November 5, 2016
I found about the Universal Orlando Fun Run via the Universal Orlando Passholder Facebook page. It is the same weekend as the runDisney Wine and Dine 10k race. I’m not running Wine and Dine and it the UO Fun Run is only $30 so I decide to run. I even recruited a running pal for the race.
Packet pick up times for the race are not convenient for me at all. However, they are allowing packet pick up on the morning of the race. This is great but it means that I’ll have to be there a bit early to allow a little extra time.
After parking in the parking garage, all runners are sent through the regular security check. Once through security, we make our way towards Universal Studios. The packet pickup area is in front of the Blue Man Group auditorium. Once I get my bib and shirt, I am directed to the gear check area. I can check my shirt so I don’t have to walk all the way back to the car.
From here, we are directed through a back walkway beside Rip, Ride Rock It roller coaster. We walk in front of the concert stage and make a u-turn to wait in front of/beside the Minions attraction. While we’re waiting, they bring out several characters for photo ops. I make the most of this opportunity and get pictures with almost of the characters. Since I decided to do a costume for this race, I get the ultimate reward. I dressed as Velma from Scooby Doo; my all time favorite cartoon. Shaggy and Scooby arrive and I get my picture with them. I was super excited that they instantly recognized my costume and that I got a shout out from the announcer!
The race finally starts. We run through Universal, by E.T., The Simpsons, MIB, Diagon Alley, and The Mummy. We turn and go out of the park through some backlot and then head into Islands of Adventure. We go through Seuss Landing, Hogsmeade, Jurassic Park, Toon Landing and Superhero Landing. Then we head into another backlot area before heading out to City Walk to finish near the Hard Rock Café.
We get a finisher medal and a goody bag as we cross the finish line. There is also water and some refreshments. Runners are scattered everywhere having some refreshments and cooling off. It wasn’t a particularly hot morning but it was quite humid.
I finished the race in 49:19. I think I actually left my Garmin running a little long! It was a fun race and the course was nice. Overall, it was a solid first attempt by Universal into the race world. There were no characters on the course, only before (and maybe after) the race. There were no photographers on the course either. The water stations were staffed fairly well and my only true complaint was the plastic cups at the water stops. It’s kind of hard to pinch a plastic cup in order to make a wedge out of it (which makes it so much easier to drink out of when running, IMO). I am not the most coordinated of people, so I managed to spill more if I tried to run and drink. Other than that, I give this race two thumbs up; I’d definitely run it again.
Until next time…gotta run.