We arrived on Thursday heading directly to the Expo after reading a bazillion Facebook posts about the "mad rush" to get there to get the RunDisney items you want. There were plenty of parking spaces and it didn't seem overly crowded so I was fairly calm as I picked up my bibs and then headed over to the Expo where all the shopping would happen.
I spent a whopping $5.95 at the Expo. On a small car magnet. That I'm afraid to put on my car because it will get stolen. I only spent that little because the RunDisney booth was pretty much cleaned out. I later discovered that at the time I arrived, (12pm) the morning rush had just occurred and they had not yet restocked. Ugh! To go back would be such a hassle but we decided that we would do just that on Friday morning after I finished the 5k. There was an adorable pink jacket that I saw people posting on FB. It was not at the Expo when I was, because it had already been sold out. People reported on FB that at 5pm on Thursday, they had been fully restocked. And then there was the crazy not-so-Princess-like behavior at the Expo. It wasn't me!!
Change in plans: I was happy to discover while AT the 5k race that the back of said pink jacket had the words "Princess Up!"...yeah, that is SO NOT ME....so that saved us the additional trip to the Expo. And saved me some $$ too!!
At the time of registration (July 2015), you could pre-order a race jacket for $85. There was NO picture of the jacket nor a description of what it would look like or what brand. I have a hard time spending $85 sight unseen. I also did NOT know it could be returned if you did not like it!! Argh!!! Of course, this was the ONLY apparel item I liked from the weekend and I could not get one. I posted on the FB groups to see if anyone was selling them. Apparently, they run really small and people were upset about that, so I was (secretly) hoping someone had one that wouldn't fit them and wanted to offload it. A sweet lady at the 5k let me try on her XL jacket (Thank you!!!!!) and it was a PERFECT fit, so now I knew what to search for. Another lady had offered to sell me her XXL but I knew that just wouldn't work. I also heard rumors (?) that there would be a merchandise booth set up on Sunday after the 1/2 and any returned jackets would be there. I was really hoping this would work out for me!!!
Sadly, with my finishing time of 2:45, that meant all the jackets were gone from the merchandise booth by the time I got there. I turned around and walked out hiding my crocodile tears. I was super disappointed by this and also that my family members did not make it to the finish line to see me. I know I shouldn't let that bother me, but I was kinda sad about it. *sigh* (Just another reason to make it a girls weekend next time!)
Race Retreat: This time around, I decided to indulge myself and purchased the Race Retreat. Of the two times that I had previously run the Princess, one time I froze waiting for the race to start and the other time wasn't so bad. I really DID NOT want to freeze again. Hindsight: the Race Retreat is not really worth it (to me)...unless it's COLD...and this year it was NOT that cold. The selling points of the Retreat include breakfast, private bathrooms, private gear check and character pictures. The above is the ONLY character picture opp provided. Princess Tiana did appear later but of course I was out of the line by then....and honestly, I wasn't too excited about their character choice! Back to the bathrooms, if I'm going to pay $125 for a "retreat" then the private bathrooms should NOT be porta potties, but if that is the ONLY option, then how about installing some flood lights so I can actually see inside the porta potties?!?! This was a not-so-fun experience. Who wants to use a porta potty in the dark? Yikes! Gross and creepy all at the same time.
The last time I ran the Princess 1/2 was 2012. So much had changed in the past 4 years, one of which is that it was much more crowded. This is the #1 complaint of all Disney races (more so in FL, than CA) so while I knew to expect that, it was still frustrating when people would switch to walking without moving to the right. I lost count of how many times I should have been on a run interval but could not run because of all the walkers.
I was in Corral H, which was scheduled to start at 5:56am but actually we were sent out at a bit early at 5:54am. Yay!!
Finally approaching the castle...I was really torn with wanting to (stop and) take pictures (or not) and whether I would use my phone or the teeny tiny camera I had in my FlipBelt. I tried the camera and it was not working well, so I quickly took off my armband and snapped this with my phone.
I later tried to get a selfie in front of the castle but that didn't turn out well and since I was on my own, I had no one to take a picture for me. They had photographers set up in front of the castle to take pictures and I did that, but looks like the package is $90 for all my marathon pictures....umm, that's a bit outrageous. :(
I finished 5 minutes later than my time from that 1/2 I did a couple weeks ago here at home where I thought I would die with the constant rolling hills. While I was a bit irritated about it, I knew it was still a decent time considering the crowds. When I compare to my prior two PHM races, I finished 11 minutes faster, so I guess I need to focus on that instead.
While I liked my race shirt, it was hard to read and no one really notices the front of shirts when running anyway. It says "I don't judge a book by it's cover" (I'm Belle)...but I think next time if I dress as Belle, I will put on the back of my shirt "running to the library" or something like that in the cute Disney font.
I really wished I had signed up for the Glass Slipper Challenge (the 10k and 1/2 on 2 consecutive days), but at the time of registration I just wasn't sure my knee would tolerate it since I was only 6 months back into running training since my crazy surgery. Of course now I know I could have done it so it was a little hard to see people with 3 medals on Sunday and me with just one. *sigh* I did, however, sign up for the 5k just so I wouldn't leave with ONLY 1 medal....though the 5k medal is made of rubber. Next time/year, my sights are set on all 3 races. The worst part of it all is getting up so insanely early. Ugh, I'm so not a morning person and waking up at 3am is killer, no matter what time I go to bed.
I remember a few people asked to see my costumes, so here is what I wore for the 5k.
I am Jessie from Toy Story.
I loved this costume and it was super comfortable.
I also really enjoyed the 5k race...more than the 1/2.