February 21, 2014
Princess weekend is the third weekend of runDisney races. I’ve run the half marathon the last three years and it’s one that I enjoy. This will be my fourth year running it and it will be the first year for me to run the Royal Family 5k. Also, it’s the inaugural Enchanted 10k and Glass Slipper Challenge (10k and half marathon challenge) so I’m looking forward to the weekend.
I took only Friday off of work. I went to the Expo last night to pick up my packets and my shirts and such. But I went back home after so I could save a night on hotel and boarding of my dogs. Because I chose to do this, I have to get up pretty early in order to get dressed and make it to the race.
As usual, I have my gear laid out so I don’t forget anything. The alarm goes off and I hit snooze once. When it goes off the second time, I get up and start moving, slowly. I get dressed pretty quickly and take my dogs outside before I leave. I’ll come back home after the race to finish getting my stuff together and to take my pups to the kennel before I head back up for the weekend.
I head out the door and make my usual Dunkin stop for breakfast. The drive is pretty easy; especially this early; and there is very little traffic. I get on I-4 for only a few miles before taking the exit to EPCOT. Traffic is heavy headed towards the park as other runners and spectators make their way to the event. The traffic is moving though so I get to the parking lot pretty quickly.
Once I park, I have to walk a good way to get to the start line area. I don’t have a bag to check so I head right into the runner only area. There are plenty of other runners already in the corral so I make my way as close to the front as I can and then pick a spot of pavement to take a seat. I chat with some of the others around me until the corral starts to fill more and I’m forced to get up.
It isn’t long before the corrals are starting to move into position. I’m in corral ‘A’, not because I’m fast, but because I registered really early. Since this isn’t a timed race, I believe the corrals are arranged by order of received entries. There are several parents with their children in the corral as well so I figure it can’t really be sorted by times.
The National Anthem is sung and a minute or two later, I’m on my way with the rest of the corral A folks. This is the same course from the Family Fun Run 5k in January so I know the route and where to expect some character stops. Also, since I’m in corral A, I feel a little more confident that the picture lines won’t be terribly long by the time I get to them so I can stop if I want to.
We head through the parking lot and into part of the backlot. This takes up the first mile and there is one character stop with some of the characters from “A Bug’s Life” I think. I don’t stop for this one. I continue as we head into the World Showcase area. We come in beside Mexico and then make a right to go around World Showcase. There are a couple more character stops throughout mile two but none that I really wanted to stop for. The only picture I stopped for was in front of Spaceship Earth. In the early daylight, it made for a really nice back drop.
After that picture, I kept going around Spaceship Earth and through the last stretch before the finish line. The finish line stretch is the same for all three races this weekend as it was for all the races during Marathon weekend. So, I’m very familiar with it. I cross the finish line and get my official finisher medallion. Then I make my way through the finisher chute to get some refreshments and take my official finisher photo.
Once I get through the runner area, I sit down for a minute to eat a little from my snack box and drink my water and Powerade. I don’t stay very long since I need to get back home. I’ve got a lot to do before I head back to the Disney resort for the weekend.
The Royal Family 5k was fun. There were some families running with their kids and the kids really seemed to be enjoying it. Seeing some of them really made me smile. Some of their costumes were really cute too. This really is the perfect kind of race for children and families to do together. There are some character stops for entertainment and it isn’t timed so there’s no pressure to all out run it.
My time, according to my Garmin, was 37:39. I stopped for only one picture but I did dodge some kids; one kid stopped right in front of me and I had to leap frog over him. I touched his head with my hand to avoid clobbering him and his mom actually yelled at me about touching her child. No worries lady; next time I’ll just run him over. Really; I tried to do the right thing so neither of us would get hurt!
Oh well…it was a fun race but now I have to get moving so I can get back to WDW and check in to my hotel!
Until tomorrows race…happy running!