Packet pick-up on Saturday: Instead of a t-shirt, the race gave out beer glasses. Sweet. I have too many race t-shirts I never wear anyway. Got up at 5 am this morning, and got to Epcot at about 5:50. Took the shuttle to Wild World of Sports, where the start was, and then sat around for nearly an hour. We lined up at the start, and with 2,600 racers, it was a crowded start. We listened to the National Anthem, and then at 7 am, a series of fireworks announced our start.
The first mile was REALLY crowded. Essentially the space we had was too narrow for that many runners; plus, some people clearly did not line up according to pace and there were walkers mingling with the runners (which, I have no issues with people who walk a race -- in fact, it's totally fine, but start in the BACK! if you're walking, you can NOT start in the 7-9:00 minute bracket, sorry). Additionally, people who were running in groups were taking up huge sections of the course. C'mon, people! No more than two abreast! Sheesh.
So, my first mile was outta whack in terms of pace, and I was kinda forced to run with the crowd, and I was trying not to swerve, but I couldn't help it as I attempted to pull away from people. This added quite a bit to my end mileage. Dangit.
After that first mile, I was able to establish my own pace, and really, the first 3 miles were pretty dull: nothing but highway, baby.
At the 3rd mile, we entered Hollywood Studios (formerly "MGM"), and the scenery improved. The vertigo (yes, still lingering a bit) had been making me a little nauseous in mile 3, but I'd been able to run through it, and the 4th mile felt good.
The last few miles were the most fun (as is typical of every Disney World race), and as we circled into Disney's resort area and finally into Epcot, I felt pretty good, even though I couldn't pick up the pace. But that's something I partially blame on the course. That's one complaint about a Disney course: It's often somewhat narrow, and in some places there's only room for about 3-4 runners abreast, so it makes it kinda difficult to maneuver, but also, the course winds through the parks and resorts, and again, and while this makes the course scenic, all this twisting and turning forces you to slow some. Lastly, Disney -- despite what all their race paraphernalia claims -- is not flat. Especially through Epcot: The bridges offer plenty of hills, so while the scenery here is fun, it's kind of a challenging final leg of any race.
.37: 3:10 (yup, .17 additional mileage -- damn you swerving! why can't I keep a straight line?)
Total Race Time: 1:01:25
I'm a little disappointed in the time because I thought I could do it in under an hour, and without that .17 tacked to the end, I probably would have at least come it right at the 60 minute mark, but oh well. This was my first 10K race, so no matter the time, it's a PR.
Here I am coming along toward the finish:
Here I am after the finish: Sweet medal, right? I think it's one of the best medals I have. It's a chef hat with a miniature fork, spoon, and knife dangling from it. Cool, isn't it?
After the race, I got to partake of 3 tasting stations, and here I am with my favorite: Strawberry shortcake! It was another good Disney race -- well-organized, scenic course, excellent medal, delicious food at the end -- so I had an excellent time.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's report on the Wine and Food Festival (in short, 2 thumbs up!); hope everyone had a nice weekend -- I'll catch up with you later! Ciao.