In Which Jenn Has A runDisney Chip Time Warning

Oh, shoot, guys, I just remembered something and I can’t believe I forgot to notate it in my WDW Half recap!

So as I mentioned there, I dropped back to corral F to run the half with Erika. I’ve observed that the farther back your corral, the more waves there are, and in this particular case we were just cut out of F’s first wave. Two volunteers came across with the tape directly in front of us.

A minor bummer, to be sure, but not the end of the world. And it did mean we’d be at the very very front of our wave, which would be advantageous for avoiding the early course crush of humanity.

Unfortunately, this came with a side effect: when the volunteers walked us forward to the start line, I received a text message that my bib chip had registered as started.. while I was standing there, waiting. At no point did I touch the chip mat in any way. I was still a good foot or so away from it, I’d say. But it must’ve been sensitive enough to grab my reading and start my time… a minute or so early.

I don’t know if anyone else experienced this issue, and if I hadn’t signed up for my own text alerts I probably would never have realized it happened. In this particular case, it didn’t bother me overmuch, as I was fully expecting to be slow as hell and didn’t plan to run for time at all.

However, this won’t always be the case for everyone. So I deliver unto you this warning: if you care about your chip time, stand back from the starting mat. Let a line or two of people get ahead of you. Sure, you won’t get to start first, but you’ll maintain the integrity of your chip time. Good luck out there, runners!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Can runDisney Photo Dump Again, Hooray!

Despite my better fiscal judgment, I have an WDW Annual Pass once again, and you know what that means, kids – I CAN ACCESS MY PHOTOPASS RACE PHOTOS FOR FREE!

And then I can make you look at them. Wait, no, don’t click away! Don’t you want to read my commentary??? It’s pithy and judiciously deployed, I promise!

For context, if you like that sort of thing:
WDW Half Marathon Recap | WDW Marathon Recap

Arranged in height order.
I spent entirely too long making this. I don’t know what it’s for.
“How horrible our Christmas will be!”
I’m crouching to keep the blood off the saddle.
Wait, is that a period joke? Anyway this photo is terrible.
No, guys, THIS was the best day ever.
Smoke gets in your eyes. Did I say smoke? I meant the sun.

Remember what I said about the happy almost-tears? Yeah.

Did you know I have double-jointed elbows?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: The 2020 WDW Half Marathon

And now for my favorite kind of post – the trip report! I’ll be covering my 2020 Marathon trip. You can read all the posts in this report here. Onward!

Another alarm successfully not slept through! I would celebrate without restraint, were I not too busy knocking on wood.

Yes, Erika and I woke to our 2:30am alarm on Saturday morning, determined as I am to not just be on time for the bus but among the most on-time-est. We dressed and wandered out into the night, climbing onto a bus without difficulty. 

We took up the long march to the start, where I discovered my new favorite Cast Member of all time among the many guiding our way. His opening volley was “GO BACK TO BED!” which, I mean, can’t really argue with that, followed by “the water stop at mile 9 has been replaced with margaritas.” Can’t really argue with that either.

Anyway, our morale suitably bolstered with the lie of mile 9 margaritas that would never come, we took up our time-killing positions in the staging area until they let us take the long walk down to the corrals. I peed twice before the race start but still had to go during the race so it hardly did any good.

Oh, also, I had dropped back to corral F to run the half with Erika, and I saw someone with an H bib in our corral. I’m no narc, but BAD SHOW, SIR. Perhaps he’s practicing to join Club runDisney? ;D

The race went off at the appointed time, and Erika and I went with it – but slowly. As Goofy Challengers, I knew we had a lot of mileage ahead of us. Not to mention it was forecasted to be in 80s that day with high humidity, none of which is friendly to runners. A couple of times Erika would start to take off a bit, and I’d be like, hey, Speedypants, where are you off to? And then she would drop back and we’d continue our long slog.

And so we plodded through the first few miles of course. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the WDW Half/Princess Half course. Sure, running through the castle is nice and all, but once you’ve done that there’s sooooo much boring road between you and Epcot. I know a lot of people really dig that castle run, though.

