Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 Walt Disney World Half Marathon–Part 1 of Goofy’s Challenge

Just incase you missed it, here’s my recap of the WDW Expo.


Saturday morning my alarm went off at 3:00 a.m. I also set a wake up call AND my husband’s alarm (just incase)!

As I dressed for the race, my mind flashed back to 2010 and the crazy cold weather we experienced while running the half. I had to laugh because the weather this year was a total opposite…no sweat shirts or long sleeves needed at this start line! 

This race also holds a special place in my heart because it was my very first Half Marathon!! Awww!

Ok enough sappy stuff….onto the race!


I ate breakfast (a Clif bar and a banana incase you were wondering) and dressed for the race as quietly as possible since my husband was still asleep. He had plans to stand in several locations along the course, but I wanted to let him sleep as long as possible! I also put on my rockin awesome Claim Your Journey tat! Oh yea!

Around 3:30 a.m., I walked to the bus line at our resort and was surprised about the long line. After waiting around 20 minutes, a bus from the Contemporary pulled up – one problem, only about 5 empty seats were available on the bus. Sometime after 4 a.m., an empty bus came around and most of us were able to pile into it. I made plans in my mind to arrive downstairs even earlier the next day.

We were dropped off in the EPCOT parking lot and made our walk to the family reunion/bag drop area.


As we were walking, I spotted these guys!! I asked where Jasmine was and they didn’t exactly have an answer…hmmm…


I made it through the entrance area and waited for a few minutes to say hi to friends! Heather and Jen were the first I spotted!


I also found Crystal and Mary! We all had a happy jump-up-and-down I haven’t seen you in forever kind of reunion! It was funny!


After all of the “hello’s”, hugs, and “good lucks” were said, I walked over to find my running group buddy Scott. We didn’t really have a “plan” prior to this race besides “have fun” so we decided to wing it! I wasn’t sure what my knee was going to do with back to back races, so I told him if he had to run on, then go!


After walking to the start line (it makes for a nice “warm up”), we found our Corral (corral D) and waited for the race to begin. I was originally put in Corral E and I knew Scott was in D. I showed proof of time at the Expo and was put in Corral B – that way Scott and I could start in the same place.


I loved this sign!


…..aaaaaaand they’re off!


Donald at the start! Loved it!


Here we go!!


The first character stop had a LONG line, so I decided to be a pirate instead! Aaaaaaaaaaargh!


I LOVED this new sign!! VERY nice, runDisney!!


Entering the Magic Kingdom…caution runners, speed bumps ahead! :0)


Mile 3 was right before the Ticket and Transportation Center. I knew Jason was close so I kept an eye out for him!


Found him! Woohooo! I have such a good husband! He woke up BOTH mornings for these races to stand and watch me run by 10 seconds at a time. He’s awesome!


So it begins…the descent to one of my most disliked hills on the Marathon course.


Yes, THAT hill.


Almost to the Magic Kingdom!!


My favorite part of Disney races is running behind the scenes! You get to see so many things that the average person doesn’t get to see!


Main Street USA was packed with spectators cheering the runners on. Amazing experience!!


After saying hi to Scott’s wife on Main Street, we ran by the castle, then passed through Tomorrowland. We happened upon a character with a relatively small line, so we stopped!


BUZZ LIGHTYEAR to the rescue!!


We also stood in line for Alice and the Queen of Hearts! Poor Scott was one of 3 or 4 men in line…but he went along with it anyway!



When we reached the castle, we saw Donald and knew we HAD to stop.


While waiting, these herald trumpeters kept us entertained! They were fantastic!!


#1 Duck!


After running through the castle, I took this picture and almost tripped over a photographer. Gotta watch where I’m going!


We also stopped for Jessie in Frontierland!

Cutest character moment happened here! A girl in front of us in line was dressed like Jessie. When the character Jessie spotted runner Jessie (she was still 4 or 5 people back in line), character Jessie pointed, jumped up and down with excitement, and clapped. It was too cute!


Almost halfway there!


Splash Mountain was down at the time, so we got to see the ride cars! Pretty nifty!


Jason’s second stop was in front of the Polynesian. The sun was out and VERY bright so it was hard to see him, but I finally spotted him!


I also ran into these ladies not once but TWICE during this race! Too funny!




We didn’t stop for Clif Shots and actually, I only took ONE gel this entire race (I’m used to at least two or three). Looking back, I really wish I would have taken them properly. It was hot and I definitely could have used it!


I also felt bad for those used to running in the cold/snow/ice/no humidity, etc. I’m not saying this race was a walk in the park for me, but I have finished training runs where I’m literally dripping (like ring out my clothing dripping) and that wasn’t the case for these races. If you aren’t used to running in humidity, it can be a beast for sure!


The sun was bright and it was really warm. I did remember my sunscreen this time!


I think I forgot how many people run the Disney World Half. We spent most of our time weaving in and out of people, running on the side of the road, etc. My knee bothered me a little (but not a lot) from all the extra movement, which of course had my paranoid brain worried about Sunday’s race. *sigh*


3 miles to go!


This ramp is also another major incline!


I love how a Green Army Man was stationed on the side yelling at people to MOVE MOVE MOVE! Hilarious!


Made it to the top!


On our way back to Epcot, we spotted Phineas and Ferb without a long line, so we stopped to say hi!


My usual Mile 12 picture!


These guys were HILARIOUS! The ones with the yellow signs on the right were at Mile 3.5 and again at Mile 12! LOVED it!


Hi Epcot! I’m so glad to see you this morning!!



Stitch’s line was also really short so we stopped for a picture! (I think he was kind of hidden.)


Running through Future World was fun!


LOVE the gospel choir! Always gives me a boost when I need it most!


Mile 13! Hello! I love you!!


As we crossed the finish line, we congratulated each other and commented how fun this race really was, even if it took each of us WAY longer to run than a normal Half!


Food! Glorious food!


With our medals!

We decided to call our times for this race an “FR”….a “Fun Record”. Would Sunday live up to Saturday? Twice the distance meant twice the fun! We’d just have to wait and see!

On a side note, I did something that everyone told me not to do…I took a nap *gasp* after the half. It wasn’t really intentional and it wasn’t a long nap, I think the heat/humidity drained me. I also noticed that I did a lot of really Goofy things on Saturday afternoon which I attributed to salt loss, and after a full meal, I felt much better!

Up next: The 2013 Walt Disney World FULL Marathon, Part 2 of Goofy’s Challenge!


  1. Cute recap Karen. I love all your character photos, you certainly enjoyed the race!

  2. Looks like a blast! My friend and I did the Tinkerbell half yesterday dressed as the Queen of Hearts and Alice, but they wereen't out on the course. Your pic with them is cute. Disney runs are pricey, but excellent. I'm hoping to do FL one day.

  3. Karen, It looks like you had a ball. My favorite had to be the army man yelling "Go, Go, Go." -Nick

  4. Love the recap Karen. It looks like you had a ball. I especially love the green army men yelling "Go Go Go" -Nick

  5. Great recap, and I'm glad you had so much fun out there! I'll tell ya what, I've done two Goofys and I have taken a Saturday afternoon nap both times LOL. I don't think I can survive Goofy without one ;)_

  6. Looks like you had an awesome time.. I am thinking about doing Goofy next year.. Can't wait to hear more about your Marathon!!

  7. I love the "FR." I'm so going to use that concept in my training for Dopey. Who needs to get a PR when you can get a "FR."


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