A week ago today, I was headed south to run through Walt Disney World with 24,000 other runners. I ditched my car in a snowbank in the airport’s economy lot and ran from the -6 degree weather all the way to sunny Florida.
For the third time in four years, I was running Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. This race is special for many reasons – I ran it with Meri (and Brooke) in 2012 as Meri completed her first-ever 13.1, I get to spend time with so many friends, and (duh) Disney.
But most importantly, I love that the entire weekend is a celebration of women, for women.
I packed much into my weekend with an impromptu solo trip to Magic Kingdom on Friday, (BRR!) a day at the expo working the Sparkle Athletic booth and the race, followed by an evening romping through EPCOT and quite possibly the most perfect ride on the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – seriously, there was a 20-minute line and we rode to fireworks! A new display lit up the sky as we rounded nearly every turn.
But more than anything I loved seeing my wonderful women. You all know who you are!
Without further delay, here are a few of my favorite photos from the weekend:
Visiting with Kelly at the Sparkle Athletic booth. Thanks to all who popped by to visit me on Saturday!
You know I did. Sadly, all Disney-themed Starbucks mugs were sold out.
Carb-loading on naan with the lovely Jillian
Bookish Belle (Carrie) and Servant Cinderella at the race start! Moments after this was taken we learned news of the newest runDisney event – half marathon weekend at Disneyland Paris in Sept. 2016.
Love this view! Main Street USA
Just after mile 12, I fought back tears as I saw these signs. This was the first runDisney race I ran without seeing Peggy Sue and her iconic sign. She passed away last month. I spotted what appeared to be her sign held by who I believed to be her family. It was so moving – and took me longer than I expected to control my emotions – and breathing – for the next minutes. We love you Peggy Sue.
I started the race with a slightly tweaked back and didn’t know when it would give out on me. I was hoping it wouldn’t be an issue, but alas, mile 11.5 it reared its ugly head. I probably should have walked then and there, but I wanted to be done. So off I went – through EPCOT and high-fiving Mickey at the finish. Final time 2:02 and 1000th place. (I just looked it up and smiled when I saw my number. I’m a number geek.)
I repeatedly ran into the lovely Faith over the weekend. At the expo, the finish line and again getting margaritas in Mexico. #nationalmargaritaday
For the second straight year, I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I love this place and it’s incredible views of the animals and hospitality. Til next time!
What was your favorite part of Princess half weekend? Do you ever hit the parks alone? What was your race strategy?