Walt Disney World Half-Marathon Recap from 2018

Vital stats: 5:30 am start (alarm off at 1:45) 39 degrees at race start. Character Stops: Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweets, Red Queen, Sebastian, the Cinderella Mice, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Mary Poppins Penguins, Genie, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Stitch (plus many other’s I’ve forgotten). Finish time 3:09:22

I went into the half with my original plan wrecked before I even started. In the original plan, I was going to run with Joyful Miles again for a nice easy run. We were “Cinderella” themed, and I wanted an easy run with lots of stops to preserve my legs for the Full. However, when I picked up my bib, I discovered that Rundisney had pushed me back corral E. Everyone else was in D. For two days, I wasn’t sure how I was going to adapt my plan. I was disappointed, too because I worked really hard for my corral placement. I didn’t take it up with RunDisney. I just didn’t want the stress.

Okay, race start. Unlike the 5k and 10k, there isn’t as much time in the start area. I was hoping for a quick meetup, but they were sending runners to the corrals earlier than I expected. I went out to the corral as early as I could so I could get to the front of the corral, decreasing the distance and time between my start and my friends. They walked by on the way to their corrals, and we decided I would run fast to catch up with them, since they were taking the first few miles easy. I was also tracking them via text alerts.

So here’s the weird thing. The first text alert came from Laura at the 5k mark, at which point they were only a couple of minutes ahead, and probably stopping soon. I was really close, and started looking for them. There was a character stop (Wreck-It Ralph), just after the 5k mat. I didn’t stop for the character, but looked for them in line. I didn’t see them, so I thought they were still ahead of me. A few minutes later I get a text directly from Laura that they were in line for Ralph. How did I miss them? By this point, though, I had found Gerald instead. Running with him was not part of the original plan, but I ran with him until the castle (5.5), then I lost him again. I wasn’t stopping for characters, only mile markers by that point. I was so obsessed with finding my friends I wasn’t really enjoying the experience. At the castle, Dave was standing in ChEAR Squad, so I got to see him. I got a picture at the castle, then moved on. I was still looking for friends, until about mile 7. The timing mat at the 10k wasn’t working, so I had no idea where anyone was. I found my friend, Jen, cheering at mile 7, at which point I waited to see if anyone I knew would come by. Unfortunately, no one did.

So, mid-race, I changed my plan. I started running for me. I stopped for several characters, enjoyed myself along the way, and kept following my friends virtually as we finished the race. I felt really bad that I couldn’t run with them. I still enjoyed the race, but changing the plan mid-race wasn’t what I had in mind.

Being pushed back in corral started a series of events that just confused things. So lesson learned, go to runner relations. According to their bib breakdown, I had a valid argument to be moved back up to D, which did happen for the full, but I’ll get to that next time.

As far as the race itself was concerned, I felt great! My stops were long, but I could run the paces I wanted without really pushing too hard. It was also nice that I finished the race in daylight…with the warming trend during the weekend, that was a welcome change.

I feel like I managed the first three races exactly right, and finished the half knowing I had plenty in the tank for the full.

The race kit included (from head to toe): Homemade ears, Long sleeved tech t-shirt, Fleece zippered vest, Fairy Godmother cape, Fairy Godmother Skort, CEP full length compression socks, and Saucony Guide 10 shoes. Plus a “ditchable” fleece jacket that I dropped right after race start.

Heather Jergensen

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