January 8, 2015
My first of four early mornings started with a 3 AM alarm. I stayed in bed for a few extra minutes because my house was cold. I jumped out of bed long enough to turn the heater on and then ran back to bed. The chill in the air was just too much.
My extra time in bed is short-lived though; I have to keep moving. I get up and head to the bathroom. Shelby promptly moves to my warm spot and puts her head on my pillow. I grumble at her but she just stares at me. In my head, I’m cursing that she gets to be in bed while I’m getting dressed. To add insult to injury, she promptly starts snoring. I grumble some more about her being in my spot and sleeping on my pillow. Lucky dog.
I don’t have to think much. I put my gear on the bathroom counter so all I have to do is brush my teeth, put my contacts in, and get dressed. I’m ready to go in less than 30 minutes.
Once I’m dressed, I walk outside with the dogs. We’re standing in the backyard and all of the sudden, the wind blows. HOLY COW! It is COLD!! As soon as we go back inside, I grab some gloves and an ear warmer headband. I also grabbed a pullover. I have on two shirts; a running tank and a long sleeved tech shirt; but I don’t think these are going to be enough.
The drive isn’t too bad this morning. There is no traffic until I get on WDW property. Even then, the traffic is moving as everyone is going to the same place. Once I park, I sit in my car until the last possible minute. I don’t want to stand in the cold for an hour while I wait until my corral goes.
I finally get out of my car and walk quickly towards the start area. I have to go through the security area but I have no bag so it’s quick. Runner’s are being herded into the corral staging area. Everyone is wrapped in blankets, jackets, and winter weather gear. This is Florida so it’s kind of funny for me to see this. We just don’t get this kind of weather very often. And when we do, you can always tell which people are the Floridians. We’re the ones bundled up like it’s a blizzard.
I finally make it to my corral. Everyone is gathered close together. Normally, when waiting in the corrals, people spread out and sit down. I think the collective thought is that if we all stay close together, our body heat will keep us somewhat warm. I’m not sure about the warm part but it is definitely helping with the wind. The wind is brutal! There are some people near me that are from Minnesota. They aren’t troubled by the weather at all. In fact, the husband was wearing a short sleeved shirt!
After the National Anthem, the first corral goes. Things start moving a bit quicker once the first corral is off. The race announcers are keeping us entertained as much as possible. It’s cold and I think pretty much everyone just wants to get moving.
My corral finally makes it to the start line. I’m not too far back so when we are sent on our run, I’m able to move to the side where I like to run fairly quickly and easily. The 5k course takes runner’s through a bit of parking lot and backlot before we turn into the World Showcase. We run through the countries and make our way back to the front of EPCOT by Spaceship Earth. The finish line is just outside the park. You can see the official course map here.
I stopped for pictures at each of the mile markers; a goal I have set for my Dopey #2 experience; a picture with every mile marker during every race. I also stopped for a picture with Princess Ata from A Bug’s Life, German Daisy, and Pinocchio. I had a few other selfies along the way as well.
I finished the race in 59:24; under an hour with picture stops is good by me. Race times for the Family Fun Run 5k are usually unofficial, but since we are required to complete the race for Dopey, Dopey runners get a time.
I made my way through the finish chute. I didn’t have to collect a bracelet this year since pictures of Challenge runners were taken with their bibs. I thought that I would need to stop for verification of my picture but they were just sending runners through the tent.
I took my food box and drink back to my car. It is too cold for me to sit outside. I eat a little of the food and have some water while warming up in the car. Then I head back home. I have to drop my pups off at the kennel and I need to get the last of my stuff together. I’ll drive back up later this morning. I’m staying at Art of Animation this time. I’ve never stayed in this resort so I’m looking forward to it.
One race down; three to go.