By TMSM Racing Disney Guest Blogger Catie Neal
Hi everyone! I am having some serious Disney withdrawals as I have recently returned from my absolute FAVORITE runDisney race weekend – The Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I completed my 4th Glass Slipper Challenge (yes another challenge I’m currently considered “perfect”). Next year, runDisney has already released that the name of this challenge is going to be changed! (I’m just hoping they still honor my “perfect” status.)
For those of you unfamiliar with this weekend, it is one of the largest women focused fitness events in the world. It is so empowering to be around this amazing group of women who are out facing their fears, chasing down adventure, and earning some pretty fabulous bling. This year I personally felt I was reliving part of my childhood as the host princess was Belle. I mean truly, who in my generation isn’t a fan of Belle? She’s smart, strong-willed, and finds the beauty within the beast – she’s fabulous!
So, first up on our weekend of racing was the 5K. Now the 5K is not considered part of the challenge for this race weekend. It is still a “Family Fun Run” and geared towards completing as a group. Now, there are individuals who do go out to race this event; however, I personally love getting to spend this event running through the park with my mom, dancing to the music inside EPCOT, and taking lots of awesome pictures!
Costumes – OK, I’ve currently become driven to make our costumes creative and fun all while sticking to the theme. Once Belle was announced as the host princess, I quickly changed gears away from anything related to Beauty & the Beast. I know, I know – how could I? However, I wanted to do something unique so it was easier for my sister to spot us in the crowd. What did I choose? Well I chose to make us the original 3 princesses; however, not in their ball gown splendor. Oh no, we ran as their tiaras. Yes, I got to take some creative liberties with Snow White and Cinderella as they technically don’t have tiaras but I think they turned out fabulous!
Pre-Race – Mom, my friend Catherine (yes, I am aware we have the same name), and I got up and got dressed for the race. We donned our fabulous black sparkle skirts and black tanks under our fabulous tiaras to let the tiaras be the focus of our costumes. We hopped into our rental, picked up a few friends of ours and headed to EPCOT. (Disclaimer, we only drive ourselves to the 5K and 10K start lines, I personally prefer to rely on runDisney transport for races longer than the 10K). We performed all the pre-race rituals (see – stand in the port-a-potty line, take a pre-race photo, and call my dad) and then hopped into our corral.
Race – Back in January, runDisney decided to change up how they released the 5K and 10K corrals by splitting the large corrals (A, B, C, D, & E) into smaller waves. This was the plan again for the Princess 5K. We got settled into corral B and did our best to work towards the front of our corral so we would hopefully be in the first wave. (For those who haven’t run a race before, corrals are the groupings you get placed in based on a time submission or estimated mile time.) The big talk inside our corral was whether or not there would be fireworks for every wave or at least every corral as they only set off 1 set in January. Well, we didn’t have to wait long to find out that runDisney did indeed change the fireworks so EVERY wave got some! YAY! (Part of the magic and draw of a Disney race is the firework start!)
Soon, it was our turn to start! Rudy gave us the “Runners set, GO! (cue fireworks) and we were off! Now I typically let my mom choose the pace for this race since I run it with her. My mom took off like a little canon on this race and eventually I asked her if she wanted to slow down – don’t get me wrong, I was all proud of her but we did still have 2 more races and a lot of park time ahead of us this weekend.
About the half-mile mark you come up to your first character stop, it was Meeko. We decided to forgo this picture and keep on running. We entered EPCOT and were met by some nice Vikings – we also decided to not stop for a picture with them as well. We then trucked around EPCOT towards Germany. Now Catherine was running as Snow White so we knew whether there was a character in Germany or not, we needed a picture of her with Snow White’s well. However, Disney was obviously prepared for us and had a photo op moment with Dopey! We hopped in line and a few minutes later got this adorable picture with Dopey (please note, his eyes went straight to all our bling!)
We picked back up the pace and proceeded to head towards Morocco. Once there, we hopped in line for Abu. About this time, I had started texting our other friends who we gave the lift to the race. They were slightly behind us and they caught up with us in time for a group shot with Abu! (Personally, I am all for getting in line with someone else if you all are taking a group photo together! Please don’t be those people in the race who send 1 person ahead and then 10 million others join them all to take individual photos and a group shot.) We all took off together and headed towards France. France had another photo op moment, but the line was very long and we decided to just keep running. (The mice from Cinderella were out when we ran through but I heard a rumor that Mrs. Potts was also there?)
We then decided to all stick together for the rest of the race. We ended up singing and dancing straight through the last mile of the race! Seriously, running with your family is so much fun! The soundtrack playing in EPCOT during the race were all songs from the princess movies and we were all belting them out and dancing around! Our race photos can prove it!
We finally made it back to Future World out of World Showcase and grabbed a group shot at Spaceship Earth. We ran up a little further and came across a Figment taking a cute photo with a Figment topiary. We snapped a picture for her and decided we liked it so much we needed a group picture with it as well. At this point, our friends told us they wanted to separate for a bit so Mom, Catherine and I decided to run on ahead to the finish. We made it to mile 3 and then kept trucking to the finish line. We were all smiles as we crossed and got one of the cutest runDisney medals I have ever received!
We grabbed some finish line selfies (our friends even caught back up to us at this point), the official race finish line photos, and some snack boxes and headed back to the hotel for showers and to prepare for some serious park time! (Oh, and to grab a tiara or 2!) We also needed to carb load for the following races so Mom, Catherine and I hit up Be Our Guest for a delicious breakfast full of carbs!
Thanks for tuning in! Can’t wait to share the rest of my magical race weekend with you all!
TMSM is very excited to publish the “Racing Disney” runDisney series by Addie Clark and Catie Neal. Please keep an eye out for more of their amazing and informative articles! If you missed of the articles in this series make sure you check them athttps://www.themainstreetmouse.com/tag/racing-disney/
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