If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably already know that I had a blast this past weekend. Disney truly treated us like princesses and I will fill you in on all of that tomorrow. But first, my race recap.
Location: Orlando, FL
Temperature: A balmy 61 degrees at the start
Official Time: 1:57:06 (8:57 pace) for 13.1 miles
Garmin Time: 1:57:07 (8:51 pace) for 13.21 miles
Place in Age Group: 142/2365
Overall Place: 638/13091
The Course/Atmosphere: I love this course. To begin with, it's simply magical. You start just outside of Epcot and run through the Disney property to the Magic Kingdom through Cinderella's castle and back through Epcot. When you add the scenery of this route with the on-course entertainment, atmosphere and support, and this course is hard to beat. Plus, Orlando is flat and with the exception of one hill at mile 12, so is this course. If you are looking for a fast time, this could be your race.
The VIP/Media Tent: As part of the Disney Princess Media Event, several other bloggers and I had access to the Media Tent before and after the race. No lines for the bathroom. No need for bag check. A post-race brunch. Talk about being spoiled. I'm not sure that any other race experience will ever compare.
The Outfits: Disney race participants are known for their rather inventive race apparel. From princesses to witches to frogs, you will see it all at the Disney Princess Half. Heather and I even saw someone running in a string bikini. We, on the other hand, were a little less adventurous, but fun, nevertheless.
A New PR: In 2010, I finished this course in 2:01:36. This year, I crossed the line in 1:57:06, a 4:30 course PR and a 56 second half marathon PR. While not what I was shooting for, a time I am very proud of considering the fact that less than 12 hours before the race I was vomiting at the expo and living on crackers and water (thanks Doodle for sharing your stomach bug!)
Celebrity Sightings: We were fortunate enough to hang out with Jeff Galloway (yes, that Jeff Galloway) post-race. He is a wealth of knowledge and perhaps the most approachable person I have ever met. And he makes one mean Jack Sparrow. I was truly honored to have had that opportunity.We also got to spend time with Ethan and Jenna from Survivor. And thanks to that encounter, it looks like I will be running the NYC Marathon with Ethan and his foundation, Grassroot Soccer.
The temperature: It was a humid 61 degrees at the start. A good 10 degrees warmer than I would have preferred and 30 degrees warmer than I am used to running in. In my last few weeks of training, I have done 16 mile runs with no water. That was so not the case during the race. I was drinking from my handheld by mile 2.
The Early Wake-up: Disney races are EARLY. We boarded a shuttle for the race at 3:50 a.m. By the time I finished the race just before 8 a.m., I felt like I had been up for an eternity.
Vomit: Did I mention that whole stomach bug thing? Yeah. Because that really sucked.