Running a Hot Disney Princess Half

Hi guys!  It’s been a while since I’ve done a race review and with everything fresh on my mind, here’s a recap this past weekend’s Princess Half Marathon.

Disney’s race expo visit went efficiently.  I am super grateful to Lisa at The Castle Run for posting character hours- or I would have missed my favorite Disney Princess (and one is never out!) ~ Moana

Being a Princess themed event, I usually will get a little more gear at this Expo than other Disney races.  I have four boys so this is as girlie as it gets for me…..

I hit up the Sweaty Bands booth every race expo and found this beauty on the $5 rack.  I shall wear it proudly 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

For Disney races, I set my alarm for a 3:15 wakeup.  I made my first ever outfit mistake, realizing my “Today I Will Shine” saying is partially covered by my bib.  Whoops, oh well!  I was out the door by 3:30 and walking into the Epcot staging area by 4.  I typically try to get in a smidge earlier as the lines for pre-race character pics was already an hour wait.  They cut off the line at 5am and I didn’t want to risk waiting for nothing.   I decided that I would wait until after the race and try to head to the front of my corral – which was a really good call.  I felt like the walk out to the corrals was further than in the past – about 15-20 minutes.

Before the race began, Disney’s official trainer, Jeff Galloway, had stated that we should expect to run 30 seconds extra per every 5 degrees it was above 60.  Given that the temp was 70 to start, this was going to add at least 10 minutes to my pace, per his prediction. The race started and I was feeling positive.  My general rule for character pics for Disney races is I will stop if it’s a character you wouldn’t see in the parks and the line has 1-2 people in it.  This means bypassing the first few characters – I just feel like long lines to start will make for a long race.

I headed down towards Main Street and got overwhelmed.  Disney courses typically don’t have as many spectators (it is 5am and the backroads of Disney) but Main Street was full of cheering family members and it gives a great burst of energy.  The Prince Charming Carousel was spinning as we made our way through the front of the castle.  I imagined how amazing it must feel to work as a Disney performer and walk out from the castle each day to adoring visitors.

Through Magic Kingdom was close to halfway through the race and the reality of what Jeff Galloway had said was sinking in.  I mentally debated one last time if I should try and push for running the race in under two hours but in my head I heard the phrase “if you don’t stop for some pictures at a Disney race, you’re not doing it right.”  At that moment I came upon this group and my decision was confirmed.

As the sun came up and the temperatures increased, the last half of the race turned into survival mode.  I typically run negative splits for all my training runs, meaning I run the second half faster than the first – getting home is always a good motivation for me to run fast.  There was absolutely no way that was going to happen in this race.

At one point around mile 11 I wondered who the group of characters was I saw ahead.  It was a bunch of red poles with white strips on it.  Cue character hallucinations haha.  Here I found some actual characters:

My boys FaceTimed right as I as in the last mile and I let them stay on as I finished so they were with me in spirit ❤

Post race, I always do a dash to the character lines.  The lines increase as people finish and I wanted to make up for my lack of early morning pictures.

This was the first race I’ve ever decided to get a celebratory champagne after.  Mentally it seemed like a fun idea.  Physically I barely had the strength to even hold it hahaha. Look at my lack of effort in staging this pic nicely- just plunked it on the ground.

Overall, it was a fantastic race – the Disney/Princess atmosphere is amazing.  I’ve heard that you shouldn’t try to PR on a Disney race.  I have and it was AWESOME but given the experience of this past weekend, I would say you have to be lucky enough to have all the right conditions in place.  Given the temps, I’m debating doing a race this upcoming weekend….the medal IS a flamingo medal… we will just have to wait and see what my mama body says!

PS Jeff Galloway’s prediction was spot  on… my original guess for finish time was between 2 hours and 2:04 – my actual time was 2:10.  Tricky Florida weather!


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