Poor Unfortunate Soles: Marathon Weekend 2013 (5K, Half and Full Marathon)-COMPLETE!!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Ariel484, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    I really love that resort. Everything was just sooooo nice. Happy Anniversary! :yay: How was your dinner at Victoria & Albert's? We're saving up to have dinner there next January. :goodvibes
    Yeah, a hot tub would have been nice! :( But the rest of the resort made up for it!
    Thanks! I miss WDW too...I can't believe I was there just a week ago. :(
     
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  3. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: Friday, January 11, 2013

    2013 Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K - Arriving


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    This weekend was originally supposed to be strictly Goofy...so why sign up for the 5K? 2 reasons:

    1. The super-cute finisher medallion, of course! (Picture to follow.)
    2. The promise of an early-morning run through Epcot, which was missing from this year's marathon course. :sad2:

    I woke up that morning at about 4AM and couldn't get back to sleep because I was so nervous (not for the 5K itself, just for the overall weekend, I think). I hate when that happens! :mad: I finally gave up at about 4:30 and got out of bed...made coffee, got dressed, put on sunscreen, etc. I didn't take much with me to this race - my breakfast (a bagel and peanut butter I'd brought from home), some cash, my room key and my Annual Pass. And of course, my fully charged camera. :thumbsup2

    For the longer races, resorts on the monorail don't have the option of bus transportation to the races - it's monorail or nothing. But the monorails weren't available for the 5K, so I headed to the convention area of the resort to catch the bus (which is also the bus stop for buses to and from the expo) at about 4:50. 5K transportation ran from 4:30-5:30, I think. Had a nice chat with the poor Mears employee that was manning our stop (Disney contracts out extra buses to cover the increased need during the races) and was on a bus by about 5. I ended up sitting next to a nice lady wearing a Disneyland Half marathon shirt. She'd done a lot of half marathons and this was her first Disney 5K...her daughter was here to run the marathon and the woman was taking care of the grandkids during the longer races. Cute!

    We made one stop at Shades of Green (from what I could see from the bus their lobby was still decorated for Christmas) and were dropped off at the starting area in one of the Epcot parking lots at about 5:25.

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    I don't know what the issue was, but I could not for the life of me get that bagel down. I don't know if it was nerves or what...but I ended up throwing half of it away. :( Definitely regretted that later.

    I really think the 5K races are great for new runners. Everything is just much...less. Less distance, less pressure (the runs are not timed, so no worries about falling off pace), and less to navigate at the starting area (picture below):
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    Above you can see a line of porta-potties to the right...we were dropped off from the bus right behind the porta-potties and it was just a short five-minute walk to the starting area (the starting line itself is straight ahead in the above picture - the tall sort of purple thing - starting corrals up and to the left). Much less of a process compared to the longer races, which I'll talk about later.

    One other thing visible in the above picture on the left side is the grandstand, where spectators can wait at the finish line...so really the start and finish lines were very close to one another.
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    Essentially all we needed to do was walk straight ahead to get to the corrals. Mickey and Minnie were set up for pictures near the start (in their classic outfits) but I bypassed them because their lines were HUGE.

    Starting line to the right:
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    Corrals to the left:
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    The above picture is actually the BACK of the starting corrals...you can see the fence separating Corral A and Corral B. For this race there were 4 corrals (A, B, C and D) and technically 6 starts - the lone wheelchair racer, A, B, C, D, and the stroller division. I guess the corrals were assigned based on when people signed up? :confused3 Not sure about this...essentially it was just a way for them to space us out a bit, I think.

    In this picture I'm actually IN the back of the corral (volunteers are very strict about this - you have to show the printed letter on your bib)...Corral A is to my right.
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    Before I went into the corral I asked the volunteer coordinator about a rumor I'd heard, that there's a secret packet pick-up the morning of the 5K. He said there is, but it's mostly for people that picked up the bib earlier and then lost it. If people use the pick-up that morning they can get their BIBS ONLY - they have to go to the expo to get their race shirts. He seemed utterly perplexed as to why someone would do this morning packet pick-up...I could definitely see it being an option if someone's flight was delayed or they couldn't get to the expo on Thursday.

