Friday, January 24, 2014

Race Report: 2014 WDW Marathon--10k

Huge line in the hotel lobby at 3:45 am waiting for the bus?  Check.
Enough KT Tape to span the globe in every color imaginable?  Check.
Hundreds of women and dozens of men dressed like Minnie Mouse?  Uh, check?!
Seeing these things can only mean one thing, it was the morning of the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k!  Here’s the recap:

On the bus (almost awake)!
This Friday morning began with the alarm clock blasting at precisely 3:10 am.  Why 3:10, you ask?  Because Aly and I determined that it would take us exactly 35 minutes to get ready, and those extra 10 minutes are HUGE.  We began our morning routine of fixing peanut butter and jelly bagels for breakfast and getting dressed in our running costumes.  Being a Minnie Mouse themed race, we opted to go with matching Mickey and Minnie outfits.   A quick check to make sure that nothing was forgotten, and… we’re off!

After a pretty uneventful bus ride to the Epcot parking lot, checking our bag, and using the restroom just one more time, we entered Corral C and waited for the announcement that we could start.  Now, in my experience with Disney races, there is usually 2-3 minutes given between corral starts in order to space out the runners.  You can probably imagine our surprise, then, when we realized that we were being given 10 minutes between groups.  Looking back, it was fairly nice to have the groups spaced out that much, although I don’t think it would work for the half-marathon and full marathon since there were only five corrals in this race and upwards of 16 in those races.  Some people would be running well into the afternoon.  In the Florida heat, that sounds less than appealing. Eventually, our corral was herded towards the starting line, Minnie gave the count down, and fireworks were set off to signal that once again… we’re off! 

The first few miles saw us running through parking lots and streets.  Not the most exciting stretch of course ever created, basically up and down one of the major parkways that run between the parks.  It gave you ample opportunity to notice that it was a bit on the hot and humid side today.  Much different than yesterday, which was (by Florida standards at least) freezing!!!  It wasn’t until just after Mile 3 that we that entered Epcot, through the back entrance to Test Track.  It was quite fascinating to see just how long the track on this ride was.  You definitely don’t get the full feel for it while on the ride.   
Can’t spend too much focusing on this though, because the course began to narrow as we took a left and began the run through World Showcase.  In my opinion, World Showcase has always been one of the most visually appealing sections in all of Disney World, so this definitely made for one of the best stretches of the race. Because we had just spent a good amount of time in this section of Epcot just a few months prior during the Disney’s Wine and Dine weekend, this portion of the race was a great opportunity for us to be a bit nostalgic.  I found myself reminding Aly of lobster rolls, garlic shrimp, filet mignon, fresh watermelon juice, and a number of other items that we had enjoyed so recently.  What a wonderful distraction.  

We exited Epcot and took a trip to the Epcot resorts: The Boardwalk and Yacht & Beach Club. The smell of pastries baking and coffee brewing caught our attention, as well as several people around us.  Great, now I’m hungry!  As we looped around, it was nice to hear the cheers of some spectators; this course is not very spectator friendly. 
Quickly we were back at Epcot running through Future World.  We were in the home stretch and the sun was just starting to come up.  Around the geosphere, probably better known as the “Big Golf Ball” and we were at the finish line.  We finished together, and each held back the urge to sprint ahead to beat one another by just a second (yes, we can be just a tad bit competitive).

It’s always fun to be part of something inaugural, and we were not disappointed.  We wish the course would have gone through 2 parks (Hollywood Studios and Epcot would have been perfect), but overall, it was a great race experience!  We accepted our medals, grabbed a snack box and some Powerade and congratulated those around us as we walked towards the bag check area.  Bag in hand, we headed to the meet-up area and checked our phones to confirm our time.  For me, it was in fact a 10k personal record!   To cap it all off, we took a few celebratory photos, and then once again, we’re off… but this time it was to the hotel for a quick nap before heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

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