Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Princess Weekend Day 3...10k

Saturday Feb. 22nd was the start of the races for our group.  I'm going to be honest.  I was worried about having the stamina and strength to finish the 10K Saturday and the Half Sunday to complete the Glass Slipper Challenge.

But I decided to bury the fear, and go for it.

Saturday morning, we woke early.  If I remember right, it was like 3am.  I had to calculate pumping time into the equation.

Once we were dressed and ready, we went down to the lobby of our hotel to catch the bus.  Everything went so smoothly!  I heard horror stories of previous years, but I have nothing but positive to say.  We weren't late, we got on the first bus that swung by to pick us up.  But I think some of the smoothness is because of the location of our hotel on the bus route.

You see, our bus filled completely with all the runners from our hotel.  So when we drove by the stop at the next hotel, there was no room for any of them in their long line.  But I'm sure another bus came along eventually....

Once we arrived at the bus drop off, we had a little walk to head over to the starting line.  I snapped a quick picture, and the excitement was everywhere!

I'm a huge people watcher, so I enjoyed walking through the crowd.  There were so many costumes!  And some were so random...

(Yes, you are in fact looking at a PURSE!)
(How could anyone run in that!?)

One of my favorite costumes at the 10k was an older couple (probably in their mid 60's) dressed as Prince Charming and Cinderella.  I loved them not for who they were dressed as (there were TONS of Cinderella costumes and Prince Charming costumes), but I loved them because they were so excited to get into the race...giddy, like 15 year olds!  They were holding hands as they walked to their corral.  I regret not snapping a picture...it was adorable!

Because we were early to the race, we had time to party it up and dance away.  The MC was great, full of energy, and got us warmed up!

As the race start time got closer, we decided to hit the bathroom one more time.  Only, we waited in line FOREVER!  My advice:  don't use the bathrooms closest to the corrals.  They were so much more crowded that others in the area.  :)

As they announced for everyone to make their way to their corrals, the excitement was buzzing!  If you haven't run a Disney race before, then let me explain the corrals just a little bit.  There are so many runners, SO MANY, and because of that there are delayed start times to try and help with the bottle-necking.  The corral you are placed in is based on your registration.  They ask you to submit proof-of-time from other races (10k or above).  This gives them an idea of where you might finish.  

With Disney, the big talk is about the Mickey carts and balloon ladies.  Because you run through parks, they require you to maintain a 16 min/mile pace or you get swept.  To measure this, they place pacers in the very last corral.  And the balloon ladies are the very last people out of that last corral.  They literally carry balloons and stay at that 16 min pace.  Anyone who falls behind them risks being picked up and swept.  

I wasn't worried at all, even with the lack of training.  You see, because of previous times submitted from earlier races we had a very good corral.  (And lots of buffer room.)  We decided that because we had a half to run the next day, we were going to not push the 10k.  We were just wanting to finish.  

As we went through the course, we mainly walked.  We would jog if we needed to pass someone.  But mostly, we walked.  

We probably would have stopped for pictures with characters.....if there had been any we really wanted.  I was kind of disappointed with the lack of "main" characters placed in the 10k.  We mostly saw the "side-kicks."  Like the cards from Alice in Wonderland.  The one place we did stop to get a pictures was for the Genie and Lumiere.  They were giant!  And you can't see it from the picture below, but they had real people hooked up to them...operating them and talking.  It was probably my favorite character spot (in both races).

When all was said and done, we crossed the finish line and felt great!  The medal was big and beautiful.  It was a fun race, and Disney did a great job with all their aid stations.  The best part...by finishing, it set us up to be part of the inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge finishers the next day.  (more on that tomorrow...)

The rest of the day we spent at parks.  From riding Toy Story, to Tower of Terror, we tried to do it all.

One more thing I want to comment on was the weather...I was SO grateful for the weather we had.  The humidity was minimal compared to what I expected!  And during the race (and even at the parks) it was over-cast and manageable.  We even got a little rain Saturday afternoon....although the rain did bring a little more humidity than I liked.  (But at least it wasn't during the run!)

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