Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Disney 5K

Last February, we decided to run head down to Disney World to run our first race, the Beauty & Beast 5k and decided to also hit the Champion 5k at “ESPN the Weekend”, and had a great time. Here’s a bit of race recap (forewarning, I run to run, not to take pictures so not picture heavy. Sorry).

First up was the B&B 5k at Epcot. Since we’ve never done a Disney race before we weren’t sure what to expect. First, this was a fun run. A fun run? Really? What the Hell is a fun run? Sorry, but I need that urgency of a clock to really get moving, so kind of bummed that it was all in fun. Also, the medallion? C’mon! I felt it was pretty weak to give you a glorified key chain for the price of entry, but I digress.

We got to the Epcot parking lot relatively early and met up with some local friends from my cast member days who were running as well. It’s great to know people before a race to keep you occupied while waiting (read: Join - they are a great group of folks). If one were to go there alone Disney does a good job of keeping you occupied with a DJ playing upbeat music. Overall, he wasn’t bad for how early it was. One thing I have to mention is since this was a fun run there were a ton of costumes, from princesses to Disney characters. I always wondered how someone would run in all that getup.

The DJ made an announcement to get ready, so off we went to the corrals. I went up to my position just outside the first few people and my wife and friends back to their respective pace times. With a fireworks salute we were off!

The race took us through the parking lot towards an access road that led from the parking lot back to the cast member parking lot (I was familiar with this route as I spent about 2 years as an attractions CM at Epcot in my early years and then 2 more years as a Millennium Drummer in the Tapestry of Nations parade). After traipsing the access and backstage parking, we headed into the park right behind Test Track. Running through, I gave a one fingered salute to Mission Space on my right to represent my Horizons respect. Next, we cut through the access path just to the right of Mexico (from the World Showcase side). This brought back old Tapestry memories as all the drummers wanted a Mexico slot so we could get out the door as fast as possible at the conclusion of the parade. From Mexico we traveled through the World Showcase (with folks making the occasional stops to see costumed entertainment along the way). It actually was a nice course, since the WS paths are so wide you can really get into a groove without having to dodge slower traffic (p.s. walkers, please stay to the right!). I cruised along a good pace until the UK pavilion where the course directs to the International Gateway and back up the back way through UK only to come out at the entrance to the old Millennium Village. From there, it’s a straight shot up to Future World, around Spaceship Earth (wave hi to the tourists waiting to enter the park) and backstage behind Universe of Energy. The finish line is directly ahead back in the parking lot. I motored through the finish, got my PowerAde and muffin and waited for my wife and friends to finish.

This was an enjoyable race if you are interested in an easy, no stress run. At first, I was a bit peeved, but ended up enjoying it quite a bit (except for the medallion). This is a great starter race for families or anyone interested in running without the pressure of time.


Jenn said...

The 'fun' run is the only reason why I haven't done a Disney 5k yet. I need to know my official time and really want it to count. But I did register for the 5k in January to round out my crazy running weekend doing Goofy. We'll see how it goes!

JStone423 said...

Totally agree! I'm calling out Disney on this one, but it's fun nonetheless. Thanks for reading!!!!!!