I had another early wake up call...3 AM! Only this time I wasn't alone...all my roomies had to get up too! ;-) Despite not sleeping much the night before, I didn't sleep any better this night. I was still so excited! And anxious about not waking up on time.
Once I was up and ready I felt much less anxious. It was super easy catching the bus at our resort. We waited less than 5 minutes to board a bus. While waiting we took a quick picture. I thought we made the cutest fairies ever! :-)
Then we boarded the bus and were on our way to Epcot! But first...Sandi and I had to take our traditional bus selfie!
Before long we had arrived at Epcot and started the walk to the race retreat area. We were meeting some friends right outside the race retreat.
Me and Heather (who was super cute dressed as one of the evil stepsisters in Cinderella)
And I got to see Karen again...this time she was dressed as Belle!
And then we took the normal right before the race pics! And I had to get one with all my awesome roomies!
Me and Susanne!
Me and Sandi!
Me and Brooke!
And another one of the whole group!
Before we knew it it was time to make the long walk to our corrals. On the way there we saw this guy dressed up as Mickey Mouse...and he even had a tail! It was awesome! I couldn't get a good picture since we were walking but you get the idea!
Then it was time to say goodbye to my friends as they made a right turn toward their corrals. And I walked to mine...Corral C!
I met a really nice woman in my corral that was also running the Glass Slipper Challenge. We talked about the 10K the day before. And then she offered to take a picture of me in the corral!
From the time I got in the corral I could see the start line and see the stage where the announcers were. That was a totally different experience for me since in the past I've always gone back with friends to a later corral. They let the wheelchair racers go at 5:30 AM, then corral A a few minutes later, then corral B a few minutes after that. I could barely believe that it was my turn next! Starting came so quick!
With a countdown of "Bippity Boppity Boo" from the Fairy Godmother and a round of fireworks, Corral C was off! Just like in the 10K I was amazed at how everyone around me was running my pace and I wasn't having to weave in and out of runners and walkers. It was great!
I noticed right away when I was running that my quads were pretty sore. I knew it was from racing the 10K so hard the day before. And walking all day in Hollywood Studios probably didn't help. But I was determined to run this race and have a blast!
Around mile 2 I saw the first character stop! The pirate ship and pirates! There were only about 3 people in line!!! So I stopped of course! And while waiting in line, Karen came up behind me and got in line too! It was awesome seeing her on the course!
Right before we got to the Magic Kingdom sign I saw all the princes on the left!
And then...Magic Kingdom! And of course a quick selfie!
We then came to the Walt Disney World Speedway. Not far from there was Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope von Sweetz!!!
And then...the Villians!!!! My son Sawyer loves Maleficent so I made sure to stand by her!
We ran through the Ticket and Transportation Center...which is always fun because there are tons of spectators cheering through there. Before we knew it we were rounding the corner and running on Main Street toward Cinderella's Castle!
This is the kind of picture you get when you are running fast towards the castle lol!
Running on Main Street is always so much fun because the crowd is so loud cheering you on! And seeing the castle in front of you is so magical!
A friendly cast member took a quick picture of me with the castle in the backgound! I stop here every time I run through Disney for this picture so I knew I couldn't miss it!
We then made a right turn into Tomorrowland! And near his ride was Buzz Lightyear!
We continued running through Tomorrowland! It's so fun running through there!
And then hanging around the tea cups were Deedle Dee and Deedle Dum!
One of the cast members cheering us on said, "Smile! You're running in the happiest place on Earth!" I LOVED that!!!
And then there it was! The back of the castle! Unfortunately there were no character opps here like in the past. But Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff were on the balcony! I was too excited to stop and get a picture though...sorry! ;-)
It's always so magical running through the castle! But it goes by way too fast! Luckily this time I actually got to run through instead of in years past when it's so crowded and I'm forced to walk.
And of course I always turn off to take a picture in front of the castle. Can you tell that running through Disney makes me extremely happy??!!! My smile couldn't get any bigger lol!
After running through the castle we turned to the right and headed toward Frontierland! Woody was out to play!
We headed towards the exit and I saw Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip! I was excited since this was the Princess Half after all and this was the first princess I'd seen thus far!
