Trip report time! See all the posts in this report.
I slept with my usual fitfulness the night before the 10K, and even woke up about 15 minutes before the alarm. I popped up early and busied myself prepping before intercepting the piercingly load wakeup call. Once I was ready, I woke Erika, and when she was set to roll we headed for the bus.
We were early, but it was just as well: before the first bus even began to load there was a line stretching far behind us. We managed to make it onto bus #1 and were soon bound for the start line.
The bus dropped us off in the Magic Kingdom parking lot, and as none of the pre-race festivities interested us overmuch we went straight for the queue to enter the corrals. The organizers let us in about an hour before start time, and after a quick bathroom break we entered corral F.
Yes, corral F: because she had no proof of time Erika was placed in the last corral, and as a good and stalwart friend I elected to drop back from A and run with her. I’m not going to say this was a mistake, but… well, you’ll see.
A DJ kept the crowd going with some dancing and singalongs before the usual suspects (Rudy, Carissa, etc.) took the stage for some largely time-filling babble. Then the race began!
And began… and began… and began. Boy, you guys in the back corrals have the patience of freakin’ saints. I never really noticed the new in-corral mini-wave system from my usual position in corral C, but it really fakes you out toward the back. It felt like forever before F finally toed the line.
Then the fireworks tolled for us and we were off! … Well, I say “off.” It was more of a crawl. Corral F was, frankly, a mess – there were walls of walkers, and anyone trying to run was dodging in and out in an effort to get around said walls. It wasn’t so bad when the course opened up on the wider roads, but any time things narrowed it was a veritable nightmare. At times Erika and I were practically jogging in place.
And another thing about being in the back corral – because the people are so packed together, the character lines are much longer. We never even bothered to stop for anybody; nobody was tempting enough for the kind of time suck the line would inflict.
To be clear, I’m not trying to hate on the people in corral F! Everybody, no matter their speed, has the right to take a shot at runDisney’s races. But I still don’t think Disney’s quite mastered how to organize those people. Not everyone in F wants to walk, and not everyone who walks does so at the same speed. I think further differentiation would be very helpful to prevent the current insane bottlenecks.
Anyway, the first couple miles on the roads didn’t consist of much beyond us alternating between being boxed in and running away from being boxed in. Once we entered Epcot, the course opened up a bit, and naturally the scenery became 1000% more interesting.
We managed to run pretty much the whole way around World Showcase to the finish, stopping only for a quick photo in front of Spaceship Earth.
After that it was medals, snack boxes, and onto the bus back to Pop.
And that was the end of the 10K! Despite having to severely curtail her training due to medical necessity, Erika did a great job, and I suppose in a way being forced to slow down forced us to save our energy for the next day’s half.
But dear Lord, you back corral people have a tough row to metaphorically hoe. I salute your tenacity, but Disney needs to keep tweaking their systems for realsies. Justice for the last corral!
Next up: off to Epcot!
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