Sunday morning was the Princess Half Marathon and part II of the Glass Slipper Challenge (you can read part I here.) I was feeling pretty good despite only having a combined total of 8 hours of sleep between the Friday and Saturday and then walking around Universal Saturday afternoon.
We left our hotel at about 3:30am and were parked just before 4:00am. There was definitely more traffic for the half than the 10k. Sam and I parted ways with Danny, who had the chEAR squad package. We used the port a potties and then we were on our way to the corrals. The organizers were not kidding when they said it was a 20 min hike from the family reunion area/parking to the corrals. I was truly surprised how many people, hundreds of them, were still walking to the corrals even after the race kicked off. There were 16 corrals all together
The organizers kept things smooth as far releasing us in waves. I was originally assigned to corral “G” but moved back one to be with Sam in “H.” We were release just a few minutes before 6:00am.
We were on our way down Epcot Center Drive to World Drive and to Magic Kingdom. The crowd of runners alone had so much energy on top of all the spectators. I read a few blogs where people commented how the course was boring on the highway between Epcot and Magic Kingdom, it was quiet in certain spots but Sam and I each had a headphone with music in one ear and held a conversation for most of the race.
Just under 3 miles in we approached the Magic Kingdom sign. Since Danny had the ChEAR squad package, he had full access to Magic Kingdom to see us. Sam sent him a quick message to let him know where we were so he knew when to expect us.
Once we hit the entrance of where you first board the monorails to the park, we were hit with a sea of spectators. I loved how much energy the crowd had at 6:45am. We entered the actual park on the side over by Liberty Square and ran all along through Main Street up towards Cinderella’s castle. We spotted Danny amongst the area for the ChEAR squad group. We then made our way over through Tomorrowland and then through Fantasyland and through the castle.
After a quick stop for a picture in front of the castle, Sam and I jumped back on course to Frontierland. The good thing about running through the parks, is having full access to actual restrooms, knowing this we took advantage. After a quick stop we were back on route and had completed half of the race. Upon crossing the 10K mark I looked at my watch and Sam had her best 10k between the two days and was on track for a solid PR for the half. Shortly before mile 7 I lost my last Power Gel pouch 😦 It was noted on the official hand guide that Cliff Shot Energy Gels would be given out between mile 8.5 and mile 9. I’d never had this kind before but knew I’d need something to get my to the home stretch.
Around mile 8, they had the gentleman dressed in tuxedos holding a glass slipper. Sam and I had discussed stopping for a picture but the line was just way too long so we kept on going.
I stopped by the Cliff Shot Energy Gel station and picked up both a raspberry and a mocha flavor. The volunteers kept saying water was just straight ahead. Looking ahead I could see a curve in the road, assuming water was just passed that I went ahead and took the gel then, the raspberry flavor. It was actually really good and I had no affects to it. I am glad I liked it and had no problems consuming it as the water stop wound up being a half mile down the course.
The last few miles before entering Epcot were quite boring. By this point the sun was fully up and the temperature was increasing. I didn’t bother to bring my visor or sunglasses since we started the race so early 😦 We came to the last water station (for me) at about mile 11.5 where I took my last Cliff Shot Energy Gel. We entered Epcot at mile 12 and were now officially in the home stretch. The last half mile took the same route as the 10K and as we rounded the corner to the finish chute, Sam and I busted into a full sprint mode and crossed the finish line strong.
Upon crossing the finish line we were given our half marathon medal and then proceeded over to collect a bottle of water and a bottle of powerade. I am really proud of myself for hydrating well before the race weekend, during the race weekend and post-race. After collecting our beverages Sam and I headed over to the Glass Slipper Challenge event tent to verify our results and collect our third medal!
After we collecting our third medal we headed over to the refreshment tent where we collected these snack boxes. These boxes were also given out on Saturday after the race and contained all kinds of snacks from animal crackers to chips and queso and applesauce to dried fruit and Luna protein bars. They also passed out bananas which I graciously accepted!
Overall I was very impressed with the event. RunDisney knows how to put on a race and they completely exceeded the level of expectations I had for them. I would like to complete another RunDisney race in the future, just which event has yet to be decided.