The day finally came! It was my first of three early morning wake-ups and the morning of the Princess 5k at Disney! The hardest part of the whole weekend was trying to get some sleep the night before the 5k. I ended up going to bed around eight, but only got a couple hours of sleep before I woke up at 3:15 am. Despite not sleeping well, I got right up and dressed for the race. I didn’t want to make three running costumes for the weekend, so I recycled my Elsa one from last year. I had just enough time to get dressed, fix my hair, and get my stuff together before we headed out the door around 4 am.
My parents and my sister were also running the 5k and they met Chris and I there. Chris was not running because for some reason he thinks running is boring. He waited in the stands for me to finish and held our stuff. Before we headed to the corrals we had time for a quick group photo.
This year there were six corrals: A-F. I don’t think there were more people running; they just had less people in each corral. At about 5:15 we headed to our corrals, and I said my goodbyes as I entered corral A. There were a lot of people in there already when I arrived, most of which were sitting down and leisurely chatting with fellow runners. There was plenty of room for me to make my way to the front of the corral.
The corral lead and the volunteers joked with us as we waited, which made time go by faster. When it was time for us to move up the the start line, the bike racks that were keeping us enclosed were removed and we lined up at the runDisney tape that the two volunteers held up in front of us. This part was not new for me because I am usually the one leading the corrals for Track Shack, but this time I got to take it all in and relax.
For this race I planned on taking it easy. I still had two more days of races so I wanted to be ready for those as well. Although, when the fireworks went off to start the race I took off. I kept telling myself to slow down, which I did my best to do, but I was just so excited that I couldn’t help myself. As we made our way into Epcot, there was a photo stop with Goofy on the left. I thought about stopping, but by the time I made my decision it was too late and I couldn’t get over there. I decided that I would stop at the next one.
We entered the World Showcase and it was as beautiful as ever all lit up in the dark early morning sky. The next photo opportunity came and it was Chip and Dale. There were only three people in line so I stopped. My first time ever stopping during a race! I stopped my Garmin and then had my picture taken. When I was done I started my Garmin again and took off running thinking, “This is fun!” I then stopped to take a picture with Donald and Daisy in front of the American pavilion.
On the way back to Future World I stopped to take a picture with huge light up crab and then some fish in front of the Living Seas. That was the last photo spot, which was a bit disappointing. I was having a blast taking photos! Who knew?! The next part circled though Future World, past Spaceship Earth, and then back out towards the parking lot where the finish line was.
I did my fist pump as I crossed the finish line. I couldn’t believe that I stopped four times and still finished in under thirty minutes! So much for taking it easy. My Garmin data said I had an average pace of 8:39. Disney races are great because I am so excited that I don’t even realize that I am going that fast!
After I got my Little Mermaid Medallion and snacks, Chris met up with me and showed me where he was watching from the stands. He had to leave to go to work for the day and I stayed there to watch my parents and sister finish. My parents started in corral C and with their pace I figured they would finish at about an hour on the clock. I was right, but I still missed them crossing. I was so upset because I was in a great place to get a picture.
My parents met me in the stands and then we waited for my sister. She was in corral F. After I had finished I heard them releasing that corral at the start line. I believe each corral was about ten minutes apart, so I knew it was going to be a while. At one point my Mom thought she saw my sister going cross the finish line. She looked kind of like her and she was also wearing a Cinderella costume, but it was not my sister. A little bit after that she did finish and received her well-earned medallion.
I really appreciated how much fun the 5k was this year. There was no pressure; it was just a fun run through Epcot. After the run we planned on a relaxing day at Animal Kingdom. The whole day was a lot of fun and I look forward to running my next Disney 5k in the future. After Animal Kingdom, it was another early night to bed because I wanted to feel well rested for the 10k the next morning.