Walt Disney World Recap, Part 1

I have a little time as P is doing homework and I’m henna-ing my hair so I thought I’d do a recap of the 5K and 10K that were the first two races of the Dopey Challenge. Also, I didn’t bring a camera with me so all I have are the fuzzy ones from my phone. I apologize in advance.

I got into Orlando Tuesday night and we took Mickey’s Magical Express to the Grand Floridian, where we were staying. I had originally booked a room at the Yacht Club, but with the military discount it was actually cheaper to stay at the Grand Floridian.


I really liked the hotel. The lobby is scented with something amazing and we even had a lagoon view. The picture above is one I took from our balcony.

Wednesday morning we both woke up early enough that we had time to kill before the expo opened so we went over to Magic Kingdom and rode a few rides. It was very quiet and we had no wait for a lot of things that got busier as the day went on.

I went to the expo and picked up my race packet and got my picture taken with my bib. I looked around but didn’t see anything I wanted to buy. I had really wanted one of the marathon Dooney & Bourke purses, but due to manufacturing issues they weren’t able to produce them in time. I was pretty bummed about that so I didn’t end up buying a purse but I did buy a nice running hat with a screen print of a castle on the front.

We went over to EPCOT afterward for some food and drinks before heading to bed early.

They do bus transportation for the 5K and 10K so I decided to wake up at 4. I was out the door in about 10 minutes and had no issues getting to the start. It was a little chilly but there was a big tent we all huddled into and that helped a lot.

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The 5K course was pretty nice. There were a lot of characters out but I had a photo shoot scheduled that morning so I didn’t have time to stop and wait in line. I finished the race and then had to wait for the buses to start running. The buses use the same road as the runners so some of the last corrals had to run by before the buses could load up. I was a little stressed and ended up getting off at the Polynesian and running over to the Grand Floridian and did my makeup and shower in a hurry before hustling over to the lobby to meet Jason and Sara of Concept Photography. We did that in the morning until we ran into our lunch reservations at Be Our Guest and had to part.

I was so excited for BOG, but it was kind of lackluster this time around. The food wasn’t as good as I remembered and the special effects weren’t enough to overshadow it for me.

We did some more rides in Magic Kingdom before I wanted to change my shoes and we went back to the Grand Floridian so I could wear something more comfortable.

Friday morning I decided to wake up at the same time even though the race started 30 minutes earlier. Unlike Thursday morning, I didn’t see another runner until I got to the bus stop which made me a little nervous. Fortunately, I made it with plenty of time. I also wasn’t in the first corral so I had some buffer there, too.

The 10K course wasn’t anything super special, but they had some characters that I hadn’t seen before. The lines were really long, though so I didn’t end up stopping. I also made the hard choice to take it easy and do a lot of walking because I was a little nervous about the half and the full I still had to do. Even though I was halfway done with races, the distance wouldn’t be halfway until almost mile 2 of the full marathon.

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My favorite part of the 10K course is the Boardwalk area. It’s really pretty in the dark and always lifts my spirits when I go through there. I actually didn’t even know it was back there until I did the Enchanted 10K last February as part of the Glass Slipper Challenge.

I felt really good going into the half and full, but just nervous about the distances and mostly how I would feel after. I resolved to do a LOT of walking early into the races and keep a solid interval going the whole day.

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