2014 runDisney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Kelly Christine Delaney wraps up our runDisney Princess Half Marathon recap day with the last leg of the Glass Slipper Challenge, the runDisney Princess Half Marathon! We cannot thank her enough for her guest posts!!!

runDisney Photo
runDisney Photo

The second part of the Glass Slipper Challenge was the Princess half marathon. This was my third half marathon and my second RunDisney race challenge and I was excited to have a great race and receive my two medals to complete my set of four from the weekend. My excitement continued as I rode with my race roommates and RunDisney newbies Tricia and Lauren.It accelerated as I met up with other running friends for a pre-race picture and headed off to the corrals.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon

I didn’t have to wait too long for the race to start with the new corral/start system thankfully, and we were off pretty quickly. Less than a mile in, my excitement declined quickly as the weather was a bit brutal. I am used to running in the heat, especially for RunDisney races, but I wasn’t completely ready for the 100% humidity that came along with it. I quickly became overheated which slowed down my pace and frustrated me as it felt like my training was going down the tubes. At the water stops I was drinking one cup of water and pouring another on my head to cool down and it helped significantly.

runDisney Princess Half MarathonrunDisney Princess Half Marathon

 

Soon enough I hit the TTC and ran into an awesome friend Joanne who I stopped for a hug and a quick drink. From there I picked up my pace and was feeling pretty great. I ran into Todd in the Magic Kingdom for another hug and high five and enjoyed the trip down Main Street USA. The remainder of the time in Magic Kingdom went far too fast and I definitely enjoyed seeing the characters out in force. I always think I’m going to stop for a character while on the course and never end up doing so. The appeal of the picture never seems as high as the appeal to keep running and finish strong.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon

 

As I left Magic Kingdom I started to hear something absolutely beautiful down the road. Idina Menzel’s version of “Let It Go” was blasting through the speakers at the halfway point and I quickly became overwhelmed with emotion. For every RunDisney race I hadn’t been alone on the course, I always had someone with me. This race I was with friends for the first mile but then from there I was by myself. Hearing the song after just seeing Frozen for the first time brought the back the excitement I had lost due to the heat. I sent a voice message to my running buddy Shelley letting her know I was ok and we cried a bit together via voice messages. It’s good to know that despite being out there by myself, I was never really alone out there.

The next four miles were solid, especially after the Clif shot (I always recommend mocha as it tastes similar to chocolate frosting to me.) The humidity had cut down and I was enjoying the sights and sounds on the course. ….and then the sun came out and turned up the heat. I saw people around me were slowing down a bit except for one person. This runner and I had been passing each other back and forth while doing our intervals for awhile and finally ended up next to each other. We laughed a bit together that we were each other’s pace keeper and decided to make it official for the remainder of the race. It was nice to spend the last few miles laughing with a stranger who quickly became a friend.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon

At mile 12 I ran into Joanne again for another hug and drink. I shared it with my new friend and she enjoyed having something that wasn’t water or a sports drink. Just before hitting the thirteen mile marker a song came on in my ears that made my day. “22” by Taylor Swift started playing and it hit me: I just ran 22.4 miles this weekend over the course of three days. I set a challenge for myself and I was doing it. This time two years ago I never thought I could do it and yet here I was. My joy led me to stop for my first and last picture on the course with my new friend at the gospel choir at mile 13. At this point she turned to me and said “you made this race for me, I wasn’t sure about myself due to the weather but you kept me going, especially after the heat hit.” Hearing this from a stranger was such an awesome experience, especially after having Deanna make my Tower Ten Miler bearable. We hugged just after crossing the finish line and went our separate ways to get our medals and meet our friends/families.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon

 

Getting my runDisney Princess Half Marathon and Gold Slipper Challenge medals was such an awesome experience, especially after feeling like I earned them more being out there by myself. I look forward to continuing to challenge myself out on the course, maybe even with a full marathon one day.

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runDisney Enchanted 10K Race Recap With Kelly Christine

Kelly Christine Delaney joins us in this second post of our runDisney Princess Half Marathon recap day!!! A huge thanks to Kelly Christine for this great post about a really great race!!!

A few weeks ago I participated in the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge as part of the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. The first portion of this challenge was the Enchanted 10K on February 22. I had participated in the 5K the day before with friends so thankfully the 3:30am wake up call wasn’t too painful. I stayed at my favorite Disney Vacation Club resort, Old Key West, for this race weekend so it was a short trip to the course. I met my friends for our regular pre-race catchup and warmup before heading to the corrals.

