Chip Time: 02:29:54
Date: October 4, 2010
Bear with me for a few more race reviews until I’m caught up. After that, I swear this won’t be all about running. There will be eating and watching. Or even watching me while eating. You know, whatever you’re into.
Expo: The Expo was HUGE. And I’ve never been to an Expo before so I have absolutely no basis for that statement, but from what I expected an Expo to be…this was big. Getting my packet was SUPER fast. I could have been in and out of there in 10 minutes if I tried. But there were frozen Nestle Quick samples and those could not be ignored.
It’s funny how we’re all smiles before the 13.1 miles.
I bought and returned a running belt. If you think you can’t return something at an Expo, you can. Cuz I did. No shame.
Swag: A gray technical t-shirt and honestly, the only sample I can remember in the package was some oil for shaving your legs. Not sure what the male runners did with that. There was also a voucher for one drink and item of food for after the race at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which stayed open until 3am for the racers. (The race started at 10pm.)
I ran this race with my friend Michelle (it was also her first half marathon), so her husband drove us down to Wide World of Sports at Disney and dropped us off for the race (he met us later at the finish line).
There were TONS of people in a huge field waiting for the race to start several hours before start time. A stage was in the field where they had an entertainment show beforehand for those waiting for the race to start. Let me just say the “entertainment” included push up and jump rope contests. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do before running 13.1 miles is as MANY PUSH UPS AS I CAN.
They also had dancing. I will say that a field with hundreds of people doing the Michael Jackson Thriller dance is quite amusing.
And so were the people running in costume…
Michelle and I met up with my friend Tiffany and her mom, who we ran into by chance. I mean, thousands of people were running this race and we found them right away with no cell phone communication. All of us waited in the field for 2 hours and talked to random strangers for entertainment.
There we are. All happy and junk.
Finally they started loading us into corrals. Once there, we waited another half hour. I had to pee again before the race even started. (On a side note, I give Disney props for having the cleanest Port-o-Potties I have EVER seen. And let me tell you, I have seen a lot.)
The race course started at Wide World of Sports and went through Animal Kingdom, MGM Studios, and ended at Epcot. The first mile was extremely crowded. Michelle and I had to run on the median just to get by people. After a few miles, I was running by people who were in higher corrals than me, which was annoying. It took quite awhile for the crowd to thin out.
At Mile 3, Michelle ran into the bathroom in Animal Kingdom. I kept running. Then at Mile 9…SHE CAUGHT UP TO ME. WTH? THEN…she passed me to finish 3 minutes faster. *shakes fist at the sky*
I don’t know who that is.
The first 7 miles went by pretty fast and I felt pretty good during them. Here’s a few details of the race:
- There is a lot of running on over passes and on/off ramps when you aren’t in an actual park, which can be tiring since they are usually on an incline.
- There were bands along the way playing music and employees dressed up in character cheering you on, but almost no “real” spectators. (Real spectators had to pay $30 to be at the finish line which is ridiculous.)
- There were plenty of port-o-potties along the way, but it’s dark and you’ll need some type of light of your own to see anything. (Take note ladies.)
- A few of the park entrances and water stations were total bottlenecks, so hopefully they fix that next year.
At mile 6.5, I had my first Gu packet. Ever. Then I had my second Gu packet somewhere after mile 10. This is where I will highly recommend NEVER trying anything new during a race.
The last 2 miles of the race were hard. I couldn’t even push it at the finish. My legs wouldn’t go any faster.
The food at the finish was lame. We got a paper bag with a banana, a Nature Valley granola bar, and a muffin that was individually wrapped and baked by a volunteer. Yeah, that muffin went in the trash. You’d think for a $145 race that Disney could at least feed us something good and pre-packaged so we don’t have to wonder who baked it.
I met Michelle at the finish and the Gu packets took over. And by take over, I mean my bowels. Then I got nauseous. This lasted over 2 hours. I sat on the ground of Epcot, while hundreds of people walked by and saw my misery. So much for using the drink and food voucher.
As the park was closing, I was finally able to walk to the tram to get to the car. I didn’t feel sick anymore, just super weak. The next day every inch of my body hurt. Sitting on the couch doing nothing was uncomfortable. Standing up and walking was like watching an episode of Glee. Painful.
My goal for this race was to run the whole thing, and I did…but just barely. At least I have a nice medal for finishing and I know that no future race could be worse than this one.
I doubt I would do this race again. For the money and what you get out of it, it just wasn’t worth it.