I have just completed my 3rd Disney Princess Half Marathon but my whole weekend experience began when I registered for my races on Friday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Disney even make this mundane task fun – you are greeted by the coachmen and can have your picture taken with them by the Cinderella Pumpkin coach. There is an expo where you can browse, purchase, get a massage or speak to experts in all areas of running for free.
Then yesterday I ran my first Royal Family 5k event. Fantastic – you run around the world at Epcot (starting in the parking lot) from Mexico to Canada and then down past the fountains, under Planet Earth and back to the parking lot. It was a lovely event, with characters located in the different countries that you can stop and have your photo with if you choose. Everyone who enters gets a fab t-shirt and then on successful finish a matching fab medal.
Today was the Princess Half Marathon – it feels more like a marathon as you have to get up very early (3am) to be back at Epcot between 4-4.40am to then walk (before you’ve even started) to your starting corral by 5am! The corrals then have staggered starts – I was in corral F so we didn’t start until 6.15am. There is plenty of entertainment though and some amazing costumes to keep you occupied in the meantime. The Fairy Godmother rocks up to start the race for each corral – with a spell and some fireworks and then you are off. The course takes you from Epcot down World Drive and into the Magic Kingdom, you go through the Polynesian resort and then onto the Kingdom itself, running right a long Main Street USA, round Tomorrowland, into Fantasyland and then through Cinderella’s castle, into Adventureland and then exit Magic Kingdom to head back to Epcot. All along the route there are characters, live bands, entertainers (trampoliners, stilt walkers, firemen) and really well-marked out mile markers which are beautifully themed. 21.000 took part today. My hubby came to support me and the supporters are well catered for with good transport links between different viewing areas and then back to the finish line.
I am not a ‘happy’ runner – but this is my 3rd Disney half marathon so I guess that speaks for itself – give it a go, I defy you not to enjoy yourselves.