    It was funny to be at the 5K start...this was MUCH different than the longer races. Lots more costumes and lots more kids who did NOT enjoy waiting around ("When is it going to start?", "I'm hot," "I'm tired," etc…made me think of Russell from Up! :p). There was a DJ trying to get everyone excited by playing a variety of music - the Cuban Shuffle, ACDC, and the Chicken Dance (which REALLY bummed me out :crazy2:) for example. My favorite part, though (and I forget the exact context), was when the DJ/host definitely said the words, "JUST a 5K." :confused: Really dude, you just said that?! He quickly figured out his mistake and sort of stumbled over his words to try to make up for it...oops.

    Eventually everyone figured out that we needed to turn around and move to the other side of the corrals, so we all started cramming in. Here’s the whole set-up…me in Corral B, starting line to the left, Corral A directly in front of me, finish line to the right:
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    Continued in Next Post
     
  4. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    You really should. The dinner was incredible!! We had saved and planned for it so we splurged on each of us getting the wine pairing and a couple of upcharge items. The setting, the service and the food was well worth it. Certainly not something we could afford to do often, but for a special event it was really the highlight of the trip (after finishing the marathon of course. :rotfl: )
     
  5. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    Oh awesome! I've wanted to go for awhile but my husband was the one to set the wheels in motion...for my birthday last year he put together a little scavenger hunt and the final thing I found was a Disney giftcard. He made it clear that the giftcard was ONLY for this one dinner, and that we can add to it on each upcoming holiday (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) until we have enough for our meal. :) This is great for us because we don't buy eacho ther presents often (we're both super hard to shop for) but we DO love great meals. I'm glad you guys liked it so much! And the wine pairings are a must, at least for me! :thumbsup2

    So glad to hear a great review! :)
     
  6. creativeamanda

    creativeamanda <font color=darkorchid>One slithering around on me

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    It is really my dream to stay at the Grand Floridian. I had a reservation there one year all of 10 minutes, lol, before I moved to the Beach Club. I think I'd steer clear during all the construction, though I know that when there is construction, Disney makes every effort not to irritate the guests.

    I love that room you got, and I'm really interested for the rest of the report on the 5K, because I'm walking the 5K with another Diser the day before the Princess Half.
     
  7. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    It looks like they changed the corral arrangement this year. I ran the 5K in 2012 and we didn't have a corral assignment on the bib. Rather they just tried to divide us up by expected pace. I wonder why they changed. I can imagine being pretty annoyed if you thought you were going to run a 20 minute 5K and got stuck with a bunch of walkers. I suppose people know going in that it isn't timed so hopefully they wouldn't get too upset. Anyway can't wait for the actual race!
     
  8. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    Definitely make it to the Grand Floridian if you can. We thought it was awesome!
    5K report coming up next!

    Yeah, I didn't quite understand the point of the corral placement stuff. I think it was maybe just to space us out a bit...? You're right that it would be completely annoying for someone that wanted to run a good time. :confused3 Luckily that is not a problem for me! :teeth: Although I do think it contributed to long lines at photo stops...so that wasn't cool.
     
  9. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    2013 Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K! Part 1

    A Disney vocalist sang the National Anthem and the main mice were called up to the stage to help start the race:
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    The wheelchair racer was sent off first, and Corral A was let out of their pen and instructed to head to the start. It was similar to rope drop procedures I think - volunteers rolled out tape and slowly walked people to the starting line.

    And now this becomes a multimedia experience...below is a crappy video of Corral A's start.

