We arrived at Walt Disney World shortly after noon on Thursday. We dropped the family dog off at her puppy resort then made our way to our hotel to check in. After a quick outfit change (something a little more presentable) we drove over to ESPN Wide World of Sports for the Healthy and Fitness Expo!
Disney puts together a great Expo, no doubts about that. The Expo was very organized with signs and volunteers everywhere, but it was just so crowded! With more than 50,000 participants entered in Marathon weekend events it was expected to be packed with runners.
We got in and out fairly quickly. Picking up our bibs and swag packs first, then making a quick once over through the vendors. We did what we needed to do then made a beeline for the door.
We had a wake up call at 3:15am! I couldn’t sleep a wink. Going to be at 8:30 is not normal to me and I couldn’t force myself to sleep. I ended up falling asleep sometimes after midnight and waking up just before the alarms went off.
We made our way to EPCOT while it was still dark and early. Alex, his dad, brother, and I took our spots in the last corral shortly before 6am. Fireworks sent Corral A on their way promptly at 6:30am. By 7am the fireworks signaled the start for our corral and we were on our way!
For the first quarter of a mile we all walked because there were too many people and it was a struggle to find your pace while weaving through the crowds. Once we found and opening we started to jog, all keeping together through the first mile. According to my Polar, we made it to Mile 1 in just over 14 minutes.
Mile 1 was the end of any chance for a PR. We ended up back in a crowd of people who were paying not attention to the runners around them. This truly was a FAMILY FUN Run.
For the remaining 2.1 miles we walked, weaved in and our of people, and enjoyed the course. We finished with smiles on our faces, especially for Alex’s dad and brother who finished their first ever running event!
I stopped my Polar just past the finish line with a time of 54 minutes. There is no better way to start your day that a Disney 5k! And we were done before 8am!!
— People of all ages and fitness levels are involved in Disney’s 5k’s.
— The course through EPCOT! It’s always nice to have visual entertainment!
— On course entertainment and characters! (Even though we opted to not stop for pictures)
— Race swag: shirt, medal, post race goodie boxes! WIN!
— On course refreshments
— Volunteers!!! And Cheer Squad! They are the best!!
— Early start time so we weren’t running in the 80 degree Florida heat.
— Starting in the last corral made it hard to find a comfortable running pace and avoid the walkers.
— Slick grounds through EPCOT made footing a little tricky at times.
— Some parts of the course were very narrow and made passing very tricky.
What I learned for my next Disney 5k:
— We are bumping up a corral or two for the next race. By not starting in the last corral will allow us to have a better race and more realistic finish time.
— SLEEP! I don’t know how I will achieve this but I was exhausted by the time we
— New work out gear for running in the heat. In general I want to try some running shorts and a tank top for the next 5k.
All in all, it was a great race and a great experience. Now I know what I should change for next time! Thank you, runDisney for kicking my butt and reminding me how fun this sport can be!
Another recap of food and fun will come tomorrow. Plus a weigh in!