I know a lot of people get to the races pretty early, especially Disney races. Tara and I are not those kind of people. Tara and I have been friends for close to 20 years, so we have a system for how we get things done that requires a complicated system of negotiation the night before a race. I know she's going to push our time to the absolute limit and she knows I'm going make a counter offer of something more early than is necessary. Then we stick ourselves with pins and become blood sisters. Or something like that.
Needless to say, when Ronda and Abby texted me that they were leaving, we were still far from being ready. We arrived close to 6:00 for a 6:15 start. This is probably a good thing because the start of the 10K was another disaster.
|See how empty the staging area is? |
That's because a billion runners were already
trying to fight their way into their corrals.
It was nearly impossible to get back to the correct corral. We were in corral D and I wanted to find Abby who was also in Corral D, but she was near the back of the corral and we just could not get back there. Plus, at this point the race was just a few minutes to starting.
So we snuck into the back of corral C. Now before I get all sorts of flames for corral jumping 1.) we were at the very back along the gates, so technically you could say were also at the front of Corral D and 2.) we actually waited on the side while the D's came through and found Abby, so we started with our rightful corral.
|Whew! We found her! (Photo courtesy of Abby)|
The beginning of the 10K route is similar to the beginning of the half. By mile 2, we were entering the back stage area of the DCA.
|The back of Radiator Springs in DCA|
This race was more about taking pictures than running a race. But exercise is still exercise and we were still doing 6.2 miles, so there's that.
Abby got some good pictures of us along the pier, which of course, I stole. Thanks, Abby!
|Abby and me (photo courtesy of Abby)|
|Abby, Me, Tara and Pamela (photo courtesy of Abby)|
|Photo courtesy of Abby|
It was incredibly hot during this race. Having done the half the last three years, I was not prepared to be sweating that early in the morning. But we made the most of it while waiting in a really long line for a picture with the Monsters, Inc. float. One of the kiosks was setting up for park guests in Hollywoodland and we scored some ice... and it looks like Abby was asking for directions.
|Or Abby is distracting the cast member while Tara pilfers...|
I've always wanted to get a picture along this back drop during all of the Disneyland races I've done, but I've never had anyone with me to take one. So this year, I got three...
|Abby got a picture, too|
The course headed backstage again and I love seeing some of the buildings and offices we would otherwise never get to see such as the Cast Scheduling building or the Imagineering office.
After that, we were backstage at the Magic Kingdom. I love being able to see the horses back stage. Last year, I didn't stop because I was trying for a PR, but this year I stopped during the 10K and the half.
We headed back inside the Magic Kingdom and ran into Ronda! She and Shawn were in Corral B, those speedy kids, so they were ahead of us and waited in more character stop lines. We banded together and finished out the race.
|Yay, I love running into friends!|
(photo courtesy of Abby)
We ran through the castle and had a cast member take our group photo in front of the castle. Here's Abby's "money shot".
|Shawn, Ronda, Pamela, Tara, me and Abby|
Photo courtesy of Abby
At this point, Tara and I decided to sprint to the finish line which was a HUGE mistake. I had forgotten my Garmin that morning, so I couldn't tell just how fast we were going, but we were running fast enough that I actually had sore quads for the half the next day after only 6.2 miles. I can't even remember the last time I was sore, so that did not bode well for the next race.
|Abby and Pamela crossing the finish line|
We crossed the finish line and took pictures. Apparently, I'm incapable of looking at the camera. And I had already taken off one of my sleeves. I'm lame.
Despite the fact that it was Florida like in temperature and humidity, we still had a lot of fun. The weather really does impact the outcome of a race, though. We were really sweaty and tired, more so than I think we would have been if the weather had been more similar to previous years.
We split up with plans to meet up later after we had showered and eaten. Tara and I decided to ride Grizzly River Rapids at DCA before heading back. I feel bad for the poor tourists that had to share a raft with us because, wow, we were stinky from all of that humidity. We rode that twice, then rode Soarin' while still dripping wet. We happened to be in the top row and this time I felt bad for those below us, because I'm pretty sure my shoes were dripping onto the rows beneath. Oopsy.
After that, we went back to the hotel to shower and nap. Later, we headed back to Magic Kingdom and checked out the Iron Man exhibit, where I got my Super Hero on.
I highly recommend checking this out. It's really cool. We weren't able to stay for too long because the rest of my little group was outside and ready to ride Space Mountain, so off we went!
|Shawn, Tara, Me, Abby and Ronda waiting in line for Space Mountain|
|Team Freedom takes on Space Mountain|
We've named ourselves Team Freedom for the Braveheart-like way we conquered the Battle of the Disneyland Half Expo. We even yelled the battle cry, "Freeeeeedddoooooommm!" Next year, I recommend bringing a sword and painting your face blue.
But wait, there's more! Stay tuned for the Disneyland Half recap. Coming as soon as I can get myself organized.