It’s pretty normal to sleep poorly (or not at all) the night before a race but I was so tired from travelling that I assumed I’d get a few solid hours. Wrong. Way too excited/anxious about going to a new place in a new way! When the alarm went off at 3:15 I got my Minnie Mouse gear and a throwaway shirt on and called my first Uber ever around 4. I get kind of nervous doing things for the very first time, I’m human, but it ended up being child’s play haha.
How a ride sharing idea like this doesn’t exist everywhere blows my mind. So easy! It arrived within 10 minutes. The driver was super nice and somewhat familiar with the Disney event situation but we still ended up at a wrong entrance at first. An official directed us towards the drop off area and I was walking with thousands of others towards the starting area within 20 min of leaving my AirBnB. Now that I kinda know the way I should be able to help the next driver if they’re unsure. First Uber experience successful!
Walking into the main area before the start corrals, I couldn’t believe it when I saw someone I knew! My friend Jill from Toronto who I did Moksha Yoga teacher training with in LA in 2013 ❤❤ I knew she was here but would never expect to see someone accidently among the thousands of runners!
The gear check area was well marked and looked organized which made me feel better about Saturday and Sunday when I plan to check a bag for the longer races. They encourage you not to, if possible, and I don’t need much after runs under an hour so I saved myself the extra step. Gear check is there for you for all the distances though if you need it.
There was a big concession area with coffee and other refreshments and a massive pump up stage with announcers way more energetic than most of the runners! Keep in mind it’s still only 4:30 am haha. There were some hilarious costumes but I’d say in general it’s mostly running clothes with Disney-esque accessories so don’t feel like you need full-blown get-ups to be a good sport.
Just alongside the corral entry there were approximately one billion Porto Potties. Nice work, Disney! The corrals weren’t sardine-like and it was easy to relax and just wait for start time. And make friends.
The corrals got separated into even smaller waves of runners so it wasn’t very congested, which was awesome. I was in corral B and across the start line by 6:12 (official start of the run today was 6am.)
The first km was just on a road, in the dark with lots of cones and not Disney-like at all which had me a little suspicious but then I realized it was just going around the massive parking lot and looping around before we got into Epcot and it got VERY magical and Disney-like and I was SO HAPPY!!!!
It felt like Vegas! So many lights, loud Disney music and cool architecture. There were characters on course but long lines to get pics with them so I checked them out as close as possible on the way by and just enjoyed that I was running through Epcot ahhhh!!!
Five km went by way too fast. The finish was well organized, tons of volunteers to hand out medals first, of course (love how it has today’s date on it) and I love how crossing a finish line makes me feel, even an untimed fun-5km ❤
Then came tables of water bottles and Gatorade, individual boxes of snacks and bananas for every runner. It was well marked where to proceed to get gear if you had checked a bag and where to get back to the resort busses if that’s how you arrived. I didn’t see a place to go for runner pick-up though. I was about to ask, standing there loving my life and eating an Oreo when I hear “OMG I found you!!” and Ches from The KOR Project was there to greet me HAHAHAHA! He was making vids of the run and had parked in the Wonder Lot. I thought this morning would be more overwhelming but it wasn’t, it was totally manageable even on my own. Tomorrow I’ll figure out where the official drop-off/pick-up point is because I know I wasn’t dropped off in the correct location but again, it all worked out!!
This race was AWESOME but way too short and early to get a legit Disney experience. At this point in time I still couldn’t be happier to be registered for the Dopey Challenge. I will now eat this pizza and be way too excited for the 10km tomorrow. Please cross your fingers my suitcase shows up tonight!