Note: This post originally appeared on my Blogger account. In the migration to Word Press, the spacing did not come through as I’d hoped. I’m working on fixing all the older posts, but this takes time. Thanks for your patience!
It’s been over two weeks since we ran the last portion of the 2014 Glass Slipper Challenge. I meant to sit down and blog the weekend events right away, but I had that whole pesky “move thing” interfere with my blogging time. Since I’m way over all that- not finished, just over it, if you get my drift, it’s time to write this one out! I’m sitting in my newly painted living room, still surrounded by boxes. I should be unpacking something, anything, but I’m sure Mr. Shenanigans won’t mind climbing over boxes for one more day. He’s pretty cool like that.
|One of 6 closets that need to be un-boxed. Meh. I’d rather blog.
Onto the final race of the weekend: the Princess Half Marathon! The crown jewel in the runDisney women’s races. Or as I described it to the newbie on the monorail: just like the Tinker Bell Half Marathon… on crack. I don’t know what it is about this race that brings out the crazy in the Princess runners, but it does. Every year. I see things on this course that you never see on the other runDisney races. It’s simply ah-mazing… and not always in a good way. I was hoping this year might redeem itself with some of the runDisney changes that were introduced.
First we completed the Enchanted 10K, and then we ran the Princess Half Marathon. Going into the weekend, I was 99% sure this was my last Princess Half. The 2013 race, while awesome, was also pretty rough with the crowds and weather. After experiencing the Disneyland Half, the Tinker Bell Half, and even the Wine and Dine, I had moved the Princess to the bottom of my “must do” runDisney list. #WhompWhomp
Though I must say, I LOVE these medals.
Did that decision hold up? Keep reading…
If you know DisBroad Julie over at Run.Walk.FASTPASS.Repeat, then you probably already know how our race went. I read her blog post last night and y’all, I got a little teary. I loved running with Julie. She’s a blast all the time, but on the race course she keeps me laughing and ignoring the pain and suffering mile after mile. Clearly, its not the race that I loved so much; it was racing with my #BRF that I loved.
|I mean… just THIS. How perfect was our castle shot?!
Basically, 2014 and 2013 were run in pretty much the same conditions. In fact, all of my Princess races have been hot except for one. What’s up with that, Florida?! This year it was a little cooler (66 degrees vs 70 degrees) but more humid (100% vs 94%). There were still a crap load of princesses on the course, though the new corralling does seem to be helping ease congestion in most places. Congestion fixed: but lines seemed longer. A lot longer. Like Julie mentioned, there were lines for everything! Characters, port-a-potties, mile markers: you name it, people were in line to take a picture with it this year.
We started out the morning waiting for the #DisBroads to assemble before we went to the corrals. Not everyone showed up on time, but we somehow managed to get everyone together on the dark road to the corrals. Crazy how this happens! We were running as Villains and Princesses. I went as Zurg, a sentimental favorite character since it reminds me of my little guy Jacob. He loved Space Ranger Spin and especially loved defeating Zurg and all his bad buddies. How stinkin cute was he? DisBroad April teamed up to be my mirror: She made a great pregnant Space Ranger, didn’t she?
The whole group looked FAB as always! If you aren’t going to win, get a group of friends and look GOOD is my motto! I’m lucky enough to have found a group of crazy women who buy into this philosophy as well.
The race got started and we were joined for about a mile with our friend Sarah from one of the Facebook groups. Early on, before we even got to mile 2, I was looking for a porta potty. Yes, yes, I know. Sigh. Sarah decided to keep on moving while we made our quick stop. A little tip: if you can hold off to the second set of porta potties, you’ll be better off. The first ones always have a huge line but by the second set, you should be looking at walk in.
As we crossed the 5K mat we had our first Buzz, aka April, sighting. April was starting in an earlier corral, but was soon reduced to walking thanks to her little Space Ranger on board. We could see she was in pain, and it wasn’t going to be an easy or fun race for her. She told us to keep going but we knew we’d see her again since we planned to stop for a few pictures. And an injured and pregnant April still walks pretty darn fast!
I saw this as we came up the hill by the contemporary. I was pouting. I’ll admit it. Oh, Canada… why did you have to break my heart? Twice?!
Julie’s horns were the BEST Malificent horns on the course, and people knew it. She was getting a ton of shout outs as we entered the Magic Kingdom. Zurg was getting a little put out, but that all righted itself when we got to Tomorrow Land. The Cast Members let out a huge cheer when they saw me run up. Buzz was on a small break, but they assured me he would be right back. They were true to their word and soon enough, THE picture of the race for me was taken. This was all I really needed to make me happy.
