WDW Half Marathon!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

After a restless night of sleep (this was my 3rd night of restless sleep) I woke up around 3 and did the normal (dressed, coffee, peanut butter toast) and was out the door by 3:45. I followed the directions in the program on how to get to Epcot and had no issues getting in. It was a little backed up around the entrance but it was moving well so I was parked by 4:15 or so. I was still feeling a little sick but not so sick that I felt like I couldn’t run and definitely better than I did the previous afternoon. Between that and the heat (it was already pretty warm and muggy out) this was going to just be a race to “get done” on my way to Dopey!

I only knew a couple other people running this race, so I just milled around until they called corral G and then made my way to the start area. Going to the start area was very slow. We were all just shuffling the half mile to the start corrals.

I made it to my corral, talked to some Frozen fans who liked my costume and then it was time to start! Moment of silence for Boston, National Anthem sang, and time for fireworks! Since the start line is further away from the parks, they can do real fireworks for this start. It’s so fun!

It didn’t take long for corral G to be released. Basically every 2 min or so another corral was being released and we just kept walking forward

the whole time. It was really well controlled. Kudos runDisney!

It was finally our turn and with fireworks we were off!

The beginning was very open with lots of space to run. The smaller corrals really helped here.

We made it to the Magic Kingdom (MK) parking and I made my first character stops!

But then we got to “cone alley” as we exited the MK parking lot area and it was reminiscent of races past. Very crowded, hard to pass people, and just not great. Not sure if there is ever going to be a solution for this other than just changing the course all together. We then made it to MK right after hitting mile marker 5!

We ran up Main St…

Through Tomorrowland where Buzz was meeting runners, around to Fantasyland where Royal Daisy and Donald were meeting subjects, back through the castle and then a turn into Liberty Square and into Frontierland.

We then exited MK and it was back to the roads to Epcot and another “cone alley”. I passed getting pictures with Lilo and Stitch and maybe one other character because I had gotten them the previous year but stopped for this holiday inspired pic!

The run to Epcot is fairly easy, all flat and lots of space for runners to spread out. A Green Army man was on the ramp as we made our way to Epcot inspiring runners to keep going. Then to the turnaround area right before going into the Epcot parking lot and who should I see but Patrick (@WhatThe5k on the Twitter) who I had been trying to meet up with during the weekend. We then chatted and did the last 1.5 miles together through Epcot. Lots of fun and we made it to the finish! Almost half way done with the Dopey Challenge and only one more morning left!

We got our medals, grabbed water, and the snack box and then it was time to head home. With no one to wait for I just had to get home and rest.

My plan was to take it nice and slow, which I did and just get pictures and enjoy the race. The real race is the marathon, so not sweating the half is key to a Goofy or a Dopey Challenge.

Pros:

  • Better Start Corrals
  • Lots of water stops and medical
  • Some great volunteers
  • It’s always so fun to run through MK!

Cons:

  • Still crowded in “cone alley”
  • Very warm – Disney can’t really control this
  • Felt like there were less characters this year – still lots, but just felt lighter