Walt Disney World Half Marathon Recap

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!).

Barely awake but ready to go at 3:30am!

Barely awake but ready to go at 3:30am!

Once we were at the starting area we met up with a few other friends…

Sister Christina, Me, friend Christina, Jenn, Pat, Mark and Dan

Sister Christina, Me, friend Christina, Jenn, Pat, Mark and Dan

…and soon we started the long walk towards the starting corrals…

Have a magical race…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!

Corral B Starting Fireworks!

Corral B Start Fireworks!

And of course we had some Disney celebrities cheering us on as we went through the start!

Goofy, Mickey and Donald at the Starting Line!

Goofy, Mickey and Donald at the Starting Line!

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…

Christina in front of Captain Jack's ship!

Christina in front of Captain Jack’s ship!

We headed towards the Magic Kingdom…

Entering MK

…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!

Castle Pic Half

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!).

Buzz Half

From Tomorrowland we went through Fantasyland and ran through the castle…

Through The Castle

…and then headed towards Frontierland where we ran in to Jessie and Bullseye from Toy Story!  Christina’s a horseback rider so I knew she’d want a photo with them!
IMG_0900

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…

Mary Poppins

Totally one of my favorite characters!

Totally one of my favorite characters!

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!

IMG_0908A 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!”).

Army Man HalfAt mile 12 we headed into Epcot where we stopped for a few more quick photos…

Stitch

EPCOT

…before heading out towards the finish in the Epcot parking lot!

IMG_2853

Christina and I with our Half Marathon medals!

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!

DJN_1495

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??  

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18 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Half Marathon Recap

  1. Great job on the half! We started in corral D and we didn’t stop for any character photos because the lines were so long! To me it felt way more crowded on the course in previous years.

    Love the Donald pic at the end! You got some great photos along the way!

    • This was my first year doing the half, but I thought the marathon course felt a bit more crowded this year too. I’m glad we were able to stop for a lot of pictures, I kind of just decided with the heat and running the full the next day I’d take it easy and get some good photos!

  2. Love that you ran with your sister for her first half. I started in Corral B also, but ran both the half and the full without photo stops. The heat and humidity scared me so my race memories are in my head! I love the character photos…you did a great job and had so much fun!

  3. Love your recap, and I love all of the photos. I always think it’s fun to look through them, and to see which characters were around.

    Congrats to you and your sister – so fun that you ran it together. And I can’t believe how hot it must have felt. I remember by the time you ran the end of your marathon last year it was getting warm, but nothing like this. Whew!

    • Disneyland is such a great race, I really enjoyed it last year! It was my first time out to Disneyland too so that made it extra special…good luck with your training and let me know if you have any questions I can help with!

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  5. Awesome!! Love the pictures! Especially the one with Donald and your sister. Sounds like it was a lot of fun, even with the heat.

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