    3 2 1 GOOOO! (Hope this link works!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIuPAyGdte4&sns=em


    One of the advantages of coming to a race solo is that it's easier to creep up to the front of the corral...so much so that by the time Corral B was led to the starting line, I was right up front!
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    It was time for Corral B to start running 7 minutes after Corral A...3 2 1 GOOO! (Sorry, no idea how to flip this thing...again, hope the link works!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNuDn1tp3SY&sns=em

    The entire first mile was through more parking lots...I remember being surprised to see a decent amount of spectators here. The funniest part was listening to parents that were running with their younger children: I literally heard 5-6 parents telling their kiddos to "slow down!" in that first mile because the kids were just sprinting right out of the gate. :rotfl2: I made every effort to keep the pace nice and relaxed. At some point we passed Chip & Dale (huge line and they weren't wearing special costumes) and found the first mile marker near an entrance to a Cast Member parking lot.
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    Blurry picture of the backside of Test Track...the first water stop was somewhere around here but I passed it up.
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    Continued in Next Post
     
  10. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    2013 Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K! Part 2

    And then we were in World Showcase, in between Mexico and Norway!
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    Right away I spotted Norwegian Daisy! She looked so adorable, but her line was GIGANTIC. I was sad to pass her up. :sad:
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    I continued on through my world tour and came up to another HUGE line, but decided to wait in this one...I knew I was approaching the halfway point and at this rate I was going to come out of this thing without any pictures. BOO!

    Waiting in line...
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    The line...it goes all the way up to the red and white sign (I think it's for funnel cakes?). You can make out the shoe reflectors of all the people who were waiting. ALL of the character lines were like this.
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    While waiting, I took a moment to sort of focus on the weather. The temperature wasn't bad, but it was HUMID - I was totally drenched in sweat after just 1.5 miles of easy running. Hydration was definitely going to be a priority leading up to the half and full marathons. I checked the temperature on my phone later and when I finished it was in the low-mid 60s with 97% humidity.

    Still waiting...
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    I have the data from my Garmin watch, so I can say for sure that I waited in this line for 7-8 minutes...most definitely the longest I'd waited for a character picture during a Disney race. And this is what I came out with...

    GHOSTFACE!
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    HAHAHA. I’m still trying to decide whether it was worth the wait. :confused3

    Anyway, after that I continued my trek through the World Showcase. I passed by Pluto wearing a kicky little beret in France...I sort of wish I'd stopped for this one instead of the Goof, but again, HUGE line. :sad:
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    We briefly exited the park at the International Gateway...oh yeah, we're running a race!
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    That's almost a 22-minute mile! :teeth:

    Continued in Next Post
     
  11. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    2013 Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K! Part 3

    After leaving the park we were briefly in a Cast Member-only area (which also had the second water stop - I passed this one up too) and then back in the park in between Canada and the UK. Lumberjack Donald was out for pictures...again, his line was gigantic and I passed him up. :sad:
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    I have to say, I was pretty bummed about the character lines at this point! Clearly the 5K runners were taking a much more relaxed approach compared to the longer races I've run (hey, so was I!), where the photos don't seem to be as big a priority for everyone. I also think the corrals may have contributed to this...if runners lined up based on their expected pace (as dismagiclover said) the runners that didn't care about the photos would have been through the park already. Oh well.

    We left the World Showcase and I decided that I needed to come out of this thing with at least SOME pictures of myself...so here I am!
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    Lots of nice volunteers/CMs were taking pictures in this area.

    Euuuwwwww sweaty
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    We wound our way through Future World and I was beginning to recognize this portion of the course from the other races I've run at Disney (the last 0.5 miles or so are similar). Almost there!
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    We left the park and found Mile Marker 3!
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    The finish!
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    Continued in Next Post
     
  12. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    2013 Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K! Finish Line!

    The finisher medallion I originally got had some weird spots on it (green/purple spots in Daisy's eyes, among other places) so I decided to be difficult and trade it in for a different one.

    Ooh yay!
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    I think my time was just under 50 minutes or something? Eh, like I really care. Whatever it was, it was definitely my slowest-ever 5K. :teeth:

    And here are some close-up shots of the finisher medallion (which is rubber, unlike the finisher medals for the longer races/Expedition Everest 5K) that I took later that day:
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    Super adorable...love it.
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    So after the race I came through the finisher chute and spotted Dennis Marsico, the runDisney TV host! I asked for a quick picture, and he seemed quite flattered.

    Dude...I want to steal your job. Just an FYI.
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    The 5K finishes in the same area as the longer races, so they've got the med tent, the information tent, merchandise tent...and THIS.
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    :eek: I'll see YOU on Sunday, Goofy tent! At least I hope I will!

    I quickly made my way through all of the people and headed to the bus area...
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    There was a bus waiting for me, so I hopped on and looked through my post-race refreshments (which I'd picked up right after the Dennis picture). There's the usual bottled water/Powerade/bananas...but now they give out boxes of food instead of granola bars and muffins like in past years.
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    Inside the box...I'm sure this is just free stuff from sponsors, but it was such an odd assortment for post-race food. Dark chocolate and cheese spread? Hmm. The crackers were good though.
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    So there you have it! My first-ever 5K at Disney. :yay:

    Continued in Next Post
     
  13. CAStevens218

    CAStevens218 DIS Veteran

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    The 5k sounds like so much fun! I love the characters World Showcase costumes...too bad the lines were so long.

    Cute medal too!
     
  14. Johnson1220

    Johnson1220 Mouseketeer

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    great report ... having fun reading this. i am dying to do a disney race!
     
  15. steph0808

    steph0808 Mouseketeer

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    I hated the box of food after the marathon! Give me some orange slices, geez! :P I stole like five packs of the fruit snacks and ate those until I got back to my room!
     
  16. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    Great 5K report! Crazy about the lines!!! I don't remember them being that long last year. I laughed when you mentioned the parents telling their kids to slow down. I had a similar experience last time I did a 5K with my 2 boys. My youngest (was 7 at the time) kept running way too fast and I couldn't keep up. I kept screaming at him through the crowd and I would have to send my then 9 year old up to tell him to slow down. He was not happy with me at all! When he finished he said he was never running a 5K with me again because I was too slow. I was exhausted so I agreed and told him he was running with his dad in all future 5Ks.:rotfl:
     
  17. creativeamanda

    creativeamanda <font color=darkorchid>One slithering around on me

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    I like the relaxed pace of the 5K. Since we are walking it, I feel like it is really just a tour of the WS and a parking lot or two.

    Now that box was a uh, different assortment.

    Thank you for sharing!
     
  18. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    The lines were much longer than I expected! I guess I could have waited in all of them but that would have added a good 30 minutes to my time...!!
    Thanks! :) I hope you get to do a race at Disney some day!
    I mean, it was just the last thing I would want to eat after running, ya know? At least they still had bananas. :sad: Seriously though, those crackers are awesome. I meant to look for them while grocery shopping and forgot. :sad1:
    I really think the lines had a lot to do with them changing how they corraled (is that a word?) the race. I COULD NOT believe how many people were stopping to wait!

    So funny about your kiddos running the 5K! Sounds like you have a future track star or two in your household. I am impressed that they can run 3.1 miles...way to go little Darling children!! :yay:
    It was VERY relaxed. I am sure you and your friend will have a blast! You're right that it's really just touring the WS...how many times do you lap WS on a given Epcot day anyway? And now they are giving you a medallion and t-shirt to do it! :thumbsup2

    I think the snack boxes are here to stay, unfortunately. I saw someone's blog post from (I think) the ToT 10-miler and they had the EXACT same post-race box that I got last weekend. Boo!
     
  19. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    I'm really enjoying this report! I've never participated in a run (I'm not a runner) and I haven't really seen pictures from one either. It really looks like a lot of fun! And how cute is that medallion!
     
  20. leopardmickeyears

    leopardmickeyears The Lost Princess

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    Just found your TR, but I'm def in. I am FINALLY getting to participate in a runDisney event next year and I am so doing Goofy. Can't wait to read your adventure and live vicariously through you :hyper:
     
  21. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Awesome review of the 5K! I think the Royal Family 5K runs the same route, so a lot of your pictures looked very familiar!!

    Your room at GF looks so lovely! I'm glad that you were able to find the cupcake!
     

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