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.
Cinderella in rags before the big race
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:
Obligatory 2015 Princess Half expo photo
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.
Night view of Cinderella’s Castle on my solo tour of MK
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.
I’ve wanted to stop for this shot for years but never wanted to wait in line. This year, I did it! Love the pic too
Me and the villians! I can never resist posing with these ladies
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?
Great photos, Vic! Mom said she spotted you at the finish and I was bummed that I didn’t see you when I came through. My favorite part of the weekend was spending time with two dear friends who I met thru runDisney and sharing another Princess Half Marathon with my Mom and Aunt.
I was SO excited to see your mom and Aunt several times as we all tackled the end of the course (it got hot and humid FAST!) I was bummed I didn’t see you as well 🙁 I’m so glad you had an amazing weekend and hopefully I will see you at a future race!
Glad you enjoyed the weekend! I was wondering if I was going to run into you again this year! No disrespect to my family, but I would enjoy a day in MK by myself…lol
haha, I totally get it. I was hoping I’d see you too! How was your trip and your run? Your pics are fab!
I teared up when we saw the signs – so sad Peggy Sue wasn’t there, but she is now in all our hearts. It was a fun weekend, I love the Princess Half!
It was so sad. She touched so many. I got all emotional and had to tell myself to get my emotions in check so I could keep running. How was your run?
I’m so lucky to have met you! You are a wealth of information and just a bad ass individual. Thanks for all the running tips, they were more appreciated than you know.
LEIGH! We were meant to meet Sunday morning 🙂 I’m so glad all of the tips were helpful. And I saw that you got your pic with the Stitch sign 🙂 love it! Hope to see you again at a future race
This is a great recap!! I really missed not being down there this year, but it’s been very enjoyable to read about everyone else’s weekend and race experiences. I’m counting down to Wine and Dine registration day! Hope to see you out and about this spring!
Thanks Stacey! It was a fun weekend and I’m already missing the wonderful weather- Hooray for W&D- its such a great event! You’ve run it before, right? And yes, hope to see you soon!
So sad to have missed you! At least I got a glimpse of you in a hi/bye a couple years ago! I missed the Peggy Sue signs, but I did see someone wearing a shirt. I miss Disney!
I loved seeing you in our expo drive-by a few years back 🙂 Am sorry I missed you too but am so glad you had a great trip!
I go to Disneyland by myself all the time. I have a pass and have kind of exhausted the supply of people willing to go with me! It’s actually quite nice. I can do all the shopping I want without worrying about someone else’s attention span!
So well said Jen! While I love sharing the experience with friends, it’s fun to do solo every now and again. I rode like a dozen rides (and walked onto most of them). I should’ve stayed til midnight, but was cold and refused to buy a sweatshirt so I headed back to the hotel. ah well
What a great recap! So wish I was there that weekend. Looks like you had tons of fun at MK by yourself. That sounds awesome being able to do whatever you want.
Thanks Bonnie! I had a great time- and I loved my solo time at MK. I met up with a few fun friends (and had a few near misses with several more) but in all it was a great time!
Love the pictures! The only thing that’s missing from this recap, and this trip in general, is ME! Seriously though, I loved watching you cross the finish line with my boys last Sunday morning, even if it was from afar. I love that they have that feature now; so cool and it nearly made me feel like I was there with you.
I’ve never stayed at the Animal Kingdom lodge but it looks SO cool. Maybe one day! I went to the parks by myself when I was 14 and I was terrified until I remembered that I was in Disney and then it was actually pretty darn cool. 😉
Thanks so much for cheering for me from afar – I had no idea they had a live feed going and was thrilled to hear from you after the race. I can only image how the boys reacted 😉 Did they also share the pre-race- show?
You’d LOVE AK Lodge – animals right out your door! it’s the coolest thing.
Sounds like a great trip! I love taking lots of pics at runDisney races so I can relive the memories later 🙂
Thanks Karen! And yes, I am with you- the pics preserve the memories for later! I’m still impressed that you rocked the half last month!
I LOVED reading this! I’m training for my first half marathon in June this year, and in November I hope to go to Disneyworld for the Wine & Dine half Marathon. I hope there are people like Peggy Sue along the way because I’ll definitely be one of those back of the pack-ers LOL How sweet is her story and what a memory she left behind!
Sorry for the delay in answering Rachel! Thank you for your kind words. I’m hoping that you were able to get into W&D with the registration insanity. Good luck with your upcoming half! Where is it slated to be?
Unfortunately I was not able to get in! I sat online for 37 minutes and then was told it sold out. What a bummer!!! I am doing the ODDyssey half marathon in June in Philly 🙂
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