Date: February 24, 2013
Distance: 13.1 miles (21 km)
Pace: 14:01 min/mile
Finish Time: 3:05:18
Overall Place: 13053/21238
This is the race that started my year-long adventure. Combine running with a trip to Walt Disney World? Yes please.
Getting to the start line was actually the most challenging part of the race. Bad weather in Toronto, missed connections, ‘misplaced’ luggage, and an accidentally cancelled hotel reservation. Not the best beginning, but once you’re in the Most Magical Place on Earth, the stress of getting there just melts away.
The Disney Princess Half Marathon — surprise, surprise — is largely targeted to women. More than 20,000 women registered, with many dressing up as their favourite Disney princess or wearing tutus and tiaras. Another thousand or so guys took part — some dressed as princes or frogs, but the best t-shirt I saw said “Why are all these princesses chasing me?”.
With so many people, it was a crowded course. On some stretches of single-lane highway, it was so packed that we couldn’t run much faster than a brisk walk. And as with any race that caters to beginning runners, there was a deplorable lack of race etiquette which made weaving through the crowd almost impossible.
I may have gotten a wee bit obsessive about my costume. As previously mentioned, I spent months putting together the elements that would transform me into Princess Ariel for the run. I made a glittery tutu, painted plastic clamshells and secured them to my running top, glued a starfish to my headband and tucked a dinglehopper (fork) into my newly-red hair – I even commissioned a tattoo design (temporary tattoo, that is) by the talented Tierney Milne. And as if it wasn’t bad enough that I was making my poor husband run 13.1 miles in the Florida humidity, I sweet-talked him into doing so while dressed as Prince Eric.
Aside from the fabulous costumes, the highlights of the half marathon were the photo ops with Disney characters (from the Princesses themselves to the Incredibles and the Pirates of the Caribbean, and many more), and the sections where you run through the Magic Kingdom — including down Main Street and through Cinderella’s Castle. What a thrill!
RunDisney lived up to its magical reputation. I’m already planning to earn my Coast-to-Coast medal in 2014 by running the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland and the Wine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World.
Check out the Garmin activity report for this race.
Next up? Celebrate the end of winter with the Spring Run-Off 8K.