After my great experience at the Jingle Jungle 5K last year (part of Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend), I have been hooked on runDisney 5Ks – and for several reasons:
- They’re low key and un-timed – perfect for all levels of runners/walkers
- All ages are welcome
- They’re “reasonable” in price ($50 for this event) – more expensive than your local 5K, most likely, but a good entry point for someone curious about runDisney events (compared to, say, Tower 10-Mile prices that start at $135.
So, let’s start from the very beginning here…I’ve heard it’s a very good place to start!
My alarm went off at 4:30 AM on Saturday – the event shuttles were sent to begin at 5:30 AM, and so I wanted to be all ready to rock and on that first shuttle – especially since I was going to have a full day, I knew it was important to be fueled up! I brewed up some coffee in the room (yay for Joffrey’s in guest rooms now) and noshed on a granola bar, before changing into my first costume of the day, with this pic as my inspiration:
NOTE: I actually did think about carrying a baseball glove (or even a steak, juice box, or mug of coffee – if you don’t know the references, please RUN – don’t walk – to pick up one of my favorite movies, Meet the Robinsons).
Anywho, back to the race prep!
After getting my costume (and makeup) on, it was time to head to the shuttle.
I was staying at the Boardwalk Villas, and the Beach Club was an official event host for the weekend (see this page for more information on that) I walked across and noticed that it was cooler than I anticipated, which was definitely a good thing – still really humid, but lower temperatures, probably about 70. I reached the bus stop at 5:33 AM and saw a transportation Cast Member and asked if the shuttle would be coming soon…to my surprise, he said one had already come and gone! Just a few minutes later, another 5K runner showed up (Hi, Ray!) and we boarded, and were off – seemed kind of weird they’d “waste” the bus on just us, but it definitely was a nice way to travel 😉
Once we arrived at the race staging area at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, it was just as desolate! This was SUCH a weird feeling, since no matter how early I show up at other runDisney events, I always feel late! We wandered around to a small line that was forming (which is funny, cos of course, you always tend to end up in a line at WDW somehow) and found out that it was to meet Mickey in his costume…yay!
Around that time, I began to run into friends, which is always fun! We chatted, took pics and passed the time until it was announced that we should start to head into our corrals.
It was great meeting Leana and her hubs – we chatted a bit, and soon enough, we were treated to something REALLY awesome….the race announcers (John and Rudy, as…er…country hicks? LOL) were interrupted from their shtick by THIS:
Yes! We were told to KEEP ON THE TRAIL or else! We didn’t need a second warning! 😉
Soon enough, the corrals were released, one by one. I was in A, so we headed out onto the course! We first headed across the sports fields, and then entered the woods…which, thanks to our surprise guest…seemed a lot creepier than before! But just when I thought it was safe…
The BIG BAD WOLF! Okay, he was more friendly than I thought 😉 I ran away, though, y’know, just in case….
…right toward Captain Hook! Yikes! Glad he didn’t make me walk the plank! In fact, I think he wanted me to join his crew, but I told him that I had to keep running 🙂
I snapped a few pics of the trail, so I could share that with anyone concerned with how “trail-y” the course was. This one represents it pretty well – some weedy areas, hard packed sand, and a few sections of gravel. Also, this pic is a good representative of the spacing/crowding – virtually none in our corral, which was nice.
But back to the FUN stuff!
I was super stoked to see these guys from Robin Hood – though I must admit, I felt “off” when I didn’t know the name of the other character (the one that isn’t Prince John). Anyone wanna help me out with that one?
Characters weren’t the only entertainment on course, however! This section saw us running through a bug-infested neck of the woods…complete with LOUD buzzing! Watch out!!
As the buzzing sound faded away, it was replaced with the sound of banjos! Uh oh…looks like we made it to the Briar Patch.
…good thing I ddin’t dress up as Brer Rabbit, huh? Soon enough, though, we were outta the woods, and onto the track. It felt awesome to feel a change of terrain under our feet!
Since I wasn’t wearing a watch, I just assumed it was almost over – which I was bummed about, because, really, when are my 3.1 mile runs THIS fun?
Haha! Fortunately enough, there was room for a few more surprises…
Those guys were spooky!
I think they scared me all the way to the finish line – just a few turns around the Wide World of Sports, and it was back to where we started!
Photo finish? 😉
I have no idea what my finishing time was, but the walk through the chute was efficient, and I made the walk back to the busses smoothly, again, with just one other guest on it, before we made our way back to the hotel.
Here’s the participant shirt:
…and let’s not forget the bling!
I really enjoyed this 5K and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun activity to do at Disney that’s (literally) off the beaten path. All levels of runners were present, and there was no stress to finish fast and no big crowds – plus, the selection of characters was outstanding! Since I would be running the 10-miler that night, it freed up any character stopping I might want to do at that race (you’ll see who I met in that one very soon) and forced me to start my day in a healthy and happy way, which kept my energy up through the 10 PM start of the second race!
Have you ever run a runDisney event? Would you consider a 5K?