Yeehaw! There's a snake in my boot! You are a toyyyyyyy!!!!!
As my twentieth half marathon, I was delighted to be running it in Walt Disney World! It was, after all, the location of my first half marathon back in 2011. In true runDisney form, this race did not disappoint! I think (which we always say this after races) it was the most fun ... EVER!!
|Giraffy, Becka & the FruitFly|
At 2:30am my alarm went off and I was up, excitedly slipping in my Jessie costume, while Man Friend transformed himself into Woody. I can honestly say I never expect our Toy Story character costumes to be so popular with the guests cheering us on! I grabbed my breakfast, put on my hat and hustled to the buses to get myself to Epcot with plenty of time to spare. After the very slow, crowded walk to the corrals I very quickly was able to scan the area and find Becka and Giraffy! I swear every race we do we always find each other with no effort! The time in the corrals just flew by, and I was especially giddy when they interviewed Joey Fatone (*not-so-closted *NSync fan here!)!!! And before I knew it corral C's fireworks went off, I was waving goodbye to Mickey, Donald and Goofy and beginning a very memorable run through the most magical land I've ever known!
The plan was to run to each character stop, using photo time for recovery, and always walking through the water stops. That held true for most of the first few miles until we got to Magic Kingdom. The weather was fantastic, when you compare it to Oregon, but still pretty darn hot. I wasn't even a mile in and the sweat was dripping down my face. Turns out my foam hat wasn't what you'd call breathable -- but I didn't care. We were 100% committed to our costumes. We did get reprieve at photo stops when we'd take our hats off to hide the straps that MF so cleverly attached to them.
Knowing this course so well, I knew we could skip the insane Jack Sparrow line at the very first photo stop since he'd be in the same spot and less busy on our way back toward Epcot. Good plan! From there we hit every single stop - except for Fantasyland where the lines looked as if they required a FastPass. The whole course we kept hearing people yell "Woody!! Woody!!" and then they'd try to remember "Jessie" - not always with success. Little girls loved me though. I found it adorable how their faces when we waved at them lit up, it's like they really thought some chubby, sweaty runner WAS Jessie. I loved seeing them so happy, so I was sure to always find those girls and give them a big hello!
Coming through the Castle was ... slow. It came to a walk. We stopped for our photo in front of it (one of my favorites from that race) and then as we continued on a media camera followed us as we ran. Who knows if we'll ever see that footage, but it was pretty cool. Ooh!!! You know what else was cool???? Just before making the sharp left hand turn to head to Magic Kingdom I saw a cameraman. I looked ... and with him was Dennis! You know Dennis, from all the runDisney videos!! Without even thinking I yelled his name. He paused, turned, and then MF and I jumped up and down, yelling even more. He came running back and waved around and hammed it up. Made. My. Race. I was ridiculously giddy over it, I even tweeted him about it later (and he favorited my tweet)!!!
Before we left Frontierland it happened ... my magical moment of the race (aside from Dennis) ... Jessie!!! It wasn't even my turn for a photo and she found me. Once I got up to her it was all hugs and kisses. Loved it!!
Leaving Magic Kingdom is when we lost our momentum. Well, not exactly. I was feeling so great that I was freaking out. I was on fire! Who wasn't on fire? The runners we got stuck in/around/behind. It was like all the purple shirt Galloway runners were there, all on different intervals and making it impossible to run. The only way we could was to just run in the grass, so that's what we did. Once the path widened we were able to break free, but for a couple miles it felt like torture. I may possibly never wear purple ever again in my life. Ever.
Proving just how awesome the running community is, I had a "What a small world!" moment happen just before mile 11. I was feeling REALLY good during this race and had to force myself to take walk breaks once in a while just to save myself for the next day's marathon. We came upon two girls and I said, "hey, let's walk now - they look cute, I can stand looking at them!" Then I took another look and heard the voice. Would you believe that out of 25,000 runners I came upon Kiley, a girl I met on the bus to Epcot during Tower of Terror weekend?? We stayed together a bit before splitting off to finish out the race in our own ways. Pretty darn cool I thought!
Finally we were at the finish line. Out of nowhere white tank top girl cuts me off. She came (you can see it on video) from the far right diving to get a high five from Goofy. Well you know what? Goofy totally ignored her. Who got the high-five? Oh yeah, that would be ME! Ha, take that pushy pants!
|Pretty sure her mouth is saying, "You Bitch!"|
Ridiculous amount of fun. I wish I could do that race every weekend. I feel like if I could only do runDisney races from now on I'd be a happy girl!