Disney's Princess Half Marathon Recap

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Run Wifey Run

I’m officially a princess. Well maybe not, but the good folks at Walt Disney World Resorts did everything they could to make me and 13,000 other women feel like princesses during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend – and it worked.

At the risk of sounding cliché, I have to say it truly was a magical weekend. Not only because of the pixie dust they sprinkled to ensure that this was a weekend I will always remember, but also on a personal note. I set a goal to run a half marathon and after only three months of training I did it – and I can still feel my legs.

I was super excited when I received the invite to attend Disney’s Sporty Blogger Media Mixer because I knew it was the perfect event to kick off my Run Wifey Run tour (a series of road races to support my mission to become the healthiest I can be and hopefully inspire others to do the same). Also, having been to one of Disney’s mixers before I knew I was in for a special treat. And, ooh boy, was I right.

I flew in Saturday morning and checked into Disney’s Polynesian Resort. It’s my second time staying at the property and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. The rooms are spacious, I had a great view of Magic Kingdom and the Kona Café rocks – big thumbs up for Beef Teriyaki Salad.

That afternoon I met up with the other mixer princesses and we headed over to the newly renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to hit up the race expo and visit the facilities. Massive in size, the complex boast 220 acres of courts, fields, courses and sports technology where amateur and professional athletes of all ages from all around the world come to compete.

Sounds like the perfect place for me!

Entering the Expo

They had lots of goodies

I picked up this cute headband. And, yes, it’s so true!

The princesses pause for a picture

After a yummy meal at celebrity chef Cat Cora’s Kouzzina we hit the sack early to be up and ready to go at 3:45 in the morning. Gasp!

I just love seeing this in writing: Princess Lorraine

My pre-race picture

Waiting to catch the bus to the race in all our pre-race, throw-away clothes (No, we don’t actually throw them away, we dressed in layers to stay cozy then took them off and threw them on the side of the course once we warmed up; and the best part – Disney donated them to charity.)

At 6 a.m. fireworks flew and so did the first group of princess as they took off from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back. Being greeted by Disney’s most popular characters and a wealth of entertainment made the miles zip by and I soaked in every moment of this special race. I stopped to take pictures, send a few tweets and took a bathroom break, too. Would I do that in a regular race? Hmm, probably not, but this was no ordinary race. Where else can you run right through Cinderella’s castle?

Me in Magic Kingdom, in front of my new crib

Excited to see mile marker 12, the finish line is near!

Three hours and one minute after the fireworks began I ran, ahem, jogged across the finish line. Husband was there with the video camera to capture the moment. It’s a little shaky, he started to wave and cheer me on, but don’t worry, it’s only 17 seconds. (I’m the tall one with the tiara in the hot pink shirt and that’s the fabulous Princess Laura next to me.)

After the race I felt great. Tired, ahem, and a little stiff, but I was enjoying the moment and looking forward to the 50 minute Swedish massage that was waiting for me at The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Hmm, how can I describe the massage? It. Was. Off. The. Chain. It was incredible, relaxing and something everyone should do after running for 13.1 miles.

Amazingly, the day was far from over. We visited Typhoon Lagoon, one of Disney’s two water parks, and Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, before returning to Epcot for dinner at Tutto Italia Ristorante, and a dessert party under the stars. The famous Illuminations fireworks, laser and water show was absolutely spectacular. Then, to top the night off when I got back to my room I saw this hanging on my door:

And inside my room was this:

And this:

And all of this:

Talk about making me feel like a princess. My gracious hostesses sent me an in-room celebration complete with decorations, balloons, a certificate, a Triumph medal and Mickey himself. The perfect way to end the day.

Before heading to the airport on Monday, the folks at Disney had one more treat for us. We had a fabulous breakfast buffet at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway, and then had the opportunity to do a ride-along on the track. It’s hard to put into words how 140 mph feels going around a 1 mile track so I won’t. I’ll save this awesome experience for another post. I will say it was so damn awesome I ordered and paid for the $40 video tape of my ride – gasp – and will post it in a couple of weeks when it comes.

