The hardest thing we had to figure out in regard to running a night race was how to spend our non-running time, so we could get ourselves on a late-night schedule, fuel properly, but still have a great time in Disney. After we both arrived at our hotel Friday afternoon, we took some time to enjoy the warm weather and heated pool. Friday night, we took the resort bus to Downtown Disney, shopping (of the souvenir and window varieties) and taking advantage of goofy photo spots. For dinner, we met up with some of Rachel's improv friends at Paradiso 37 - decent food, somewhat overpriced, yummy drink options.
|Working on character poses for race night|
The expo was once again held at ESPN's Wide World of Sports, where we found all of our favorite booths and vendors at the expo. Once we picked our race packets (and were thrilled to find a $10 Disney gift card inside, that we could use on just about anything Disney, including food and drink at the after party Sunday morning!).
I was a little disappointed that some vendors were sold out of the things on my shopping list, particularly given this was only a two-day expo, and we were there first thing on Saturday (flying in on separate flights prevented us from going on Friday as originally planned). RunDisney was out of wine glasses (VERY bummed about this - it would have been the perfect souvenir for a Wine and Dine race!), and my trusty KT Tape was out of their special, limited edition Minnie Mouse tape that I'd been eyeing.
|At the expo!|
We continued to peruse, taking advantage of a few expo discounts and specials to snatch some gear and goodies we'd been eyeing for some time. We both signed up for the RunnerBox, so keep an eye out for some upcoming box reviews!
|Flat Elsa and Flat Anna, ready to run|
|"Elsa? Do you wanna run in Disney?"|
|That handsome fella on the right there? That's Andrew. He was the best support system, cheerleader, and life-saver this weekend.|
|Traditional corral selfie - modelling that space blanket and Sparkle Athletic visor!|
|Andrew stuck with the "Frozen" theme when he made his sign.|
Although we didn't stop, there were a surprising number of characters out and about along the course. I had figured (given the rain and cold) many characters would be pulled, and while there were a handful of dark spots where there clearly should have been photo ops, the Disney team got really creative with where characters were positioned (under turnstile overhangs, tucked underneath the roofs of buildings, etc) so they could stay dry and still be there for runners. As a result, the lines for photos actually seems really short in comparison to other Disney races we've run.
|Team CinderWars out front of Mickey's hat!|
|The rain never bothered us anyway...|
|Done and ready to celebrate!|
|It's a jolly holiday with you, Burt - gentlemen like you are few!|
All in all, I loved this race experience. Yes, it was wet. Yes, it was chilly (for Florida). Yes, I was injured and didn't train as well as I wanted to. But I had SO. MUCH. FUN. The course was my favorite of the Disney HMs we've done, there were lots of characters out and about along the course and afterward, and the whole concept of celebrating with your fellow runners at a giant after-party in Epcot was amazing. I loved every minute. The only thing we'd change for next year? Sign up for the Jungle Jingle 5k that morning, too!