 Enchanted 10K

Thankfully in my corral were some awesome people and we decided to make this race less of a run and more of a quick walk to save our energy and pace for the next day. I had three awesome friends for my 6.2 stroll: Diana, Deanna, and the lovely Shelley (yes, that friend Shelley who retired from running after running 19.3 miles last September.)

 Enchanted 10K

It was a really humid morning which made it tough to get a solid pace going, but with the surprise of Elsa from Frozen in the first mile the excitement increased, as did our pace. After seeing Elsa, there wasn’t too much on the course until we hit the 5K mark at the entrance to Epcot. We passed Mushu and Mulan in China, Snow White in Germany, Jiminy Cricket in Italy, Jasmine in Morocco, and Mary Poppins in the UK.

 Enchanted 10K

After crossing the bridge from France to the UK, we made a left and headed out of the parks for a stroll past the Epcot resorts. We waved to Diana’s husband at the Boardwalk (while running past baseball Goofy) and saw a bunch of friends cheering us on outside of the Beach Club. From there we headed back into the parks and weaved our way through the remainder of World Showcase and Future World. The temperature was steadily increasing during those last two miles and it was getting a bit uncomfortable. I was remarking to my friends that a little bit of rain (that was expected that afternoon) would be nice…within 2 minutes my wish was granted and a light refreshing sprinkle started. A few minutes later we crossed the finish line and got straight to hydrating and refueling while congratulating each other on a fun race.

 Enchanted 10K

I went into the  Enchanted 10K race hoping for unique and fun pictures with some friends and it ended up being something different, yet still rewarding. RunDisney races are never a PR for me but they’re always an amazing opportunity to accomplish things I never believed I would do while making memories with awesome friends.

Enchanted 10K

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Cinderella Royal Family 5K

5kLast month a group of friends gathered to show support for our friend Chip who wanted to participate in the runDisney Cinderella Royal Family 5K in celebration of her 70th birthday. Spearheaded by Chip’s son Colin, we got together before the start of the race at Epcot during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon weekend. There was a group of about ten of us who rallied around Chip as her Royal Entourage. Colin even had signs for us all to wear on our backs so everyone would know why we were there.

Chip wore a white shirt and most of us wore our race shirts which were dark blue so Chip would stand out and be the center of attention. The 5K started as usual in the Epcot parking lot, winding around then going backstage before emerging into World Showcase between Mexico and Norway. We walked at a pretty good pace, and did a commendable job at staying together as a dozen without interrupting the flow of traffic for those around us. Chip set the pace and we kept with her. Occasionally someone would peal away from the group for a photo, or they saw someone they knew along the course, or even for a pit stop, but we’d slow up if we felt they were too far behind and regroup.

For me, this was a really fun experience. I always run alone, so it was nice to be together with a group of some of my closest friends to be able to do this to honor Chip. We had a great time walking and enjoying each other’s company and the scenery along the course, which is one of my favorites as far as a 5K goes. There were even a few times we stopped and posed for pictures as a group along the way. My favorite part though were the other runners who came up to Chip and wanted to shake her hand and congratulate her and to say how proud and inspired they were. I may have shed a few hidden tears. It was beautiful to be in one of my favorite places with a group of friends enjoying an activity to celebrate the accomplishment of a fantastic person.

On top of all the good feelings that came from being there for Chip and completing another race, we got what is my favorite race shirt so far for this 5K. The medal is also one of my favorites by far. I love the entire vibe of race weekends, in addition to the fact that I have so many friends who run that I get to see a bunch of my best friends pretty much any time Disney hosts a race. I look forward to my next runDisney race in November for the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes 5K in Disneyland. This will be my first California race and I love the Avengers so I cannot wait!

Have you done any of the runDisney 5K fun runs with friends? Did you happen to see Chip’s Royal Entourage while on the 5K course this past February? Leave a message in the comments about your favorite race memory because this is definitely one of mine. Congratulations Chip on your great accomplishment! We are all so proud of you and were honored to be able to share in this moment with you!

Pre-race Cupid Shuffle warm up
Pre-race Cupid Shuffle warm up
Group shot courtesy of Colin Buchanan
Group shot courtesy of Colin Buchanan
Front shot courtesy of Kristen Helmstetter
Front shot courtesy of Kristen Helmstetter
Back shot courtesy of Kristen Helmstetter
Back shot courtesy of Kristen Helmstetter
Colin, Rich & Chip almost there
Colin, Rich & Chip almost there
Chip with the Finish Line in sight
Chip with the Finish Line in sight
Chip receiving her first medal!
Chip receiving her first medal!
Cinderella Royal Family 5K medal closeup
Cinderella Royal Family 5K medal closeup
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