Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Disney Day 4--Part 1: runDisney Half Marathon {Spectator's POV}

Just like the previous day, we woke up extra early {3:45!!} to get ready and out the door to catch the bus over to Epcot to drop Mattie off to line up for the half marathon.  Mattie wore her new Sparkleskirt that was red with white polka dots so she looked like Minnie Mouse!

Mattie before her race
We got to the parking lot of Epcot a little around 4:30 and hung out with Mattie until it was time for her to line up at her corral.  Around that time, the monorail was opening for service to the Magic Kingdom.  Mom and I were kind of flying blind on how to best see Mattie and we decided a few months before the race to register for the chEAR squad to get reserved viewing areas around the race course.  I knew the one place that I wanted to see her on the course was when she came running through Cinderella’s Castle.  So after sending Mattie off to her corral, we hopped on the monorail and set off for the Magic Kingdom.

Mattie and Me before her race
From the monorail, we could already see the runners starting off and knew we had to be super quick in getting to our destination because Mattie was in one of the first corrals.  We were one of the first people to arrive in that area {I guess most went to a different viewing area first} and we grabbed coffees {which Disney has down to a science for the race—they were already pre-poured in souvenir mugs} and settled in to wait for Mattie.  One of my biggest recommendations if you are a spectator is to register for the live race updates.  We knew what mile marker the castle was at and we could guess based on Mattie’s first mile time and 5k time, around when to start looking for her, because after you see 12 Minnie Mouses run past you, they all look alike!

How pretty is the castle lit up for the race?!  We were so stinking close and there was hardly anyone there yet, so it was like we had the park to ourselves!
After we caught her big smile as she ran through the castle and past us, we high-tailed it back to the monorail to get to the grandstand at the finish line.  It was really neat because as soon as we got off of the monorail, the first place women’s finisher was crossing the finish line.  We settled into seats and waited for Mattie to run past us.  It was fun to watch all of the runners run past and celebrate with the Disney characters.

Photographer Fail: Mattie running through the castle.  I totally forgot to put my camera in action mode and this is all I got!
We cheered and screamed when Mattie ran past and quickly scrambled out of our seats to find her at the finishers’ area.  After she received her medals {two since she completed the Glass Slipper Challenge—running the 10k and the half marathon} and her swag bags, we headed over to the buses to take us back to our resort.  It was time to get ready to head to Hollywood Studios!!

Getting closer to the finish line!
Mattie crossing the finish line!
Mattie with her medals--minus the 10k one back in the room!

Up next: Hollywood Studios

Previous Disney Recaps: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3—Part 1, Day 3—Part2

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