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Race Recap: Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2016

Race Recap: Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2016

Hey all! So I’m here with my recap of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Also known as the “Donald Duck” half marathon. :)

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We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside this time around, and while it was a beautiful resort, unfortunately its location in relation to Epcot didn’t do us any favors on race morning. Though we were up by 3:30 and out the door a little after 4 (I always rent a car), we sat in RIDICULOUS, bumper-to-bumper traffic the entire way to Epcot. Between the road closures and police officers re-routing people and the zillions of runners trying to merge themselves onto one single-lane ramp to Epcot, what should have taken 10 minutes took almost an hour. UGH!

So by the time we parked and walked allllllllllll the way to the starting line, they were just about to release corral F! Our streak of JUST making it to the starting line of races continues.

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Of course, we still made time for a few quick photos along the way, lol

In other news, that morning was HUMID. I mean seriously HUMID. Oh, and foggy…it was actually pretty creepy! It wasn’t sweltering hot or anything (I think it was in the 60s/approaching 70), but there was so much moisture in the air it was ridiculous. Don’t believe me? Here’s what our earliest race photos looked like:

IMG_0390As you know, for this race we decided to go as two of the Three Caballeros, and simply carry our third little duck friend. Well, let’s just say that my stuffed duck was pretty much soaking wet with sweat by mile 2. Groooooooss.

We started the race at a nice, easy pace, and our first official photo stop was Wreck-it-Ralph, who had a pretty huge line. But our plan was to stop for any characters we really liked in the first miles of the half marathon, so that if there were repeat characters in the marathon, we could skip ‘em.

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As we got closer and closer to Magic Kingdom, I was feeling pumped to be starting another leg of the Goofy Challenge. Other than the god-awful humidity, I think we were both feeling pretty good.

And then you turn the corner onto Main Street and feel even more AH-MAZ-ING. I’m still waiting for the day when this gets old, and, yet…never does. ;)

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We stopped for a couple of character pictures (and a potty break) in the Magic Kingdom. This mile always clocks in on our Garmins as 30+ minutes or more because of all the character silliness. ;)

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When we stopped to take some pictures in front of the castle, one of the runDisney marketing folks took us aside and took a bunch of pictures of us since, as he said, “it IS the Donald half marathon…” ;)

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Photo credit: runDisney

We made our way through Magic Kingdom (which is STILL all kinds of glorious fun to me, BTW), and one of the more unique photo opps of the morning was in the backstage area: Peter Pan and the gang!

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Of course, after you leave the park, the course becomes a crowded, congested mess. We’ve become accustomed to this and either try to run on the grass or simply take unplanned walk breaks when things get out of hand. There’s really not much more you can do; unfortunately, there are still lots of runners who walk in the middle of the path, stop unexpectedly, walk in groups of 3+ across, etc., so I’ve decided not to get agitated by it and just try to go with the flow.

We found a couple more friends along the way, and soon it was back to the boring old highway.

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I will say that the marathon course is SOOOOO much better than the half, and the more times I run the marathon, the less I enjoy the half. I know runDisney tries to keep us entertained with the parade performers and the floats and the bands along the way, which I very much appreciate, but at the end of the day you really are just running on highways.

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Excited to find Donald!

The goal of this race was to take things sloooooooow. I honestly don’t even know what our pace was at that point, but I did feel that we were running SIGNIFICANTLY slower than usual. I knew Todd was in for a real treat during the marathon the next day, and since he’s not used to the back-to-back race experience, I thought it was best to take the half marathon as easy as possible.

So thats what we did. We walked through water stops and kept our pace steady, and soon enough we were back in Epcot and making our way towards the finish!

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We were excited to see more duck friends along the way, and had to stop for a picture with Scrooge!

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And, of course, we had to stop for a quick photo with vacation Genie, haha.

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Before I knew it, we were leaving Epcot and had reached mile 13! I had met a Twitter friend (hi, Sarah!) earlier in the race, and she happened to be taking pictures at the mile 13 marker…so she was kind enough to take ours. :)

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We crossed the finish line in what was our worst half marathon time for a Disney race (or, you know, in general)…our usual Disney time is right around 3:30 since we stop for photos with practically ever character. (And we obviously couldn’t miss the opportunity to get a finish line photo with Donald, haha.)

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But other than some sore feet, we both felt pretty good, so I certainly wasn’t complaining about our finish time.

