Live like a beauty, run like a beast…

1796785_10151958260345885_1012315943_oThe Disney Princess half marathon—what can I say about it? I had a great week, a super fun time with my friends and cousins and aunt, and loved being a part of the Princess weekend. That said–

It’s runDisney not walkDisney

The course for the Princess half marathon is largely uninspiring. It’s a lot of highway running. It’s over crowded and it is overrun with walkers.

Being someone who only recently graduated from run/walk intervals to running the whole 13.1 miles non-stop, I’m pretty fired up when my ability to run is impeded by people out for a casual stroll, walking 4-6 abreast, causing me to have to run off the course (in this case into the grass median) in order to keep running.

Also, do you know how exhausting both bobbing and weaving AND running below your comfortable pace is?

Everyone who can do 13.1 miles in under the course limit is welcome to be out there. What I don’t get is why 16+ minute milers line up in running corrals. I run a 2:29 half. I pretty consistently turn in an under 2:35 half nowadays. I’m not the speediest runner by a long shot, but my 10-11 minute miles are also speedier than your average Disney walker.

I don’t know if fault lies with anyone. Maybe Disney for taking too many people into a narrow course. Maybe walkers who didn’t train properly or who are Disney-philes there for the Disney thing alone. That is par for the course with Disney races. It’s just that Princess was the worst one I’ve encountered. Solid blocks of impenetrable walkers were the norm.

I don’t run Disney for time, I run it for the experience. That said I want to RUN it. I do stop for character pictures and I recognize that this puts me further and further back with a slower crowd. I accept that. What I don’t accept are walkers walking 3-4-5 abreast, yelling “I hope you win” when I take off at a run up the left hand side (pass on the LEFT, remember people?!), or flipping runners off — something I witnessed them doing to other runners as they passed when I was still behind them (I can only assume they also flipped off me and my cousin Leslie as we ran past them).

It’s as if these slow walkers don’t expect runners to enjoy the Disney race experience like they do. We are to be punished for wanting to continue to run at our paces when we fall back from taking character pictures. That isn’t fair. We paid our $195 to be there too.

My Time in Motion theory is perfect for Disney. Chip time was horrific. Time in motion was 2:39. We added about 1597509_10151958262290885_1317188206_o15 minutes by being mired amongst the Sunday strollers. We added MUCH more time by getting in line for those character pictures — but I would not have missed the experience of doing all of this with my cousin Leslie for anything.  Yes it was frustrating. But that is Disney.  Leslie and I will run a non-Disney race together at some point and turn in a sub 2:25 time. And I will continue to runDisney races because they are fun. But you can damn well bet I’m working myself up to the B corral (I was B for Tinkerbell, a smaller race or a race with larger corrals, and F for Princess–corrals went up to P). And when I run the Walt Disney World Marathon next January, I won’t be stopping to take pictures.

I cannot wait for the San Diego Half Marathon next week. Limited to 7500 runners. I’m running it balls out, rejoicing in the lack of crowds and the lack of people who are under trained for the distance. Have a magical day, y’all! 😉

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