Our alarms went off bright and early at 2:30 AM. We got up and ready and out the door to the bus. Well, I was a little off on that. The buses from the 10k didn’t start running as early as the half. They were 30 minutes later. We were not the first people there, though. They let us get on the buses and wait the last little bit. They let the bus leave about 10 minutes early since it would be time before it made its way around the resort. We were out of seats by Trinidad. The last stop we made was Jamaica since we were already full with no more standing room. There were plenty of other buses waiting so I’m sure everyone was picked up soon after. Our bus driver actually went the wrong way and we ended up driving on part of the race course to get around to the drop off. We weren’t the first bus there, but we were pretty early. We didn’t have any bags, so we got to bypass the security bag check line. It wasn’t much this early.
We walked to the DJ area. We were supposed to meet some people for a picture, but the location decided upon didn’t exist this year. So there was confusion. We ended up missing the picture with the Princess Posse. We did our own picture with the people who waited with us.
We did get our picture with the group from the meetup.
Then we made our way to the corrals. Jamie was a little concerned because she was in the last corral. She wanted to be up at the front. Katie dropped back from B to C to start with me.
We made sure to be up towards the front. We couldn’t really hear the DJ at the front of the corral. Eventually we did hear the national anthem. The wheelchair runners, including the dad pushing his daughter that fought top be able to participate, walked by us. I almost started crying when I saw them since I remembered their story. Then the first corral walked in front of us to the start. Shortly after them, the B corral passed us. We watched as the fireworks started the wheelchairs and then corral A. We got to walk forward at that point. I looked for Jamie as we passed the last corral. I couldn’t see her, though. The B corral started with fireworks. Then we walked up to the start.
We waited a few minutes. Then they started us to… no fireworks.
There was an audible awww from the group. Katie and I immediately started her intervals. She was doing 1 min walk, 30 sec run. Then we came to the overpass where Elsa and Anna were standing.
They were blowing small bunches of soapy bubbles in the air to simulate snow. We kept up to the first Mile marker. Just before the big turn to the overpass, we got to the Mile 1 marker. I ran a little ahead and got a picture while she continued.
I knew there was normally a picture spot in the opposite side of the turn. This year, it was the evil queen from Snow White as a hag. I told Katie we had to wait in that line. I knew she was nervous, but we had time. We kept watching people’s bibs as they ran by us. Eventually, we got our picture.
Then, I ran ahead of Katie to get in the next line. Last year it was Tink and her sister. This year, it was Tink and 3 other fairies. I’m glad I ran ahead. I was at least 1/3 up the line when Katie got there. The person in front of me was doing the same thing.
We saw the balloon ladies as we left the pixies on the other side of the grassy median. So, they were not quite at Mile 1 yet. Once we got that picture, we were on the lookout for Jamie. I knew she had already started since I was getting text alerts for her. We had hoped to see her before the picture so she could hop in. We saw the Mile 2 marker.
Katie did a drive by with Pocahontas since we didn’t want to lose time.
We ended up finding Jamie right after we left the Pocahontas picture spot. She was actually happy to run with us and do Katie’s intervals. Since we were all talking, the run went much quicker. Towards the end of the main road, was a large screen playing Disney videos. We got to Mile 3 at the end of our run on the main road.
Then, we headed towards the backstage area of EPCOT. We immediately crossed the 5k tracking speed bump.
This was the section of road our bus had driven on earlier. Then we turned onto the road that leads behind Test Tracks.
We saw stilt walkers and stopped for a picture since there was no line.
We ran around Test Tracks and came out between Norway and China.
The first water stop is in China.
There was a character stop in Italy. We didn’t want to wait in lines yet so we did a drive by with Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.
Mile 4 was in Japan.
They got a good picture of all of us running by Morroco.
There was quite a line in France but no character was out. In years past it was Marie. Later we found out it was characters from Beauty and the Beast. I did get this picture of the line.
We ran around and through the International Gateway and out to the Boardwalk. We had to wait in the line for the vacation Genie.
There was a water stop at the end of the boardwalk.
At this point, we knew we were safe since we couldn’t see the balloon ladies on the other side. So, I stopped with Katie on the top of a bridge to get this picture.
The boardwalk really is a pretty area.
Mile 5 was at the Beach Club. Since it was my favorite princess and the one Katie was dresses as, we had to pose with the sign.
We ran back through the international Gateway and Sophia was waiting before we went offstage.
There were some workers watching us as we passed. It reminded me of the Disneyland races.
There was also a DJ in this backstage area.
We came back onstage by Imagination. We ran around to The Living Seas and saw these guys and had to stop.
We ran through the character spot areas and through the middle by the fountains. We ran out the other side by the “ball” and offstage again. We got to Mile 6 in this backstage area.
I think this picture was taken as we left the park heading towards the finish line.
Soon, we got to the finish line.
We were all so excited since it was Katie’s first race.
We all got medals but this one was the most significant.
We walked straight to our bus after picking up our water, mylar blanket, snack box, banana, and getting our official finisher photos.
We took this medal selfie on the bus.
I’m still not great at the selfies. Since I brought up selfies… selfie sticks are completely banned from the races and the parks for good reason. A lady from one of my running groups had a bad fall when pulling up short to avoid a runner who stopped mid-course to pull out a selfie stick. She was so badly injured that although she started the half the next day, she pulled herself only a few miles in. The runner who used the selfie stick didn’t even stop to help her. She just kept on running. Please be courteous. If you need to stop, move to the side. If you can’t, at least give some kind of warning to the runners around you. And leave your selfie sticks in your rooms (or even at home) where they belong.