Thursday, January 8, 2015

Walt Disney World 5K Race Recap

This morning I ran the Walt Disney World 5K with my parents. It was race number one of four in my quest for the Dopey Challenge

Flat Carlee

Yesterday afternoon my weather app sent me a notice… WIND CHILL ADVISORY! Thankfully when I was getting ready to head to Orlando I tried to pack for “everything” and threw in my Brooks running tights (they would come in handy this morning)! We also went to Target yesterday and grabbed a couple pairs of the $1 gloves - LIFE SAVERS!

My alarm was set for 4am EST (yep, that means when I checked my Instagram thread folks were just going to bed in California… my Garmin was still on PST… 1am - OUCH!). The temperature at the condo was around 43* when I woke up - not too bad… UNTIL WE WENT OUTSIDE! The wind was CRAY-CRAY!

It only took us about 15 minutes to get from the condo to the parking lot at Epcot. We got over there around 5:20 and decided to sit in the car until about 5:40am (conserve as much heat as possible and watch some of the costumes head towards the starting area). 

We finally got out of the car and thought “Well, at least it isn’t 1* like it was in Temperance” (where my parents had come from). It didn’t feel too bad until the wind started howling. Thankfully in my luggage I also brought 3 Mylar blankets and 4 garbage bags (Megan sent the garbage bags in my Dopey Survival Pack). I ended up wearing one of my Mylar blankets for the first mile and a half of the race.

I have the BEST BRF (Best Running Friend) in THE WORLD!

After we got out of the car, we made our way towards the starting line. We had to go through a couple security lines (since I had a runner’s belt they had me go through the bag check line, even though it only had 2 cough drops in it ;)). I was originally assigned to Corral A, but since my parents were in C I moved back to start with them. Once we got to the corrals we shimmied up to the front and waited for some more folks to file in to help block the wind behind us. 

Mom, Dad, and I in Corral C.

Dad took a couple pictures in the corral (people packed in)

Another shot of the cattle call.

My mom’s breathing has been rough lately (she is still going to different specialists to see what the crap is up), so we were planning on speed walking it. My dad didn’t want to hang with us, so he left us in his dust and ran the whole way. Although my mom wasn’t expecting to run, due to the weather and since we were chilly she wanted to jog a bit to try and warm up. 

We ended up running for the first half mile or so (all in the Epcot parking lot). Mom needed a walk break around the area where you have to walk to the corrals for the half marathon (back in the wooded path area). That was where we saw the first character - Flick (we didn’t stop for any of the characters because we weren’t sure how much extra time we had with our walk breaks).

After our first walk break we ran again until we reached Epcot park (rather than running in the parking lot or backlot). I was looking forward to going into the park, not only because of the magic that comes along with the Disney parks, but I thought the walls might divert the wind a bit (no such luck). Mom and I grabbed a quick selfie with Spaceship Earth in the background during our next walk break. 

Please ignore my crazy eyes ;)

Around that time is where we saw Daisy. She was the first character in the parks, and since we were in Corral C and took a couple walk breaks the line was probably 25 people long or so - not too bad. I saw a couple people struggling to take selfies, so I stopped and took their pictures for them and then ran to catch up with mom.

One bummer part was the music… Although the cold never bothered Elsa, it seemed to make the CDs continue to skip. At one point I even called out “REMIX” when “Let It Go” continued to skip when we were inside of Epcot. (Maybe they were working out the kinks for the following races, but it seemed like most of the songs we heard started skipping by the middle of the song.)

We saw Chip and Dale in Japan, Pinocchio in Germany, and Donald in Canada. All of the lines seemed to be 20-30 people long and from what I saw they were moving pretty quickly. After about mile 2 or so I didn’t notice any additional characters (but then again, since we weren’t planning on stopping, there could have been some that we missed). 

Obviously once we got closer to the Spaceship Earth we needed another selfie! We pulled over to the side (PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LOOK AROUND YOU OR RAISE YOUR HAND TO NOTIFY THOSE AROUND YOU IF YOU ARE STOPPING…) and grabbed another picture. 


Spaceship Earth

After another walk break we saw the Mile 3 sign and decided to run to the finish. We were able to cross the finish line under 45 minutes, which was great (since I had to keep a 16 minute pace for the Dopey Challenge). I would say we probably ended up running at least half the race, which was more than I was expecting - MY MOM IS A ROCKSTAR!

I think Mile 1 was 13:13 and Mile 2 & 3 were closer to 14:30 with our selfie stops

We were able to grab our medallions (they don’t call them medals for the 5K since they are plastic, but I still love them) and make our way through the finishing area. I was even able to grab a picture of mom getting her medallion!

My mom is such a RUNNING ROCKSTAR (she hasn't run since this summer)!

Before we got to the photographers we caught back up with my dad. He finished in 32:41 - SPEED DEMON!! We were able to get a finishing picture together - YAY! After we grabbed our official picture, there was an extra backdrop and a volunteer nearby so I asked the gentleman if he would take our photo (the voluntEARS are always sooooooo sweet!). 

Then I had to go through the Dopey tent… I am still sort of confused on the whole thing. They aren’t giving us bracelets to confirm we finished the races this year, something with picture proof… As long as I get my Dopey medals, I guess that is all I really care about (technology is great… as long as it works).

We didn’t hang around too long. Actually we didn’t hang around at all. We grabbed our goodies, medal, and finishing picture and made our way to the car. Although the sun was out, the temperatures were still chilly (my fingers felt FROZEN, even with the gloves we picked up yesterday). Again, I think I would have been fine, but the wind just didn’t let up. And like the announcers at the beginning of the race mentioned, the wind swirled the whole race so we were ALWAYS running into it.

I don't know that I would necessarily ever sign up for a Disney 5K on its own (mostly due to the congestion and cost), but as part of a challenge I definitely love them. And what I love MOST is being able to enjoy it with my parents!! THEY ROCK MY SOCKS!!

The finisher medallion and participant shirt!


Have you run any races with a family member? 


Chaitali said...

Wow, you got this recap up super quick! I did a local 5k with my dad one. I'm actually trying to get my parents to come down for Wine and Dine with me to do the 5k.

KookyRunner said...

Sounds awesome Carlee! Glad you had a good first day even though it was very cold.

I usually run 5K races with my mom if they are local. I love it!

Meridith said...


This is why I love you, Carlee. I would have yelled the exact same thing. ;)