Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Princess Half Marathon Recap...2016!

Don't forget to read my recap of the Princess 5K and the Princess 10K!

It was the third early wake up of the weekend! This one was probably the hardest! We had to wake up at 2:45AM! Again...I didn't sleep great. I was too excited even though I was exhausted. And y'all! I've never seen my eyes so swollen and puffy! Thankfully the swelling went down the longer I was up but it was not a pretty sight!

We got ready pretty quick and headed to the lobby. The plan was to take a few pictures quickly but then get to the bus asap because we didn't want to wait in line as long as we had to the morning before. 

Jenny and I enjoyed matching all weekend long! 



Best roomies ever! Tracy, Jenny, me, and Katie!


Jenny, Grandmary, and me!


We took our group picture outside while we were waiting for a bus!


We didn't wait long and then a bus arrived. But our whole group wouldn't all fit on the same bus so we got split up. And the bus driver we had apparently didn't know where he was at. He ended up driving us to Port Orleans and then turning around and going I don't even know where! I didn't think we were ever going to get there and we were all starting to panic. But finally he followed another bus and got us where we were supposed to be. Of course the other bus full of our group had already been there for awhile by the time we made it. We still had time for some pre race pictures and dance party!





I got to meet Artney in person finally! She is amazing! And so gorgeous!!! Sweet as can be!


Brittney made our trip so very magical! She is the BEST Disney travel agent ever! Be sure to check out Main Street Memories when you plan your next Disney trip! 



Before long it was time to walk the 20 minute walk to the corrals. It was really Princess Half time!!!! 

We stopped for a few pictures during the walk!



Jenny and I were so excited to be in corral B!!!! We had worked so hard to earn that spot!!!



We had plenty of time once we reached our corral. It was pretty awesome being so close to the stage too!

 

And we saw Jeff Galloway and his wife! They ended up being in our corral! 


Every time I've seen him he is always so very nice! 


It wasn't long after that and they had sent off corral A and we were moving up to the start line! We were in the front of our corral so we were almost toeing the start line! Wow!



As always....the start was magical!!! They had tons of fireworks and it even looked like they had gotten a new fireworks thingy! ;-)

We were finally running! I was so happy! I just LOVE running this race! Who isn't happy running through Disney??!!

Our plan again was to run and stop for every character stop. We were hoping for short lines since we were in corral B. Last year I was in corral C and had hardly any lines the entire race. Well...this year was different. The lines were so much longer! It was so weird!!! But that didn't stop us. We still stopped for every single one!

The first stop was the heroes! Look at all those manly men!!! :-)


The one thing missing this year was the pirate ship! I kept expecting to see it and it wasn't there! I was so sad because hearing the Pirates of the Caribbean music is always such a motivator for me. I really missed the pirate ship! :-(

We did pass this hot air balloon! There wasn't a character stop but they were playing the music from Up! It was awesome!


And then...there we were! At the entrance to Magic Kingdom!!!


And then...there was Aladdin and Abu!!! 


And then we saw Jack Skellington and Sally! Sawyer was Jack for Halloween so I knew without a doubt that I had to get this picture for him!


We ran through the Ticket and Transportation Center. I love running through here because there is always a ton of crowd support! 

And before we knew it we had made the turn into Magic Kingdom and we were running down Main Street USA!!! This is my absolute favorite part of the race! The crowd is insanely loud and seeing the castle in front of you is so magical!!! Of course when you're running fast it's hard to get a good picture of that castle lol!


Marathonfoto got some great pictures of us running on Main Street!!!





Then we made a right turn into Tomorrowland! 


Buzz Lightyear is usually here every year so I had my eye out for him! If I hadn't been looking for him I may have missed him but there he was!


We passed by Tomorrowland Speedway and I snapped a picture! I had promised my student Cooper that I would take a picture for him since that was his favorite ride! Here ya go Cooper!!!


Near the tea cups we found The White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts! 


And right outside of New Fantasyland we found the Evil Stepmother and Evil Stepsisters from Cinderella! They were pretty funny!


And then....it was the moment we'd been waiting for!!! Running through Cinderella's castle!!!!! Kristoff, Anna, and Elsa were on the balcony cheering us on!


Selfie before running through the castle!


