On February 25, I ran my first race of 2017: The Disney Princess Enchanted 10K!
I was a little bit nervous about this race since I’ve never run in Floridian weather and I didn’t know what to expect with the runDisney experience. Thankfully, I had a wonderful time on this racecation with my sister, who also ran the 5K the previous day! I hope you enjoy my recap of the experience!
I’m linking up with Ilka and Angela for Sunday Fitness and Food, Marcia, Patty, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run, Susie, Debbie, Lora, and Rachel for the Running Coaches Corner and Annmarie, Nicole, Jen, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday!So excited to FINALLY share my recap of the @rundisney Princess Enchanted 10K! #runchat #rundisney Click To Tweet
When my sister and I signed up for Disney Princess Weekend back in July, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was looking forward to doing something different and running in Florida in February away from the wintry weather! And of course, I was looking forward to sharing the course with my sister, something we had never done before. Who knew that we would have such an amazing time?
My sister signed up to run both the Disney Princess 5K and 10K. Even though I have run back-to-back races before, I’m not a huge fan, and with the price of the 10K alone I figured that one race was enough for me, but I’d be happy to cheer her on at the 5K! I arrived in Orlando on Thursday evening after work at about 8 pm. Jennifer picked me up and then we headed for a late dinner at the House of Blues Smokehouse in Disney Springs. I had the pulled pork and it was delicious!
We stayed at the Swan Hotel on Disney property so we had an easy ride to the Epcot parking lot where the race would begin. The race started on Friday morning at 6 am but we got there sometime after 4:30! The wait time wasn’t that bad though since there was a great DJ keeping everyone awake and motivated and princesses available for photos. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture with Belle since her line was always so long!
Eventually, Jennifer headed to the corrals and I was on my own. I was pretty bored until I realized that the runners would pass us through the parking lot! I patiently waited for the runners to go by, looking for my sister, and it figures that as soon as I’m not paying attention, there she goes! She waved and I got a blurry picture. Oh well! By the time I finished seeing her, some runners were already done, and the lines for the princesses were so short! Because I didn’t race that day, I didn’t think I was entitled to get a photo! Rats!
As I continued to wait and the sun finally decided to rise, I saw Nicole from Fitful Focus waiting in line for a picture wearing a Minnie Mouse costume! I was so excited to see her as we’ve known each other through blogging for a few years but have never met! I congratulated her on her race and we briefly chatted. It was just like talking to an old friend. She also completed the Glass Slipper Challenge (the 10K and half), but sadly I didn’t see her again that weekend. Go check out her recap!
I was so happy when my sister made it back to the main meeting point area and told me about the race. She seemed to have a good time! I don’t know why, but she didn’t give me a whole lot of detail! I absolutely love that the medal features Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast…I was almost jealous that I didn’t sign up for the 5K after all! We ended up getting a photo with Rapunzel and then finally left the park, had breakfast at the Waffle House, then headed to the Expo to pick up my things…
Friday was such a busy day and I was clearly sleep-deprived from the last two nights. That’s what I get for waiting until the last minute to pack for my trip! We went to the ESPN Wild World of Sports Center where the expo was taking place. I could quickly tell that this was a very well-oiled machine! Picking up my bib was easy, but there were some weird registration snafus and it seemed that several people had various mixups with their orders. Thankfully, things got resolved quickly. Once in the expo proper, we picked up a couple of souvenirs from the race – I got a blingy wine glass and a headband commemorating the race.
I really wanted to have a Disney-themed manicure for the race. It’s SO unlike me, but I thought it would be fun! So wouldn’t you know that the Disney Princess goddesses had a nail manicure station with Jamberry?! For $30 I was able to get a manicure featuring the rose from Beauty and the Beast! They had a ton of options to choose from!
Before we headed out (which seemed like an eternity – it’s so easy to get sucked up in an expo!), we took a photo at this cool backdrop promoting Beauty and the Beast! I think I’ve mentioned that I’m not all that excited about the remake, but at the same time, I really haven’t given it a chance. I hope it lives up to its hype!
After getting things from the expo, we spent the afternoon at Universal Studios! I’ve already shared a few photos in my Ultimate Coffee Date post, but it was a really fun time! I hadn’t been to the park in over 5 years and a LOT has changed! Diagon Alley was fantastic with so much attention to detail. We played the Men In Black game and I lost terribly…and I never got a rematch! We didn’t have express passes so we had fun trying to figure out whether to get in the solo line and then hope to magically end up on a ride at the same time. We spent a few hours in the park doing plenty of walking. My sister was quite the trooper considering she ran a race that morning!
That evening, we went to an awesome burger and sushi joint at Univeral where we feasted on some fantastic food! And yes, my bourbon cocktail has candied bacon in it! Because why not?
I tried to get to sleep “early” but it’s always tough when I’m out of town getting used to a new place. You’d think with such a long day I would’ve passed out! I think I was dreading the super early wake-up call…the 10K started at 5:30 am! Thankfully, for the little bit of sleep I had, I didn’t have any bad dreams!
