Finally…time to recap my Glass Slipper Challenge experience.
One of the big topics of conversation was the weather during the course of the PHM weekend. The Frozen 5K, from what I heard, was COLD, with a capital COLD. I was very glad I took two different outfits with me, one for warm weather and one for something a little chillier. Turns out that was a good call.
As I was leaving my hotel room, I went to front desk to call for a taxi. (I was really winging transportation on this trip.) Before the desk clerk could come back, I saw another runner heading into the lobby with her husband. I quickly ran over and asked if I could catch a ride with her. She said yes! Yay! Not only did I save about $50-ish in taxi fares, but I made a new friend (Jennifer) and had a running buddy for the 10K. How lucky 🙂
It was 3:30 AM when we left the hotel, and we had no problem making it to EPCOT. We stayed in the car until about 4:15, then made our way to the bag check and corrals. There was, what, about 11,000 who ran the 10K? It didn’t seem like a lot.
Jen and I were in corral D, so we had to wait a while to get to the start line. We joked that by the time we started, the fastest runners would be done (which is pretty much true, haha). We got ready, then set…and we were off! Naturally, with the Frozen theme, I knew “Let It Go” was going to be on the course at some point. And straight away, there it was. Mile 1. With Elsa and friends on the overpass.
Jen and I mainly speedwalked this 10K, as to save energy for the PHM the next day. We took the course in and enjoyed ourselves. Personally, my favorite part is the second half, when we got to run around EPCOT and the Boardwalk!
One of the highlights? This delighful little squirrel who ran with us in EPCOT!
I finished in 1:37:46. Third 10K done 🙂
The Princess Half was a bit more chaotic. Jen and I started the day the same, traveling over and having plenty of room to part at EPCOT. (For those tweeting about bus problems, my heart went out to you all.) After bag check, it was straight to the coffee. (This will play a role later on during the race.) I do have to give runDisney props; there were bathrooms out the wazoo and I didn’t have to wait long at all to get to one. (Hint: use the ones that are on the other side of the bag check. There’s hardly anyone over there.) After a potty break, Jen and I made our way to the corrals.
I found myself at the very front of Corral K. I mean…THE front. And I was in the middle. Two thoughts ran through my head before the fireworks went off: either I’m going to get run over, or I’m going to go out faster than anticipated. Turns out it was the latter, and when the fireworks launched, I took off. Honestly, it felt wonderful being ahead of so many people; the open road felt incredible.
The first three miles were amazing. (I even shouted props to the marching band that was playing during mile 1.) I was on track to PR by over 16 minutes. This had me quite elated, even as I was ignoring the fact I had to pee every five feet.
Then Mile 4 came. Right as I entered the MK, I had to go. I saw the first bathroom on my right so I peeled off….and saw that the line was sixty feet long. Fantastic. But the men’s side was quite short! Yay! So I bounced lines. When I finally got IN the bathroom, there were about three stalls total…but no one at the urinals.
When ya gotta go, you gotta go. End of story. (Shoutout to the ladies who acted as a barrier between me and the rest of the patrons. You ladies rock.)
By now, I’d lost my groove significantly, so I tried to cheer up as I went through MK, which was more like walking at this point. I turned the corner for Tomorrowland, and was hit in the face with the rising sun. (*insert BLIIIIIINDED BY THE LIGHT!*) And, as always, it was chaotic trying to exit Cinderella Castle.
The second half of the race was quite uneventful, aside from the sunshine (which made everything uncomfortably warm, unlike the earlier races of the weekend) and another bathroom stop around mile 10 (which slowed me down even more). I could feel the runner grumpies surging again as I fought to maintain some positivity through the last couple miles, but that is sincerely difficult to do with a non-entertaining course and dealing with the same course from the last couple of years that I’ve run the PHM. But LUNA Bar always provides great motivation during this stage of the race!
I finished in 3:13:25, which is FAR from my PR. But I’m just glad I survived the sunshine and heat.
Would I do another GSC? Legacy status is pretty awesome, but with the rising popularity of the runDisney races in the past two years, I have no idea if I can even begin to try to register. Plus, the costs are soaring, and it may be out of my price range. Time will tell, indeed.
If you ran the Glass Slipper Challenge (or any race during Princess Half weekend), how did you do?! Would you consider another race with runDisney considering the skyrocketing costs and popularity?