Monday, February 5, 2018

2018 Walt Disney World Half Marathon

The third part of our Dopey Challenge quest took us on a Half Marathon through the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT!

For a full recap of our WDW Marathon Weekend experience, check out these links below:

Although it was still cold out that morning, the temps weren't quite as bad as what they had been! I did wear several layers and I kept my gloves and ear warmers on the entire race. It's still crazy to me how cold this marathon weekend was!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

For this race, I wanted to re-wear my Lilo outfit that I wore for the Wine & Dine Half of 2014, also known as the "splash and dash" because the Lilo outfit stayed hidden under a poncho the entire race! Sad times. Oh well, I was glad to have the opportunity to re-wear it!

Soooo, for the morning of this race, I somehow missed the two in-room voicemails and memo in the official race guide that I needed to be on a bus by 3:30 a.m. in order to make it to my race corral in time. Whoops.

Remember those super long bus lines I mentioned for the 5K and 10K the previous two mornings? Well, I wrongfully assumed that the lines would be the same for the morning of the half.....but as I walked up to the bus stop at 4 a.m. to discover ZERO line, my heart hit the floor and I kind of started to panic. What. The. Heck. Thankfully, a bus was waiting.

Our drive to the start line took FOREVER as we were stuck in horrible traffic. We didn't arrive until 4:55 a.m. FOUR FIFTY FIVE - a ride that should have taken a mere few minutes took fifty five minutes. Learn from me, friends...don't make the same mistake I did!

Oh yes, and that voice message I mentioned? They forewarned against runners jumping the bushes and crossing the street to the start line - if caught, runners would be disqualified. That's right - the start line for these races is right outside of Port Orleans Riverside resort. Don't do it!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Anyway, as soon as I stepped off of the bus, I made a bee line for the family reunion area to find my running buddy, Melissa. We managed to find each other quickly and somehow made it to corral E before the race began! Whew. That was cutting it super close.

We seriously only stood in our corral for about 5 minutes before the race began! Looking on the bright side, I had the chance to take a nap (I seriously did) and enjoy a nice warm bus ride on the way there!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon




We began running and around mile 2, we saw a bunch of runners moving off of the side of the road to take pictures with something. What in the world?!


Walt Disney World Half Marathon

It was a super awesome giant Mickey Mouse hot air balloon! WHOA.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

We were shocked to see that it didn't make a re-appearance for the full marathon the following day (being the 25th Anniversary and all)!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon
We passed several character stops on our way and decided that we would only stop for characters we'd either never seen before or REALLY wanted to see. 

For me, when I saw Jack and Sally I knew I had to stop! I'm not a super fan of this movie but I am a huge fan of rare characters, so I loved this one! The line was rather long but totally worth it!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

We crossed through the parking lot entrance to the Magic Kingdom and made our way up that terrible underpass by the Contemporary. I was shocked to see that the DJ guy with the giant Mickey hands wasn't there this year!

Did you know that the giant underpass (is that even a word) by the Contemporary was built so boats could travel over it...on water? Since we were running under water (seriously), they had blue lights flashing on the walls and the tune to "Under The Sea" could be heard in the background. Very clever, runDisney...very clever.


Walt Disney World Half Marathon

After rounding the corner by the bus stops, I heard my name! It was my friend Morgan! Hi Morgan!!

We LOVED the change in route for the races this year! Instead of entering behind the cast member parking lot of the Magic Kingdom and onto Main Street, we actually rounded the corner by the resort bus stops and came into the Magic Kingdom through the ticket area/under the train station!

This so reminded me of the Disneyland Half route and I loved the change!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Some citizens of Main Street and the trolley car gang were up at the train station to cheer us on! So fun!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

The Christmas trees and castle lights were still up, too!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Rounding Main Street!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon
A photo pass photographer captured one of my favorite pictures of the entire Dopey Challenge! You can also see my friend Morgan behind us! So fun!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Obligatory castle picture!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Goofy's line was super short, so we stopped to say hello!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

THIS was a photo stop we didn't stay for and I regretted it later. (Thankfully, Sebastian was out again for the full marathon!)

