2017 DIY WDW Half Marathon

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By now, the majority of you know the basics of what went down at the WDW Half: storms ripped through, race got cancelled. When I awoke Saturday morning, the first thing I checked was the radar. All I could think of was, ‚ÄúrunDisney made the right call.‚ÄĚ

 

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I love storms, but I’m not running in this.

 

I hopped onto my other social medias, and was immediately inspired. Many runners were laced up and running around their resorts! And some had even done their mileage the previous night before the storms moved in! Treadmills were occupied, fans and supporters were along the routes cheering, and the Disney cast members brought their A game, setting up tables and cups for hydration stops while other runners brought out candy and other goodies.

My eyes were glued to my Twitter feed, constantly updating for the latest news. This was the running community at its finest: we’re there to work (in the form of miles and medals), so we worked. So many stories and accounts of runners trekking through the resorts and parks sparked a new life in the runDisney community. You could give us oranges and we’d still make lemonade out of them!

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In my opinion, runDisney did a¬†decent job with regard to communications. From the first instant that they knew something could go wrong with race day, they were on top of their game, letting runners and spectators know what was going on and directing that information across every channel they had: social media, the digital event guide, the race website, and even signs on the sandwich boards in the resorts.¬†(I’ve heard some complaints about the timing of the information being released, but give them some credit: they have X amount of cast members trying to update and format X amount of communication platforms. Not everything is going to be “going live” right when they say it’s going to. Cut them some slack; they did the best they could with what they had.) Cast members kept their cool as they were peppered with hundreds of questions which they had just received the answers for. Once the ultimate decision was reached, obviously there was disappointments, and even outbursts of anger among some. True, we all spent a lot of money and time getting TO Disney, and a hell of a lot of time training on top of all of that. I can understand disappointment…but think of it like such: lightning is deadly. If a bolt struck a runner within a corral (and with 98% of us geared up with electronics and costumes and other random things, the probability was high), it would wipe out all 2,000 runners in that corral. runDisney was looking out for us. They also broke out their secret ‚ÄúRace Gets Cancelled, Open This‚ÄĚ compensation plan and offered several alternatives for challenge and half runners. Since I was doing Goofy, my half marathon fees would be refunded in the form of a gift card (soon to be mailed), and I’d be getting my half medal at the conclusion of the marathon on Sunday.

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With all that said, here’s how my day actually¬†went…


*Woke up and watched Beauty and the Beast with Chris. (Perfect precursor to the Be Our Guest reservation for Sunday night!)

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*Headed to the expo so Chris could pick up his medal (since he was doing just the half).

 

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“It’s the Great Car Half Marathon!” -Chris

 

*Waited out in the rain and snaked the line all the way around WWOS for half an hour. We even got a character stop!

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Wait time: 30 minutes. No Fastpasses.

*Jumped back in the car and headed over to EPCOT (albeit very slowly. It took forever and a day to get out of the parking lot). That’s where our DIY WDW Half would begin…


 

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All the miles! All the food! All the friends!

 

We arrived around 2PM, and from the moment our feet hit the pavement, we were off. The only thing on our mind at the moment was bratwurst (and our team meetup in Mexico). After cruising through security, we were on our way to Germany!

Along the way, we were keeping a steady pace, and getting compliments from fellow runners along the way! We hit World Showcase and said a quick hi to our fellow teammates at Mexico before we bolted for Germany. The weather was chilly and gloomy…but it didn’t stop us from our first fun stop of the ‚Äúrace‚ÄĚ.

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Mmmm…beer…and brats…

 

We piggybacked to Mexico and met up with Team Shenanigans for good times and our traditional boat ride.

From Mexico, we made a day out of traversing World Showcase and Future World, stopping plenty of times for rides and shenanigans…

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As Chris and I were heading up the bridge by France, I heard a voice ask…”runDisneyBelle?” Turns out it was Ted (@BigGoofyRunner!)! It’s always great to meet the online running community in real life. You can read about his WDWHalf adventures here!

After a few loops and some laps around The Land with Jess, Kristin, and Jackie, we headed over to the Boardwalk to mix things up a little! By then, the sun had gone down and it was getting windy and cold. My tolerance for cold is next to none (I seriously turn into Elsa!), and I ducked into a gift shop to buy gloves.

We were nearing the 13.1 mark and we had to head back to the car anyway, so we returned to EPCOT and continued walking circles until we finally hit the half marathon mark! Woohoo!

