Monday, March 2, 2015

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015

I can't believe its been a week since I ran my second Disney Princess Half Marathon (DPHM) and my third half marathon ever! The last time I ran the DPHM was in 2012 and I was pleased to see the improvements they've made to the weekend in just three years. runDisney certainly knows what they are doing with these races!

After driving through the night, we arrived first thing Thursday morning to hit up the expo at opening. Things went super smooth at packet pickup with basically no lines. There was still plenty of merchandise to purchase and all the lines were organized and moved fast (which is important when you have other things to do like play in the parks!).

Beer at 10am on vacation is totally acceptable, right?!

With the expo crossed off our list and the race not until Sunday morning, we had a few days to enjoy Disney. We did all sorts of fun things like dinner at Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review, drinks at the Polynesian, meet and greet Elsa and Anna and carb loaded at Mama Melrose the night before the race!

We laid out our outfits and called it an early night on Saturday, after a senior citizen's dinner (4pm reservations), to get our beauty sleep sleep since we were waking up at 2:30am! We figured we would get plenty of sleep as long as we were in bed before 8pm. Mission accomplished!

We waited less than 5 minutes before a bus arrived at our hotel (I think it helped that we were at DVC resort so there weren't as many racers). Lucky for us, the low that night was in the 50s so it made the long walk to the start bearable. We were prepared this year with cheap sweat suits from Walmart to wear while we waited for the race to start and even for the first few miles. You can just shed that layer whenever you want and they have people along the side of the course picking up the clothes to donate to charity. Easy peasy!

I noticed that this year the corals were easy to find and organized. They had volunteers at the entrance to each coral checking bib numbers to keep them even and manageable. The start of each coral began with fireworks which is always magical so since we were in coral I we got to watch lots of fireworks before it was our turn. The race started at 5:35am but we didn't cross the start line until 6:00am.

 Considering I didn't train AT ALL I was quite happy that I ran as much as I did during the race. Of course, we stopped plenty of times to get pictures since in 2012 we didn't stop once which we instantly regretted. My goal was to finish in the upright position, have fun and take plenty of selfies! As you can see, I think I accomplished just that!

Since the lines were 30 minutes long for each picture, we decided to skip the lines and take selfies instead!

One of my favorite parts is running under this underpass with a super fun DJ wearing giant Mickey gloves blasting music. This is about mile 4 and the perfect place to get pumped!

 My face as I'm about to run through the say I'm excited is an understatement.

 Quick! Let's take a picture with the castle behind us! If only the selfie stick was smaller, I would have been able to get some better pictures, but the old fashioned way works too! 

 Passing through the castle and who was there to cheer us on?! Kristoff, Anna and Elsa!  

 Around mile 9 I was running out of gas, but these little inspirational signs helped.

For some reason, this sign just cracked me up, had to make Rachel take a picture since she was dressed up as Belle!

Truly dead at this point, but we were on the homestretch! Mile 12!

Just feet before the finish line was Mickey and Minnie, I couldn't resist. The perfect way to end the race!

By 9:30am we had run 13.1 miles. So now what?! Go to Magic Kingdom and play in the parks...after a shower of course!