Race Recap: 2012 runDisney Princess Half Marathon

Here it is, the reason I decided to start a blog, the 2012 runDisney Princess Half Marathon!  Three o’clock in the morning sure came early on race day.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I set my alarm clock for 3 a.m. for the 2012 runDisney Princess Half Marathon and I am definitely not what you would call a morning person.  Since I laid out my race gear and bag the night before, I threw on my clothes, put on some body glide, laced up my shoes and we were out the door by 3:30 a.m.  I was surprised at the amount of traffic for the race but we made it to the Epcot parking lot with little time to spare.  After we parked, we walked to the staging area.  It was freezing so I was glad that we decided to pick up some “throw-away” clothing the night before to keep us warm.  We dropped our bags off and hit the porta-potties before heading off on our trek to find the corrals.
Pre-Race Princess Niki & Princess Lisa

The walk to the corrals was a little bit longer than I anticipated.  We stopped at Corral H to say goodbye to Niki and then headed to Corral D so that I could say farewell to the hubby.  I then headed to Corral A and barely made it there before the wheelchair participants started.  There were tons of amazing costumes in the corral and everyone was so excited for the start!

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

The start was congested and there were a few times that I ran on the grass to avoid getting trampled.  The pace was really comfortable, maybe a little too comfortable, for the first few miles.  But, once it thinned out around the Magic Kingdom entryway, I looked at my watch and saw that I was cruising at a pretty fast pace.  The characters on the route were absolutely amazing! I think that runDisney spaced out the characters and entertainment perfectly throughout the course.  For me, it seemed like there was never a dull moment!

And the race became even more amazing when we rounded the corner and started running down Main Street and headed for the castle.  This was a very emotional time for me as I realized I was making a great time and had a shot at coming in around two hours.  Thank goodness for the Brightroom photographers because I was too focused on reaching my goal to stop and take photos.

Photo Courtesy of Brightroom Photographers 
Photo Courtesy of Brightroom Photographers 
After the high of the Magic Kingdom, came the overpass highway climbs.  The three highway ramp hills and their uneven ground really took a toll on my knees.  As you can tell from the look on my face, I wanted those last few miles to go by as quickly as possible.
Photo Courtesy of Brightroom Photographers 

I was really feeling it but my energy levels surged when I came across the crowds around the final stretch of Epcot.  An amazing choir, dressed in long flowing purple gowns, cheered and sang me through the last few steps before I saw the finish line.  Then I gave it my all to cross that finish line as fast as I could.  Slapping the hand of Minnie Mouse was the finish of my dreams!

Photo Courtesy of Brightroom Photographers

It was incredibly emotional to cross the finish line.  I felt so accomplished.   I still feel accomplished.  All of my hard training finally paid off and I made my goal of running a two hour half marathon.  And then to top if off, I was handed my beautiful finisher’s medal and sprinkled with a little pixie dust.

Photo Courtesy of Brightroom Photographers
After my finish, I was treated as though I was the winner!  All of the volunteers were so helpful and several congratulated me on my accomplishment.  After snagging some food and water, I made my way to the bag check.  The whole process was super efficient.  Thank you runDisney for an amazing race weekend!
And look who I found after the race…
We all finished (before the rain)!
We cannot wait until our next runDisney event!  Which race should we try next?


  1. I'm so jealous! This sounds like the most fun half-marathon! I'm training for a 10-miler in May and just found your blog…keep up the great work!

  2. It was a blast! I am afraid the next half is going to be a let down after this one. What 10-miler are you training for in May? I will have to head over to your blog and check it out! Thanks for reading 🙂

    • I'm training for the Broad Street Run, in Philadelphia. Supposedly it's very flat, so it's a good one for my first big voyage into running! Sadly, there'll be no Mickey Mouse at the finish line = (

    • I have heard lots of great things about that race! Doesn't it sell out super fast each year?? Good luck! Maybe Mickey will be your next adventure in running 🙂

  3. Here's my first attempt at commenting! I am shocked to read that you were up at 3:30 am! What time did the race actually begin for you, Lis? I, first, want to comment about using the "porta-potties" before a long race because I’ve always had to do this as close to the start as possible due to nerves/excitement. I don’t think there's any way I could've walked Niki & Jake to their corrals, found my own spot and felt ok to begin without using the bathroom a second time. However, I know that the lines (even for the shorter races) become enormous right before race time so it’s a lose-lose situation. Perhaps this a personal problem, I’m just wondering aloud per usual haha.On a different note, you know I love and appreciate all the details as this race sounds amazing. I think it’s important for all runners to get this full experience so they too can feel as rewarded as we have. I can honestly say that crossing the finishing line for the Spokane Half Marathon (which I ran back in October of 2009 @ 2:07) was the most rewarding experience of my life, thus far (…granted I haven’t given birth, so perhaps we can keep those on separate levels!).

  4. Hi Kim! I actually started the race around 5:50am. They ran just slightly off the published time of 5:45am. So about the potties, they had them along the way as you walked to the corrals. The lines were so long though that people were "popping squats" in the woods along the way. So you are for sure not alone in the urge to pee before the race! It was amazing and the sense of accomplishment is really something! So I hear ya! – Lis

  5. Wow still pretty early but there's no choice with such a huge crowd! The half I ran started around 7ish but, with any race, regardless of time & weather, once you get there and the adrenaline kicks in you're (or at least I was) good to go (squat poppin' and all…love it)!

  6. Broad St sold out in 3 days last year and under 5 hours this year…insane!I'd love to do a Disney run (I wish they would make them more affordable)…definitely something to put on my bucket list!

  7. @ brigidmc12 – Woa! That is crazy. It always blows my mind when I hear of how quickly certain races sell out. It is so hard for me to think about races I want to run so far in advance. And Disney should definitely make the bucket list!

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.