The Run According to Kurt
Four o’clock is not a time I should ever have to wake up. Especially, when I’m not even sleeping in my own bed. However, we had to start getting ready for our run. The buses were leaving around five to take us to Animal Kingdom. We bought bananas the night before so we could have something in our stomachs. The air was chilly.
We arrived at Animal Kingdom to the sounds of very loud music. An energetic and, actually, quite funny DJ was keeping the crowd entertained. We walked around and sat down and talked about the race. About a half hour before the race, our supporters, Cristina’s mom and sister, joined us to cheer us on.
Around seven, we got in our chute position. Due to Cristina’s illness we self-imposed a slower pace time for us. The race began shortly after.
I have to admit, it was a fun, if rather crowded, race. Disney music was playing throughout the park. We could take pictures with characters, which most of the runners with kids did, but we were too worried about finishing to stop. The park made the race go by that much quicker especially since it kept setting up mini goals for us.
The only problems with the race were that the people with strollers were way too fast. They started right after us so they kept passing us up. They kept trying to avoid us and we kept trying to avoid them. There was also one section that wasn’t wide enough for the runners so everyone except the very first people had to stop and walk. While I don’t mind walking, we were all sweaty at this time so it reminded me of teaching middle school boys after PE.
While we have run faster times, I was real proud of our forty-six minute time. Cristina had only run once in the last 3 weeks due to her illness. We enjoyed collecting our plastic medals. Most importantly, we realized this race wasn’t the end of our training but the beginning of our next phase of running.
The Run According to Cristina
Meeting Mickey and Minnie before the race
I was so excited to run the Disney Halloween 5K. Disney World is one of, if not, my most favorite places on Earth, and since running is becoming more and more of a big time hobby for us, it was the perfect place to have one of our first races. Especially since Halloween is my favorite holiday! Unfortunately, I contracted the flu 3 weeks before the race. I was bedridden for a week, and it took me almost two full weeks after to really get over the tired, achy feeling the flu left behind. During that time, I only ran once, which bummed me out. I was shooting for a goal of around 40ish minutes before the flu, but now I upped it to 45 minutes.
We went to sleep around 8pm the night before the race to try and get a good night’s sleep. While various reasons kept us from getting a great night’s sleep, we did okay. 4am came quickly, and before we knew it we were on the bus, headed to Animal Kingdom. It was still pretty early when we arrived, around 5:30am for a 7am race, so though there were people, it wasn’t hugely crowded yet. A dressed up Mickey and Minnie were out and since the line was short, we jumped at the chance to take a picture with them (which became a ridiculous line a little later on). A DJ was blasting out music to keep us pumped up, a much appreciated thing. After about an hour, my mom and sister arrived to cheer us on. We smartly saved seats on the bleachers for them and suddenly, it was time to line up.
Hitting the 3 mile mark
As Mickey and Minnie cheered us on, we were off! I was a bit tight, because we placed ourselves toward the back of the race where the slowish people were. The beginning was very slow going as we tried to move past some of the slower ones and were forced to walk at certain areas due to a large crowd in a tight squeeze. The first mile was entirely in the parking lot. When we actually got to the entrance of the park, characters were greeting us. Though some people were stopping to take pictures, Kurt and I really wanted to time ourselves and declined doing so. As we ran, the park with littered with different characters, the only ones giving me pause to almost stop being the hyenas from The Lion King since I’ve never even them out before. We kept moving, however, through different sections of the park, including behind the giant animal facilities which looked much nicer than it smelled.
Eventually we hit the 3 mile mark and only had that .1 left until the finish line. We pumped up the volume and crossed at 46:06…not quite my goal time of 45, but good enough considering how slow that first mile had been. It truly was exhilarating to run through Animal Kingdom and see all the people enjoying themselves like I was, especially Kurt. We got our plastic medals with pride and met up with my mom and sister to tell them all we had seen during our run.
Next year, I foresee the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in our plans.
Cristina crossing the finish line
Sweaty and displaying my medal