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

In Frontierland, there was yet another stop I regretted not doing as I've never ever seen Bullseye like ever. Sad times - Bullseye was replaced with Jessie the following day so I didn't get to make this one up. Learn from me once again - don't pass up an opportunity, even if you have a smidge of doubt about it!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

This guy kept us entertained as we exited the Magic Kingdom!

After running passed the Grand Floridian and Polynesian, we saw Jason and I managed to shed a layer of clothing! He was so kind to take a few things off of our hands.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

We spotted a Green Army man in his usual spot on the on ramp, so we stopped to take a quick picture! He wasn't making people do crazy things (like pushups) at this point, but he did the following day during the full marathon (no thank you)!




Walt Disney World Half Marathon


Before long, the mile 12 sign was spotted and the end of the race was in our grasp!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

We ran through Future World and almost into World Showcase before rounding the corner for the final stretch to the finish line.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Towards the exit of EPCOT, we spotted the gospel choir who actually turned out to be different group (ie: not the regular gospel choir) and they were singing "We Will Rock You". Ummm...ok? My theory is that the actual gospel choir who is usually there couldn't make it on Saturday. Oh well...it gave me a good giggle at least!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Chip and Dale were at the finish line to congratulate runners, so I leaned over and gave Chip (or Dale - I can't remember) a high five before crossing over the line.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

We did it!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon
By this point, we'd run 22.4 miles and still had 26.2 to go!




Walt Disney World Half Marathon


Even my banana was a little Dopey! :)

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

After the usual water, gatorade, food boxes, and photo with our medals, we decided to wait in line to take a picture with Dopey (we figured the line would be INSANE the following day and we were right)! 

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Hi Dopey!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Another 13.1 miles was in the books! Three races down, one to go!

As a side note, I realized that I had been super hungry midway through the 10K and the half (apparently my granola bar and banana weren't cutting it) and I didn't want that to happen on the morning of the full. I remembered that the Wilderness Lodge had offered a "runners box" with food items in previous years, so I decided to investigate the Riverside food court on Saturday morning for something similar.

I was super excited to find this!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

A Runner's To-Go Box that included: 1 bagel, 1 pack of peanut butter, 1 granola bar, 1 banana, and a small bottle of Dasani water

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

The price on this box was $7.99 which I didn't find too bad and it did it's job during the full. Worth it in my mind!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon


So, if you're ever in need of something along these lines for food during a race weekend, keep your eyes open for a Runner's Box in your resort food court! :)

Stay tuned for more from our Dopey Challenge weekend! Thanks for following along in my journey!

12 comments:

  1. I've never run one of the long distance Disney races where the guy with the Mickey hands was not on the over pass! I would have liked the change in route entering MK from under the train station! Nice job getting another race down!

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    1. Me either I was so sad he wasn’t there!

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  2. When I did the inaugural Mickey Halloween 5k, we entered MK through the main gate. That was fun, and they already had characters at that point.

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    1. Oh how fun! I am sad I missed out on that one (ran wine and dine alone that year). The Mickey pumpkin medal was sooo cute!

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  3. You make each race sound so fun! Glad you made it there in time - I would have been so stressed, sitting on that bus.

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    1. That was quite stressful! Thankfully I made it!

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  4. Ugh, I've always heard of bus horror stories! I am glad we had no drama from Cornando, especially since we were on buses later then Disney recommended all 4 days!

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    1. That's great! I'm glad the bus situation worked out for you!! I was SO nervous!

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  5. Congratulations! You both look adorable, I love the sparkle skirts. I can not imagine the panic when you went to the bus and saw no one!! That may have stopped my heart lol I am glad it all worked out for you :)
    I remember the loud music and the big hands the Princess weekend I attended a few years ago, I would have missed that!
    The medal is great! Great Dopey pic too Karen :)

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    1. I missed the guy on the bridge at the Contemporary, too! Thank you so much, Karen!

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  6. What, you didn't want to do the obligatory push ups with the Green Army man?!? I decided to stop during Wine and Dine and it actually turned out to be one of my favorite pictures from that race, hehe.

    I'm so excited to run the modified course and enter MK through the front gate. That's actually one of the parts of the Princess Half that I'm most looking forward to!

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    1. HAH No...I have zero upper body strength and yea...that wouldn't have gone over well! I hope you enjoyed the new course! Entering under the train station was SO much fun!

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