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After a victory ride on Spaceship Earth (and a five minute escape from the cold), we headed to the ferry boat and back to the car. I got back to my hotel around 9:30 PM, and immediately laid out my flat runner for Sunday morning. Those 13.1 miles were going to catch up to me in about seven hours, and 2AM was going to come way too soon…


Shoutout to ALL of the athletes who completed their improvised WDW Half Marathons last weekend. Y’all are such an inspiration! Check out the hashtag #wdwhalf on the socials and see what went down those days. You are now a part of history, and will have stories for years to come. Your dedication and resilience during a time of frustration and disappointment truly shows the heart and¬†soul of what the running community is all about: we don’t back down from our goals, and consistently persevere–even¬†when the situation isn’t perfect–to get shit¬†done. And that is what we did.

 

Next up: 2017 WDW Marathon recap! 

WDW Marathon Weekend Corrals and Waivers

Ladies and gentlemen, runners of all ages…

It’s that time of year. I’m not talking about Christmas or other wintery holidays…

It’s runDisney season!!!

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We have about 17 days until the Super Bowl of runDisney occurs down in Walt Disney World. WDW Marathon weekend is in its 24th year, and will encompass four races and two challenges throughout the weekend: WDW 5K, WDW¬†10K, WDW Half Marathon, and WDW Marathon; Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, and the Dopey Challenge. 2017 is special in that we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the half marathon!

 

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XX = Roman numeral for 20, for those that are confused by the design.

Yesterday, the corrals and waivers were released, and runners will be able to access their bib numbers and corral placements. Now, for those that are seasoned runDisney veterans, they’re already out and cruising towards Magic Kingdom (i.e. they already know what to do). If you’re a newbie, don’t panic! I’m here to help make this as painless and simple¬†as possible. Here is what you do!

 


  1. Click this link. It will take you to your waiver: WDW Marathon Weekend Waiver
  2. When you arrive to the page, enter your last name and DOB.
  3. Your waiver will pop up. If you have a printer, print it out and sign it. If you don’t, you can print it out at the expo.

Your bib number will be at the bottom of the page, along with your age and shirt size. Using this bib number, look up your corral for your race: 2017-wdw-half-corrals2017-wdw-marathon-corrals2017-goofy-corrals2017-dopey-corralsNow, for those running the challenge runs (Goofy and Dopey), things are a little different for you. I consulted by BRF, Jess, for this information!

“Goofy and Dopey bibs have two corral letters, right? Or is that just Dopey? -me

“Goofy only has one so you are in the same corral for half and full. Dopey has two bibs: one for the 5k and 10k, the other for half and full. You are in the same corral for half and full for Dopey. You’re also in the same starting corral for the 5k and 10k for Dopey, too, but you don’t find that out until the expo :)” -Jess

So there ya go. Dopey = 2 bibs, 2 letters. Everyone else = 1 bib.

5Kers…You’ll notice there is no timing chip on your bib. It’s an untimed race, but you are still in a corral. Just run to have fun!

One last note: no matter if you print your waiver now or at the expo, you better make sure you have your ID with you when you retrieve your bib and race packet. Have it out and ready to go so you’re not fishing around and fumbling with your stuff when you get there.


Personal notes:

-I’ll be running the Goofy Challenge this year! I’ll be in Corral J for both races.

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Looks like a Reese’s Cup to me!

 

-I will be driving to Florida instead of flying.

-I’m tinkering with the idea of a WDW Marathon Survival Guide. For those that have read my Princess Half Survival Guide series, you know that it is catered to those that are first-timers/newbies. Are there any topics that you would like to see me elaborate on/write about that are tailored for the WDW Marathon weekend?


Happy training and traveling! Have a great holiday season!img_1808

 

Brace Yourselves…Fall Race Season Is Coming.

It’s just about that time of year again: the air begins to cool¬†(unless you’re up here in D.C. and you’re still sweltering in 90+ degree weather), kids are going back to school, the leaves begin to turn, and pumpkin spice begins to dominate the shelves.

Oh yes, one more thing…

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IT’S TIME FOR RACING SEASON!!!

I don’t know about you all, but the relentless sunshine and humidity has wreaked havoc on my initial training plans for¬†this summer. Some days were definitely better than others, and I relished the cool, cloudy days. (I found myself ironically doing my longest mileage on the hottest days with the worst humidity. Ha.) Just like back-to-school season has a sense of newness¬†with an¬†aura of new beginnings and a clean slate, I consider September the start of the new racing season; this past weekend was the Disneyland Half/Dumbo¬†Double Dare weekend, along with Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach. From there, a whole slew of races and their shiny bling¬†will be dominating our social media feeds until probably…mid-April-ish, after the Boston and London Marathons?