Then to my sadness (and around mile 6.5)....the journey through Magic Kingdom was over. I knew the next part of the race would be a little tougher since the excitement of the castle was over.
As I was running I looked over in the grass and there was Jeff Galloway running! I called his name and tried to take a picture of him but it didn't turn out. It was a blur. He was in a run interval and I couldn't ask him to walk so I could take a picture. So I kept going. And now I can say that I've passed Jeff Galloway in a race! Pretty cool!
Then I came upon Mary Poppins and Bert!!! I was thrilled! I've never gotten a picture with Mary Poppins before!
And in front of the golf course I found the Genie! But he wouldn't give me three wishes. :-(
Around mile 9 we were back on World Drive. I could see other runners on the opposite side of the road...which meant they were only at mile 2! And then for the first time ever...I saw the balloon ladies! If you don't know what that means...the balloon ladies are the ones you have to stay in front of to not be swept off the race course. Unfortunately I saw several people behind them and a bus that would pick them up. I felt soooo bad for them!
I kept running and saw this sign! I thought it was hilarious!
And then as we rounded the curve that would take us up the on ramp I heard and then saw the Sarge from Toy Story! I stopped to take a picture with him but instead he made me do 3 push-ups! At mile 10.5 of a half marathon!!! I was so glad I had the strength to do them...he scared me lol!
As I got up he started running beside me yelling, "Fly up that hill! Faster! Faster!" HILARIOUS! But it got me up that hill quicker for sure!
I made it up the overpass and before I knew it I was entering Epcot! That meant I only had a little over a mile to go!
Right before making the turn around in Epcot I saw the Fairy Godmother! I stopped for a little encouragement to get me to the finish line!
She made me run the rest of the race extra fast! I was seriously feeling amazing!
I passed by Spaceship Earth and rounded the corner where the Gospel Choir was. They gave me the last little push I needed to sprint to the finish line!
I did it!!! I completed the Glass Slipper Challenge...19.3 miles in two days!!!!
I was super shocked at my time for the half marathon...2:12:07!!! And that was with stopping for EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER STOP! I was so excited!
I will say that this race was amazing as always. But being a faster runner now made it even more fun because I didn't have to wait in long lines for characters. That gave me the option to be able to stop for every one. And I also loved that being in a faster corral meant I was surrounded by people that were running just as fast as I was so I didn't have to weave in and out of too many of them. It made for a much more pleasant race.
After crossing the finish line I was awarded with my Princess Half medal. And then I was sprinkled with glitter for being such a princess! ;-)
We were given water, Powerade, and mylar blankets. And to my great happiness they also gave us a drawstring bag! I was so happy because it's always so hard to carry all of that stuff after a race!
Then I had my finisher picture with my half marathon medal!
And then the Glass Slipper Challenge people were ushered to a tent where they checked our bib number and photo from the expo. Then we got that precious Glass Slipper Medal! :-)
Like I did the day before I headed to get pictures with the princesses that they had out! First up was Merida!
I was waiting in line and who did I see? The Evil Queen...Dani!!! I was super excited to see her! That made two days in a row!
I was waiting in line for Rapunzel when a cast member came over and said she would be leaving in about 5 minutes so they could do the awards ceremony for the race. I was so sad I wouldn't get a picture with Rapuzel! But I did get to see the winners of the Princess Half Marathon! They were awarded with a crown and a glass slipper! :-)
I can't remember the winner's time (the lady dressed as Tinkerbell) but it was crazy fast!
After the awards ceremony they brought out another princess....luckily I was in the front of the line. But guess who it was? Cinderella! Who I'd seen yesterday! Oh well! I took another picture with her anyway! And she was so sweet once again!
Then I headed to the line for Pocahontas! While waiting...I also got to talk to the winner of the half! She was super sweet! I asked if I could take a picture with her and she said, "Of course! Do you want to hold my glass slipper?" Um...YES!
And then a picture with Pocahontas...who was one of my favorites when I was a little girl!
After my photo opps I decided to head back to my resort and get a shower before my roomies made it back. We had a day planned in Epcot that I was excited about!
I had soooo much fun running the Glass Slipper Challenge! I already hope to run it again next year!
And the bling....is oh so sweet!!!
QOTD: Have you ever run the Disney Princess Half Marathon?