Tuesday, March 1, 2011
THE DISNEY RACE
We stayed at the Disney All-Star Movies hotel which allowed us to take the Disney bus to the Disney Princess Half Marathon race. However, we needed to leave the room by 3:10 a.m. (yes, that’s a.m.) Sunday morning to be sure to catch a bus before the buses stopped running at 4:00 a.m. We got up at 2:40 am; that’s really 1:40 am in our normal time - Central Time. So, we rode the bus to Epcot Center where we disembarked. Then we had a bit of a walk to get to the race staging area. Once there, there was a red carpet entrance with a DJ, music, family gathering areas, concessions, and such. In fact, the whole event was a first class event in the typical Disney fashion. With 17,000 runners, they started the runners in shifts; they called them Corrals. Our daughters left us to head to their corral, which they said seemed like a two mile hike. This reminds me of when I was a kid and my father would incredulously comment on our request to get a ride to an athletic event. He thought we should get exercise along the way to an exercise (athletic) event. Anyway, the Disney Half Marathon booklet says, “You must be in your corral at the start line by 5:00 a.m. or you will not be allowed to start. Please note, it takes 20 minutes to walk from the Family Reunion area to the start line.” Each runner had an electronic identification band tied to their shoe which tracked their time through the whole race. Their split times and estimated finish times for the full 13.1 miles were available in the Information tents. The race began at 5:43 am; our daughters’ corral went off at 6:15 am. Each Corral was started by Disney fireworks. So, each corral had about 3,500 runners in it. We were blessed to see both daughters as they were on the inside of the pack closest to us. During the race, Eileen and I took the Monorail up to the Disney Castle which was the half-way point of the race. We were able to see our youngest daughter who waved to us but got there too late to see our older daughter. So, we rushed back to the finish line but about 100 zillion other people were thinking the same thing. It took us over an hour to get back. We missed our older daughter’s finish but we were there when our younger daughter finished. It’s an amazing blessing to be able to pick your own children’s faces out among the masses. I’ll finish the Disney adventure tomorrow.