Before I forget about my most recent race I thought I would write up a review, especially as it was the race that fired my interest, motivation and passion for running again. I found out about Run Disney (www.rundisney.com) a couple of years ago when we were at EuroDisney and noticed people coming back to the hotel wearing medals and wearing running kit, so I asked one of them what it was and found out all about it. I couldn’t believe how many runs are organised. It then ended up that we were going to Florida for a last pre school holiday for 3 weeks and it fell when the 2018 Dark Side Half Marathon (https://www.rundisney.com/star-wars-rival-run-weekend/) was on, well it was fated and I had to do it !!
So I had paid the entry fee ($185 !!) and we were in Florida. I had a couple of training runs to do before the big day, which was fine, and the event village was held at ESPN World which opened a couple of days before. This was all well organised and you collected your bib, bag etc all from here plus there was quite a good expo. Now onto the big day, because they have to run it before the parks open (as you run through them) it starts at 05:30 in the morning, my alarm went off at 02:45!!!
The course went from the Animal Kingdom, through Magic Kingdom and then finished at Epcot but you could only park at Epcot and they bussed everyone to the start, this was all well orgnaised with loads of buses and hardly any waiting time. Once I got to the start area the queues for the toilets were huge (15,000+ people run it) so it took a good 30 mins, but got into my starting pen at about 05:15. Now one downside was that you had to be able to prove your run time by be able to prove an official race time in the last 12 months above 10K, which I couldn’t do so was in a pen with the 2:45 – 3hr runners.
Then at 05:30 the first wave went off and as I was now in a later pen I didn’t get away until 06:00, but it was great. Fireworks and an MC saw everyone off and then we spent the first hour in the dark with the movie music blaring out, strobes, sounds of blasters, Tai fighters, everything, it was really cool and a great atmosphere. When the sun started to come up it lost a bit of its atmosphere but it was good seeing the parks empty. All the way along they had points you could stop at to have a photo with characters or from a famous scene (think Mos Isley etc) but it definitely wasn’t a fast race with the amount of people and the water stops, you had to walk through because they were busy but also had cups so it went everywhere (you needed the water as it was 22 degrees and 90% humidity).
There weren’t a huge amount of spectators but there were a few and a lot of the staff came out in the last few miles, but the atmosphere created by the music, strobes etc made up for this. The finish was good and well organised collecting an awesome medal (huge metal Stormtrooper head) and then you could have your photo taken with a character so I went for BB8 (the kids would be happy). So overall it was a good experience and I am glad I have done it, I would definitely recommend it for the experience alone and would give it 4\5. The only reason I couldn’t give it 5 is the price, $185 is a lot for any race.
On the home front went to London Zoo (https://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo) on bank holiday Monday which was good fun for all the family. Work is a bit crap at the moment, a lot of redundancies being made. I did Parkrun this week as a sighter and blew my 5 year PB away (21:23) with a 21:03 so a great start to the sub 20 min 5k quest. Training this week consisted of:
Have an awesome week.