Half 51: 2013 Princess Half Marathon – The Race

We treated this race morning like we did any other Disney race morning.  The alarm went off at 2:30 AM with the intention of leaving the house by 3:15. Everything went as planned and we were out the door on time.  We went our usual route only something was very different because no sooner did we pull onto Lake Buena Vista Blvd and we hit a long line of traffic.  A ride that normally takes us 30 minutes tops turned into a 1:10+ minute ordeal that had me starting to sweat.  I could seem my “Perfect Princess” disappearing before my very eyes.  Steve could feel the stress and did what he needed to do to get me closer to the start.  I kept in touch with the folks I planned to run with and told them to go ahead and we were determined to find each other.  We made it into the lot around 4:37, I gave Steve a quick kiss and speed walked my way to the runner’s area.  I slid through the “no bag check” line and started eyeing up the port-a-pot lines.  I kept going as I knew the closer you go to the walk to the corrals the shorter the lines got and having passed a dozen or so lines with 30 people in them I found several that had only 7, so I picked the shortest and hoped for the best.

I am still sad that I missed making it to the “H” tent in the family reunion area to see my friends from Running of the Ears.  It is a pre-race tradition and one of my only opportunities to see some friends during race weekend.  Believe me, next year, I will be leaving extra early so as not to miss it.

The line moved very quickly and I could feel my stress subsiding as I started making the walk to the corrals.  I kept looking for the path of least resistance and managed to make it into the C Corral and find my friends before the 5 AM requirement.  I made to sit down with them on a nice blanket they had laid out on the ground and no sooner did my knee hit the ground then the corrals started moving forward, lol.  As we made our way towards the start we made our way to the right like the good little run/walkers we are.  Right off the start things felt very crowded.  I was looking forward to things opening up when we hit World Drive, but the clearing never came.  Unfortunately my now routine nose bleed did.  I unfortunately have had enough experience to know how to manage them and didn’t let it slow us down any on our run.

As we made our way towards the Transportation and Ticket center our little trio grew as we found three more friends on the course to run with us.  We waved to Steve as we ran through the TTC.  Unfortunately he was cheering from the left and we were trying to be good and stay to the right for our intervals.  We exited TTC and started making our way towards the Contemporary where we normally see our wedding DJ, Scooter.  We yelled and waved as we ran past.  People had started jumping the cones and actually running in the car travel lane, which was very different from years past and was a symptom of the overcrowding on the course.  We turned into the Magic Kingdom and found another symptom, where people usually just run on the street people were hopping onto the sidewalk and running down that way.  We joined them so as not to need to transition into our walk on the street itself.  At this point I had my sights set on one thing only, the bathrooms, and I knew which ones to go to – Pinocchio!  It is slightly off course so the crowds stay down and any time you spend running the extra 1/10th of a mile you gain by not waiting in line.

We were back on our way with only a minute lost in the potty itself.  We exited the Magic Kingdom and again waved at Steve as we past him at the Grand Floridian because again he was on the left and we were being good and sticking to the right.  Unfortunately we dropped back down to a trio shortly there after as part of our party needed some extra walk breaks.  We were entering the area where the roads were opening up again and we tried to take advantage of it but again course crowding made it a slow go.  As we progressed we hit more and more areas where there was no option but to walk.  We found ourselves having to move towards the left to have any option and then we would hit a wall of walkers and stop.  It was very frustrating but we all tried to stay in good spirits and enjoy the ride as much as possible.

We made our way into EPCOT and found a little more space to run as we made our way through were able to start out intervals up again unfortunately we had already passed the 3:30 mark thanks to the crowding on the roads in.  We ran for the finish line and raised our hands in victory as we crossed.  It was a fun race with some great friends and I will remember it fondly.  We made our way down through the finishers area and grabbed our special 5th anniversary medals.  In this picture you can see how it compared to the previous years.


I had one more stop to make than my friends as I headed over to the “Perfect Tent” to get my special “Perfect Princess” lanyard.  This picture you can see the 2012 lanyard, the 2013 standard lanyard and the 2013 “Perfect Princess” lanyard.


We grabbed our drinks and food and headed back over towards the “H” tent to try to catch some people after the race.  I noticed the hubby was missing but he came up and surprised me with cupcakes from our favorite food truck, the Yum Yum Truck, instead of flowers.  Now the weekend is over, and though I still have some cupcakes left, I am sad to see all of my friends heading back to their respective homes.  As prices go up and races get more crowded I find people making the decision to skip Disney races more and more.  I look forward to anniversary years like this that draw the crowds in so I can see everyone.  Now the dust is settling and we are back to real life, but I do have some shiny bling representing some great memories to keep me company.  Hopefully runDisney will be able to find a way to make the course less congested and maybe to freeze the price increases so that they don’t continue to push away some of their more loyal consumers of their races.  Fingers crossed!


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