Here it is! My Princess Race Report. Missed the first part of the story? Find it here:
Being by myself in the hotel room I was paranoid I wouldn’t wake up on time and so set multiple alarms. Predictably I woke up before they went off and dozed until they actually went off.
I got ready and walked out the door around 3:15 AM and got right on the bus. (As I looked out the bus window I could see this huge line that had formed right behind me! Good timing on my part!)
We arrived at Epcot and started the walk towards the starting area. I had paid extra for the Race Retreat and hightailed it over to the tent. Not having to stand in line for the port-o-potties? Worth it!! Plus they had pre (and post) race food and other amenities. But really I got it for the private port-o-potties (and I’m not even joking). I happened upon my new friend from the meet-up and sat with her until we decided to start making our way to the starting line. We were both in Corral C (although she was a high Corral C and I was a low Corral C).
I was definitely feeling the butterflies at this point!! There was a definite sense of deja vu – didn’t I just do this? The walk to the start took forever but finally we were in place. We watched the earlier corrals start and then it was our turn. The fireworks went off and we were on our way!
I was once again nervous about seeding but I was doing okay with keeping pace with the people around me. Somewhere between Mile 1 & 2 I looked over and saw the 2:30 “Pace Charming” and just about fell over. Some day I would love to run a 2:30 half. It wasn’t long before he pulled away and I had to let him go.
It was just starting to get light as we neared the Magic Kingdom. This was also when the photo-ops started. The line for the Princes was ridiculously long and I wasn’t quite ready to stop so I kept moving.
And then we were entering the Magic Kingdom for real and turning on to Main Street. Being on Main Street and seeing Cinderella’s Castle in the distance I started tearing up. Main Street is one of my “happy places” and running down it fills me with joy.
Through Tomorrowland (where I stopped to use a real bathroom!), through Fantasyland and there was Princess Minnie!! I couldn’t pass up a photo-op with her!
Through the Castle, heading towards Frontierland (where I stopped for Princess Tiana & Prince Naveen), and also where I finally ditched my sunglasses. I had been a little worried about the weather because it had been so humid during the meet-up run but the weather on race day was perfect! Overcast, not too humid, not too cold and not too hot (a few sprinkles here and there), but all in all fantastic race weather.
We finally left the Magic Kingdom and were back on the highway. Creature of habit that I am, I knew I wanted my picture by Mile 7 and forced someone to take it (thank you whoever you were!!). Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger (seriously, my new favorite song) was blasting during this section.
I was still feeling okay (as opposed to this time during Tink where I was really having to push myself). And then came the stretch of “hills” otherwise known as overpasses. There hadn’t been too many hills in my training, and I was glad for the Green Army Man yelling at us to “take this hill!”
Spaceship Earth came into view and I knew I was getting so close.
I think it was around Mile 11 when I realized I was seriously flirting with potential of under 3 hours. Mile 12 came and went and I kept watching the time tick ever closer to 3 hours until finally the numbers on my Garmin hit 3:00 and I deflated. It was not in the cards for this race. You wouldn’t think being so close to the end I would fall apart, but I struggled to keep going but then around the corner there was a gospel choir! Just what I needed!! I teared up (a common theme for me) and found strength to keep going. Around another corner and there was the finish line!! I put on the finishing kick and ran across the finish line!
So I didn’t finish in under 3 – but I did finish in 3 hours 2 minutes and 56 seconds. That would be 4 minutes better than Tinker Bell (and I stopped for more pictures).
I found Michelle & Jason, got my medals (yup! both medals!), and took a few pictures. After more congrats, Michelle & Jason headed into Epcot and I headed into the Race Retreat to get my bag before heading towards the bus.
On my way to the bus I saw Rapunzel & Snow White so of course I got in line for a picture! I needed a picture with Snow White! I was maybe third in line when it started drizzling and the Princesses left due to the weather. Boo. I just wanted my picture with Snow White!! We were told they might come back out quickly, depending on the weather so I waited. And waited. Moved up to first in line as other people left, and waited. I was about to leave when they brought the Princesses back out. But it was Ariel and Jasmine. Not Snow White. Oh well. I tried.
The line for the All Star hotels was ridiculously long and I walked all the way back across to try to find the end. It did move, albeit slowly, and finally I was on the bus.
I got ready to re-start my day with my medal and my “I Did It” shirt. What a great race!! Next up? Portland Rock ‘N’ Roll where I hope without distractions I will finally conquer a sub 3 hour half!
Guess what? Next year is the 5th Anniversary of the Princess Race. Pretty sure I’ll be there. Is it too soon to start dreaming up next year’s costume?
P.S. Someone remind me next year that I’m stopping for a picture with the Princes no matter what!