Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On Your Mark Get Set Go! - Disney Magic Day 3 Part I- Castaway Cay 5k

As low key as the day before was....the next day was pretty much the opposite.  Wednesday was our day at Disney's private island - Castaway Cay.  I had decided when we booked the cruise (a whole 6 days before!) that I was going to run the Castaway Cay 5k!  Having been on two previous cruises you think I would have done it by now but the first cruise it was just too hot and the second cruise I wanted to make sure I was part of the group picture. But this time - no excuses - especially know that I am much more involved in RunDisney. A Disney "race" that doesn't cost anything AND there's a medal...I MUST DO IT!

The navigator on the first day suggested that you preregister for the 5k at Guest Relations which I did but when I arrived about half the people looked like they decided to run that morning and just showed up....and some were dressed that way too - deck shoes, denim capris...can we say CHAFFING?

Anyway, the navigator said we needed to be at Fathom's at 8:15 AM to check in and get our bibs which are not assigned you just take the next one on the pile.  For an unofficial race the bibs are pretty nice!  If you do this run remember you need not just your key card but also a photo ID. A lot of people didn't realize this and had to go back to their staterooms and get theirs. Not that I did an official count but looking around there seemed to be 75 people ready to do the 5k...and one dog.

While we were waiting,  the music that was playing was all songs with RUN in the title - why doesn't RunDisney put this out to buy? It was actually a pretty good mix - and Andy, the crew member who was kind of running the event seemed to enjoy it too - singing along to EVERY song!

After sometime Andy and another crew member named Maroly got up on the stage and gave us a "run through" of the course.

 Unfortunately after this we hit kind of a lull because our arrival at Castaway Cay was delayed due to some strong winds.  Finally we were given the all clear around 9 AM. One of the perks of running the Castaway Cay 5k is you get to be first off the ship. Well, with the delayed arrival we were still first off the ship but we had to wade our way through easily a couple of hundred other people sitting in the stairs between Deck 2 and Deck 1 waiting to get off.  When we finally did get off we were greeted by Donald Duck who high fived us as we made our way onto the island.

A couple of people had brought their kids with so our first stop was at the kid's club, Scuttle's Cove and then we were on our way.  The walk from the ship to the bike rental where the run actually starts is long but not bad. I started chatting with a guy who had come down from Canada he was a little concerned about running in the humidity he was not used to!  Finally we arrived and our crew members gave us one more overview of the course, showed us the clock that stood to the right of the course and then it was "on your mark, get set, go!"

The run on the island took us down a path, then up around a loop and then down the old airstrip.  There was a water stop as we got back to the loop that we had to run one more time and then down to the finish line.  

Remember that humidity I mentioned before? Even this Florida girl had trouble with it- and made good use of the water stop on my second loop. There are a couple of other water stations placed along the course but that was the only one I made use of.   The course has very little shade but is surrounded for the most part by trees and plants and some "sights" that go along with the island theme, "whiskey" barrels, a rusty anchor, an abandoned airplane but certainly not much entertainment as far as a RunDisney course goes but that would be hard to do since this run happens every time one of the Disney Cruise ships docks at Castaway Cay.  The course is marked by red "plates" with arrows - although I'll be honest there was one point when I got to kind of a crossroads and I looked around and the runners in front of me had taken off and there was no one behind me - yikes! Luckily, I went the right way.

The heat was really getting to me the last 3rd of the race or though so I started doing a little walking along the way and was happy to see the finish line...and even happier and surprised to see the finish clock read 31:22! Wow - that's amazing since I walked and took my time at the water stop.

 Just a few feet past the finish clock Andy was there waiting for us with our plastic medals and pointing us in the direction of water.  Soon after I was on my way back to the ship to clean up and then head to down to the beach for some well deserved relaxation!

There were some shirts available for purchase (about 21 or 22 dollars each) but I decided to pass, but i have to say they were good looking shirts!

Am I glad I did it? Yes! ( I mean its a RunDisney medal I didn't have yet. AND it was a good excuse to get me to run). It was a beautiful course - even if it was HOT and definitely an interesting way to see the island.  Would I do it again? Probably not - unless I was doing it with friends, the Castaway Cay 5k is kind of a one and done for me as I think I prefer my beach day to start off more relaxing.

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