Hello friends! Finally ready to write that race recap but I'll keep it short and sweet. To sum up this race in one word, I'd choose FUN! It's a super fun race and was totally worth the money, stressful travel and frizzy, curly hair from 3+ hours in the humidity. Wait, wait, wait...3+ hours?! Yes, you read that correctly. Man did we get our money's worth!
We got to Florida around 10 the Friday before the race and were instantly smacked in the face by the humidity and I was quickly reminded how much I hate summer. Have I mentioned how much I hate summer? Anyway, fast forward to Saturday and it was time for the expo!
None of my pictures could do the size of the race true justice. The expo was packed but not nearly as irritating as I expected, particularly because every parent there was fantastic and kept their kids from running wild. I appreciate that immensely. Plus there were fun things for them and everyone to do. We bought a couple of things and then happened upon a certain Miss Ali Vincent! I'm not a huge Biggest Loser fan but my sister is. And I at least recognized her but for those of you unfamiliar, Ali Vincent was the first female Biggest Loser winner and is really fabulous and fun. And adorable.
After the expo we hung around for a while (amazing!) and then went to bed early. The worst part of the Disney race gig is that whole 5:35 am start time. We were up at 2:30 to leave by 3 since we were driving and the directions said to be parked by 4 am. We entered the greatest pre-race party ever! I swear, this guy had to be high because he was the most energetic DJ I've ever experienced. We Cha Cha Slid, YMCA'd, Wobbled, Macarena'd, Booty Called and all around had a blast! We also took pictures (of course) before heading over to the corrals. It was about a 15 minute walk from the pre-race area to the start line and somehow we were in corral B (out of A-G). We settled in, got nervous, made friends, peed in the woods and before we knew it the race had started!
This race was absolutely huge. Nearly 30,000 runners and all kinds of characters and displays at just about every mile! That's one of the reasons we were sooo slow. A lot of the pre-race materials said this wasn't a race for a PR and I of course wasn't shooting for that anyway. But the heat combined with the congestion and of course the distance I was just out for a good time. It was a really well staffed race with lots of bathrooms, water/powerade stops and medical volunteers. Not only were there volunteers everywhere but the medical tents handed out tylenol, biofreeze and vaseline. It was like Christmas every 3 miles. People always say your clothing can cause chafing but I've found I'm mostly unable to save my thighs from each other. The clothes are fine. Most importantly, I never felt like I was dying. I got tired. I got tired of running. I wanted to climb onto the Pirates of the Caribbean ship and have a nap. But I was never panting or completely fatigued. That is, until the very end. And that's how I knew I ran a good race. We added about 35 minutes to the time I imagine I could do a half in and that's pretty good for the aforementioned conditions and stopping at least every mile to take pictures.
The spectators were amazing too. There were tons of them and they were nice and loud which was greatly appreciated. The whole last mile was just lined with people and of course a gospel choir which meant the end was near! We rounded the Epcot ball and finally, FINALLY saw the 13 mile marker. After we finished the trusty Garmin told us the race was more like 13.25 miles. But what can you do? All in all I would absolutely recommend this race but it is costly and crowded sometimes. But to me, it was totally worth it and a great birthday present. We got some really sweet swag too. Hoping to be back there sooner, but for sure will be going for my 30th!