I’m rather excited to get started on my journey. I feel¬†more like a legitimate runner with the lineup of races that I have on the horizon. I also got a terrific steal on a Planet Fitness membership…$99 for an entire year! You seriously can’t beat that! ūüôā

I kickstarted¬†this upcoming lineup of races¬†back in August with the virtual National Park Series 100th Birthday¬†race/#NPS100VRC. Props to¬†the Virtual¬†Running Club¬†for heading¬†it up!¬†There were three options and I chose to run the 5K. My time may seem super slow…but I did have a lot of speed bursts throughout my time on the treadmill, and that I really can run up to 8 mph.

I am very much looking forward to getting this 3D ranger hat medal!

 

My IRL running schedule will be the busiest it’s ever been. Here’s the current¬†rundown for the next six months, with possible additions along the way:


September 18th: Navy/Air Force Half Marathon (#NAFHALF)

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Running through the nation’s capital has always been a treat; there’s so many things to look at, you definitely won’t get bored on the course!¬†I’ve been looking forward to the NAFHALF since I signed up for it way back when. The course map eerily reflects the Marine Corps Marathon route, so 95% of the terrain will be insanely familiar. I feel like this will give me a¬†decent advantage. The projected weather, however,¬†is¬†calling for¬†scattered storms and a high of 82 degrees. I really hope the heat and humidity hold off until after we’re done.

I’m still chasing my first sub-3:00 half marathon (current PR: 3:06:48 from PHM ’14), and am hoping to use this race as a POT update¬†for Goofy Challenge weekend in January.


November 19th: Inaugural Everglades Half Marathon (#EvergladesHalf)

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Chris and I have a goal to complete each of the Vacation Races, which take place at National Parks. There are currently nine, and we decided to get a jump start on completing our mission by signing up for the Everglades Half! This will be Chris’s first half marathon; I’ll be playing pacer while he plays tour guide. (He’s a Floridian with extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna, and all things National Parks related.)


January 7th and 8th: Goofy Challenge (WDW Half Marathon and WDW Marathon)

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I told myself in the beginning of the year that I would be kicking my fitness up a notch, and what better way to do so than¬†to train for one of the toughest runDisney challenges?¬†For those that are unfamiliar with Goofy, it is 39.3 miles over two days.¬†2017¬†will be¬†special, in which the half marathon will be the 20th anniversary edition (bring on the special bling!). I originally wanted to sign up for the half solely, but something inside of me said, “Go Goofy!” After having such a blast at the WDW Marathon¬†this year, I decided to give it another go around. Plus, Chris and I will also be running the WDW Half together! (We’re going to focus on the half as a legitimate time race.)

A word to the wise: 39.3 miles is definitely not something to screw around with. I’ll be following Hal Higdon’s Dopey Challenge training plan, and¬†it¬†just so conveniently begins for me¬†on September 12.¬†¬†The first long run of that week is…a half marathon (aka NAFHALF)! How perfect!


February 22nd and 23rd: Glass Slipper Challenge (Enchanted 10K and Princess Half Marathon)

Fifth PHM, fourth GSC, and a potential Belle theme. As much as I wanted to say no to this challenge this year for a variety of reasons, the thought of being so close to legacy status excites me. The development of my PHM Survival Guide last year gave me a closer attachment to this race weekend as I connected with so many runners over the topics covered.  I definitely want to come back and have a better performance in 2017; major stomach issues kept me from achieving my A-goal PRs in 2016.

(And no, Chris is not running this one with me. Haha.)


March 11th: Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Marathon

RnR D.C. was my first ever race in this series, and trust me, I fell in love with it. Not only was it my first 5K ever¬†(and first time being a pacer!), but it was also my first race expo volunteer experience. ¬†Rock ‘n’ Roll really knows how to put on a great performance. I truly look forward to completing more of their events and eventually going for Hall of Fame status, probably in 2018.

Speaking of pacing, this will be Chris’s first FULL marathon! It’ll be my job to make sure we don’t die on the course; the course cutoff is at 5 hours and 30 minutes, or a 12:35/mile. (Rather quick for an RnR marathon, but D.C. has strict road close/open times.) If all goes well, we will also be running the Marine Corps Marathon later in 2017.


The only race that I have a TBD on at the moment is the London Marathon. I put my name into the Goblet of Fire…errrr, the race lottery, way back in May. I’ll find out in October if I get to begin my World Marathon Majors journey!


By looking at this list, you may think that I’m way over my head. A 10K, four half marathons, and two (possibly three) fulls in six to seven months?

Like most runners, I’m crazy.

But you know what else? It’ll also make me accountable for my training and nutrition. If I am to come out on top and be successful, I have to be more diligent, dedicated, and disciplined. After all…

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What is on tap for your fall/winter racing season? Any specific goals that you’re trying to achieve?¬† Will I be seeing you at any of these races?

 

See you at the finish line!

*~*Christina*~*