It's time for a Jungle Cruise expedition 5k!
I was really excited about this race because I had organized myself and some other runDisney friends to run together as a Jungle Cruise themed expedition. I was stoked!
I had my pithe helmet and my khaki attire, I was ready!
It was a bit chilly that morning so I threw on some layers since I knew this wasn't going to be a race that I was going to be running continuously and was going to be pretty slow.
The race start was at 6am but I was planning to meet up with the rest of the jungle cruise crew at 5am so I was on a bus around 4:20, I waited on the bus for it to fill up and then we were off to Epcot. I was dropped off at 4:45/4:50 and made it to the meeting spot just before 5am. It went perfectly!
It was chilly and a little bit misty but nothing too bad. Once we had the team assembled we were ready to get this 5k started!
We started in Corral C and we waited about 7-10 minutes between corrals so in no time we were off. We were on a mission for some characters!
The 5k course is a great intro to runDisney. There is 1 mile outside the park and then the rest is winding through Epcot both on and off stage. They also place country specific characters along the route for pictures.
It's an untimed fun run so it's pretty relaxed for runners and walkers of all ages. Technically, runDisney can enforce the normal 16 min/mile pacing requirements but I have yet to hear of anyone being swept from this race. If you want to really race this run you will want to make sure you are in a front corral and start at the beginning of your corral. There are lots of people either taking it easy or walking this course so you will have to weave if you start in a late corral.
The race is very well supported. Lots of volunteers and 2 water stops on the course, plus you can just use the bathrooms in Epcot (no port-o-potties!). The only "hill" you will encounter is when you go over the bridge from France to the UK pavillion, other than that it's Florida flat.
This year for the 5k we had these characters out on the course:
- Chip and Dale - Backstage before going under Test Track
- Rafiki - African Outpost
- Bolt (and Mittens) - America
- Marie - France
- Lilo - Future World West through the Breezeway
We took a very leisurely 5k (finished in about 1:20) and I wouldn't have had it any other way. It was so much fun to hang out with other amazing runners. If you want to join our adventure party - stay tuned for next year's plans!
After the race, I took a nap and then we headed out to Epcot for a little bit and then my dad and I got ready for his special birthday dinner at Victoria and Albert's. To put it briefly, it was the most amazing dining experience I've had in my adult life. Seriously.
After a delicious evening of too much food it was time to call it a night and prep for Dopey day 2 - the WDW 10k!