Running through Cinderella's castle was just as magical as it always is! It never loses its magic! I love it!!! The only downside...it only lasts seconds!





I always turn left outside the castle so I can get my picture in front of it! 


Then we turned right and headed to Frontierland! There we found Jesse and Woody!!!


They also had the Walt Disney World Railroad on display! I think we surprised the cast members when we stopped for a picture...and wanted them in it with us! 


We were on our way out of the Magic Kingdom but knew there would be one last character stop there. They usually have a major princess there. All the times I've run a Disney race it's been Aurora and her prince. This time....it was Aurora and her prince AND Beauty and the Beast!!!!! Unfortunately they only had one Marathonfoto photographer out. He took pictures of Sleeping Beauty. The ones with Beauty and the Beast were taken with your phone by a cast member. But at least we got two characters in one stop!!!




Then...we exited Magic Kingdom and were back on the road. This part of the course narrows extremely and it gets very crowded. It's also a mental game because you are only at mile 6 but the excitement of the castle and Magic Kingdom is over. 

Luckily Disney still has characters out to keep you entertained! The first ones we spotted were Mary Poppins and Bert! She's one of both me and Jenny's favorites! We stopped for a picture but the lighting was horrible. Unfortunately every year I've run Disney they never have a Marathonfoto photographer for Mary Poppins! It's so sad!


Next we came upon a bride, groom, and groomsmen! And yes I totally tried to steal the glass slipper! ;-)


The Genie from Aladdin was out again. And even though we got our picture with him at the 5K and the 10K...we STILL stopped! 


And who doesn't take a selfie with the Mickey Mouse golf cart??!!!


Next we found Elastigirl from The Incredibles!!!


Around mile 9 we made it back to World Drive. We could still see runners who were at mile 2 on the opposite side. And then we saw the Balloon Ladies. And there were so many people behind them. It made me so sad because I knew they were going to get swept. Seeing that depresses you. 

We eventually reached the curve that would take us up a hill onto one of the overpasses. I could hear Sarge from Toy Story yelling at all the runners to get up that hill. This year he also had some other soldiers with him. So of course we stopped for a picture!


And before long we had made it to mile 11 and were heading back into Epcot! 

We had a nice surprise awaiting us in Epcot! The carriage was there! 


We only had to loop around Future World and head to the parking lot and we would be finished!



They were taking pictures with Spaceship Earth in the background so we stopped of course! We wanted to get a jumping picture as well and the photographer was super nice about it! He didn't rush us and when he didn't get the shot the first time he allowed us to do it again!




After the picture we ran on! We were almost done!




I couldn't wait to hear the gospel choir near the finish! And then...there they were! This is always one of my favorite parts of the race! We stopped for a selfie and they LOVED it!!!


And then....there was the finish line!!!


But right before we crossed I stopped for a picture with Donald Duck! I never stop at the finish line but this year I wanted to!


And then...it was the sprint to the finish!!!






The Glass Slipper Challenge was COMPLETE! And we had stopped for every single character photo and still finished in 2:22:23!!! I was pleased with that time especially since the picture lines were so much longer this year than last year.


We received our princess medal and it was so beautiful!!!



We also got a bottle of water, Powerade, runner snack box, a banana, and a purple bag to put it all in!

We were so happy to be finished!!! We had done it! And it was so much fun!!!!



We took our official half marathon finisher pictures!



And then we received our Glass Slipper Challenge medal!!!




We then went to find out which princesses were out for pictures! We found Mulan!!! And she loved talking with us!!!



We also saw Rapunzel! She was so cute and seemed so excited about our race! She wanted to pose like we were excited! It was so cute!



After seeing the princesses we went to find a place to relax on wait on all the other MSM Princesses to finish. Of course we had to take a few more pictures!




And ALL THE BLING from the weekend!!!! 



Me and Kristin!


Me, Katie, and Jenny!


And one with Heather too!


Relaxing after the race!


MSM Princesses!!!


It was a great end to an amazingly fun race! 

And the Glass Slipper Challenge was COMPLETE!!!! Look at all that beautiful bling!!!


Words cannot express how much I LOVE Princess Weekend!!! It's so magical!!!

Stay tuned for a recap of my last day in Disney!

QOTD: What is your favorite runDisney race?

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