Start and Mile 1: I really liked being right up front in the corral at the Walt Disney World Marathon so I made an extra effort to get to my corral early and placed myself right up front. I was in corral C again this year which meant that we would start at 6:01 am. I jumped the gun a little bit on starting my Garmin so my start time on my Garmin info is 5:59am but we did indeed start 2 minutes later after the Fairy Godmother did the countdown.
|Above: The Fairy Godmother does the countdown for the start of the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2011|
Again just like at the Walt Disney World Marathon it was like being alone (for just a second) in Walt Disney World. Mile 1 was my fastest mile. The excitement of starting and all the people rushing out of the corral helped to get me jazzed up and keeping a pace that was too fast for me to maintain over the course of 13 miles if I wanted to keep my knee in good shape. I finished the first dark and foggy mile in 13:38 and realized that I should adjust my pace for the rest of my miles.
Mile 2: Between the first mile and the second mile there is not much to see. For one it is dark during most Disney Races between those two miles and for another you are running through the Epcot parking lot and on a road that will eventually lead you to World Drive. On this morning it was humid, cool and foggy, sort of felt like being in Sleepy Hollow. I arrived at the Mile 2 sign at 6:25am and mile 2 was complete in 14:17 which was a much better pace to maintain throughout the race.
|Above: Crowd gathered around the mile two marker during the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2011|
Miles 3-5: Were spent running up World Drive towards Magic Kingdom. Along this road we passed the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the Contemporary. We ran right through the gates where you pay for parking at the Magic Kingdom down the road that leads to the Contemporary and we then ran past Space Mountain where we would enter Magic Kingdom through a side entrance into Main Street. For this leg of the race my times were: Mile 3= 14:45, Mile 4= 16:01 (stopped for a picture with Stitch) and Mile 5= 14:11. Along these miles the sun started to come up and the characters started to show up. My favorite character stop was at Mile 4 where Lilo and Stitch along with a ton of dancers were waiting. I stopped here and waited in a line of about 10 people for a shot with them…
|Above: Me with Lilo and Stitch during the 2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon|
I was so excited about Elvis Stitch that I sort of forgot that Lilo was there in the picture too. Poor thing I almost took her head off!
Miles 6-8: Are probably the most exciting miles of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. These miles wind you through the Magic Kingdom and out onto Floridian Way, past the Golf Course and once again past the Richard Petty Driving Experience. We came into the Magic Kingdom and headed down Mainstreet turn into Tomorrowland, then through Fantasyland and right through Cinderella’s Castle where there were lots of photographers and the Princesses with their Princes to take photos with (there was such a long line this year that I had to skip it). After we made our way through the Castle we turned again and went past the Hall of Presidents, through Frontierland and then out of the Magic Kingdom. My times for miles 6-8 were… Mile 6= 14:30, Mile 7: 16:24 (stopped for a bathroom break) and Mile 8: 14:22. Here are two of my favorite photos from these miles…
|Above: Cinderella's Castle while running by during the 2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon|
|Above: Me and Goofy next to Mickey's Golf Cart in front of the Disney Golf Courses|
Miles 9-11: These are usually the hardest miles for me. Around mile 8 I start to get hungry and the excitement of Magic Kingdom starts to wear off because once again we are on the roads without big landmarks to grab our attention. But this year I never hit the wall. It was great! Clif Shots came sooner than I expected (not really but it was not like at the Marathon where I thought I would pass out from hunger) and there were lots of characters with small or no lines along the way. Plus I met some great girls that I ended up slowing down and walking with as we tried to cheer on one who was having a really hard time making it through this part of the race. She got her second wind and was off again by mile 11. My times for this section of the race were… Mile 9= 15:19, Mile 10= 15:12 Mile 11= 14:45.
|Above: Me with Panic and Pain from Disney's Hercules|
Miles 12-13: Another exciting set of miles and not just because this is the end of the race. Here we entered Epcot and traveled around Future World then back out of Epcot to the Finish Line. Spaceship Earth is right there in almost every shot. Also along the way there are some characters to take shots with, like Duffy below. I have no idea who is he or where he was from but he was so cute dancing along the sidelines that I stopped for a picture. My times for this part of the race were… Mile 12= 14:39 and Mile 13= 16:26. I had an overall finishing time of 3:20:50 and ended up with 61 photos and 9 character shots. No time PRs for this race but I did have a PR for character photos with 9! It was a lot of fun and I look forward to it again next year.
|Above: Me with Duffy inside Epcot|
My next Disney Race is the Champion 5K in Hollywood Studios March 5. I will have a race review up on Sunday March 6 with lots of photos.
Want to see more of my photos from the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2011? Check out my photo album Disney Princess Half Marathon 2011 on flickr.
More Disney Princess Half Marathon posts:
What to Expect from the Disney Princess Half Marathon
Disney Princess Half Marathon Medal 2010
Disney Princess Half Marathon Goody Bag 2010 and 2011