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Hi! I'm Lacey!

I am a full-time working mom from North Alabama. I love my family, my friends, and my God!

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Disney World Part 4 - Princess Half Marathon

The alarm went off at 2:45 AM on Sunday morning... yes you read that right.. 2:45 in the morning...
We got up and ready and ate a peanut butter sandwich and headed to the buses to take us to Epcot for the start of the race.  We departed our hotel at 3:35.

We were dropped off in the Epcot parking lot and had to walk a bit to the little welcoming area.  Since I really had no idea where I was going or really what to expect when I got there, we decided to go ahead and find our spots in our corrals.  We walked past all the tents and stages and music and started down a road following everyone else.  A good mile or so later, we finally found our corrals. Since this was Jarrod's first race, we didn't submit a proof of time and were placed in the very last corral... corral P.  Big lesson learned if you are planning to run a runDisney Half... run a local race and SUBMIT A PROOF OF TIME!  

We found a spot close to the front of our group and found us a seat to just hang out for a bit before the start time.  It was about 4:45 when we finally got settled in to our starting spots.  After about 5 minutes, we were really kicking ourselves for not wearing a throw away long sleeve.  It was pretty cold and we had no way of getting anything warm!

The first wave kicked off at 5:30 and after a couple of slow go waves, we decided it was probably a good idea to hit the bathrooms one last time since we would still be a little while before we started. We had to get out of our corral and so gave up our spot at the front and were bumped to the literally the very back of the group.  There were maybe like 50-100 people behind us by time we finally got to the start line.  By this time, the sun was already coming up and we were just so ready to finally start running that we didn't even care about the starting fireworks or race announcers starting us off.  The sweepers were only like 2 rows of people behind us carrying big huge Cinderella balloons and they warned us to stay in front of them if you wanted to finish the race. 

We officially started the race at 6:46 AM... 4 hours after my first alarm had gone off that morning.

We took off running a pretty comfortable 11ish minute pace and quickly got in front of the majority of our corral and began passing the groups in front of us.  We ran into a marching band and lots of fans cheering us along not far down the road.  We also got really tickled at the amount of people arguing over when to run or walk.  We kept hearing little beeps all around us telling people when to start their walk breaks and then they would fuss about if they should skip it or not.

At mile 3ish, we found our first character stop (a group of Disney Princes) but decided not to stop. We got water right after crossing under the Magic Kingdom and passing the Evil Queen and Maleficent character stop and kept on trucking through the Transportation Center where we ran into lots of fan and another band.
We then passed by the Contemporary Resort and I started getting really excited because I knew that meant we would be approaching Main Street real soon.  We came in on the side of Magic Kingdom and headed up Main Street towards the castle.  This was my favorite part of the whole race and I tried to snap a few pictures and snapchats without busting my butt.  I mean THIS was the whole reason we did the half!

We turned in front of the castle towards Tomorrowland and then circled around through Fantasy Land and back through the castle where Elsa, Anna, and Kristof were cheering us on. After coming through the castle, we stopped to get a picture in front and continued on through Fronteirland and out the park near Splash Mountain where Snow White and Cinderella were greeting runners.

The next stretch was not my favorite.  The course was really narrow and we began getting stuck between lots of walkers.  The most exciting part was over and we still had over half way to go to get to the finish.  Not to mention the sun was really up by then and it was starting to get hot! There were a few character stops and some water stations along the way and we grabbed some energy gels about mile 8.  Jarrod and I both got the vanilla flavored ones and they were so amazing that we started to turn around and go back for more.  Seriously, it was like eating really good icing straight from the pack. So good and it gave us a both a little boost.

The last 3 miles or so were the toughest.  We were running on the road and there were lots of ramps and hills.  There was a little green army man encouraging us on (as in telling us to get moving) on one of the ramps and then it was super encouraging when we got to the top and looked back down the road to thousands of people still behind us (if you recall, we started at the very end of the pact so we had passed ALL those people).  By this time, we were also able to see the ball at Epcot and could at least see the end in sight.

We entered in the Epcot park on the last mile and this mile seemed to last forever.  It was super packed and Jarrod started cramping up but we kept on going.  We passed lots of spectators and cheerleaders and a gospel choir right before the finish line (my favorite part) before passing by Goofy and Donald at the finish line high fiving everyone as they passed! 

We crossed the finish line together with a 2:51 time which was pretty good considering we started in the 3:30 pace group.  We had figured it would take us about 3 hours due to the photo opps and the crowd so we were glad to be a good bit under that.
We then received our medals, grabbed some Powerade and snacks, and headed back towards the busses to take us back to our resort where the others were anxiously awaiting our arrival.  

I was so proud of Jarrod and so thankful I had him there to share this race with.  I am not sure I convinced him to really love running but I do think he enjoyed it more than he thought he would.  It was lots of fun and I really hope to be able to do it again one day!






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