Inaugural Walt Disney World 10k

January 10, 2014

Early morning wake up calls are never fun, especially when early is 3 AM. I am a slow mover in the mornings and I am so afraid of oversleeping that I will set multiple alarms on my phone, set the alarm clock, and order a wake-up call from the hotel. Besides all of that, when I know I have to be up early, I never sleep well. So, I require extra time to get myself moving.

When the alarm rang this morning, I immediately turned on a light and the TV. It’s hard for me to sleep with a light on; especially one that is right over my head and the TV was up just loud enough to be annoying. I stayed in bed another minute or two before forcing myself to get up and get moving. Silently I wonder why I do this to myself and that kick starts the internal argument of sleepy self with runner self.

I am always prepared by placing my gear out the night before the race. I have everything on the spare bed in the room so I don’t have to think. The hardest thing for me so early is putting in my contacts. I wash my face and brush my teeth and then fumble for a few minutes trying to get my contacts into my sleepy eyes. I’m sure to an onlooker it would be a comical site. I typically put at least one of them in wrong and have to struggle to take it back out through a twitchy eyelid. It isn’t pretty.

Once I get that squared away, I can change into my run clothes. Sometimes I wear sparkle skirts or tutus, but today I’ve opted for some run leggings and a little jacket. I can tie the jacket around my waist if I need to. I’m always on the cold side so I’d rather be safe than sorry.

While I’m getting dressed, I eat my breakfast. I picked up a couple of items at the quick service food court last night so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I’m having a bowl of cereal and some yogurt. Considering I’m not functioning on all cylinders, it all tastes pretty good. I also bought some orange juice so I’m drinking that and some water. Even though it’s only a 10k, I want to make sure I’m hydrated. I brought bottles of water with me so I’ll take one with me and drink it before the start.

I leave my room just before 4 AM to head over to the bus. At Disney races, you should definitely give yourself extra time to walk to corrals and hit the porta-potty as the lines for the toilets can be quite long. The course for the 10k starts in the same area as the 5k from yesterday so I head over to the runner’s area. You have to be a runner with a bib to get through the gate and the lines for the toilets are less crowded so it makes for a much shorter and therefore more pleasant experience if you really need to go. And of course, I do!

Waiting in the corrals is the same almost every day; runners start filing in and picking a cozy piece of pavement to sit until it’s time to get going. I’ve started bringing a large trash bag with me so that I can lay it out to sit on. Most mornings, even if there hasn’t been rain, the ground is at least damp. This morning it is cool and damp and I’d rather not have a wet bottom. I find a place and spread out my trash bag and even offer to share it with a runner next to me. He and I get to chatting and it turns out he’s from Miami. It was awesome chatting with him about some of the races he’s done.

The 10k start was going to be very similar to the 5k. The first corral would go and then each corral would be about five minutes or so behind. I’m in corral D so that means I’ll be about 15 minutes after the start of Corral A. Most runners are pretty chatty so it’s fairly easy to strike up conversations with your fellow corral-ers And, even though I’m not so much the morning person, I can talk to just about anyone. We all wait patiently for the start and once the National Anthem is sung, the racing gets started.

We’re moved fairly quickly just like yesterday. Corral A is off and Corral B is moved to the start line. Corral B goes and Corral C moves in. Then Corral C is off and we get to move to the start. The time passes pretty quickly and then we’re off.

Waiting in the start block just before the start of the Inaugural WDW 10k.

Waiting in the start block just before the start of the Inaugural WDW 10k.

The course follows a similar path to yesterday’s Family Fun Run 5k. We head out the parking lot and then make a left. We run through the parking gate (where you pay for your parking) and then go out to the highway. We run up an on-ramp and the first mile and a half is all parking lot/road. We finally make a turn back into the EPCOT area and hit the backlot similar to yesterday.

When we finally make it into the park, we are entering the World Showcase area. I really enjoyed this part of the run. Seeing all of the countries with all the lights and looking over the water at the countries surrounding the lake is just pretty to me. I wish I had snapped a picture. Here is the course map(follow the red course).

I didn’t plan to stop for any character pics again today. If I saw one that I really wanted, I would have stopped but it wasn’t a “must do” for me. So, I just ran/walked and enjoyed the race course for the Inaugural 10k. The course took us around World Showcase before we headed out of EPCOT and to the Boardwalk area. I really like running on the Boardwalk; it’s just a cool feeling to me. The boards were a little slippery from the morning dew but people come out of the hotel and guests are out sipping their coffee and it’s really awesome to have them cheer for each of the random strangers running by.

Goofy was out and he was in his sporty attire. Part of me wanted to stop for that photo op but the line was long and I just didn’t want to wait so I kept going. After passing all the shops on the Boardwalk and running past the hotels, we circle back into EPCOT and head back towards the front and Spaceship Earth. The 10k course heads left at Spaceship Earth and actually leads the runners back out of the park and through part of the parking area/main entrance area before looping us back in and around Spaceship Earth towards the finish line. EPCOT isn’t open yet so there are only cast members in the park. There were quite a lot of spectators though outside in the entry area and along the final stretch to the finish line.

All four races will finish with the same finish line. This makes it super easy for meeting up with any family or friends each day. Simply pick a spot and stick with it for each of your races. Once the runner crosses the finish line, they still have a little ways to go as they move through the chute towards the area where they collect their medal and can get back to gear check. So, a spectator can easily watch their runner cross the finish line and then meet their runner near the gear check area.

I cross the line for the race in 1:20:01 and move along to get my medal (YAY!), some refreshments, and armband #2 for the weekend. I also stop to get my “official finisher picture”. I don’t always buy them but I like to have the option!

The medal for the inaugural WDW 10k.

The medal for the inaugural WDW 10k.

I didn’t check any gear today so I stretch out with my box of refreshments and eat while I’m stretching my legs. I’m a people watcher so this is prime time for me! I love looking at costumes and just watching people as they move about their post race activities. I want to get back to my room and shower though so I don’t hang out long. Once I finish up my food and some stretching, I head to the buses and back to my hotel room.

My makeshift medal hanger in my room after two days.

My makeshift medal hanger in my room after two days.

I really enjoyed the 10k course today. I think this will be the same course for the Princess weekend Enchanted 10k which I’ll do as part of the Glass Slipper Challenge. It was a nice course and there was a lot of spectator support along the route. This is by far one of the best parts of a runDisney event; the crowd support is simply amazing!

Now, it’s nap time! I have no real plans for today so I’m going to nap and then maybe hit Downtown Disney later. Or, maybe just grab an early dinner and relax for the evening. I’m not sure!

On another note, I finally emptied my gear bag with all of my stuff from the Expo. I sorted through all the shirts and folded them nicely to put in my suitcase. I also threw out all the papers and such that I didn’t need. As I was emptying and sorting, I came across my runDisney vinylmation that I nearly forgot about. I opened the box and then opened the foil wrapper. If I could do a back flip, I would. I got the green one! WAHOO!!

2014 runDisney green Mickey Vinylmation with WDW Marathon Weekend mini medal.

2014 runDisney green Mickey Vinylmation with WDW Marathon Weekend mini medal.

Until tomorrow…happy running!

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