wedding pavilion, the guys with the glass slipper were out.
This year they had their own little pavilion. About this time, the sun was really beating down. I took out my sunglasses and put them on. I was glad I had them. There were a lot of spectators as we got closer to Shades of Green.
I even recognized one from the Sparkle Fan Zone meetup.
There was a golf cart in front of the golf course sign.
The genie in golf attire was posing here.
I didn’t stop because they were trading off when I was approaching. This would have been a great picture. Mile 8 was in the middle of running by the parking lot.
There were several great signs by Luna.
We passed a tent with Luna flags… I didn’t really notice the tent during the race.
There were some port-o-potties right before the Clif shot area.
Then we got to the Clif Shots. The flags had flavors on them that matched what the volunteers at that table were handing out.
I use GU so I didn’t take any. Next came the gas station.
There was a very heavily used medical tent in this area.
Mostly, the racers were just slathering on BioFreeze. I love that someone took the time that morning to write on the road in sidewalk chalk.
This was also water stop #6. About this time, I was really feeling it. I thought I would have to change my pace. Then, I realized I never had a GU. So, I ate my GU and pushed myself to keep up with my interval to get to the Heros. Soon we came to Mile 9.
Shortly after Mile 9, I spotted the Heros line. I immediately hopped in. I didn’t care how long it was. The ladies behind me asked the person working the line and he estimated 20 minutes. This was half the line I stood in for Darth Vader so I knew it wasn’t going to be that long. I ended up chatting with the person in front of me for a while. It was only about 10 minutes before it was my turn. I forgot to take of my sunglasses, but still got a great picture.
Soon after I started running again was the 15k mark.
For those who have never run before, these mark are little speed bumps that actually register your chip as you pass over them. It also triggers the updates that are sent to whoever signed up to track you. It was only a little further until I saw the pirate ship. This line was slightly shorter than the heros.
Once again, I didn’t care. This was one of the 2 pictures I wanted. I also chatted with ladies in this line. Eventually it was my turn.
This time I remembered to take off my sunglasses. Just before the overpass, there were port-o-potties.
Then, water stop #7.
Mile 10 was just under the bridge.
Then we veered right onto the circular road onto the bridge. It wasn’t as bad as a remembered from previous years. I talked to a lady on the way up. Sarge, the green army man, was farther up this year I think.
As always, I took a picture from the bridge down to those behind me.
There were a couple port-o-potties by the road here.
Then we got to the female DJ by the Children’s Miracle Network balloon.
Mile 11 was shortly after the DJ.
I actually got someone to take my picture by this one since it was Sleeping Beauty. We could see EPCOT off to the side at this point. There was a medical tent coming up.
Then we got to water stop #8.
There was a bank of port-o-potties here.
You can see the runners ahead of me going up the flyover ramp to EPCOT. We kept running to the huge video screen playing musical clips.
Here there is a sort of U-turn onto the flyover ramp. You are supposed to go all the way around the last cone. I did see people cutting through a few cones early. Not sure what that buys them, but to each his own. This shot was back at the people behind me.
You can see the water stop on the right side. This is the first time I haven’t seen the balloon ladies in this shot. We run over the parking entrance to EPCOT. These people have just passed through the parking gates.
Some of them started honking and waving up at us. When we got to the bottom of the ramp, there was a school group.
I don’t remember these from last year to Disney must have learned we like the cheerleaders and bands at Disneyland.
This group was cheerleaders, a dance team, and a band.
They were great. Mile 12 was in the EPCOT parking lot.
There were spectators in this area.
I think I had my third GU along this stretch. Soon we came to the bus drop off area.
This is where I saw Peggy Sue last year. It did make me tear up a little to think about her. We run into a backstage area and this is where I found Sofia the First.
I had to get another picture since she had no line. We continued to the left and came to the last water stop.
After this water stop, we come out into EPCOT. We are on the right side of the ball.
I know the park is open at this point. We see people being kept out of the racing path. Once we get to the top of the incline, we hit the 20k mark.
No speed bump here, but there is a crosswalk. That just means they direct us to one side while they let people walk in the other and swap at intervals. It allows people to cross without us having to stop. It still makes them wait a while so I know some visitors get impatient. There were others that were awesome and yelled encouragements to us. I finally got to see the Fairy Godmother.
I stopped to take a picture with her. The last 2 years I’ve seen the sarcastic fairy that looks like Kathy Griffin. We ran straight back to the start of World Showcase. This is the turn around point.
Then we head back.
They were taking pictures with the Geosphere in the background. However, at this point I just didn’t want to stop again. Maybe this is one I’ll get next year. I love this cast member that has on a pink sash with a tutu around his head.
Then we run back to the ball and turn right to go backstage.
The gospel choir was singing us to the finish.
I love this tradition. I hope it never changes. Mile 13 was just before we got to the spectator bleachers.
We could see the finish line.
As I was running, I caught a glimpse of Princess Minnie and Prince Mickey.
They were letting people stop and take pictures. Once again, I just wanted to be done. I thought briefly of stopping, but my momentum was already carrying me beyond that point. I finished and kept walking. Soon I got to this lady who sprinkled me with fairy dust.
I love the little touches. Then I got my medal. They were handing out mylar blankets again even though by this point it was hot. We got Powerade and bottled water. They had lots of different colors of Powerade. I jogged over to the guy that had the blue. Then someone was handing out the purple drawstring bags. These look the same as last year but I love getting them at the end to carry everything. There was a special tent we went through to get checked for the challenge medal. I got that one and at the end of the tent got my Coast to Coast. I got an official finisher photo. Then I continued on to grab my box and banana.
I waited in the line to exit without a bag check. I knew we had to backtrack all the way to the finish to get to the Race Retreat. Once I got through the metal gates, the volunteer wanted us to keep going straight towards the reunion area. That meant more backtracking. So, I excused my way through people on the left side. Then, I made the fairly long trek to Race Retreat. Upon entering, I was told there was a gift bag by the Bag check area. So, I headed over there first. The gift bag was a hand towel and generic socks.
I was hungry so I grabbed some food. There were no eggs in any line. When I asked, I was told they were making more. They also had no bacon. I was really looking forward to the bacon. I hope they understand that’s a great thing after a race and they bring it back for next year. I scarfed down my food and decided to grab a picture while there was next to no line. I still had not gotten a text about Jamie finishing. I got a great picture with Belle, Lumiere, and Cogsworth.
Then, I sat down to watch the finish line on the monitors. I found out during this time that the only place to buy champagne was outside the race retreat. I texted Jamie because I knew she got it last year and she could grab it on her way in if she wanted. I was hoping to see Jamie finish. I saw the balloon ladies and got a text shortly after that Jamie had indeed finished and not been swept. I decided to make a port-o-potty visit before she got back. One the way back to the front to watch for her, the eggs were out. So, I grabbed some more food and sat at a table by the door. Soon, I feel someone tapping me. It was Jamie. She had all her goodies and a plate of food already. I must have missed her during the time I was getting my food.
We sat and ate for maybe 10 minutes when they made an announcement that the busses would stop running at 11. If we didn’t catch them by that time, we’d have to walk to the busses at EPCOT. We didn’t want that, so we gathered up our things and made the very long walk from the Race Retreat. There was a decent line for the Port Orleans bus this year. Really it was only a 1 bus wait. Buses were lined up and waiting so when one left, another arrived. The ride to the resort was short.
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