Disney Princess Half Marathon 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

This was my first half marathon and also my first RunDisney event!
It was such a new but such an amazing experience and I thought I'd share some things I learned.
1) Get reservations to the restaurants!
Although we were able to find reservations for the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen during the week, almost everything else was hit or miss.
We booked at Cinderella's Castle, Be our Guest, and Via Napoli when we signed up for the race back in July 2016!

Of course we did Via Napoli for our carb loading the night before!
2) Get plenty of rest and try to go to bed early!
Our alarm went off at 2:45AM and we were on the bus by 3:30 (as shown below).
3) Don't underestimate how cold a Florida morning can be.
None of us brought a jacket or a thermal blanket or even a trash bag (yes you can use a trash bag) because it felt warm when we left the hotel. It actually got much colder as the morning progressed and I was shaking all over from the shivers. I was just hanging out from around 4AM to 6:30 AM when my corral actually left so keep in mind this is idle time!
Most people get a cheap jacket and throw it to the side once they get going.
I've been told these jackets are collected and donated after the race!
4) Do stop for pictures, but be aware how this may effect your finish time, A LOT.
The later corrals tend to be full of walkers, and very slow walkers.
Even if you aren't trying to make a P.R. you will get trapped with no option to run if you get too far behind.
We stopped for 30 minutes to take pictures with Cinderella and Snow white and ended up not being able to run at all because of the group we got stuck in... for MILES.
Next year I plan to just take a couple with my group and avoid the characters!
5) Have fun with your costume!
I saw some amazing costumes out there.
Pretty much everyone dresses up for these events (even the guys)
Check out #PrincessMen on instagram if you want to get a good laugh
I chose to be Anna from Frozen Fever,
my friend Laurie did the live action version of Cinderella,
and my other friend Yavnika sported a tulle tail with her Ariel costume!
6) Don't get too bummed out about your time.
If you stop to take pictures and you get trapped with walkers it is what it is
This is supposed to be a fun race!
Unless you're in a very early corral this is probably not a good race to P.R.
7) Run a qualifying race before this one for proof of time!
If you want to work on your P.R. AND take pictures in various locations I recommend running a qualifying race before this one and submitting proof of time for it. I plan to do this next year to be able to be in an earlier corral to hopefully avoid all the walkers. We were in M. L was the earliest you could be in without submitting proof of time but your corral is random if you have no POT.
8) Smile! You're on camera!
The Photopass people were in clearly marked tents or had flags! Don't forget to smile on the course! You will get some great photos! Or some awkward ones... Be especially careful to note where they are on the finish line. My friend Laurie went through the middle and she doesn't have a finish line photo!
9) Training!
This has more to do with training than the Princess Run but train with what you will be taking with you on the track. I drank water for all my practice runs and carried Gu with me (chocolate outrage is the only one I will eat). You can also look up what they will have at the race if you want to try to train with that but usually this is released a couple weeks before the race so you should already be training! This year they had powerade (yellow), water, and some energy goo that I didn't try. And this goes without saying but its 13.1 miles so TRAIN for it! Even if you do a run/ walk split (I did a 2:1 where I could) train for what you plan to do. Yavnika's son walked the whole thing and was well within the pace requirement (16mm). There are balloon ladies that are in the later corrals and if they pass you for too long you will be pulled (you do still get the medal though).
10) Protect the Bib!
In all the excitement it can be hard not to post photos of your bib pre race but NEVER do this with your numbers showing. People steal numbers all the time to run for free! Also think about where you want your bib to be when you plan your costume. None of us thought about it at all and mine was hard to figure out because I had a running pouch and a short skirt!
Some final tidbits about race week:
We stayed in a value resort. While everything was great for the race stuff it was a little harder getting to and from the parks than I'm used to. Busses were very crowded and many times the all star resorts were combined on one bus making them full and making it harder to get on the first bus that comes to your stop. Value resorts do not have hot tubs for a post-race soak either, which I didn't know. They did provide the runners box (banana, bagel, water, peanut butter, and some bar) which was nice.
Go to the expo early! It gets super crowded and stuff sells out. People sign up for the 5k just to go in and buy out the coveted items so plan to go on Thursday if you are able. I was able to snag the Haunted Mansion New Balance shoes and there were a ton left! Dedicate at least half a day for the expo to really see everything, if not more.
Next year is the 10th anniversary! I've already signed up and plan to do the "Glass Slipper Challenge"! Registration is May 2nd for everyone who isn't AP so make sure you are on as soon as it opens to snag your spot!
Now... to decide which princesses to be in 2018!
Xo, Kasi

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