Anyway. Erika didn’t want to stop for too many characters, preferring to save them for the marathon, but when I saw the toy soldiers and reindeer I had to call for a stop. This cost us the largest chunk of time that I myself experienced in either race but no regrets. Adorable and unique!

Have I mentioned Erika and I met in ballet class?

From there our next landmark was the castle; I was a bit bummed to note that with the combined forces of our later corral and slow pace we would not be approaching it at night. The lights were scarcely even noticeably on. Erika once again deferred a photo to the next day, and I didn’t argue.

One enjoyable distraction was the number of people complimenting me on my surprise Epcot leggings. One guy dressed as Sully even pulled up next to me and ran apace for a bit so he could grill me on where to get a pair for his daughter. However, I am VERY disappointed to report that not a single spectator thanked the Phoenicians. :/ What, you guys already thinking about the refurb? Hasn’t Dame Judi Dench suffered enough???

Most of the character stops we had seen had frickin’ huge lines, but a couple miles later we spotted Lilo with scarcely a wait at all, so we hopped on in.

Ah, yes, roads, roads, and more roads. I have no further tales of interest to regale you with before we hit Epcot and, weirdly, some of World Showcase? The course was clearly flexing to accommodate all the construction walls in the park. No matter; I called for a photo stop because PANCHITO PISTOLES!!!

Now I just need a photo with Joe Carioca and I’ll have
the complete Three Caballeros set!

And then we ran backstage and out of the park. Finish line, boom, done!

Sorry; I know that was one of my more boring runDisney recaps. Honestly, it was so hot and muggy and we were taking it so easy so as to not prematurely exhaust ourselves before the marathon – and in that way, the race was a great success! It was not a PR in fun, but we made it happen. Don’t worry, the marathon recap will be way more stimulating.

But before that, we’ve got a day in Epcot to recap! See ya there!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Week In Review: 1/11

If I were asked to pick a single word to describe the WDW Marathon, I would go with this: AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!

All of which is to say that I had a great weekend, weather notwithstanding, and can’t wait to get started on my trip report and race recap!

Before we get there, some housekeeping in the form of last week’s workouts:

Sunday | rest

Monday | ran 7.15 miles on the treadmill in 1:15

Tuesday | 70 minute ballet class

Wednesday | ran 5.26 miles on the treadmill in 60 minutes; walked 3.22 miles outside in 55 minutes
Normally I prefer to walk on non-running days but this was the only semi-decent weather we got and I chose to take advantage of it.

Thursday | rest
I was going to go to ballet but snow was predicted around the time I would be getting out and I didn’t want to risk another 7-hour beltway trip. Figured a rest day before a marathon wasn’t such a terrible call.

Friday | ran 4.21 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes

Saturday | according to my phone I walked 9.6 miles
WDW! Flew down for the marathon this day. I was staying at Pop and saw lots of runners getting their half in, cancellation or no. Of course, said cancellation meant the expo was AWFUL, even by runDisney standards. Getting my bib wasn’t too bad since I was only signed up for the marathon anyway, but the vendor area was a mad scene. I took two steps into the official race merch area, said the hell with it, and walked out.

As far as I can tell, Disney handled the cancellation of the half very well, with the sole exception of requiring people to come back to the expo to pick up their reimbursements. I understand you could have them sent to you too if applicable, but with 1500 extra people vying for marathon bibs combined with people who wanted their free tickets or gift card ASAP, it made for a very tight squeeze – and some terrible traffic.

Not that anyone saw this coming; I’m sure all decisions about recompense, distribution, etc., were made in haste. Hopefully next time (although knock on wood there never is a next time!) there will be a backup plan already in place including alternative pickup areas and options.

Let me add, too, that I am extremely inspired by all you half marathoners, Goofys, and Dopeys who went out and ran those miles on your own. The runDisney community is full of positive, determined people and as a group you handled a sad situation beautifully.

Like I said, stay tuned for my recaps. In the meantime, roundup! (Short one this week since I’ve been away; let me know if there are any posts out there you think would be of particular interest!)

