This weekend Bill and I ran our second runDisney event the Jingle Jungle 5K. This race was set in the Animal Kingdom.
The day before the race is the Expo. The Expo is a dangerous place. I walk in and they have so many cool running toys and more cool running shirts then I could ever wear. There is a massage area where you can get an athletic specific massage. There are stores with shoes, there is a booth with all the runDisney medals that I would love to get. You can meet the Disney coach, Jeff Galloway, who is a fantastic guy. I could spend hundreds of dollars and still have more I wanted to buy.
At the Expo you pick up your goody bag which has a t-shirt with the logo for the race and a few other items. There are free samples of running snacks and other goodies. There are booths for other local races that want to tempt you to come run their race with their shiny medals. (Bill is contemplating the Space Coast run because they have a Space Shuttle on their medal he just LOVES!)
We arrived at the Animal Kingdom earlier this time and had time to meet another friend that was racing and hang out for a time. The starting line was in the parking lot outside of the park and the Corrals were much larger this time. The course started off very wide and so it was a little easier of a start. This race instead of letting each corral go a few minutes apart when the starting gun went off everyone started. It took us just over 3 minutes to get to the starting line but I have to say being able to start BEFORE other people were crossing the finish line was a nice change.
Once we got moving things spread out more quickly then in the previous race since we were on a multi-lane road versus a little back road area. People were able to go their own pace a little better without slower people blocking the path or people that wanted to move forward. That was until we hit an area where we were entering the park. Bottleneck would be the appropriate term. Frustrating would be the best way to describe it. We had to walk at the slowest groups pace because of course they were walking 5 people across. Through the gates and into the park. It finally opened up enough for me to get by. I had a good pace going when I hit mile one and felt really great.
The characters in the race were fun.There was Baloo and King Louis from Jungle Book
Rafiki from Lion King
one of the monkey props from the Animal Kingdom parade.
In the first mile I started having shin splints so I told Bill to go ahead on. After walking a bit my splints subsided (I think the cold was not helping) and I caught up a bit. In one section you ran up a street and U-turned and came back the other way. I figured I would see Bill so I waited and watched and there he was not very far in front. He decided since he wasn’t too far ahead to come back and run with me.
On the U-turn they had a lot of the petting area animals out to say howdy and cheer us on. They had pigs, donkeys, sheep, and a few birds. This little guy is from Australia. Isn’t he a bit odd?
We hit Mile 2 together so we waited a minute to get a picture with Bill by the sign.
The last mile was the best. We saw Pluto
Donald even stopped to pose for me and cheer me on. He is such a sweet guy!
And Christmas Goofy
We finished the race strong and were only 15 seconds slower then my pervious personal record. It was a beautiful morning and Animal Kingdom is an awesome park to run through.
This race experience was fantastic. I would happily run this one again. We got our medals and our snack packs and then headed out. We didn’t stop for any photos with characters this run because they were ones we can get at other times but we still loved seeing them along the path.
I have discovered that I love running in costume.
I plan to have running costumes for as many of our races as possible.