Monday, March 7, 2011

the race was fun 'til we met the men with guns...

OK - it's old news now.  I got swept at the Disney Princess Half Marathon at the Mile 10 marker....  But it seems like a few words are merited.

Disney Princess Half - 10.13 miles in 2:53  [unofficial per Garmin]
Pace: 17:04

This is not so much a race report as a list of oddities and observations:
  1. For some odd reason, they gave us medals.  I found that mildly distressing (on top of being pulled from the race distress).
  2. In case you were wondering, bus drivers on all Disney buses (including those filled with mostly weeping girls) religiously stick to the castmember script.  "Goooood morning!  Welcome to the Bus of Shame!  We'll just be taking a quick ride back to the runner's village..."  So chipper.  So wrong.  (OK, I paraphrase a bit but he was way too happy for the occasion.)
  3. My bright spot in this (other than my fabulous friends who made the trip with me): I figured out that it's really easy to stay "off-campus" for a race as long as you have a car in Orlando.  So much nicer to stay at my oh so comfortable usual place at the same rate as a far smaller and certainly less comfortable Disney Value Resort.
  4. Of course the race shirt 1) fit me and 2) was cute.  Drat - another shirt that I will never wear for training or a race...
  5. Disney did give out the cute mesh bags with this race (not seen since last Princess and missing at Disneyland, Wine and Dine and Marathon Weekend).  Love them!  On the other hand, the "goody" bag contents were again non-existent.  It really is odd that there's just nothing but a couple of flyers in Disney bags.
  6. I missed it at the Expo and race start but Disney is teasing a new race weekend (announcement in April).  They break my heart and then want to add another race??  Stop the madness!
  7. And in regards to those men with guns - Yes, when they split the field at Mile 10 (my friend C was not an arms length from the person in front of her that made the cut), it was a line of armed policemen that blocked our way.  A little bit of overkill -- and definitely not the happiest place on earth that day!  The thing that's really sad is 1) we could still see the balloon girls just ahead of us (literally -- just ahead) and 2) we were maybe a couple tenths of a mile from the ramp that would have gotten us to the next road (i.e., Disney was just minutes away from opening the road we were on anyway -- it probably took us longer to get herded onto the bus than if they'd just let us go around that curve and opened the road).

That said, I had a fabulous time with my friends but it's certainly a blow to get swept.  And as odd as it seems, this was my first DNF for slowness -- the other was an injury.  But as I mentioned last week, I'm doing a bit of a reboot and trying to get my focus back on the food side of the equation. 


  1. OMG! Seriously? Armed policemen?! That is insanity.

    As always - you are an inspiration.

  2. Thanks for the report, good to know staying off-Disney is workable. The line of men blocking your way is ridiculous enough, but armed guard types is WAY overkill. I don't know if I can do a half, never tried anything longer than a 5 mile, but I definitely won't be giving up any hefty fees to Disney for such treatment. And you are definitely an inspiration.

  3. I was thrilled to see they had XXL women's shirts. It's so rare that a race makes a shirt big enough for me.

    I am absolutely, positively appalled by the fact that they had armed police. Was this a Disney Princess race or a riot?

  4. Listen here girl, you earned that shirt! You should wear it! No shame. Not ever! I think you rock!

  5. Hey, I have a really cute Armadillo Dash technical half marathon shirt that I absolutely cannot wear - at least you did 10 miles, so I'd say wear that shirt with pride!

  6. I totally agree about the shirt! I am so sorry that you got swept - I wasn't far ahead of you and believe I barely made it - I managed to stay ahead of the balloon lady until mile 11. And after that I really thought I would pass out before I made it to the finish - but somehow I did make it. How many people got swept with you? I can't believe they had armed men - were they expecting a riot??? This was my first half and I have heard from a lot of people most races don't have such a strict pace requirement. GLad to find your blog!

  7. Hi Kori-
    I was barely ahead of balloon girl for miles 6 thru 11.5. Balloon gal caught up to me at mile 11.5 so I asked if there were any more sweep points? She said Disney officials did not tell her anything. I thought her statement was a big fat lie. My legs were done at 11.5 and balloon gal easily passed me. That young guy on the bike kept barking me to keep up with the balloon gal or I was in jeopardy of not finishing. I only had energy to shoot him off a dirty look. At Mile 12.5 I was down to almost a crawl.

    To RWC (Running While Chunky): I love your blog! I can so relate to your struggles with trying to balance WW and exercise. I get excited by your accomplishments and it sparks a fire under me to do more in life. Thank you RWC!
    PS - wear the shirt and medal with pride - you are tooo hard on yourself - you have a lot to be proud of .... a lot! :-)

  8. Thanks for your comments, pink! I firmly believe that if you can make it past 11, you're golden at Princess (or the Disney Half). Once you get in the road to the parking lot, they can't force you off the road as they can on the 'freeways'. (And you're definitely homefree IN the park -- no big old bus is pulling into Epcot to get you!)
    I'm glad you made it -- congratulations!

  9. I'm sorry you got swept :( 10 miles is still no easy feat!! I hit my proverbial mental and physical wall by mile 8. The only reason I kept going, to be honest, was the thought that the sooner I got to the end the sooner I could have my famous biscuits and gravy! But the armed police were overkill bigtime. What did they need that for?! But I agree with you on the so-called goody bags. This was my first Princess and I was expecting a heck of a lot more than some lame 15% off coupons and and a mini Luna bar. I thought I saw on a message board that someone got a disposable camara. That would have been cool to have, since there is no way I was going to run with my Sony and either drop it or end up getting it drenched with Powerade.

  10. Wow - over.kill. !! Don't they realize that by mile 10 we are ALL exhausted and even if we wanted to start a riot or run on by them we probably don't have the energy too? That's crazy! And a perky bus driver is the last thing I would want to hear for sure. :(

    I grabbed the post-card type thing about the new race. I'm very curious to see what it is!

  11. I follow you on Facebook and just saw this post about your sweep at the Princess 1/2. I got swept there too (first time ever), at the 8 mile mark. They had police there too, which you probably saw as you passed. It is disappointing to be swept for sure, and I don't understand the people, on the bus with me, that seemed "ok" with it. But, now I have the motivation to do it all over again next year! I have a race to finish! and you do too!! We'll do great! :-)


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