Elbowglitter runs in the cold. Gee, I wonder what that’s like…
Fairytales & Fitness spins a list of race cancellations.
I Run for Wine talks about the makeshiftLightning McQueen Half.”
A Pinch of Pixie Dust has a princess lunch at Akershus.
Parkeology is clearly about as enthused about the new Avatar area as I am.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: The WDW Half Marathon

Is it trip report time again already? Yay! I’ll be looking back at my Dopey trip at the beginning of January, with special separate posts for each race and some food experiences depending on how much I have to say about them. You can read all the posts in this particular trip report here. Ready? Let’s go!

I’m not gonna lie, guys – throughout the entire Dopey Challenge, my morale was never lower than right before the half marathon. Prior to the 5K and 10K, I could think to myself, “Well, at least this will be over quickly.” A little less or a little more than an hour respectively and done; a hot shower and park time were right on the horizon. The half, however, inspired only thoughts of HOW LONG THIS WAS GOING TO TAKE and OH MY GOD I HAVE 26.2 MORE MILES THE NEXT DAY UGH.

At least I was learning, though! After a freezing 5K and a decidedly chilly 10K, I had stopped trusting the run itself to warm me up. This time I layered a tank over a long sleeved tech shirt, pulled my fleece cap over my head, AND – guys, pay attention here because it was totally the kicker – I finally had the smarts to wear my gloves. Cold, stiff hands no more!

Thus armored, I threw my space blanket over my shoulders (with the hope that I would really be able to toss it this time) and headed down to the buses, which deposited me in short order at the start line. I was sad to see that the White Tents of Warmth were now in use for other purposes and no longer available for runners, but I regrouped, hopped in the bathroom line, and headed over to the corrals.

Katherine (hereinafter referred to as KRaut) and I were now in the same corral! Yay! And she had brought her hotel buddy, Also Katherine (hereinafter referred to as KVac and the reason why we have these designations, clearly). Through a series of texts I found them toward the front of corral J near that bastion of consistency, The Guy in the Brown Afro Wig. A few pleasantries and an anthem from the emcees and the race was off!

Although we were obviously much farther back in the corral lineup, the corrals seemed to take off much faster than during the 5/10K. In all the excitement I made the questionable decision to toss my space blanket and regretted soon after. KVac to the rescue! She pulled a discarded fleece top from the fence and put it on, encouraging this recycling behavior in others. Two minutes and another corral shift later and I was wearing a neon orange sweatshirt while KRaut girded her arms with fuzzy Mickey pants. Much better.

Shortly after that it was J’s turn to go, and we gently took off down the highways of WDW. I initially, as per usual, put on my music, but having running buddies rendered it less and less necessary and I found myself turning it off as the race wore on.

This race follows the same pattern as the Princess Half, so there were no surprises for me. We ran down aforementioned highways for awhile before entering the Magic Kingdom a couple miles in. I reluctantly tossed my sweatshirt here so that my bib would show for pictures and found that, surprise, I was an okay temperature! Yay! Running up Main Street was a thrill as per usual, and the music in Tomorrowland never fails to make me happy. We stopped for a brief bathroom break in Frontierland before heading into Fantasyland and through the castle.

Not long after that we exited the parks and ran past the monorail resorts. Then started the boring part – the many miles of roads between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Sure, you have the promise of Epcot to sustain you, but you know there are SOOOOO many miles before you get there and when you do it’s pretty much over, so it’s not much more motivation than the regular finish line, at least for me.

Right, so, anyway. Highways. Yeah. I will give runDisney credit – they put effort into livening things up. There were deejays and entertainers at various stations, with the halfway point marked by stereos blasting Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” – the version sans rap, which pleased KRaut enormously. There were also several character stops, but the lines tended to be fairly long. The only one we deemed worth featured Mary Poppins, Bert, and the penguins, just like when my mom and I went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This Bert, however, looks awfully young, no?

From there on our race was fairly uneventful. We plugged away at a Dopey- and Goofy-friendly pace until mile 12; that mile marker was Frozen themed and KRaut was dressed as Elsa, so we stopped for the photo op. Then it was on through Epcot and the weird out and back up and down the bridge, past the gospel choir, and finished!

I picked up my medal, snacks, and drinks, thanked the Katherines for sticking with me, and hopped a bus back to the resort. I was pleased to be done, but there was still the marathon to tackle in the morning!

Up next: back to Animal Kingdom and the Studios.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!