My Very First Princess Half! by Morgan Turner

This week marked a very special occasion for me! I ran my very first runDisney Race!! I signed up last July for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I picked it because…I love the princesses and I’d heard it was a lot of fun. Running a half marathon was on my bucket list and I figured why not do it at my favorite place in the whole world! Though before I even ran my first race I signed up to do the Tinkerbell Half Marathon as well, so later on this year you’ll get to hear all about my first Disneyland trip and my fancy smacy coast to coast medal. In preparation for my race I actually started regularly running. Prior to today I wouldn’t have classified myself as runner at all. But I got my Jeff Galloway App on my phone and away I went.

I trained on and off for the year sometimes using the app, sometimes just running on my own up until this weekend. Thursday came and I set my sights on preparing for the expo! It was my very first runDisney expo so I wasn’t sure what to expect other than a lot of people buy a lot of merchandise first day so go early. I took that literally and showed up at 6:45 am. It was really cold that day so after standing in the cold for 2 hours I ran to the runDisney merchandise spot to buy up EVERYTHING! I was lucky and able to get everything I wanted a few gifts for some friends too! I wandered around for a little bit trying to take in everything. There were so many different stalls to choose from. My personal favorites were Raw Threads and New Balance. I walked away with a cute running shirt and my brand new Cinderella Run Disney shoes!
I took Friday off to just relax and hang out and try to process that I was going to be running a half marathon on Sunday. So I watched a lot of Disney movies and was lazy. I had the same plan for Saturday but I learned that there was another cute pair of RunDisney shoes out and I had to go look at them. As a future note- NEVER GO BACK TO THE EXPO TWICE! Only because you’ll end up with way more stuff than you planned haha. I got my second set of shoes and ran back home happily! I love my new shoes and I stared at them until I went to bed that night!

The morning of the race I was a little sluggish so I let myself sleep in until 3:30 am before I headed over to the parks. I wasn’t overly bad traffic but it was a little more difficult to maneuver around than a normal park day. As soon as I parked I went through bag check, then checked my bag in, and I was off to my corral. I started in Corral O. It was my first race with Disney and also my first race period so I was in the latter half of the Corrals. There was a lot going on. There was music and DJs and all sorts of things. But even though there were things going on I was still nervous as all get out to get started and I had a whole 55 minutes to wait from the time the first group went through to when I did!

Once I got started I was pumped and excited and ready! There’s just something about running towards the Magic Kingdom that is usually motivating. It was so cool once we got to the road going under the MK gates, the Black Pearl was there along with Captain Jack and Captain Barbossa. All of the heroes were out and about meeting and of course getting a selfie under the Magic Kingdom sign was a must! From there I ran on past a few villainous ladies (cruella, the queen of hearts, and the evil queen) and motored onwards to my favorite park. It took a little bit of time but I finally made into the Magic Kingdom and I ran full out up Main Street USA because…I could! It was awesome!

Running through the castle probably should’ve been really cool but it was literally a wall of people taking pictures of Anna, Elsa and Kristoff who were up top and selifies through the castle. It slowed me down a fair bit but I made it through to Frontierland where the train was staged! I had to stop there because the trains are very special to me and of course say hi to a few friends! After that I motored on. It was around mile 8 that I started to lose momentum! So what did I do? Text some friends and listen to “Almost There” on repeat! I made it through to mile 10 and I started to feel good again! And for the rest of the race I had a steady pace. I got to the mile 12 marker and I was so excited! There were so many people cheering around and running through Epcot was amazing! I finished my race at 3 hours and 15 minutes which isn’t too shabby for a first race ever! I loved every moment of my experience and I can’t wait to do it again in May!

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