Leaving for race weekend
I know, this post is 2 months late. Like last year, personal sadness took over race weekend and immediately thereafter. I apologize for the delinquency in the posting schedule, but I am getting this up before registration for the 2016 Princess Half Marathon opens up, so at least there is that.
Enough with the explanations, on to the recap. L arrived about 10 days before race weekend to acclimate to the Florida weather from the North Dakota winter. Last year, race weekend was hot and very humid. This year, it was cold – but more on the weather later. L and I did our park weekend before the race (instead of after, like last year).
Thursday night before race weekend, L and I packed up, made sure our costumes were ready and we had the requisite 57 dispensers of half-used BodyGlide in our possession. This year, we had the best addition to our sisterdom: my sister-in-law, K. This would be K’s first half marathon. I warned K before we left that, “L and I tend to bicker. Don’t worry about it too much.” If only she knew how much we actually bicker.
Friday morning, we picked up K and drove to Orlando. L and I bickered the whole way. I prefer to describe it as “talking,” but I suppose to someone unaccustomed to how L and I communicate, it would sound like bickering. Nice to know our communication style is unchanged from what it was in middle school.
We arrived at the Expo and parked. We were later this year than the year before and the parking lot was already fairly full.
Getting ready to Expo
We picked up our race packets, took some pictures, looked at the vendors, got covered in glitter then left to check into the hotel. We stayed at All Star Sports this year. It was charming, I think I prefer it to Pop Century. There are not many pictures of the Expo available because I dropped my camera in a toilet. Just accept it as a fact that happened and we’ll move on from that.
After checking in, we went to the Disney Character Outlet and Whole Foods to get our fuel for the next few days. K told me she had never been to a Whole Foods before. I have been in this woman’s family for nearly 10 years and I never knew about this void in her life. I had to still the shock to my West-Coast sensibilities (how can you avoid a Whole Foods?) and vowed to rectify this rare deficiency in my sister-in-law’s otherwise perfect existence.
Back at the room, we ate our dinners from Whole Foods and laid out our race clothes for the next two days. L showed K her whole system for race-day preparation. L prepared her outfit and pinned her bib to her shirt. K decided she would join us for the 10K.
We are going to look so good!
L was in charge of getting us where we needed to be when we needed to be there. She did
I hate it when L is right.
her job well. Like last year, I don’t know if she slept, but I know that at 3:15 I smelled coffee and oatmeal. And, just like last year, it pains me to admit it, but yes – the electric water kettle is a good idea if you are staying in a value resort. Disney does not put coffee makers in these rooms, so if your pre-race routine includes coffee and oatmeal, get a $20 kettle and make your life easier.
We trekked out to the buses and caught the first one to the race start. The 2014 race weekend was hot and humid. The 2015 race weekend was markedly different. Notably, it
K, C, and the smartest of us all: L
was cold. Really, really cold. L had brought a garbage bag with holes cut for the arms and head. She walked around like a crinkly roly-poly and while I teased her (see, “bickering” above), I was secretly jealous. I wish I’d been smart enough to take her up on her offer of garbage bag warmth.
Han and Snow
Because we were at the start so early, we got to enjoy the pre-race entertainment Disney
C and Tiana
provided. There was a DJ who was adorable. He made jokes, got the crowd worked up and led us in dances. There were also princesses for pictures. One of the neat things about it being so cold was that we got to see the princesses in their cold-weather clothes. I’d never seen those outfits before, so it was kind of special. We got pictures with Snow White and Tiana. Pocohantas and Cinderella also made appearances.
This is Thriller!
Eventually, we had to stop dancing to “Thriller” and move onto our corrals. I met a young woman in my corral who had a great Vanellope costume. She had just started running and the 10K was her test-run of Disney races. Eventually, we moved up to the start and headed out.
L instructed me to take pictures on the 10K. I tried, I swear I did. I stood in line for a picture with the White Rabbit and Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, just for them to break. That’s okay, there were some fairies right up ahead. As I grew close, I saw that the line for them was ridiculously long. I chose to take a picture of them from a distance and continue on.
The 10K was fun. We ran through the backside of Epcot, which was really cool to see that entrance. There were stilt-walkers for pictures at the entrance, they looked ready for Mardi Gras.
The course winds through Epcot and the World Showcase. The view of the sun rising with fake-Paris and faux-London both in the foreground is breathtaking.
L was right (ugh, that’s twice this weekend already!) about getting pictures with characters during the 10K. My pace is faster than L’s and I am accustomed to the Florida weather (even the frigid Florida winter, like we experienced this day). I was able to get pictures with some fun characters.
As the race progressed out of Epcot through the Boardwalk resort area, I got to see more of my fellow racers costumes. There was an adorable Tinkerbell and Wendy pair with costumes that looked like they came out of the Disney back-lot. A group running as characters from Aladdin were spritely and enthusiastic. Truly, the best part of the Disney races is seeing the costumes everyone comes up with. This year, my costume was better received than the very obscure costume choice L and I went with last year. This year, for the 10K, I was Han Solo. This was mistaken as a pirate, but I think a pirate is close to space cowboy, so I’ll take it.
K braved the frigid temperatures and waited for me to finish the race. We went back to the hotel and got changed to get ready for the day. K went resort hopping and L and I went to the Magic Kingdom. We couldn’t stay too late. We had a half marathon to run the next day.
Well, I went to bed. At about 6:30 the night before the half marathon, I asked L to make me gloves for my Gaston costume. And my older sister, who I had tormented for at least 48 hours on-end, stayed up and crocheted me Gaston gloves.
Next up: 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap.