Spectating the Half Marathon in January

amym2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2009
With a full week of school left before Christmas break, this 3rd grade teacher is too stressed and tired to read through dozens of posts. I’d appreciate your help!

My DS17 (very fast), DH (moderately fast), DD15 and friend (could be fast but want to take photos and enjoy running through the parks) will all be running the half in January. I’ll be the lone spectator for the group.

I know they need to board the bus at Beach Club by 3:30am. They’re thinking I’m coming with them to hold their “stuff” when they start running. Is this even feasible?

I’m thinking I’ll just get myself to the Poly and stay there to watch all of them at their various times. What time do I need to leave BC to get there, assuming DS is in corral A or B? And how do I get there? If they need to ditch gloves or anything, can I get close enough to grab stuff?

DS and DH will probably just head back to BC when they finish, but the girls would like me to see them at the finish. Feasible?

I’ll be able to track all of them on my phone, correct? All of this info has my head spinning!!!
 

rteetz

Rumors and News Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
What do you mean by hold their stuff? Disney offers bag check and once they are in the corrals you can't get to them as they are only open to runners.

If you are spectating at the Poly and they are in A or B you will need to get there right around race start or just after. Race starts at 5:30AM and the GF/Poly is around mile 6-7ish. You would need to take the race bus to the start area, then hop on the monorail at Epcot to MK or just take an uber to the TTC and walk to the Poly. You would be able to get close enough for them to stop and give you things if need be.

After that you would then monorail back to the finish area. This is tougher as it can be a bit crowded at the finish. Some of the finish viewing area is reserved as well for cheer squad packages.

You can track them on your phone.
 

*DisneyDreamer

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
My Dad spectated me at the TTC and then the Poly for this year’s half. As a runner, I left the resort around 3 am, but they have spectator buses running even after racers are supposed to be on their way (for those who want to see the start).

I don’t know exactly what time he left, but what he did was take the bus to the Epcot start, and then from there boarded the monorail to TTC. He saw me there, and then walked from there to the Poly and saw me again as I passed there. Since I’m a middle of the pack runner and stopped for pictures in MK, he had plenty of time in between and stopped for breakfast at the Poly while he waited. He really enjoyed his morning.

So to answer your question, if you have family members in A or B, they’d be starting close to 5:30, no later than 5:40-5:45 I would think, and depending on their pace could be to Poly by 6:15-6:30. I’d be getting the bus to Epcot early, probably no later than 4:00-4:30, to give yourself time to get there, and also board the monorail and walk to Poly. Definitely pay attention to the event guide and transportation info in there once it comes out to know the bus and monorail schedule.

The runner tracking isn’t perfect, but very helpful so have that set up too!
 
  • DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    With a full week of school left before Christmas break, this 3rd grade teacher is too stressed and tired to read through dozens of posts. I’d appreciate your help!

    My DS17 (very fast), DH (moderately fast), DD15 and friend (could be fast but want to take photos and enjoy running through the parks) will all be running the half in January. I’ll be the lone spectator for the group.

    I know they need to board the bus at Beach Club by 3:30am. They’re thinking I’m coming with them to hold their “stuff” when they start running. Is this even feasible?

    I’m thinking I’ll just get myself to the Poly and stay there to watch all of them at their various times. What time do I need to leave BC to get there, assuming DS is in corral A or B? And how do I get there? If they need to ditch gloves or anything, can I get close enough to grab stuff?

    DS and DH will probably just head back to BC when they finish, but the girls would like me to see them at the finish. Feasible?

    I’ll be able to track all of them on my phone, correct? All of this info has my head spinning!!!
    If you can give me some estimated paces for DS17, DH, and DD15 (fast pace and I'll estimate a +2 min pace for picture pace), then I can do the timing math for you.

    As for taking things from your runners at the start, that's unlikely to happen anytime around the actual start of the race. The corrals open at ~4:15am. Corral A/B usually close around 5:00-5:10am. The race starts at 5:30am. To get to the corrals, runners pass through gear check and then walk about a mile to the start. Spectators are not allowed to pass the gear check. Which means if they enter the gear check around 4:30am, then you won't be with them anytime after that between then and the start. You can "slightly" view the start from afar. But from many other's experiences you're better off heading to a different viewing area (like Poly) because you can actually see your runners. So you won't have any chance to pick up gloves or clothing items from your runners after they pass through gear check. They should assume everything they carry with them past gear check they'll either have to carry or toss at the start. Clothing is donated.

    Once you let me know their paces, I can figure out roughly where all the runners will be at different times of day to help you make some decisions. The corral assignments should come out soon as well which will improve the calculations, but you can always provide me the POT they used and I can calculate from that as well.

    You can see your runners at the finish. Seeing them actually cross is a bit tougher, but literally moments after finishing you'll be able to see them. There are some grandstands to sit in that are free.
     

    ScooterScott44

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2018
    First I’ll say that the Disney courses are usually not the most convienent for spectating and the half (and 5k) are probably the worst. With Disney being private property there are really no side streets to get around. As mentioned hitting Epcot and taking the monorail to TTC and the poly area is probably the best option. You will have a few extra minutes to sleep in compared to the rest of the group but if you are trying to catch them at TTC you will still be up pretty early. A friend and I chased the girls at princess before and crowds can get heavy for the monorail. The bonus on going to TTC is that spot only a few miles into the race and on course there is no park time and limited picture opportunities up to that point so even thought you have the DD behind the other runners th gap should not be as dramatic.

    Second, about the bag drop. There is a security check as you enter the race/finish area and beyond that runners only are allowed out to the true start area. With gear check being at the runners only entrance, the bag drop will be just as good as leaving items with you. So Your runners and you will have to determine what is easier after the race, finding you to get their stuff or picking it up at the gear check.
     

    amym2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2009
    If you can give me some estimated paces for DS17, DH, and DD15 (fast pace and I'll estimate a +2 min pace for picture pace), then I can do the timing math for you.

    As for taking things from your runners at the start, that's unlikely to happen anytime around the actual start of the race. The corrals open at ~4:15am. Corral A/B usually close around 5:00-5:10am. The race starts at 5:30am. To get to the corrals, runners pass through gear check and then walk about a mile to the start. Spectators are not allowed to pass the gear check. Which means if they enter the gear check around 4:30am, then you won't be with them anytime after that between then and the start. You can "slightly" view the start from afar. But from many other's experiences you're better off heading to a different viewing area (like Poly) because you can actually see your runners. So you won't have any chance to pick up gloves or clothing items from your runners after they pass through gear check. They should assume everything they carry with them past gear check they'll either have to carry or toss at the start. Clothing is donated.

    Once you let me know their paces, I can figure out roughly where all the runners will be at different times of day to help you make some decisions. The corral assignments should come out soon as well which will improve the calculations, but you can always provide me the POT they used and I can calculate from that as well.

    You can see your runners at the finish. Seeing them actually cross is a bit tougher, but literally moments after finishing you'll be able to see them. There are some grandstands to sit in that are free.
    Thanks so much!! DH and DS are both in corral A. DS expects to keep around a 7min pace and DH will be under an 8min pace. DD and her friend are both in corral F because they didn’t submit times, but they can probably run at 10min pace. Her friend had a stress fracture a month ago and still isn’t running more than 5 miles, so they may take some walking breaks and/or character photo breaks.

    I’ll plan to hop on the bus from BCV not long after they do and make my way to the Poly. I could spend hours there just lounging and pretending like I’m in Polynesia. I’m guessing I’ll have a good chunk of time to do just that!
     

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Thanks so much!! DH and DS are both in corral A. DS expects to keep around a 7min pace and DH will be under an 8min pace. DD and her friend are both in corral F because they didn’t submit times, but they can probably run at 10min pace. Her friend had a stress fracture a month ago and still isn’t running more than 5 miles, so they may take some walking breaks and/or character photo breaks.

    I’ll plan to hop on the bus from BCV not long after they do and make my way to the Poly. I could spend hours there just lounging and pretending like I’m in Polynesia. I’m guessing I’ll have a good chunk of time to do just that!
    Here would be the estimates for you:

    Screen Shot 2018-12-26 at 6.45.11 AM.png
     
  • bizeemom4

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2004
    I'm glad to have found this thread. I have a daughter who is doing the Dopey and I'm trying to figure out the logistics of stalking her throughout the half and full. I didn't realize there were other people out there that were equally "devoted" as my daughter calls me. Haha.
     

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