While we got to the 5K super early, we were running late for the 10K. It was hard to get out of bed, okay? We didn’t get back to the race area until pretty close to 5:30 am…which was when the race would start. We quickly jumped in a line to get photos with a princess and just barely had time to get one with Mulan before they all packed up. Then we slowly made our way to the corrals.
My bib was originally assigned to Corral B, but since my sister and I would be doing this race together, we headed to Corral D. I figured it wouldn’t be until about 6 am when we would cross the start line and I was pretty accurate. Unlike Friday morning, the weather was VERY warm and humid. If you know me by now, you know that it’s my least favorite type of running weather, but I would take it! Since it was so dark it was really hard to take starting line selfies, and we kept missing the moment when the fireworks went off! I think the way they released the corrals was pretty well-organized. Before you knew it, we were finally heading off!
So the race began, and I told Jennifer that we would go at her pace. I wasn’t coming all this way to leave her behind! We were a little bit out of sorts, though…I was awkwardly carrying my Nathan ClifShot water bottle, my cell phone in my hand, and a backpack that isn’t for running but more appropriate for walking around the park. We were fumbling through all of these things and meanwhile, we needed to establish a steady pace. We were running through the parking lot and out to the road outside of the park, going through essentially a turnstile, which I thought was kind of ridiculous. Fortunately, there was plenty of space to move despite lots of people walking. My plan was to get us to run a little bit, walk a little bit, and stop for photos along the way.
We started to see some characters on the course, and it was clear by the time we started running that we’d just have to keep on going and prioritize our favorites. The witch from Snow White and Tinkerbell and friends were along the way, including some other characters. I was really surprised that we spent so much time on the road…where the heck is Epcot?! There were plenty of porta-potties and water stops along the way. I quickly realized there was no point using my handheld so I just relied on the stations to keep me hydrated.
After what seemed like an eternity, we finally entered Epcot! And it was really beautiful. The Disney soundtrack music was playing, the sun was rising. Now, this is what I’m talking about! It finally felt like a real Disney race and we were having fun! As we kept going, I challenged Jennifer to run X minutes, walk X minutes. It varied depending on how she was feeling. We kept things really flexible but I definitely think I kept things challenging. I was a little worried that she would be mad at me for pushing her too hard, but we did it together and I think she forgives me now, lol.
Soon into entering Epcot, I saw Steff of Run Steff Run with some other familiar running bloggers. I didn’t get the chance to say hello, unfortunately. Everybody’s trying to get their photo ops, myself included! I was hopeful that she would have a strong half marathon the following day – I look forward to her recap!
We only stopped to take a real character photo with the Genie! Aladdin is my all-time favorite Disney movie, in case you didn’t know! For whatever reason, his line wasn’t that long so I was happy to get a photo with him! We were about 5 miles into the race at this point!
Running through Epcot was really cool. The scenery was amazing, there were so many people, and it was just a real feel-good event! And there were a few hills along the way to make things fun. Or am I weird for enjoying hills? At one point we passed our hotel and Jennifer asked if we could just stop there and be done with it…but I said, “then you won’t get your medal”. Thankfully, that was convincing enough!
As we made our way near the big golf ball, I ran into Patty from No-Guilt Life! I honestly didn’t think she’d know who I was and gave her my whole Blogger Intro LOL. I was glad we were able to get a picture together!
Finally, we made our way to the finish line, which was unfortunately outside of Epcot and near the parking lot. I never understand why people slow down when you’re almost done?? I told my sister that we were going to do the stereotypical thing and finish the race holding hands. And we did…except we have no photographic proof! It was great to be finally finished! What a great time!
I didn’t look them up until days later, but we finished 6.57 miles in 1:52 and some change, an average 17-minute pace. We stopped a few times for various photos, but otherwise did a great job using run/walk intervals! I was very happy that the race ended with the sun up!
After the race, we took a few more photos before finally heading out the Epcot parking lot and back to our rooms to take THE most glorious naps ever! Then before you know it, we were packing up out of the Swan Hotel, grabbing lunch, then spending the rest of the weekend at Universal Orlando! We stayed at the new Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and let me tell you, it’s a wonderful place to stay! We even had some time in the hot tub, which my tired muscles appreciated from a full weekend of running and walking!
Disney Princess weekend was a blast! It really did exceed my expectations. I definitely went in as a skeptic and came out as a fan! Now, will I sign up to do Disney Princess again? Probably not! I guess I prefer a more traditional race, but I’m so glad I was able to have this experience, especially with my sister! I definitely think all runners should do a runDisney event at least once…add it to the bucket list!
I’m so happy for my sister Jennifer, who took on quite the challenge at Disney Princess Weekend. Considering that she does not run and train for races on a regular basis, she did a fantastic job. I know that sometimes I pushed her farther than she wanted to go on the course, but she did it! I could not be more proud.
And last, I’d like to thank all of the volunteers and staff who made Disney Princess Weekend a success! I’ll never forget this race!
Have you ever done a runDisney event? Have you ever run a race with a family member?