Star Wars Weekend 2015 - 10k

10k here we go!

After an easy 5k, we went a little hard at the parks. We walked around a lot and got a ton done, which was great, but it also took it's toll on our legs. Going to sleep the night before I could feel it in my legs, not too, too much but just a little too much.

Wake up time: 4am. Out the door: 4:30am.

Wookie, my friend, and I made our way over to the start a little groggy, I saw my friend who was running her first challenge race ever after she ran her first 10k only a year ago (so proud of her) before making our way to our corral. We were in corral E (last corral) and waited for our start. We couldn't hear anything back there. We couldn't hear the announcers or the National Anthem until it was half way done. No speakers were set up so it was weird being left in the dark about what was going on.

We finally got to move up after a couple corrals went and were more aware of the race. C-3PO and R2-D2 were there again to see us off and in no time we were off!

This was a great 10k course. Except for the first 1, it was all in parks and in backstage areas.

The original plan was to stop for Chewie for a picture but when we got to him the line was 5 or 6 switchbacks deep. We decided to grab some selfies and continue on. This became the selfie race.

Lots of characters were out! Darth Vader, Chewie, some people from something else, Boba Fett, lots of Jedi and lots of Storm Troopers. It was awesome. However, the lines for said characters were not awesome and I actually turned into "that" runDisney runner when we got to Boba Fett.

Situation: We ran up to Boba Fett and the line was SUPER long (20-25 min) and we were already in the last corral so stopping wasn't really an option for risk of being swept. So we did what we had been doing; pull over to the side, stop, and take a selfie. However, at this character apparently this was a safety issue and even though I was pretty much off the course I wasn't allowed to stop. Granted there were people in the middle of the runner area that were stopping for selfies, which is an issue. But to be told I wasn't allowed to take a photo of on course entertainment was annoying especially since the cast member was physically trying to block my pictures. I was less than nice to this cast member and then festered on this for the rest of the race because 1) I felt bad for her because I know she was only doing what she was told and 2) I knew there had to have been a better solution (or really any solution in this case). In the future at critical places like this, the cast member should be instructed to control the situation by directing selfie pictures to one side and runners to another. Telling runners they can't take pictures is not an acceptable "solution" in my mind and this is the first race weekend I've ever seen this happening. Being a proactive cast member in this situation would've been key but unfortunately she didn't feel empowered to make a decision like that from her management.

Anyways we finished the race and I really enjoyed it. The only part that felt really crowded for both the 5k and the 10k was running through It's a Bug's Land. I was mostly excited at the finish because I got to see two people I care about complete something amazing! Such a great feeling!

Great course, great environment, and I can't wait to run this again!

PS Sorry cast member for being annoying, the situation you were put in by your management team was really just unfortunate. I've been that cast member before to uphold "silly" rules (silly=safety concerns from Disney that guests don't understand) and I completely apologize for being a bratty runner.

WDW Marathon Weekend 2015 - 10k

This was my first “real” day of running. Once again my dad and I arrived pretty early, we hopped on a bus just after 4am and it was cold but not as cold as the previous morning so people were a bit more lively in the pre-race area. My dad made a beeline for coffee as I went off to meet up with my friends for the race.  I was running with my Australian friends, starting in corral A, so I wouldn’t have to wait around as long letting my legs get tired and cold as I did the day before. It also meant that were were dressed up as Anna, Elsa, and Olaf which was super fun and people seemed to really appreciate our outfits.

With the countdown from Rudy and some festive fireworks, we were off! We took the run at an easy pace and stopped for some fun characters. At the first stop a runDisney photographer came up and asked us to stay with the White Rabbit for a picture that would end up on Facebook, but then it never ended up there. Bummer.

We ran, chatted, got some pictures and had a really great time. We didn’t run into too many crowded areas (again we were in the first corral so our experience is different than others) and we finished in 1:09. The course is okay. Not great but just okay and it's very similar to the 5k course. The first 3 miles are pretty much all outside the park on the roads around Epcot.

