Wow, what an event! This report might be more about the before and after than Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K itself! So let's start with what caused such a scene -- the costumes. I wanted something fun, themed, but not a total cliche. It struck me that the Nightmare Before Christmas was perfect! Halloween had just come and gone, Christmas is around the corner ... brilliant! So Man Friend was Jack Skellington while I was in his shadow as Sally. I thought it seemed like something easy to pack and do a 5K in, but I had NO idea the response it would get!
At 3:40 am my alarm went off. We were out of bed, easily putting on our costumes and then staring in the mirrors trying to figure out our make-up. Who does a race in full make-up?? We do! Our race attire was anything but conventional, heck I was in tights and Converse, but that didn't stop us! Just before 5am we were walking out to our bus... cue my laugh attack. No other runners were in costumes as far as we could see. I was laughing so hard tears were starting to form - which would ruin the make up!!!
Our bus was the very first to arrive at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We hurried over to get a photo in front of a backdrop and then waited to see Mickey and Minnie. Other runners seemed to love our costumes and we posed for countless photos. But the biggest shock was when the runDisney media guy pulled aside TWICE for mini-photo shoots. He had us get into character and everything, saying they might use them for upcoming promos. Crazy!! As it turns out, we were the very first post runDisney made on Twitter that day!!
After all the photos we were just hanging out watching the "snow" and, quite honestly, getting close to other runners so I could try to get any body heat I could! We found ourselves with a lovely family from Alaska. The little girl was enamored with Man Friend. She couldn't stop looking at him, but wasn't too sure what to think. Of course MF just HAD to talk with her. Conversation was going great until the Cupid Shuffle came on. MF looked at his new friend and asked if she wanted to dance. She hardly said yes before the two took off together to the DJ's dance area. I quickly followed, joking I would be the babysitter and not to worry about their daughter. Look at us!! Would you let your kid just take off with us???
|MF and his new dance partner|
|Here come the cameras!|
The fun had to come to an end, and we made our way to the corrals. We watched the sun rise and soon were on our 3.1 mile adventure through Disney's Animal Kingdom and it's massive parking lot. I loved having new territory to "race" through, and it was great seeing some of my old backstage haunts I used to frequent back in my Kali days. The only challenged we faced during this race was NOT touching our faces, regardless of any sweat that was forming or hair trying to stick to my face. I was committed to the costume after all!
The end was near. As per usual, we ran ourselves through the finish line. This time, however, we didn't exactly blend in. The announcers made a big deal out of our arrival, so of course we played it up,as we are prone to do. I thought it would end at the finish line. I was wrong. I barely stopped my Garmin and was still in the way of photographers when that same media crew came and pulled us aside. And again MF was interviewed! WHAT?!? **I shouldn't be allowed to speak. Ugh.
|Snipped from the runDisney video|
This really was so much fun! The energy of all the participants was relaxed, happy, merry, jolly - all those festive words you can think of. We had so many conversations with strangers and really there wasn't a moment we weren't smiling! I loved it!!
So now I will leave you with the runDisney recap video -- you'll see Man Friend dancing near the beginning, and then at the end MF has a voice over while we are running through the finish line. Ignore my speaking part. Like I said, I shouldn't be allowed to speak!!