Disney Princess Half Marathon, Part 3: Miles 6- Finish!

18 Mar

Picking up where I left off on Part 2, reaching the 5 Mile marker was a pretty big milestone on this course as it meant we were close to entering the Magic Kingdom!

Up until this point, I had felt my roomie and I were both doing pretty well but I could tell she was struggling a little bit more than I was. It was incredibly humid for February in Florida and I don’t think she was prepared for that.

With the help of my Garmin, we were following a 1 minute run/1 minute walk plan pretty well, but at this point we switched to mostly walking. I was still feeling pretty strong, but I didn’t want to abandon my roommate, as I could tell it was mostly a mental struggle and knew she could finish.

We were cutting through a bit of the Magic Kingdom’s backstage area, so I knew we were close to being on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street! Even though I frequent the theme parks, this was by far the part of the race I was most anticipating!

Main Street!

Main Street!

This was another part of the course that was FULL of spectators, so the energy was great! Once we got a little closer to the castle, I insisted on a picture! And managed to capture a photo of a guy running in an AWESOME tutu in the background!

Castle!

Castle Shot!

From Main Street, we made our way through Tomorrowland and into Fantasyland, making our way back around to Cinderella’s Castle and another fun photo op.

Fantasyland

Fantasyland

There were some members of the royal court playing trumpets and motivating runners on the run through the castle. I thought they were a lot of fun!

Trumpeters!

Trumpeters!

We made our way through the castle, and were able to enjoy a great view of Main Street and our fellow runners.

Main Street Crowds

Main Street Crowds

You can see how crowded it is- and also how gray the sky is. Definitely a reflection of the humidity in the air.

As we ran through Frontierland, we hit mile 6 and knew we were getting close to the half way point!

Mile 6!

Mile 6!

Soon, we were making our way through some backstage areas again on our way out of the park. Disney kept the backstage area fun, by having some of the parades and characters out greeting runners.

Steam Trains

Steam Trains

Cinderella and Prince Charming

Cinderella and Prince Charming

We made our way back onto the road. We passed by one of Reedy Creek’s, Disney’s personal emergency services department’s, firetrucks and a DJ pumping up the crowd.

Reedy Creek

Reedy Creek

Fans of runDisney on Facebook were able to vote for their favorite song to be featured as the anthem of the race at the half way point. Girl on Fire, by Alicia Keys, came out on top- so the fire truck fit perfectly. And, with that, we we had finished half of our run!

Half Way There!

Half Way There!

Not too long after, Mile 7 was in sight!

Mile 7!

Mile 7!

Right after Mile 7, we passed by the Grand Floridian Resort, where Mary Poppins, Bert and a chimney sweep were cheering runners on.

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

As we passed the Polynesian Resort, we saw Lilo, too!

Lilo

Lilo

Mile 8 was not far behind, followed by the musical stylings of an accordion club!

Mile 8!

Mile 8!

Accordion Club

Accordion Club

At this point, my roommate was struggling pretty bad, which was a challenge for me as I really wanted to make sure I was supporting her as best I can. I made sure she was fueling as needed and really did my best to keep her motivated! I consider myself to be naturally peppy so was trying to keep the positivity flowing. I did balance that with a littttlllleee bit of “Drill Sergeant Stephanie” sending a little tough love her way, too!

By this time we had made our way back onto World Drive and well on way into the home stretch towards Epcot and finished Mile 9!

Mile!

Mile 9!

About half way through Mile 9, my roommate insisted I run ahead. I had mixed feelings as I didn’t want her to get into her head being by herself and quit, but I was looking to push myself a little more. I did end up separating from her at this point, but not without her pinky promising me that she would cross the finish line.

I picked up the pace and made my way to Mile 10 and down World drive to Mile 11.

Mile 10!

Mile 10!

Road Running

Road Running

Mile 11!

Mile 11!

While the course is relatively flat, you do hit a few hills on the overpasses. Of course, these seem to happen more frequently at the end which definitely kept things challenging! Some inspirational signs were scattered throughout this part of the course, which always seem to motivate me to give an extra push.

Inspiration

Inspiration

Motivation

Motivation

After passing Mile 11, I knew I was approaching the entrance into Epcot, which gave me some added pep in my step. Just before entering the park, there was a photo op with Mulan and the Mile 12 marker!

Mulan

Mulan

Mile 12!

Mile 12!

With the passing of Mile 12, the course made it’s way pass cheering spectators and into Epcot through a side entrance and caught sight of the icon of Epcot, Spaceship Earth! The Epcot section of the course is relatively fast, making its way through Future World to the start of the World Showcase and back towards the front of the park.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

At this point on the course my Garmin unfortunately died, but I knew Mile 13 and the finish line were not too far. The course wound it’s way backstage again towards the parking area.

Right before Mile 13, a gospel choir was singing backstage which was wonderful. Not only was their single excellent, it was just the right expression of joy and motivation to make the end to pump up my energy at the end of race!

Gospel Choir

Gospel Choir

Mile 13! 0.1 to go!

Mile 13! 0.1 to go!

As I passed Mile 13, you could begin to hear the roar of the crowd of spectators and the announcers at the finish line! I gave it my last push of energy and made it to the finish line!

The Finish!

The Finish!

Whether a 5K, 10K or half marathon, crossing the finish line always feels great and makes me a bit emotional and this was no exception.

I continued out of the shoot, collecting my finisher’s medal and some water. I decided to stop and get some ice for my hip. While it wasn’t bothering me much, it seemed like a good preventative measure. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it to a good viewing area to watch my roommate cross the finish line, so I continued on and grabbed some snacks. Disney provides a snack box that includes a bunch of health snacks- hummus, nuts, crackers, chocolate and, of course, a banana. I grabbed a Powerade too and found a spot to wait for my roomie.

She was about 20 minutes behind me and with the help of a couple text messages were able to find each other pretty easily. We had had intentions of walking around Epcot for a bit after, but she was a little bit more worn out than she expected and I could feel the starts of a headache so we decided to make our way home, after once last photo.

Finishers!

Finishers!

This half was such a great experience for me. Running around Disney, a place I truly love, and accomplishing something that I feel is still such a huge fitness feat for me makes me feel so wonderful!

And clearly, I’m addicted as I’ve signed up for two more runDisney races in the fall! I already can’t wait!

Coming soon, I’ll provide a quick summary of my thoughts on my overall thoughts on the race, in terms of pros, cons and just helpful tips for future Princess half runners!

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