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We hung out in the finisher’s area for a few minutes, and thought it might be a good time to take a picture with another duck.

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We also ran into Meranda and Lacey from Fairytales and Fitness! I’ve been reading their blog forever, and we had finally met for the first time at the expo the previous morning…so it was awesome to see them again! :)

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Photo stolen from Fairytales and Fitness: http://fairytalesandfitness.com

After we made our way to the car to freshen up and slip into my magical OOFOs, it was time to hunt for our third caballero. We found him in Mexico. Donald was SUPER excited to see us, haha.

PhotoPass_Visiting_Epcot_7574159029And then I decided it would be just gosh darn hilarious if we rode the Three Caballeros dressed as the Three Caballeros.

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Doesn’t get any dorkier than this, folks.

The cast members in the Mexico pavilion went absolutely bananas for our costumes, and insisted on taking pictures with us, LOL.

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It was a great ending to that morning’s 13.1 mile journey. :)

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We spent a few hours in Epcot before grabbing an early dinner at ‘Ohana, and then went back to our resort for night-night to prepare for the next day’s marathon! :)

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Walt Disney World Marathon recap…coming soon! :)

Disney runners…do you always stop for photos with characters along the way?

How do you deal with congested race courses?

Who else loathes Florida humidity as much as I do?! 

Comments

  1. How fun that you got all those photos with the different ducks! That’s a great picture that Disney captured of you two near the castle but the on of you two kissing with your medals is even better!!!! So cute! We usually stop for maybe one or two characters during a disney race but never all of them (unless it’s just a 5K of course)! Glad you enjoyed the first part of the Goofy. Can’t wait to hear about your marathon experience!

    • Hahaha, gotta love the ducks! ;) You guys definitely do it the right way…we’re always out on the course for soooooo. many. hours. because we stop for so many pictures along the way, lol.

  2. great pics and what a great race! I can’t wait to run it again next year!!

    • Thanks so much! No matter how many times I run these races, I’m still SO excited to run it again next year! ;)

  3. ALL. THE. CUTENESS. And there’s not a darn thing embracing the dorkness!

  4. Great pictures! Your costumes look awesome. It’s very cool that RunDisney noticed you and took a picture. Looking forward to your marathon recap!

    • Thanks, Jaime!! I’m looking forward to writing it. The marathon recaps take me fooooorever lol. There’s just so much that happens on a Disney race course, lol.

  5. Your costumes were so cute and I love that you ride the ride in Mexico fully dressed up. Those cast members should have been excited to see you. Congrats on your finish it was hot and humid thst day

    • Thanks so much, Pam! I know we looked like two HUGE nerds, but at the time (probably because we were exhausted) it seemed like a hilarious thing to do, lol. Tell me about it…I can somewhat deal with the heat, but the humidity just KILLS ME!

  6. Love the costumes, and I saw y’all’s picture on the rD Facebook album. As much as Disney provides entertainment, that stretch heading back to EPCOT is a real mess. I’m excited to see how Disneyland differs since the 10k has much more time in the California parks.

  7. You and Todd are just too cute! I love that you rode the Three Caballeros ride dressed in your race costumes. Just too cute!

  8. Wow, that looked like a heck of a lot of fun!

    Running in Florida is a trade-off – you’ve got to deal with that crazy humidity, but at least there aren’t a heck of a lot of hills!

  9. I love love love this recap! How fun is it that you guys went to Mexico after for pictures with Donald and rode the boat ride! Such a cute idea!! Glad you guys had a great race! Congrats!! I agree with you – running down Main Street never gets old! :)

  10. Hey!

    I’m so glad I got a chance to meet you on the race course! It was so fun to see your costumes in person :)

    Hopefully I’ll see you at another race soon!

    Sarah

  11. This is the most duck-tactic race recap I’ve ever read! 1) Your costumes are amazing! 2) As I was reading I was reading I was like, “I wonder if they rode the Gran Fiesta Tour.” Of course you did! 3) I want a photo with Scrooge McDuck!!!! I’ve never seen him 4) I love HOW many photos you got w/Donald, especially the costume appropriate one! 5) Where were Huey, Dewey, and Louie??? That would have been amazing too. SO many ducks. Love it all so much.

  12. Hola!

  13. Oopss my bad I did not mean to send that comment without saying nythibg at all
    I remember meeting you two Caballeros, I was working at the margarita kiosc at that time ; commented on how you were missing a caballero although it was Donald. Pretry cool costumes you guys!

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