Good morning friends! Just had to brag, I FINALLY qualify for half fanatics! You can bet I will be signing up soon. That’s right, I ran half marathons on back to back weekends, and well, I can now say that is NOT an easy thing to do (especially after working the expos at both races!) The Gulf Coast Half went well yesterday, lots of stories to share, but before I get ahead of myself, I need to recap the Wine and Dine half from last weekend.
Just a reminder, I got up that Saturday morning at 5 after working all day Friday at the expo. I ran the 5k, then worked the expo again all day, and then tore down the booth, packed the boxes, etc. Then, I got on a bus at 7:45 pm to go run the Wine and Dine half! It was really strange getting on the race bus by myself. I kept thinking “I have to run over 13 miles now?!” We got to the start area, which was already full of people.
I was meeting up with my skirt helper Brandi and her husband, and with our friend Dave (all three of us were wearing matching running skirts, so I kept looking for my twin!) After a while they arrived and then the fun began!
We also met up with a friend of Dave’s from work, and all 5 of us sort of decided to run together. After some dancing fun and more picture taking…
We headed to our corrals. We made it into one, and slowly started moving up towards the start.
There were of course fireworks and the regular Disney fanfare, and pretty soon we were off! We had decided to run this race slow and for fun, and stop and take as many pictures as we could with characters, landmarks, etc. So, that is exactly what we did! The first two miles were really annoying. They were very congested and it was impossible to bust through groups of people running four across or walking. We had five people and never ran more than two across, but we kind of figured out our own way to make sure everyone was still with us. Whoever was in the front would yell to the back to make sure we were all still there. It was a fun thing to do along the way and I think everyone around us thought we had lost our minds. (There may or may not have been a lot of singing, jumping, running in circles, etc.)
After a long stretch of well, nothingness, we finally made it into Animal Kingdom (did anyone else REALLY smell the animals? It was either that or someone forgot to shower…)
We made it out of Animal Kingdom (I was having SERIOUS deja vu from running the 5k there that morning!) We stopped for a potty break, and then headed back out onto the road.
we were commanded to sprint up the hill
and we finally made it into Hollywood Studios
where we ran into some friends
Then we finally hit what I was looking forward to, the Osborne Lights! We literally stopped running and just wandered around for a good five minutes (on the course, of course!) It was so beautiful and cool to run through! They were playing Christmas music as well.
We spend a lot of time in DHS, and then headed out the front and towards the Boardwalk. We hit the boardwalk and there were a few spectators cheering us on home. We picked up the pace as we headed towards Epcot, knowing that we were so close! Right in front of the finish line, we saw Minnie and Mickey!
The finish was kind of anti climactic. It’s not like marathon weekend where there is a big grandstand of people, it was this weird twist and turn, and no spectators were allowed over there. Honestly I didn’t even realize we had crossed and that it was RIGHT by our Minnie/Mickey picture!
We did it! Half number 7, in the books! We finished in around 2:50, with hitting all the characters, and a potty stop. Definitely my slowest half, but my most fun!
It was so much fun running with my new friends and having no pressure to run fast. I think Disney races are so expensive, that we did it the way they should be run! I did not enjoy running that late at night, and I was disappointed in the amount of characters, but I still had a great time. It threw my sleep schedule very much out of whack, but I was leaving that day so it was alright!
I will do a separate post about the after party, so stay tuned!
QOTD: Have you ever run a night race? thoughts?