With Disney Princess Half weekend quickly approaching, I wanted to share my experience pacing 3 good friends during last year’s half, however belated I am
I’ve been pals with Morgan for 9 years now…we lived together our freshman year of college and stayed close throughout four years, despite joining different sororities and not having any classes together. I’ve loved her quick wit and sense of humor, and we enjoyed the occasional workout together. Got to meet her sister Brooke on visits to campus and a previous visit to Disney, so when Princess registration came up in July 2012, we all decided to sign up together!
We got to enjoy a couple days in the parks, playing and eating like champs. And I introduced them to the fine art of race-cationing.
Kate arrived on Saturday, and we had survived the crazy Coronado Springs expo, cooed over the adorable shirts, and went to grab an early dinner before bed.
Before we knew it, it was 3 am. We got our peanut butter toast, some swallows of coffee at my apartment, and it was time to get out the door! Unfortunately for us, I’d chosen to drive us via Buena Vista Drive, which was a lesson in patience as four lanes slowly merged to one. Once we finally got to World Drive, it was a breeze! We dropped off our bags at gear check and shuffled the mile walk to the corrals.
We were back a little ways but settled in and ready to rock it out. The new princesses took in all the start line festivities and it was fun to share in the party atmosphere and help calm their nerves.
And then it was our turn! And we were off! We had discussed run/walk scenarios for a 13:00 min pace, and we settled into that after getting out of the crowds at the start.
It was very interesting to experience the race from the “no proof of time” corral, and I just settled back to chat with K, M, and B…help them get psyched up for Magic Kingdom and take what pictures I could for them as unofficial race paparazzi
We made it to Magic Kingdom and strolled down Main Street due to the amount of people, but it was still very special. Wound the usual course through Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, with me pointing out the characters and saying that we prob shouldn’t stop because each character line was 30 deep we DID, however, stop for a nice castle photo
And then we were passing the halfway point with Kelly Clarkson’s “What Doesn’t Kill You” blaring…a hilarious participant choice in my book. Brooke started feeling a little ill so I offered to stay with her and have Kate and Morgan keep going and we’d meet at the next aid stop. We met, and Brooke soldiered in for another mile till we got to 10, and she decided she wanted to run her own race. We agreed and told her we’d hang as close to the finish as possible once we were done. Morgan and Kate had been training together and they fell into their natural pace and I pep talked them through the last three overpasses. They were ready to take it on. We soared down the last downhill and around that world showcase promenade to be greeted by the gospel choir. It then hit M and K that they were do close to the end and we ran as fast as we could muster to the finish!
It was such a fun experience for me to share, and this run was the most time I’ve ever spent on my feet on a run to that point. 3 hours and change. Waited for B who came in not far behind and had found her inner strength to bring it home, and it was time for a celebratory shower and margarita!!
And we got to see a screening of Oz this same day! What a fun celebration!
The ladies are coming back down for more this year: M and I are taking on the Glass Slipper Challenge, while B will be earning her pink Coast 2 Coast! Greatly looking forward to it.
Do you have any tips for a first time Princess runner? Have you ever paced someone during a race?