Disney Princess Half Marathon

Monday, February 28, 2011
Back to reality from the start of a 4-week adventure! Lots of trips coming up, and I’m pumped! The month of March is going to have some pretty awesome blog posts… get excited!!

Well, I did it! I finished my first half marathon! I loved it-- when's the next one??

This past weekend was the long-awaited and highly-anticipated Disney Princess Half Marathon! It was also a weekend of epic reunions and our grown-up “spring break”. Our dear friend, Mary, flew in from Memphis to Gator country on Friday night. Then Zach, Scotty (our friend from MSU who is now working in Gainesville), Mary and I drove down to Orlando. Mom and Tom gave us a wonderful hotel suite for the weekend for a Christmas gift, and we enjoyed it immensely! We stayed at the Parc Soleil by Hilton Grand Vacations Club and did not want the weekend to end! Saturday was spent lounging by the pool after we got our race packets (LOVE that our bib numbers said "Princess Stacey" and "Princess Mary" on them!) at the Wide World of Sports. The boys entertained themselves watching a flag football tourney, and Mary and I oohed and ahhed at all the sparkles and tiaras on the women who would be running the race with us. We also picked up a couple of awesome shirts to wear in the race- you’ll be seeing those later! Check out this glass running slipper-- haha love it-- talk about blisters... ouch!

We met up with Emma, my best friend from middle school who now lives in Nevada, and her boyfriend, Will. I hadn't seen Emma is over eight years-- so great seeing her again! They came back with us to hang out at the pool—so relaxing on such a beautiful day!

After cleaning up, we went to eat at Paradisio 37 in Downtown Disney and enjoyed a yummy dinner on the balcony overlooking the water at sunset. The only thing that would have made it better is if the girls could have had a very tempting sangria margarita… but we had our eye on the prize and downed lots of water to prep for the race (good idea!). We called it an early night because we had to be up and leaving for Disney by 3am the next morning (sorry for the late night texts, friends)!

It felt like 3am when the alarm went off, but once we donned our sparkle skirts, we were ready! Don't we look good???

I cannot articulate what tens of thousands of tutus, tiaras, and glitter look like—but it was magnificent! We strutted down the red carpet to a pre-race DJ dance party and to look at all the costumes…. And they were all awesome. I still don’t understand how some women ran 13.1 miles in full-length Cinderella gowns or Snow White costumes with high collars, but they did! We even saw dudes with hot pink feather boas and tutus, a head-to-toe frog prince costume and peter pan! Let’s put it this way, our sparkle skirts were mild and very common compared to what most people were wearing.

Zach, Scotty and Will headed to the Magic Kingdom to stake out a viewing spot for when we would run through the castle around mile 5.5, and Mary, Emma and I headed to the starting corrals.

Check out this shot of the castle-- guess the boys got to their destination pretty early.

The Fairy Godmother waved her wand to set off fireworks and each corral of runners to start the race. So exciting! Our corrall was released at 6am. The first few miles seemed to fly by! We ran past high school marching bands and drum lines, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney Princes/heros, Polynesian hula girls, Lilo and Stitch, Alice from Wonderland, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Sleeping Beauty’s fairies, Belle, Jessie from Toy Story, the Genie from Aladdin, a couple DJs, fire fighters (mary’s fav), Goofy, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Mickey and Minnie, and many more characters (hard to remember them all!) We stopped for pictures with a few characters which made for some nice breaks along the route. 17,000 people (mostly women) ran the race, and we were shoulder to shoulder with them for the entire course. I couldn’t see the font of the line, and I couldn’t see the end of it either! Runners were everywhere! The course started on a road near Epcot that took us to the Maic Kingdom. We ran down Main Street USA and through Tomorrwland and Fantasyland to come through Cinderella's castle then to Fronteir Land and out the back of the park. Then we were again on some roads between the parks and passed the Wedding Pavillion. The last mile was through Epcot and back out to the parking for the finish line. I had never run a race with so many supporters shouting encouraging words! I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole race!

I would be remiss if I did not make a special shout out to our wonderful support crew—Zach, Scotty and Will—what troopers for getting up at 3am and being herded around the Disney property all morning… we have such awesome men in our lives! Thanks for being out there!

Sunday was a pretty lazy day. Mary and I actually got sick post-race… no fun, but at least we felt great during the race! We left Orlando late in the afternoon, and picked up sushi before heading home to watch the Oscars (so typical). It was wonderful spending the weekend with Mary! I miss her (and all of my friends terribly), but it was nice to have a few days where we picked up like no time had passed at all… love you, Mary (and I’m so glad you smell the same)!!

So… here are the pics from the race! It was dark, so the ones I took at the beginning of the race didn’t come out-sorry!

This was the "Hero Spot" complete with the song "I Need a Hero" playing in the back ground. I think this was around mile 3. Seeing Tarzan, Flynn Rider (from Tangled-- took us a while to figure out who he was), John Smith, Eric and Aladdin made the 5k totally worth it! (Note: Still dark... it's only about 6:30am)

Made it to the Castle (even though you can't see it castle, it's behind us to the right) at mile 6! Still looking good, I might add.

Here are the shots Zach got of us-- they're blurry because we were running so fast!

Look who we ran into at the Magic Kingdom in Fantasy Land. Only proper to curtsey to Alice!

Jessie from Toy Story was in Fronteir Land.

Across from Disney'sWedding Pavillion was Cinderella's coach-- excuse me, sir, could you take us to the finish line? thanks!

Mile 11-- almost done!!!


Thanks Zach and Scotty!

2 comments to Disney Princess Half Marathon:

Jill said...

Great job y'all!!! That definitely looks like the most FUN race you could ever run and I LOVE the running skirts. Y'all looked so cute!

Caro said...

Aw I love this, thanks for sharing your adventure! :)
-Caroline Kim

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