Tutus and tiaras and tulle, oh my! How I love the Princess Half Marathon. 13.1 magical miles through Disney World’s Epcot and Magic Kingdom makes this the sparkliest runDisney race of the year and for me, it was my very first half marathon back in 2013 … and the start of my running addiction!
That year, I ran with Linda, a gal from my running group, but I went solo for 2014 and 2015. So for this race, I was looking forward to running with Kelly and Stephanie, two awesome gals who share my love for lots of character photos and dancing.
As mentioned in my Fit for a Princess, Princess 5k, and Enchanted 10k recaps, I was having some serious insomnia issues this trip. Really serious. So I was grateful for the few hours of sleep I got on Saturday night which doesn’t sound like much now, but back then, was everything.
Now. About my outfit. See, there’s a story behind those leggings we all wore on Saturday. One of the gals in my group has a family member who believes that only hookers wear leggings. So, mature gals that we are, we each purchased a pair and proudly wore our hooker pants with the great shirts Sara made. I bought mine from Kohl’s and they were so comfortable, I decided to go the hooker route for PHM as well. Plus I rather liked the 80’s vibe my Flipbelt gave it. I’m still an 80’s gal at heart!
So. Anyway. Sunday morning, Stephanie and I were ready to go by 3:00am. Most of our roomies wanted to leave later, though, and Kelly decided to hang back with them. This almost ended in disaster for her because there was only ONE BUS for Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village. All the buses were clustered at Jambo and why they simply couldn’t ship some of them our way made no sense to me. Instead, we waited for twenty minutes with some of the princesses getting (understandably) restless.
Finally, we made it on a Jambo-filled bus with standing room only, which was fine with me, I would have clung to the roof if it meant getting to the race. Stephanie and I made it in time for several photos with folks in our running group and a spot near the front of Corral C.
Unfortunately, Kelly wasn’t fairing as well. The line back at Animal Kingdom had grown insane, which was okay for the other ladies in our room since they were in later corrals. Poor Kelly was BEYOND stressed and had to sprint all the way from the buses to our corral, arriving with only a few minutes to spare.
Love runDisney, but they seriously need to get a grip on their bus issues.
After a gorgeous singing of the Star Spangled Banner by 2016 Miss America Betty Cantrell and firework and GO’S by The Fairy Godmother for the first two corrals, we were off and running!
The first two miles on Epcot Center Drive seemed to fly by as we settled into 8:30 pace, chatting all the way.
To our disappointment, Captain Jack and his ship was not out this year. Sniff. The princes were out in the hero zone, though, with a rather short line so we waited for them.
Leave it to Kristoff to get into the posing action. Always knew I liked him for a reason.
Running beneath the Magic Kingdom sign never fails to give me chills! It always looks so gorgeous lit up with a dark sky.
As we neared the Magic Kingdom parking line, the line was getting a little hefty for Jasmine and Abu, but we stopped anyway since none of us cared what our finishing time was.
The line for Jack Skellington and Sally was even longer, but how could we not stop? Their backdrop was absolutely gorgeous … although I must admit, I missed seeing the Villain gals. They were always my favorite.
Another blurry selfie in front of the Mile 4 marker with some enthusiastic chEARleaders! Speaking of chEARleaders, if you really want to get the crowds going, yell out, “Thank you for being here,” to them. Not only is it a nice thing to do, but you will be rewarded with a wave of cheering.
Another site I look forward to every year … seeing the drummers out at the Polynesian resort!
As well as the Mickey Hands guy nearing the Contemporary … perhaps there’s a better name for him, but that’s what I go with.
And now for the best part of the race … running down Main Street! What a gorgeous, gorgeous site. I know this race costs a lot of money, but I’m telling you, it’s moments like these that make it all worth while.
(Pardon the blurry screenshot.)
We used to always get a fantastic castle picture in a small alcove, but now that that’s gone, we had to make due with this one.
As we entered Tomorrowland, Stephanie was so happy to see Buzz out without a huge, crazy line! We first got a picture of her tangoing with him since she was dressed as Jessie and all.
The course then headed toward the Tea Cups where the Red Queen and White Rabbit were stationed. Awesome! Kelly and I made a quick trip the bathroom while Stephanie waited in line for us – a strategy that always works out great.
