It’s time to run my 8th WDW 5k!Read More
Let's get these races started!
I was totally jazzed for these races and they did not disappoint. When I heard Lucas was getting involved I knew that we were in for some real fun. Plus, all the runDisney runners are phenomenal at putting unique outfits together, making your fellow runners just as interesting as the official entertainment.
We woke up at 4, put on our outfits and were out the door a little after 4:30. We walked over to the gathering area, but it was pretty empty by that time since people had made their way to the corrals so we just headed on down. I was excited to be running with my friend as she completed her FIRST 5k EVER! Woots! She had done a virtual one, but this is soooo much better.
Reunion Area stage
BEST MILE MARKERS!!!!
This was the weirdest thing about how the races were set up. The start was set up like Tinkerbell where runners enter via the Simba parking lot by the Paradise Pier hotel, but the bag check and finish were by the Disneyland Hotel. If you were staying on the South side of Disneyland, you were have to walk past the start line area to check your bag and then back track to the corral entrance. It was weird and not the best set up and I saw lots of runners confused by this.
-Time out over-
We got to the corrals around 5am and waited and waited. We were in corral C which was the last corral which was fine. I liked that the 5k felt so much smaller than the one at WDW (3 versus 6 corrals, everything at Disneyland feels more intimate). Plus, C-3PO and R2-D2 were there at the start with Carissa and Rudy. SO FUN! After about 20 minutes we were off!
Confetti at every start!
The course was really fun. Lots of park and backstage time and not so much Anaheim street time.
They had lots of Jedi and Stormtroopers along the course plus lots of projected images and music between characters. The lines for the characters were LONG though. Really LONG. We skipped Chewie but were one of the last 50 or so people to get a picture with Darth Vader (waited about 20 min I think). Score!
We then hustled to the finish and got our medallions. Overall, it was a great race. The runners and the course support were all pretty awesome. So many great costumes and just everyone geeking out in their own way!
We headed back to the hotel, showered and then headed to the parks for some fun! I was already getting excited for 2 more days of running because I knew it was only going to get better!
So as you probably already know because you were either there or read on social media, the 5k was cold. Like really cold. For anyone who has visited WDW when it’s cold, 30 degrees feels waaay colder in WDW than anywhere else. There was wind. There was cold. There was darkness.
My dad and I got ready and headed to the bus around 4:30. We waited for a little bit and then hopped right on and were at the race in no time. We then followed the huddled masses to the main area where normally everyone is dancing, laughing, chatting, and taking pictures but not this time. It looked like a barren waste land in front of the DJ because everyone was huddled around buildings to keep warm.
My dad and I decided to brave the cold in search of coffee and came across the massage tent which they had opened up for people to keep warm in. This was amazing and thank you so much runDisney!!! We never did find that coffee though.
The start of the race was at 6:15 and my dad and I were starting in corral F, the very last corral. We waited until about 6 to go to our corral and then tried to huddle close to others but the wind just whipped into the group and we froze. This year they had changed where the start line was and honestly, I thought it was fine. Lining up there was fine. I don’t really see a large advantage but if runDisney thinks it works better than I’ll defer to their judgment since it didn’t really change my race experience.
Since we had to wait for all the other corrals we didn’t get to cross the start until just before 7 and so it was a very long and cold hour of just standing there. My legs were stiff and my feet completely numb by the time we started. I actually let my hair down to keep the back of my neck warm which is big for me!
When we got to the first mile marker, my feet were starting to thaw as we walked at a fairly fast clip. The best part of the 5k is the sunrise in Epcot. It is just beautiful looking over World Showcase lagoon and seeing the sun peaking up. Beautiful!
Characters on the course included:
- Princess Atta (It's a Bug's Life) - Before the cast parking lot
- Daisy Duck - Norway
- Pinocchio - Italy
- Chip and Dale - Japan
- Marie - France
- Donald Duck - Canada
We didn’t stop for characters, in hindsight I wish I had waited in line for Chip and Dale in Japan but I was just too cold! They changed the course slightly this year and I thought it was nice. No better or worse that the old course that looped us up to the very front of the park rather than through Future World West.
We crossed in 48:51 and then hurried over to our very long bus line. More waiting in the cold. But the bus team assembled and got more buses working on the Pop Century/Art of Animation loop and we never had a problem for another race. Kudos!