You guys, I did it. After years (literally) of sitting at home stalking RunDisney events through Instagram, I FINALLY got to run in a RunDisney Weekend.
And not just any RunDisney Weekend. The Inaugural Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge.
And it was everything I ever dreamed it would be.
The race started at the crack of dawn (5:30) and I had to be up and on a bus way earlier than that. I wound up getting up at 3:15 and getting on the first bus out, so that definitely worked to my advantage. I was worried about what I would do while I waited, but Disney had us taken care of. There were characters to meet! The lines filled up fast, but since the 10K title character was Remy, I chose to stand in his line. BONUS: I’ve never actually seen him or Emile out doing meet & greets, so it was definitely worth the wait!
I tried waiting in line for Lumiere, but it was barely moving and I really wanted to get in my corral as early as I could. By some miracle I was in A (out of A-E) and I really wanted to take advantage of that to have short lines at the character stops!
As usual, I had no clue what to expect from the course. However, for once I actually looked at the map before! Since this is a new race this year, no one knew what the course would be until about 2 weeks before the race when the event guide was posted. A lot of it went through EPCOT, but we also did a little backstage running as well as visited the Boardwalk Resort.
I had no time goals going into this race for 2 reasons:
- I was just coming off back to back half marathons, and had another to run the next day.
- I paid to run in Disney, I was going to take full advantage of that!
So, going in, my goal was to stop at every character stop. We had prepaid for Memory Maker through Disney’s Photopass service, so I also wanted to take full advantage of that!
About a mile in (on the highway) was the first character stop, the penguins from Mary Poppins. I apologize to the guy who I ran into when I stopped, this one was in a horrible place, right in a sharp turn.
About a half a mile after the penguins we had Flik and Atta from A Bug’s Life!
Had to show the performers some love too!
A horrible photo, but running through World Showcase in the dark was so cool!
Upon entering World Showcase, Pinocchio and Gepetto were waiting! (Also I seem to have forgotten how to look at the camera).
This was around the halfway mark and I remember having three thoughts:
- Man, I’m not ready for this race to be over!
- I am never running with an ear hat on ever again.
- Only Florida can be this humid at 6 a.m.
Upon leaving Germany, I entered Morocco and found someone I never thought I would see: vacation Genie!
Soon after, we turned out of EPCOT and headed toward the Boardwalk. In front of the ESPN Zone, there were two of the cutest chipmunks I could have asked for!
The boardwalk was gorgeous in the dark (I wish I had a decent picture) and the restaurants were cooking breakfast and it smelled amazing! At that point I was missing the Clif bar I had eaten hours ago and ready to finish and eat!
I’m not sure if this counts as a character stop since there wasn’t a Photopass photographer available, but this Sebastian was super awesome. And, since he’s my mom’s favorite character, I had to snag this pic.
After exiting the Boardwalk area, it was back into EPCOT’s Future World for the home stretch. I had to stop for a super sweaty photo in front of the Food & Wine festivities!
Too soon after I started, it was over! Going into the race, some people had complained about the course, but aside from the first highway mile, I loved it. Even the backstage sections were cool, mainly because that’s something the public only really gets to see during these races.
Disney also knows how to take care of runners post-race. After finishing and getting my medal, I was promptly handed a water, a Powerade, a banana, and a snack box. Juggling it all was hard, but I was really grateful for those snacks since I was starving!
Getting up early was the only downside to this race. I actually decided in the middle of this one that I was coming back for more Disney magic in the future (but more on that in a future post).
After eating a huge breakfast (the food court lady was actually concerned when I ordered the Bounty Platter) and grabbing a shower, it was off to a day in the parks to show off my medal!
Stay tuned for my half marathon recap and a photo recap of my park days!