I really can’t believe Marathon Weekend is over and I’m back in (cold, rainy) New York!
In case you missed them I posted quick updates on the WDW Marathon Weekend Expo and the Family Fun Run 5k while I was still in Florida that you can check out, but today it’s time to tell you about the Half Marathon – otherwise known as the first 13.1 miles of the Goofy Challenge!
My sister Christina was joining me for the half marathon (her first!), so when our alarm went off at 2:30am we both dragged ourselves out of bed an stumbled around the room to get ready. We met my friend Pat and his sister in the lobby and were on a bus to the starting area by 3:30am (I’m sure some of you are thinking this sounds CRAZY, but trust me, the early wake up calls are totally worth it for these races!).
Once we were at the starting area we met up with a few other friends…
…and soon we started the long walk towards the starting corrals…
…the walk to the corrals was so long and moved so slowly that unfortunately we missed the National Anthem and just made it for the start of the race! The first corral took off at 5:30am and we followed a few minutes later in corral B – I love that Disney does fireworks for each corral start and not just the first one!
And of course we had some Disney celebrities cheering us on as we went through the start!
I really wanted to make sure to save my legs for the full marathon the next day, and it was my sister’s first half marathon (her longest training run was only 8 miles!) so, we were planning on using 3 minute run / 1 minute walk intervals and we were definitely going to take a few breaks to stop for character photos (plus, it was ridiculously hot and humid so we wanted to take it slow!).
The first character stop we came across right along the highway was was Captain Jack Sparrow and his pirate ship…the line was pretty long so we ran past and then just took a picture in front of the ship from the other side…
We headed towards the Magic Kingdom…
…and entered the park right past Mile 5. As we turned onto Main Street we moved over to the left hand side and kept an eye out for our parents who had text and told me they were right across from the Confectionary. We quickly spotted them and stopped for a few pictures and then kept heading down Main Street towards the castle!
Past the castle we turned into Tomorrowland where I stopped for a picture with Buzz Lightyear while Christina ducked into the bathroom (LOVE being able to use “real” bathrooms during a race in the parks instead of the porta-potties!).
From Tomorrowland we went through Fantasyland and ran through the castle…
Once we exited the Magic Kingdom we were back on the highway and headed towards Epcot. We passed a few more characters and stopped for the ones that didn’t have very long lines…
And I made sure to take a picture of Christina next to the 10 mile marker since this was officially her first double digit run!
A mile or so later we ran into the Green Army Men from Toy Story! They are totally my favorite runDisney race characters…they’re always positioned on a hill shouting out orders and encouragement (“Move it Soldier!”, “Let’s GO, Let’s GO!”).
…before heading out towards the finish in the Epcot parking lot!
I had so much fun running this race with my sister and I am so proud of her for finishing her first half marathon (especially considering the minimal training she did!).
After the race it was time for some recovery to be ready for the full marathon the next day!
Also, LOVE this picture from breakfast at Cape May Cafe after the half…Donald tried to “steal” Christina’s half marathon medal because he was on it!
Stay tuned for my full marathon recap tomorrow! Plus, I’d love to hear what you think about this one…too many pictures? Is there anything specific about the races you’d like to know or hear more about??