I knew the race was huge, but I didn't have a feel for it until I was walking from my room to the bus in the front of the hotel. The room next to me was lit up, and the one next to that, and after that. On the main grounds, I immediately saw 30 people walking to the bus line. Yes, a line. It was less than 10 minutes though and we were on our way!
The race finished at a parking lot of Epcot and started somewhere near there. The buses dropped off their passengers, then we had to walk close to a mile to the start. There were 16 corrals and I was in J. I was early so I did some good quality stretching, then just hung out and talked to other runners. Corrals were on both sides of the median and who did I see walking down the median? Mad Dog!!!! I yelled out his name, but he didn't hear me.
For at least an hour prior to the start, there was a dj playing music, interviewing runners, etc. Then fireworks! and nothing... It took my wave almost exactly a half hour to cross the start. It was fine with me. I didn't feel particularly ready to run. My legs were still sore and I was in no hurry.
Here is the line to see Winnie the Pooh. I passed most of the characters, but when I saw Pooh, I knew that was the time to stop. I wanted to give him a hug, but the photographer with my camera took it too soon. Oops! I look like I'm about to grope Pooh or something! He gave me a kiss after lol
If anyone is counting, this is half #4 and yes, I made the tutu. I made it pink with blue undertones so I could wear it with both shirts I packed, but decided to not wear it for the full because when it got covered in sweat and dew, some of the streamers clung to the backs of my legs and felt not so pleasant.
There were medical stations right at the finish - both staffed and self-treatment. I grabbed a bag of ice from the self treatment area and immediately held it on my hip. As a Goofy runner, there was one final step, which was to pick up a wristband that confirmed I finished the half and would be eligible for the Goofy medal the next day.
The food was pretty much crap - a small box with sample foods from the sponsors and a banana. Waited a few minutes for the bus and wound up sitting next to an elderly woman from Novi, Michigan, because I can find Michiganders anywhere in the world. She and her friends invited me to go to Downtown Disney with them, but I really just wanted to relax at the pool.
I was so happy the hotel cafeteria was still serving breakfast because it's exactly what I was craving, despite being awake for 9 hours at that point. The sun came out after breakfast and I donned my compression sleeves, jeans, a long sleeve race shirt, a floppy hat and crashed under a pool umbrella for 6-7 hours.
After dinner it was time to hit my feet with a pumice stone, soak in epsom salt, roll and go to bed early, so I could do it all again the next day!
On the plane ride home, I made a list of all the characters at each race. Here is who I remember from the half - anyone remember any that I forgot?
Pirates of the Caribbean
Cinderalla, Prince Charming and 2 mice
Phineas and Ferb
The Nightmare before Christmas guy
Glow in the dark kites
Winnie the Pooh
The Red Queen
Mickey playing golf
an old train with conductors
Green Army guy
Donald and Daisy
the Alligator from Peter Pan (or some other alligator? idk)