Disney Princess Half Marathon | RACE DAY

Hello friends! Today I am sharing an in-depth post about my experience at the Disney Princess Half Marathon!! So grab a glass of rosé (or coffee depending on what time of day it is) and get ready because this is going to be a long one.

So the Disney races start early...and I'm not talking 7am early...the half marathon started at 5:30am. If you read my first post, you'll know that we stayed at a Disney resort. I cannot stress how important I think it is to stay at a Disney resort if you are running a Disney race.  They have race day transportation for all the runners staying at their specific resorts and let me tell you, it was perfect! There were over 20,000 runners so they suggested you get to Epcot early so you can get to your corral in time. The busses started leaving our hotel at 3am and you better believe that we were on that first bus. If you stay off-site, you either have to drive in and park (which I hear is not an easy task) or try to get a cab. Having the transportation provided by Disney was a total life saver!

I'm not going to lie, when my alarm went off at 2am, I did have a moment of "why did I think this was a good idea??" And you will probably have the same thoughts, but I promise you it is worth it!! We quickly got ready and headed to the bus to go to Epcot.

Something else I want to point out is make sure you eat before the race. We got to Epcot around 3:30am which meant we still had two more hours until the race began and our corral didn't start until 6am. I have a sensitive stomach and I have to be careful of what I eat before I run, or else I will be sick. I was so nervous that I was going to be sick during the half I ended up only eating about a half of a packet of oatmeal and a half of a banana...2 hours before I started running. Be sure to fuel up before the race because you don't want to lose steam during the race. I got tired a lot faster than normal and I know it is because of I didn't eat enough before the race. So be sure to eat enough and drink plenty of water!! They have food and drinks for sale and the pre-race party (there's a DJ who is WAY more awake than anyone else, but it really helps you get excited) but I also suggest to bring food with you on your trip so you can 1) save money & 2) start eating before you leave.

Getting ready to walk to our corrals! I think this was around 4am...

You end up walking about a mile to the start line so you definitely get your warmup in!

The starting line!!!

Since there are so many people who run this race, you are split up into corrals. I HIGHLY suggest running a local race in the summer or fall to submit a proof of time to Disney. This will help you get in a better corral and you won't have to wait forever before starting the race. We ran a 10k in October and honestly, I had barely trained for it so the time wasn't spectacular but I was still able to get in a good corral for the half! 

The farther back your corral, the more you will be zig-zagging throughout the race. Even though I was in a higher corral, I ended up running more than 13.1 miles. So I would highly suggest submitting a proof of time to Disney so you can get in a good corral!

The first few miles were honestly a blur to me. Almost immediately, we passed a marching band and I wanted them to follow me thought the race...they were SO motivating! The first 4-5 miles are pretty much all highway. There are characters and DJ's along the route which really help it go by quickly.

It was abnormally hot and humid that weekend. I checked my phone right before the race and it was 99% humidity....make sure you stay hydrated!! 

 This moment was beyond magical.

Running down Main Street USA was even more amazing than I had imagined it. The entrance to Magic Kingdom all down Main Street was flooded with crowds of people cheering you on, ringing cow bells, and making the experience absolutely incredible. On top of that, they had "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" blasting throughout the park. You all, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I have been dreaming of being healthy enough to run this race, and the fact that I was doing it, I was running a half marathon was just so overwhelming!

The love and support from your friends, family and total strangers is really what helps you get through the race. Everyone just cheers you on and supports you even when they don't know you. People were reading names off of the race bibs and cheering people on by name. There are some amazing signs there as well!! My favorite was at about mile 8 that said "5 more miles until mimosas!"

One misconception is that most of the race is through the parks...that's not true. You start and end in Epcot and run through Magic Kingdom but most of the race is on highways and back roads. You run past a gorgeous golf course at one point which is where I found these guys. This was around mile 9 and they were so funny! They were such troopers taking pictures with all of us sweaty racers. I of course had to get a picture with them and the glass slipper!

Look at all those people!! I was really struggling at this point in the race. We were about 2 miles out and my leg was really bothering me. The week before the race I had pulled a muscle in my left leg and it really started acting up towards the end of the race.

This moment was incredible. While this is not my most flattering angle, I am so glad this was captured! Crossing the finish line was a surreal moment and it made all the pain and training completely worth it! Also, I have now decided that I am not wearing printed pants while running ever again haha. We loved these Lilly Pulitzer leggings but they were not photo-friendly.

So in conclusion...

Would I run the Disney Princess Half Marathon again? HECK YES!! I already have the registration date saved in my calendar so I can register for next year.

Have you run a runDisney race before?! Tell me about it! Also, if you have any questions about this race, let me know in the comments below!!

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