Where did we leave off? Ahhh yes… I had purchased all the things I needed from the Expo to look like a runner but now it was time to actually lace up and run…
The night before the 10k I found it pretty hard to sleep – I was so excited to get up and run even if it was forecast to rain all morning. You see friends, I live in Calgary. It snows. A lot. And for the last few months the temperature has been hovering around -10 degrees celsius. So yeah – the thought of a run, not on a dreadmill, was a dream come true. Rain or no rain.
As many runners do, I laid out my gear the night before to make sure I wouldn’t forget anything in my sleep deprived state. Since this race was Minnie’s race I decided to run as the cute little mouse myself (along with almost every other female running this race). Great minds??
I set my alarm for 3:00 am, and about 5 other backup alarms just in case (admit it – you do it too), and headed to bed.
If I have to pick one not-so-fun thing about race weekends in Florida its the early wake up call – especially when your on west coast time. It was pretty tough getting moving but managed to get ready and be on a bus for 3:30 am.
The rain actually wasn’t too bad until we got into the corrals. It started to slowly pick up from a light drizzle to a heavy rain and so on went the poncho. Luckily the Minnie ears kept the hood securely in place until we were ready to go.
The race went off as planned at 5:30 am and I crossed the start with the rest of the folks in Corral C around 5:50 am. The rain was still coming down but I shed the poncho just because it was so much easier to run without it.
I don’t have too many pictures of the course because of the weather but just before the mile 1 marker Elsa and Anna were on up on the overpass cheering on runners below – super cute!
Around mile 3.5 you finally get to enter Epcot. I was surprised to see so many characters out for pictures even with the rain. I didn’t have a good enough pace to stop for any pics (I was taking it super easy to save my legs for the marathon) but i’m pretty sure I passed Mulan in China, Remy in France, Mike Wazowski on the Boardwalk and Phineas and Ferb in Future World. I did see a sign out for the Incredibles but they must have been in between sets when I passed by or were taken inside because of the rain.
A quick word of warning about the rain – it made the Boardwalk area pretty slippery in spots. Volunteers were constantly shouting at runners to slow down and run at their own caution. Oh! and another slippery spot (which you really don’t expect to be slippery) is the covered area as you run past Innovations West towards Spaceship Earth – the covered area where the Character Spot is. I saw not one but two runners slip and fall through this area…
By the time I ran past Spaceship Earth the rain was virtually non existent.
I managed to cross the finish line with a time of 1:23:04 – a far cry from a PR but I had a blast. It was awesome running through Epcot and my legs still felt fantastic and I had high hopes for the Marathon on Sunday.
After a well deserved nap and a very hot shower I was ready to hit the parks and celebrate my little victory. I treated myself to dinner at Les Halles Boulangerie in France, rode Test Track 3x in a row (thank goodness for the single rider line) and spent some time visiting with some old ‘friends’. I couldn’t pass up a visit to Baymax – my favourite personal health care companion. The good news? He cleared me to run the marathon on Sunday!
And of course what night at Epcot is complete without watching Illuminations! I was lucky enough to snag a Fastpass for the fireworks although the parks were so quiet I really didn’t need it. The perfect end to the perfect RunDisney day!
Speaking of having an awesome day, it was about to get even awesome-r! My boyfriend was scheduled to fly in later that night to spend the weekend with me and support me during the marathon. He recently went back to school to start a new career so the fact that he found the time and finances to support me in this endeavour really meant the world to me.
Follow along in part III to check out some of our theme park adventures and finally see if I managed to survive my first marathon…