Julie ran ahead and was in line for Royal Mickey and Minnie. When I showed up, I scouted the line. 1, for someone we knew that wouldn’t mind letting us jump in for a group picture (no luck!) and 2, to see just how long this line really was. The Cast Member said 15ish minutes. Then amended to 20ish when I came back and gave him a “you gotta be kidding me 15 minutes my foot” look. Yeah… the line was incredibly long y’all. We could have stayed, but it would have made any end of the course shenanigans slim since neither of us was in racing form for this half marathon.
Julie took a fast selfie with the Royals behind her, and we “settled” for a Sword in the Stone picture. Julie nailed it.
As we ran through the castle- actually ran through it this year- Huzzah!- we ran straight into a proposal. Awwwweee…. I know some people get a little annoyed with the back up that proposals can cause, but I’m an old sappy hearted villain, and I was thrilled to congratulate the happy couple. Marathonfoto caught me clapping and cheering as we passed them. I wish them well.
We made it through the Magic Kingdom and out to the worst part of the course. What makes this so bad is the crowding. And the bitching that comes with it. Every. Year. The. Same. Thing. People… it’s not going to change, so please, please just get over it. And I don’t mean over the cones, like some people did.
We saw quite a few runners make the move to the other side of the cones. It’s not safe, and I get angry when people do it. So don’t make me angry. Thank you, Princesses!
At the halfway mark I pulled over to get a picture of the DJ. And there was my favorite runDisney photographer! I loved how he was princessed up for the occasion. I ran into him on the 5K and got a selfie with him, then found him again at the 10K course (which landed us on the runDisney Facebook page!) and here he was again. Well Played, runDisney photographer! I loved the Princess Ears!
By this point in the race, I was just ready to be back in Epcot. Are you with me? I thought you might be thinking the same thing. Hey, 4 hours of running means an extra long blog post, right?
You run into a lot of great characters on the course- and here’s a few of my favorites. The Army man was in rare form this year- my favorite line was “If you aren’t in line for a picture with me, you better be running up this hill! This ain’t a walk-a-thon!” I was thankfully in line when he said this, cause at this point the running had slowed way down.
I loved finding Kimberly on the course. This woman is one bad ass mother runner. I first met her online, then ran into her at Disneyland during Dumbo Dare weekend. Now she is one of the highlights of my runDisney races. I love seeing Kimberly kicking cancers ass and celebrating life on the run as well. If you think we had a good time stopping and taking pictures, be sure to check out her blog. She should be updating her re-caps soon and I know she had fun out there!
As we got to Epcot we started looking over our shoulders for April. We were a bit worried and thought hey, we made it to Epcot, maybe we could wait a bit for her. We knew the last sweeper bus was far behind us, and we weren’t breaking any records at this point.
Later Julie said we hung out in Epcot like tourists. I let out a snort of laughter because she was spot on. We stopped, went to the bathroom, chatted with the baristas at Starbucks, and hung out taking pictures. We were hoping to catch our Buzz Lightyear as she made her way through the final mile. Apparently we were busy chatting with these guys and missed her going by! Doh.
We did find DisBroad Summer and my friend Kimberly as they made their way toward mile 13. They thought April had passed us already, so we finally kicked things into gear and headed toward the finish. But not before stopping for one of my favorite parts of the Princess Half Marathon: The Gospel Choir.
They weren’t sure what I was doing there, but the spirit was in me.
Julie and I crossed the finish line, got a shout out from the VIP tent and runDisney Mom Faith- which is always nice to hear! Once again, we had completed the Princess Half Marathon. Give us our bling, people! We loved discovering the medals were being given out by our friend Jenn. Thanks for volunteering, Jenn! We can’t have a race without all the fantastic people supporting the runners.
Was this our last Princess? For now, I think so. I really loved the race this year, but I recognized it was all about the company on the course. If I had been doing this one alone, well, I don’t think I would even consider running it again. Too hot and too crowded. 2015 is the year of the Marathon for most of the DisBroads so they aren’t coming back for the Princess. I’m still on the fence about the Marathon, but I know I don’t want to run the Princess without my BRFs by my side.
Did you run the Princess Half or the Glass Slipper Challenge this year? Did you run with anyone special to you?
Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguiltlife.com and noguiltfangirl.com