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!

Day 1: getting to Orlando & the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo

LOL I invented a new challenge for WDW Marathon Weekend where you run even more than the Dopey Challenge. I was basically sprinting across Seattle airport to make my connecting flight to MCO because the de-icing of the plane in Vancouver delayed flight #1 today. And of course when the flight attendants ask other people to stay seated until the passengers with less than 60 minutes to connect are off the plane, EVERYONE stands up and starts wrestling around with uneccesarily large carry-ons. And I was in row 30. Seriously people. 

So ya. My challenge, you run 1km frantically on day 1 before even getting to Disney. Minus the almost-heart-attack situation, I made it to Orlando on the correct flight, even a bit early. It was my first time flying with Alaskan Airlines and I got a really good first impression and will fly with them again. The couple sitting next to me said they always fly Alaska when it’s an option. Noted ✔ (look at their cute carry-on)

Arriving at MCO I got to the carousel and saw lots of mad people. Turns out a baggage belt broke at SEA-TAC and tons of bags got left behind. Including mine HAHAHA good thing I pretended this would happen when writing my packing post and my carry-on is golden! Checked bag should be delivered tomorrow and it was so awesome to have no reason to freak out. Be super smart about that carry-on!!!

Got picked up by my friend Ches from The Kor Project (THANK YOU SO MUCH) and we went straight to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for package pickup (about 35km from the airport to the expo.) AHHHHHHH wooo

It wasn’t as busy as I expected and getting bibs and shirts was really easy. I was given two 1/2 marathon race shirts by accident so I got seven race shirts! It’s a good one too since it’s the 20th anniversary of the half-marathon this year. I got excited and picked up a Minnie-themed tank top at one booth and a Minnie skirt 😉 from Kelly and the ladies at the Sparkle Athletic booth (which Alaskan Airlines will be reimbursing, lol) for tomorrow since my costumey running accessories are in the checked bag. This is a really good expo, and the official Disney gear is awesome. There aren’t costume types of  things like ears though so if you’re looking for that kind of thing you’ll need to go elsewhere before or after.I was hoping for some last minute mouse ears but no luck. Lesson learned. 

My accomodation is perfect so far!! The AirBnB hosts have it stocked with snacks, a case of water, K-cups and even peanut butter and bananas after asking me what my favourites were! I’ll see how it goes with Uber in the super early morning before telling you to stay here when you come down for a runDisney event, but it’s just 10km to Epcot which is the same distance as some of the actual Disney resorts. And like a fifth of the price.

Not the smoothest day, I’d recommend allowing more travel time on the way here to avoid stress, especially since it takes all day long to travel from Vancouver with the time change. But it worked out and there’s nothing I’m missing for the 5km race at 6am! GOODNIGHT ❤

 

 

Packing for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

Last week I went to Kelowna for Christmas and my luggage ended up arriving 18-ish hours after I did. Other than feeling like a dirtbag most of the next day, this wasn’t a huge deal. I didn’t have a race or anything specific like that to be super prepared for but tomorrow when I leave Prince Rupert, my carry-on is going to be packed like a pro. Hopefully my list might help you double-check your packing situation for a race weekend that requires flight(s)

PRETEND that checked luggage does not arrive at the same time I do…

CARRY-ON

  • runners & socks
  • race clothes for WDW 5km on Thursday a.m.
  • Garmin & charger
  • undies, rundies & sports bra
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, deoderant
  • race waiver & ID for package pickup
  • throw-away long sleeve shirt
  • phone & charger
  • medication
  • facewash, moisturizer
  • PJs
  • sunglasses

CHECKED BAGGAGE

  • 2nd pair of runners & more run socks
  • undies & rundies
  • race clothes/costumes for 10km, 1/2 & full marathon
  • bathing suit & towel
  • NON-RUNNING CLOTHES & SHOES (something I would forget, guaranteed)
  • make-up
  • hair washing stuff (I don’t use shampoo/conditioner..explain another day)
  • FlipBelt
  • gels, chews & electrolyte tabs
  • headphones
  • extra safety pins
  • sunscreen & chapstick
  • Body Glide
  • hair elastics & headbands
  • hat
  • garbage bag for home-made poncho before race if it rains
  • CEP compression socks for after races
  • more throw-away shirts

Pretty sure if my baggage was delayed I’d be set for the 5km race at 6am on Thursday. The carry-on situation would be a little different if the first race wasn’t just five kilometers, but it is! If you notice anything missing, let me know! 19 hours til the start of my long journey.