Characters on the course included:

  • Anna and Elsa - standing on an overpass
  • White rabbit - Just before the bend on the highway outside Epcot
  • Lilo and stitch - Just after the White Rabbit
  • Mushu - China
  • Genie - Moracco
  • Mickey - Boardwalk EPSN Club
  • Tweedles - International Gateway
  • Chip and dale - Epcot West breezeway
  • Large puppets - backstage before exiting Epcot to the finish line.

We got our medals and then went to walk through the Dopey tent but nothing happened there. We just walked through. We weren’t really sure what was going on or how they were verifying the races. We grabbed our snacks and then headed back to our respective resorts to shower and nap.

Tinker Bell 10k

4:10 am came too early! I had never stayed on the north side of property before, so I didn’t realize how loud the fireworks were going to be. Oh well, live and learn and at least they were pretty early that night.

We got ready and were out the door around 4:45 to make the long walk to the start area.

When I booked my hotel, I assumed it was the same course as the DL Half, it was not. The start/finish area was at the far end near Paradise Pier Hotel, not DL Hotel. Oh well, that’s what I get for not checking a past map.

We made the trek with a few other runners all the way to the south side of DL Resort and quickly got into the corrals around 5:20. We were ready, but we had a wait. I’m not exactly sure how they sorted to corrals for the 10k because my friend was in A and I was in C, so we started in C together. As always Carissa and Rudy were great! We didn’t have any fairy hosts though, which was a bit of a surprise. Maybe tomorrow?

We did see the most epic Russel and Kevin costumed couple, though!

With the playing of the National Anthem on a trumpet (which was beautiful) and some fireworks, we were off! Our first stop was backstage and then into the park near the Small World entrance.

Then through Toon Town where Miss Chipmunk and Daisy were meeting runners. The line was long so we decided to keep trucking. We then went backstage again and then emerged in Critter Country. We were enjoying seeing Disneyland during the wee hours of the morning when we stumbled upon the best character meet! Just look!

Yep, that’s Little Leota/Bride and the stretching room tight-rope walker! Epic! THIS folks is why you always bring a camera to runDisney races.

After that I believe there were some pirates around but we decided to just keep going. Through Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and then out into the HUB

past

the castle. How did I not see this on the map earlier, we didn’t run through the castle, just in front of it. Oh, well. Another picture and we were off.

Across the esplanade and into DCA where we ran up Buena Vista street and then a turn to run past Soarin', around Grizzle River Run, and out to the World of Color area where the fountains were on. Love this!

Then around Paradise Pier, a run down Route 66 to Cars Land where Mater and McQueen were out. Through a Bugsland, back to the middle of the park, and then down Hollywood Blvd (or whatever that street is called) and then out thepark.

The last 3 miles were out on the streets of Anaheim and not really anything to write home about. We finally started running back to the resort area, a few more turns and then the finish line was in sight. We did it!

I was so proud of my friend. It was her first 10k and she stuck to her run/walk intervals and we had a lot of fun along the way!

We got our awesome medals, grabbed water and powerade, grabbed the snack box (better than at WDW Marathon weekend), and then decided to head back to the resort. It was really, really crowded and the flow from one station to the next was not great at the finish. It was hard getting around in a logical manner.

Time to head back to shower and then get ready for some breakfast at the Storyteller’s Café! Yum!

Pros:

  • Fun course with great/unique characters
  • Great starting area and easy to get to (no cars or busses required)
  • Great medal and overall experience
  • Love the theme of the weekend and seriously some really nice people

Cons:

  • The last 3 miles were a little boring
  • A bit crowded, they probably could’ve spaced out the corrals a bit more
  • Finish area was a bit of a mess

Did I Really Just Finish More runDisney?

Hi all!

Sorry I haven't finished my report from Marathon weekend. I've been battling a cold, catching up on work, and... oh yeah... running the Tinker Bell 10k and Half!

I had a blast. It was a great race and the course was loads of fun. Expect a report on that soon!

The Tinker Bell Half was the last race that is 10 miles or longer that I hadn't tackled in the runDisney series. The only "weekend" I haven't participated in is Expedition Everest, but it's hard to justify flying across the country for a 5k even if it is Disney.

Hope everyone else who "earned their wings" this weekend had a blast, I know I did!

A happy second time Coast to Coaster!