One of the events that I was most looking forward to participating in our day at Castaway Cay was the 5K. Booked as an event through the Guest Services desk, it is a totally free event that is open to all runners, walkers and joggers over the age of 12.
TIP: Don’t feel intimidated if you’re not a “runner” for this event! There were truly participants of all walks of life, shapes, sizes and skill levels – truly a fun run :)
For our particular sailing, Castaway Cay day was our first stop on the itinerary, so I was sure to stop register that first night on the ship. Signing up was easy – all we had to do was present our Key To The World (KTTW) card to the Cast Member, then they printed out a ticket for each of us with meetup details.
Bright and early on Castaway Cay day, hubs and I awoke around 7:30, then got dressed, headed up to get a little something in our stomach at Cabanas buffet – I had a chocolate croissant – excellent run fuel ;) – then to Deck 4 midship, for our 8 AM rendezvous time.
We walked through the doors of D Lounge right at 7:59 – and there was already a sizable crowd assembled – about 20-30 people, already! The cruise staff member was already going over some details about the course and logistics, so we took a seat quickly and listened.
About 10 minutes later, she said we’d be moving to the next step – confirming registration, and bib pickup.
One of the coolest things about participating in the 5K is that you get to exit the ship first! So, after everyone was checked in, we all headed down as a group to Deck 1 to disembark the ship.
TIP: Cruise Staff recommend all guests carry both their KTTW card and a photo ID! I had to run back up to the room to grab both hubs and my driver’s licenses, so avoid this step by bringing both to check in.
Once off the ship, we waited for the group to re-assemble, then set off on our walk to the Bike Rental area, which serves as the start and finish of the 5K.
TIP: Grab a towel from the cruise attendants as you exit the ship! You can use this to towel off after the race, or head straight to the beach with it after the race.
The walk over was about 10 minutes, and once we arrived at the starting area, Cruise Staff verbally reviewed the course once more, and those who brought their bags/belongings were able to safely store them in a trunk near the start/finish area before we got started.
TIP: If you want to maximize your time on the island, you may want to bring your beach gear with you.
Once everyone was lined up (no corrals or anything) then it was time to go! We headed down the path toward the runway and the crowd quickly thinned out.
Although I am not the best navigator (READ: I often get lost) this course was very easy to follow. I ran with hubs, so we kept a pretty even pace, and never felt crowded on the course.
Also, as the course indicates, you run by several water spots in the race, but this is the main water stop you’ll pass four times – it’s stocked with large cups so you can carry them along with you if you please.
TIP: Even if you’re not thirsty – take some water! Even a few sips will help you, since the temperature will only rise through your Castaway Cay day!
The loop portion of the run had some shady spots, so that kept the temperature under control for the most part – but the runway sections were HOT HOT HOT and in direct sunlight.
TIP: Be sure to wear SUNBLOCK and wear either SUNGLASSES or a HAT!
After a second loop, and the jaunt up the runway and onto the path back to the bike rental shop…we were done!
Hubs finished in 27:11, and I came up right behind him – you know, after I got his picture :)
TIP: Although the race is not officially timed, there is a large digital display at the finish area for participants to catch a glimpse at their “finishing time.”
Medals were distributed to all finishers – they were definitely a nice touch! Although they ALL said winner, it still made us feel proud of our accomplishment! Since we had not packed our day bags for the island, we headed back to the ship to shower and change – but not before stopping for a quick photo opportunity :)
Chip and Dale were big fans of our medals, and getting high-5′s from them was definitely a bonus!
TIP: Although I have heard of characters being present near the finish line of the race before, we did not have characters at our event – however, there are several character encounters on the way back to the ship (we saw Pluto, Donald and Chip and Dale) so if you want pics with characters and your medal, check those out! Character greeting schedules can be found in your Personal Navigator.
Both hubs and I enjoyed the Castaway Cay 5K and look forward to running it again in the future! Getting in 3.1 miles to jump start a day of relaxation was a great perk, and the “official” aspect of a bib and a medal piqued my interest and competitive spirit – I can’t wait to add this new race bling to my medal rack!
Have you ever run the Castaway Cay 5K? What tips would you add?