We had all decided that we were going to be out the door by 3:30am. We knew there would be a lot more people running the half. I got up at 2:55am to make sure I had enough time to take my supplements, and had all my injections ready to go. I had done it the previous day, and didn’t really feel all that good from the added injections (Follistim, and Menopur), so I made sure I had a ginger ale and ate a lot more so my tummy would be full and I wouldn’t feel so nauseous.
Since we wanted to give our spouses extra time at the parks we thought it would be best that they come with us super early. They all loved it! HA!
Had to get a car selfie
Walt Disney World Entrance at 4:00am
The line for security bag check was FOREVER long, we waited at least 10-15 minutes to get our gear checked. I was really worried about taking my injections through, but I told them to not squish the bag that they were in and told them it was medicine, and they let me pass through (warning them, that there were needles in there).
Our normal spot for pre-race pictures
We got this cool shirt for Dan that said “Prince Charming” on the front and on the back said “why are all of these princesses chasing me?!?!” His shirt was a big hit, he got so many compliments on it.
You can see how the starting line looks with all the corrals.
For the half; we ran to Magic Kingdom, and then back to Epcot.
MAN were there a TON of people at the half! I think I read somewhere that 26,000+ people signed up for the half and the full marathon, and I believe it! We were in corral H, and Dan and Shelly were in corral G, but they were allowed to come back to our corral to be with us. You can hop back, but not forward.
I can’t really remember where this picture was taken, but it was before the race. We had to walk about a half mile to the starting line – which from the day before was a lot different. We saw fireworks go off as we were walking to our corral, and got worried that we had missed the start (thankfully it was only the National Anthem).
I’m clean and I don’t stink selfie!
Being in corral H was still WAY far back, but with each corral start we slowly walked forward and seemed to go A LOT faster than the previous two days.
We all were really ready to start the race
After injecting myself before the race, I gave Chase everything, including my phone, and said goodbye. So I didn’t have my phone with me. Thankfully we were able to meet up and he gave it back to me at the entrance to Magic Kingdom (along with some frantic “Where’s my husband” comments – I was a little worried I wouldn’t see him and finally found him). So I had pictures about halfway through the race, anything before is either from Shelly or Celise.
The start of the 1/2 marathon!
We saw Princess Penelope before the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) where the monorail and buses come together to take people to the other parks. There were groups of supporters for what seemed like forever, it such a great encouragement.
I met a guy and started chatting with him during this part of the race. He was from Orlando, and this was his first Dopey Challenge too. It was great talking to him and other runners during the race. We as runners all have the same goal and can chat and make friends.
We finally made it to the Magic Kingdom:
We saw Sulley, and Mike, but didn’t stop for pictures
Queen of Hearts
Then we saw Christoph, Anna, and Elsa before running under Cinderella’s castle. They were talking and asked if we were having a snowball fight, I said “YES!” Then Anna said “Oh! No fair” It was great to see them interacting with us.
We got around to the side and I took a picture, I really love how lit up it is
There was quite a bit of congestion coming out of the castle, it seemed to bottle neck. They had people telling us to keep moving, and that there was a spot in front of the castle that we could take pictures
Once we got out of the Magic Kingdom and made the turn around to run back to Epcot, we were back behind the scenes and came upon…
Peter Pan, I wanted to get a picture with him, but not really wait in line
So instead we got a picture with the crocodile (tick, tock)
Mile #7 – The time above each mile is the time from when the first corral went through the starting line that wasn’t our official time.
Love Mary Poppins
Ran past Goofy and again didn’t want to take a picture with him, yet…
It seriously was wall to wall people with people walking all over the place. Glad I could get a random guy in my picture. 🙂
It was really frustrating on those narrow parts (they had a loud speaker that was on repeat “Caution Runners Course Narrows Ahead”) with walkers. I didn’t know this before but if you are running and you suddenly start walking, the polite thing to do is raise your hand up to indicate you are walking. Not very many people did that, but I was thankful to the runners who did do that. I don’t know how many times I said “excuse me” to try and get past walkers, and they were always so polite and let me pass.
Team Running Selfie
Dan had to get his picture with a toy soldier!
The toy soldiers were giving encouragement on the last and final hill (overpass) of the race before we made our way back to Epcot. I thought it was encouraging, but I guess some other people (on the FB group I’m in) didn’t like it and thought it was rude.
As we were running out to Magic Kingdom early in the AM I saw this creature, but didn’t know what it was. Running back towards Epcot I realized it was Sebastian. Never seen Sebastian that large before.
Any chance we could get we would get group photos.
Dan at mile 12
Me with the Genie (miss you Robin Williams)
Finally mile 13, and in the background somewhere you can see the stands for the finish line!
Who can say they get a selfie with Mickey at the finish line?!
1/2 marathon complete with my cool Donald Medal!
We finished the half marathon in 3:13:21 (chip time), my GPS said we did 3:13:41 and ran 13.5 miles, so just a little more than 13.1. Not too bad. We were all happy to be done, and glad we weren’t sore and injury free! YAY!
After we walked around and got pictures with a few characters (who were not there the previous day due to weather). We felt we could stand and wait in line – plus it was my birthday and I wanted to get pictures with characters.
Gotta Love Pluto
And you can’t forget Daisy!
We got a group picture with Dopey!
The area that we were in at the finish was called the family reunion area. They had a huge screen to watch runners coming in for the finish, as well as getting photos with the characters we got above.
While we were still running, our spouses just hung out at Magic Kingdom (and sent us a picture). They were there before the parks even truly opened and got a few pictures in front of the castle. Once the park opened they were able to get on a few rides before meeting up with us.
Pros: TONS of water stations (too many for me to remember), We got to run around Epcot and Magic Kingdom, It was a great organized start and finish and seemed to flow better than the 5k and 10k, They handed out GU twice (or maybe once I can’t remember), They handed out full water bottles and powerade at the finish and a little box full of food (had a protein bar, chips and nacho cheese, some fruit snacks, and a mini pack of Oreo’s), They handed out these nice wet cooling towels at the finish, we got a medal for completing the half marathon, It was perfect weather for the half marathon, It took us a half hour for us to get to the starting line.
Cons: Wall to wall people not even joking!, There were a lot more walkers than the 5k and 10k, The photo pass photographers needed to be switched with the water/powerade bottles that were handed out so we didn’t have to set our stuff down to get a good finish picture as a group.