Princess Weekend: My favorite race Disney race weekend.
- It’s less crowded.
- The weather is more consistent and nice.
- The courses are great and match the Marathon Weekend.
- It’s got a very good vibe to it.
- Great unique characters come out just for this race.
The expo has changed yet again, but I feel like this will be the last major change for awhile. I believe their goal all along has been to create an experience similar to Disneyland. With the addition of another stadium, they now have the room to make that happen. The Expo was in the newly built building. Gone are the lines out in the weather! They have enough space to hold all of the line, plus an expanded area for the RunDisney Merch. They also took the opportunity to update their fixtures and displays as well.
The 5K !
I actually cheered instead of running the 5k. Beth and Sharon went as Dwiddle Dee and Dwiddle Dum. We had some great costumes on the team for the 5k. Everyone had a great time!
I decided to do the dead last start challenge again for this 10k. The running club in rundisneyrun was planning for a big group for the half, so I thought that I would be a good opening act for them. I won’t get into to much detail on what it is, since I’ll do a separate post on what it is and what it isn’t later. The short of it; you start dead last and see how many you can pass by the end.
I did it at The STAR WARS 10K last year to show that you can have a great race no matter your starting position. The fun is where you make it, not what coral you start in. I did it this year for a few reasons.
- It’s my favorite 10K on the East Coast.
- The likelihood of there being any new characters that I needed was small.
- It’s been a while since I pushed myself and this would force me to.
- I wanted to be an encouragement for one of our teammates that was looking to complete their first 10k.
I love the balloon ladies! It was fun to catch up with them and take pictures for them.
When I do dead last start, I’m truly last…..like medical bikes and cleanup crew last.
I’ll get into the etiquette and expectations on the DLS post, but here is the big one: If you ever do a dead last start, you never have the right of way. They are running their race and you are running yours. They should never have to yield space or move for you. You should encourage those along the course, not hinder their experience.
I was looking for a couple of people that day. I wanted to find my teammate who was looking for her first finish and I was looking to catch one Mr. David Thompson. I was so happy to find my teammate closing in on the 3-mile mark. I let her know how far she was ahead of the balloon ladies to give her a boost. It meant the world to me to be able to give her some encouragement. I also knew at that point that she was going to make it the farthest that she ever had. I wouldn’t have been able to give her that insight or encouragement if I didn’t start last.
Now that I knew that she was set to have a great race I moved on to my one target for the day. David is not slow and started all the way up in C, but I also knew he was out having a good time before and during the race. How hard is it to track down one person in a race of over 10,000? Not too hard when they are over 6ft tall and dressed as nerd Merida.
Got him at mile 4!
I also had to stop at my favorite pavilion.
This is probably my favorite picture, even when I look like a do-fuss. Our cheer team was on the boardwalk with our awesome group of matching 10k ladies. I saw them and ran as hard as I could to make the picture. This is the reaction just as I jump in as she takes the shot.
I love this gal. Jennalyn is one of the friendliest and kindest people Ive ever met.
I wasn’t trying to kill myself since I had a half marathon the next day and a ton of miles to go in the parks that day.
Oddly my only finish line pic. Its also a reminder that unless you are first, someone always finishes before you.
By the end, I ended up catching 62% of all the runners and passed 7597 people. I ran about 2 miles on grass so I wouldn’t get in other runners way.
Dead Last Start is a fun variation for a race if you are looking for a different way to challenge yourself. Just remember to be kind and courteous to your fellow runners!
The Princess Half Marathon
Princess Enchanted 10K Recap
Don’t stop, just keep going…
It was the enchanted 10K morning. It was pretty cool, but not too cold.
I’m not a big tutu fan. I’ve been in lots of obstacle races where people wear them and get hung up in barbed wire and other things. I thought it would be funny to wear a tutu to one of the races down there as a tongue in cheek type of deal. I also thought it would be funny to see a guy in a tutu running in a sea of women. My wife talked me out of it thankfully. So here is another thing I didn’t anticipate at this series: The amount of dudes in said tutus. The ratio for the races is 90%-95% women depending on the actual race. I would say about 10% of the guys were wearing tutus. 10% of 5-10% of the crowd doesn’t sound like a lot, but that equals about 200 dudes in tutus!
I chose to don my shorty-shorts instead and got ready for the race.
Our team had our typical meet up and we were off to the corrals. I was determined to not end up in long-line-selfie-land today, so I was going to go at a good pace and only stop for characters that I needed. (Which is starting to get harder. We just got our 500th different character on this trip.) Dave from the Mickey Milers joined me up at the front and we got to hang out in the moments before the race. He was going for time and ended up winning his age division.
The way the course works is that it doubles back on itself a little after the first mile. If you look over to the return side you can get a glimpse of the character stop. (This was one of my longest stops at the WDW 10k in January.) I look over and see all the fairies hanging out because no one had made it there yet. That was a good motivator to truck it, so I did and passed the evil hag on the way. I made it and only had a 30 sec wait as opposed to an 8 minute wait the last time.
I have better legs than Terrance.
Many of the characters have a winter set and a summer set that they can choose from. What only a true character nerd would know is that many of the ones in 10k race were in modified outfits, neither fully summer nor winter.
The next stop was Pocahontas. We’ve met her a bunch of times in both her summer and winter outfits but I had never seen in in a poncho before. Another fun modification for the nerds.
The next mile was pretty quiet. You go around back and enter through the back gates to Epcot. No characters back here besides the jester characters on stilts from marathon weekend. I love rounding the corner into Epcot proper at the 5ks and 10ks. It’s just impactful. For these races they had the torches lit, some of the Christmas lights on the edges of the buildings and most of the building lit up in pink. It was a good spin to capture the race series.
I passed by several characters in this area: Genie in his vacation outfit, Jiminy Cricket, and Pinocchio. The selfies were at a minimum here, because I was still in the more competitive group.
There is usually someone in France, and sure enough Cogsworth and Lumiere were out together! They swapped out during marathon weekend, so I missed Lumiere before. Once there the CM says that they are leaving in 1 minute. People start freaking out a little and start trying to get real quick pictures. I make it next up in line and the line gets cut…. They leave me holding a line of people. Meanwhile I’m thinking of that selfie crowd inching its way toward me. Not long later, they come back out and I was able to get my picture.
From there its a trip around the boardwalk and back in to Epcot for the finish. I was so happy to see Deanna and Danielle cheering me on out in front of the bakery. I really do love my team!
The boardwalk is fun because there is usually a fun crowd out and guests are out in front of their hotels cheering too. Instead of the cute coral from yesterday they had these things…… Evil coral?
Around the bend and the ball and its off to the finish again. Beth and Sharon had a good time picking up characters in the pre-race area, while I was out doing my thing. It was definitely better out in front today.
Two down and one to go. The half marathon and Glass Slipper Challenge are up next!