After a very busy Friday spent at the expo and Magic Kingdom, it was time for my first race of the weekend early Saturday morning. Like with all runDisney races, the day started with a very early wake up (my alarm went off at 2:45 a.m.), and Kathleen and I were on the bus to Epcot at 3:30 that morning.
Upon arrival at Epcot, we decided to take advantage of one of four character photo opportunities while we waited for the corrals to open. Even though we stood in line to see Royal Minnie for almost 45 minutes, the line moved quickly. After getting our picture taken with Minnie we made the short walk through the Epcot parking lot to corral B.
The race started at exactly 5:30 a.m. What was different this year compared to previous runDisney races that I have run was that the corrals were divided up into mini-corrals, with smaller groups of only a couple hundred people starting the race at each time, spread out in 1-2 minute intervals. This was done to help with crowding at the start of the race. The course definitely felt less congested at the very start than I remember it feeling during my two previous runDisney 10ks. Kathleen and I crossed the start line at 5:39 a.m., starting the race off by running through the parking lot and then onto the Epcot entrance road.
Since our one and only goal during this race weekend was to have fun, we decided that our pace and finish time didn’t matter whatsoever, and that we wanted to take lots of pictures during the races. We had also agreed in advance on using 4:1 run/walk intervals for both races.
Our first character stop was just past the first mile marker at the sharp turn on the course from the parking lot entrance road onto Epcot Center Drive. There, we found Mulan and Mushu.
After getting our picture taken with Mulan we made our way up the ramp on Epcot Center Drive and shortly after passing the second mile marker stopped to have our picture taken with Pocahantas and Meeko.
We continued our loop around the Epcot parking lot and as the sun started to come up entered the backstage area of Epcot. We entered World Showcase through the gate in between Norway and China. We slowly made our way through World Showcase, stopping to take pictures with Pinocchio in Germany, the Genie in Morocco, and Marie in France.
After taking our time in World Showcase we eventually made our way towards the Boardwalk area by exiting Epcot through the International Gate. On the Boardwalk we stopped to see Goofy, who was outside of ESPN Zone.
After running the Boardwalk loop, which took us past Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin, Yacht Club, and Beach Club, we reentered Epcot through the International Gate and ran through another backstage area, and reentered the park in Future World. We made a quick stop to see Pluto, ran past Spaceship Earth, and made our way out one of the front entrances of Epcot, and crossed the finish line back in the Epcot parking lot at 7:35 a.m.
Our official finish time was 1:55:35, which is my slowest 10k ever. But my slow pace and finish time didn’t matter, because I had had a blast running the Enchanted 10k and had met my goal of having lots and lots of fun while running the race. (According to my Garmin, which paused during all of our photo stops and while we waited in line for all of our pictures, I ran 6.37 miles in 1:10:37.)
As we made our way through the finisher chute we received our 10k medal, as well as water, Powerade, a food box, and a banana. We decided to head straight for the bus, so that we could both shower and then we could return to Epcot for the day. Since we had a breakfast reservation, we were under a time crunch and didn’t have time to waste in the post race reunion area.
It had been another fun race morning at Disney, and more importantly, I had completed my first of two races that weekend. I had completed the first 6.2 miles of the Fairy Tale Challenge!
QOTD: What is the slowest race that you have run?