Have I talked about the weather yet? No? Well, it was fantastic. A tad chilly in the corrals but it warmed up nicely with no wind or rain. Again. Awesome!
Speaking of awesome … look who we saw before the castle!
I love how Kelly and I are color-coordinated with Drizella and Anastasia. I don’t quite know what I’m doing with my rear though. But Kelly’s expression? Perfection.
Speaking of even more awesomeness … sigh … running through Cinderella’s castle is always beyond amazing. I just wish that my sistas in the later corrals were able to have the same experience without the horrible crowding.
They discourage runners from taking selfies and photos on the other side, but we were able to get this great jump shot picture by giving my phone to the gal behind us in line, asking her to just shoot video from which I snagged this screenshot.
Oh and by the way, I love jump shots! They take me back to my cheerleading days, (go ahead and tease, it’s okay,) and it’s a bit of a challenge trying to get that perfectly time shot. So if you have any, I’d love to see them! Be sure to use the hashtag #joyfuljumpshot and we’ll share it!
Okay, back to business.
After the castle, Stephanie’s day was further made when we entered Frontierland and saw Woody and Jessie!
As we neared the area where princesses always are, we saw Belle and Aurora with their significant others … and a long, long line. Hmm, no thanks, we settled for run-bys instead.
Once we left Magic Kingdom and started to make our way through cone alley toward the Grand Floridian, we had to do another run-by with the DJ.
Oh my gosh, THIS PHOTO! We saw the usual tux-clad guys at the wedding pavilion but to our surprise, there was also a bride there! This called for a better picture than the usual ooh-ahh over the glass slipper, so we asked if they’d pose like we were fighting for the bouquet. Stephanie, the bride and the guys nailed it, but I’m not sure what Kelly and I were thinking with our butts. Next time, no more butts.
I just loved these guys! I was going for “tough chick gansta” in this picture but didn’t quite nail it. Can’t really be gansta in cotton-candy pink.
Another photo fail here … we didn’t realize our pose would look so … um, girl friendly at Mile 10, shall we say? Yeah. Crop. Major crop.
By the way, I always stop for great signs!
Stephanie and I had a #joyfuljumpshotfail in front of Spaceship Earth. We need to work on our timing for next year!
Coming through Epcot, you know the finish line is near when you see these gorgeous folks singing us home in gold.
If you watch my video recap, you’ll see that I took horrible footage of the finish line. That’s because I’ve stopped worrying about getting great video at finish lines and fully enjoying the moment instead. And what a moment it was! I’m so happy I was able to experience this with Stephanie and Kelly.
Time to collect our gorgeous bling!
Afterwards, we met up with Leslie for some character photos and dancing before Stephanie and Kelly left to shower up for their Kona brunch reservation. I had decided to pass on that because hanging out for the post-race festivities is always a blast, plus there were other gals from our running group that I haven’t sent any time with yet.
While waiting for Cinderella with Becky and Leslie, who should we happen to see? None other than the #PrincessMen dressed in their awesome costumes. Of course I had to get a picture with them … although I could learn a few things from Pocohontas about posing! Way to work it, dude.
Okay, talk about a #joyfuljumpshot – Jannah’s husband, Harry got this in one shot. No burst, no video, just great timing. He’s the #jumpshotphotoking 🙂
Sadly, it was soon time to leave so I dragged my jumping rear to the bus and went back to Animal Kingdom for some down time and a much-needed nap. After a shower, we hung out in Epcot before meeting up with our running group for our annual ‘Ohana PHM diner! I saw with other ladies who I either haven’t met yet or who I haven’t spent much time with yet. Dinner was awesome, as usual!
All in all, I had a total BLAST at this year’s Princess Half Marathon. It might just be my favorite one yet, although I really missed not having Bob there. Things just weren’t the same without my man on our annual trip, but since we did an epic family trip to Universal Orlando after the Dopey Challenge, he had to skip. Sigh. Maybe he’ll join me for 2018 since we already have a full room of nine ladies for the 2017 Princess Half!
I sense another epic trip in the making.
Thanks for reading this long, long recap and if you participated in the 2017 PHM, I hope you had a blast! Don’t forgot to send us your best #joyfuljumpshot and subscribe if you’d like updates on our new posts.
Have a joyful day!