Thursday, February 28, 2013

Everybody Tweeting Is Here Because No One Else Is Up Yet!: Princess Half Marathon Weekend Part 2

Saturday morning was part one of getting up before dawn because I was running the 5k.  Buses started running at 4:30 so I made sure I was up by 3:30. Walking out of the lobby, I ran into my friends Steve and Valerie who were waiting on their ride. After a quick good morning, I took off for the bus stop and I was able to be on the first bus to EPCOT and I was one of the first people to arrive - easily with in the first 100!

There's nobody here!

 It was crazy to see the parking lot so empty when I knew it would soon be packed with Princesses!  I usually never get in line for the character photo op because the line is so long but getting there early, I decided to get my picture taken with Prince Mickey and Princess Minnie.  Within a few minutes I'd spotted my friends Liz and Michelle. Michelle had already had her pic taken with the Royal Mice but I invited Liz to jump into line with me.

Why are we up at 4 AM?

After a while, the team started to arrive and Liz ran over and grabbed Deanna and Marion to join us in our pic. Good thing too because by this time the line was getting crazy!

The 5k races are special to me because that was my first run last year and its where a lot of people start.  When I did my first 5k last January I wasn't sure I could even do those three miles but my awesome team pulled me through, so now I feel like its important for me to be there for other new runners.  This time our newest runner was Marion Mongello, the 9 year old daughter of my friends Lou and Deanna.  Being the photo junkie that I am, I had a blast capturing some memories for Mom and daughter.

Oh yeah, the other reason I was excited about this race, for the first time I was getting into the spirit of the weekend and dressed up! While she's not a true Disney Princess my favorite character is Mary Poppins. I have been obsessed with the white and red Jolly Holiday dress for as long as I can remember and I thought if done right, it could be a cute running costume.  It really wasn't as hard as you might think to make it and I got SO many compliments on it!

Its tradition for our team to get to the gathering area of a race as early as possible but the hours went by pretty quickly as we chatted, laughed and took pictures until it was time to line up in our corrals.

Marion getting interviewed for the Mickey Miles Podcast!

 Finally it was time to go and it was another beautiful morning around World Showcase - even if it was a bit humid!

And on top of that, we had to keep up with Marion! I think we all thought, "9 year old - we'll take it easy at her pace"....Yeah right! Every time there was a gap she was ready to run! As Steve said "this is not what I signed up for!"

We stopped for our traditional pic in Italy and a few others to capture memories of Marion's first 5k.

Before we knew it we were crossing the finish line and getting our medals.  Getting your medal is always special but this time it was extra special because our friend Lori was volunteering for the race and got to give us our medals (oh yeah, she got to give Sean Astin his medal too :) ).

Once again, a great time and I have a feeling Marion will be back. She already asked her Mom to sign her up for the Expedition Everest Challenge!  ;)

After that, we celebrated with a group breakfast at Kona, then back home/to our hotels for showers before we met up at Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately everything was PACKED so we only got on a few attractions and had lunch at Columbia Harbor House before we headed our separate ways. But we wouldn't miss eachother for too long because the next day was another LOOONG day and oh yeah, I had to run a half marathon.

That night I grabbed dinner in my room, watched TV and then watched Illuminations from my balcony before heading to bed.

A perfect ending to a perfect day

Goodnight EPCOT!

Pics from Marathonfoto

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