Day 3: WDW 10km! (caution, this post contains very bad news)

I couldn’t sleep again! But the nap after race #1 must have been enough because I was functioning fine. Instead of rolling around I got up at 2:30 and started getting the Donald Duck disguise put together and had the standard peanut butter and banana toast race-day breakfast.

My Uber experience was perfect today. We followed the runDisney directions and I ended up in the drop-off/taxi/bus lot where I should have yesterday, and then I walked a couple hundred metres to join the mass crowds from the event transportation from resort hotels and walk to the starting area. Easy. After that simplicity, I now fully recommend my accommodations to others travelling here for a runDisney event!

Almost immediately after entering corral B, I met up with my new friend Dave from yesterday! Unplanned too! We decided to meet in the Reunion Area afterwards and he would give me a lift back to my place since his Marriot hotel was close! I am telling you this because despite what you may think, travelling to a racing event alone is not lonely. Everyone’s here for the same reasons and the majority are happy, excited and into meeting new people, especially the other solo runners. Tons of people come here on a family vacation but just the mom or dad takes part in the running events, or one person is running who travelled with their non-runner spouse, etc. It’s like when you are in the single line for the chairlift at the ski hill, you just don’t actually have to yell out at a bunch of strangers that you’re alone haha.

The 10km had a different vibe than the 5km. It is timed, for one, and not considered a fun-run event. I LOVED IT! But to be honest with you, the first half of the race is not in a Disney park, it’s around it.

10km

I thoroughly enjoyed this race! Even the road running was fun, with so many people and the good energy, almost felt like half-regular racing event, half-Disney event. There were still characters on this part of the course which was awesome. There were a few short, gradual uphills and downhills, and it was kind of a nice warmup to be feeling really good once we entered Epcot around the 5km mark. The second half we ran throughout Epcot, the scenic World Showcase and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. There were way more spectators than yesterday and I loved running on the boardwalk. This place is unreal! Personally, I was feeling amazing and loving the “GO DONALD!!!!” and “I LOVE YOU, DONALD!!!” that I was getting from the spectators and cast-members! Note, I plan to buy my race pics and that’s why I am posting this proof. There are mixed viewpoints on if this is okay or not, so had to let you know.

At some point during this race I officially picked one of my multiple weekend strategy options which was:

  1. Easy 5km, stop for photos if I want, enjoy my first Disney run
  2. Run well and smart, not a race-pace that I’d aim for if I were running only a 10km this weekend, but a good solid effort
  3. Take the half-marathon at an easy and comfortable pace, saving my body for the finale on Sunday (BIRTHDAY MARATHON!!!)
  4. Do my absolute very best effort based on the condition of my energy and physical body.

I did very well for myself and was feeling great after crossing the finish line, but made sure to chug one of the Powerades given out right after the medals (omg look)

and drinking a ton of water and eating a banana immediately. I found Dave easily, who also had a good run he said, and then as soon as he dropped me off at home I ate a Clif Builder protein bar from the race snack box, another banana, more water and the elixir of life: CHOCOLATE MILK. No room for laziness in recovery on a weekend like this! I did a full-body stretch, showered and cleaned up a bit to keep my body moving a little more, and then got into bed for a 4 hour sleep.
I didn’t take many pics today, and I don’t have a ton to report that was different from yesterday, but one thing I didn’t mention was how much discussion was going on about the potential rain and lightening forecasted for tomorrow. All the talk was not creating a good vibe in the corral so I ignored and enjoyed my Prince Rupert rain-tolerant mindset. But now I have to tell you the worst thing ever.

Yes you read that correctly. All races tomorrow are cancelled. Not even lying. Heartbroken. I’m more than a little upset right now. There is lots of talk happening on Twitter about meet-ups being organized by angry Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge participants to run the half-marathon distance at some point tomorrow on their own accord. I haven’t decided exactly what my plan is, but Ches from The KOR Project and I have decided to run 21.1 km at some point tomorrow. It will be at a very easy recovery pace. I can’t accept my Goofy and Dopey medals, and rock the race challenge shirts (which are actually nice, I am VERY picky and rarely like race shirts) unless I run a half-marathon distance tomorrow. So I’ll keep you posted on what happens. There is loud thunder crashing and a downpour happening as I’m typing this so I get it, Disney is doing their job with respect to safety, I just wish they would have waited to make a more last-minute decision in the case that this storm has passed by the early morning hours…GAHHHH!!! Talk to you soon!

 

 

Day 2: Walt Disney Marathon Weekend 5km

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!