Me, NASCAR ready

In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about the sporty side of Disney, I’m putting together a post highlighting many of their active attractions for The Vacation Gals and will provide a link once it’s up.

So, who’s game to be a princess next year? In fact, the Princess is just one event in Disney’s Endurance Series that also features the Expedition Everest Challenge (June 12, 2010), the Inaugural Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (Oct. 1-2, 2010), the Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon (Jan. 6-9, 2011) and Champion 5k at ESPN the Weekend (February 2011).

Wait. Did someone say Wine & Dine?

Winks & Smiles,
post signature

Disney paid for my travel accommodations, several meals, attractions and gifts, however they did not pay for this post or my written account of the weekend. My thoughts and opinions are all mine.


Krystal Grant March 10, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

That is so awesome. I can tell you had a fabulous time. Great job with the 1/2 marathon. Looking forward to your next Run Wifey Run adventure.

Stef @ Mommy Musings March 10, 2010 at 10:31 AM  

I really want to do Wine & Dine...congrats again!

joanofalltrades March 10, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

Wow! Could you have packed any more excitement into 2 days?! Congrats on completing the marathon! You look great! Can't wait to see where Wifey will run next.

Nikki D March 10, 2010 at 11:35 AM  

Congrats again Princess Lorraine! So very proud of you! And what an awesome weekend - almost makes me want to run a 1/2 marathon - almost! ;)

Anonymous,  March 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

OMG, now see the massage would have been all I needed. Forget the running LOL. I am sooooo proud of you. I saw you cross that line doing your Princess Wave. When't the next big Disney thing for you as it seems you are there once a month.

Anonymous,  March 10, 2010 at 1:43 PM  

great job!!!!

La'Tonya Richardson March 10, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

It sounds like you had a wonderful time, that's no surprise. You made it look so easy! A 5K is more my speed. A half marathon... I'd have to start training now!

Shanny March 10, 2010 at 8:36 PM  

You are just too awesome Princess Lorraine! I bow to you =)

Armywife101 March 10, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

Great job! Looks so much fun and congrats to you on that ½ marathon...what an accomplishment!

*krystyn* March 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM  

I was there too to run the 1/2. How exciting!! I'm jealous of all the great Disney goodies you received!!

Hannah March 10, 2010 at 10:13 PM  

Oh my goodness! What an amazing time you had at Disney. I would love love love to do one of their endurance events sometime. Disney is just such a magical place, and I get all excited just thinking about running at such a special place!

Loved your recap. Glad you had a wonderful experince!

Jen Feeny March 10, 2010 at 10:27 PM  

You really got the royal treatment at the Disney Half! Great recap and loved all the pics!!! Thanks for sharing and congrats on becoming a Princess! :)

Shawna March 11, 2010 at 9:45 AM  

How awesome! Looks like you all had an amazing time and what a wonderful accomplishment!

funkidivagirl March 11, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

Another packed full-of-fun Disney experience for you! And congratulations on running the 1/2 marathon...that is quite a accomplishment!

Unknown March 12, 2010 at 7:29 AM  

Thanks, everyone! I appreciate all the kind words and support.

Love, winks & smiles,

Unknown March 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM  

wow!! can I just say wow! on all fronts...on the 1/2 marathon, on the goodies that Disney provided, on your new "crib," on hubby's video :), on going 140 mph in a car! I mean if you didn't do the damned thing, I don't don't know who did! You're my fitness, wifey and mommy idol! Keep doing it girl. We need inspiration out here!

Janice @ Mom On The Run March 23, 2010 at 10:54 PM  

Holy smokes! Caesars Palace didn't even do that much for my hubby and I when we got married there! That is one heck of a well organized race! I REALLY want to do that one!

Way to go Princess Lorraine - great job on your half marathon, you truly deserved the royal treatment you got!

zbsports August 19, 2010 at 6:55 AM  

Great Disney marathon event. it has lot of funa nd people are happy with their run. Congrats anyway...:D

viagra online May 5, 2011 at 3:41 PM  

Everyone loves that resort. The resort was inspired by the dreams of Walt Disney, it was a dreamer or a junky man? and his creation of Disneyland in California. Its original theme park, Magic Kingdom, is designed similarly to Disneyland

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