Sunday, February 24, 2013

Florida 2013 - Race Day!

It's 2:30 am and we're ready to go!

We wore "Team Tiffany" logos on our backs in honour of my cousin Tiffany who battled (and beat)Leukemia not once, but twice!
After a short bus ride we arrived at the race area with plenty of time for pictures. I am amazed by how well the cast members get into their characters.

After what seemed like an eternity, it was finally time for our corral to start. The Fairy Godmother sent us off with a "Bibbity Bobbity Boo!" and fireworks. Even though we were one of the last groups to start, Disney made us feel just as special as the elites.

The first few miles were on a stretch of highway leading up to Magic Kingdom filled with entertainment and cast members waiting to take pictures. Since we had to start in a slow group, we decided to wait to take pictures and try to pull ahead of the crowd. We were doing great....until we had to stop for a bathroom break. We waited in the porta-potty line so long that we fell a full mile behind the group we were trying to pass! Now, we were stuck amid hundreds of walkers who refused to follow the "walkers on the right" rule. We passed on the curb/grass/mud when we could but now we were concerned about finishing before the cut off time. We didn't stop for pictures with any cast members during the race, but we still got some fun shots thanks to volunteers and other runners.

The coolest thing about running a Disney race is you get to run through Cinderella's castle while the royal trumpeters above announce your arrival!

This picture was taken on the way back from Magic Kingdom along the highway.
 I had a rough time around mile 9-10. The blisters I had gotten the day before had grown and every step felt as though I had a handful of thumbtacks in my shoes. (I later realized I had developed blisters inside blisters that would take months to heal!) I was hot, tired, my costume was heavy with sweat and I was stuck in a stop-and-go crowd. I wanted to quit. Until I heard this guy yelling "Move, Move, Move!" and "Keep it up Blue Eyes!" Forget Cinderella's Castle, my highlight was the Army Man!

We were only a few miles from the finish line. The last few miles were tough, but there were plenty of spectators and marching bands to keep us distracted. We crossed the finish line exhausted, emotional and holding hands. (Sadly, no pictures so you'll have to take my word for it.)

Did I mention I have an amazing family? Not only did everyone plan their Florida vacation around this race, but they also braved the crowds to wait at the finish line with 7 (and a half) kids in tow. It was a 2 hour car ride to and from the condo, plus nightmarish parking. I am so grateful to have you all in my life.

Brian, Thank-you for all your support through months of sore muscles, hours at the gym and long weekend runs. And for the beautiful Mickey Mouse roses you gave us each at the finish line. I love you!

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