Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Disney World Half Marathon–Before the Race

Boy oh boy, Disney races start so early…  The half marathon was going to start around 5:35 I believe and they wanted you through bag check by 4:30.  Craziness!  I figured if we left the hotel at 3:50 I would be at bag check soon after 4 am, I could meet some blog buddies and then be in my corral in time for the start.

Um…yeah…that is not what happened.

We turned out of our hotel and made out way to the main highway to get to Epcot.  We ran into the most insane traffic I have ever seen.  We were barely moving.  I watched the clock tick.

4:30 came and went and I knew my blog buddies were now making their way to the start.  We were still really far away.  Inch, inch, inch towards Epcot.  Finally at about 5:15 we were on the edge of the parking lot.  Dad slowed to a stop and I jumped out of the car.  I left my sweats in the car, raced through bag check and hit the porta potties on the other side.  While I was in there the announcer was frantically telling us to get to the start as the race was about to start.  And oh yeah, I was supposed to be in the second wave so I was pretty sure I’d miss that opportunity.

From the porta potties I raced the long way to the start.  I found the final corral but I wanted to see how far up I could get.  The fireworks went off signalling the start for the first wave.  Crap!  I managed to make my way near the front and spied the B Corral.  I was able to make my way through to the back of the corral just a moment before we were supposed to start.DSCN4642

Alright, time to run a race I hadn’t really trained for…

By the way, I’m not sure if there were too many people on the road or what was going on, but I was quite disappointed that traffic control was not in place to help move traffic into Epcot before the start.  It shouldn’t have taken us over an hour to drive what normally takes less than 10 minutes.  My one gripe from the weekend.


mkymsehi said...

Leana, I hear you!

We also drive from Old Key West or POP, and normally it's 10 minutes from parking lot to EPCOT parking lot.

We've timed it the last 2 years, where we drop our bag, and walk to the corral, and get there just as the Nation Anthem is being sung. Fireworks, GO!

NOT THIS YEAR. We left OKW at 4:05 am. By 4:30, we hadn't made it to Boardwalk. So we U-turned, drove back to OKW and parked.

We walked 2 1/2 blocks, straight to the A corral, roughly 20 minutes before anyone reached the corrals from the bag drop area. Some friends reported it took 40 minutes to walk from the bag drop to their corral.

Disney really screwed up the parking this year. People were still stuck on transportation buses when I was running and nearing mile 1. I could see them looking out the windows, and not able to get off the bus.

On Sunday, instead of attempting to drive, we slept in longer, and just walked across to the corrals again, long before the crowds were released from the bag drop area.

For the number of years Disney has been doing races, each time they are getting worse and worse at it.

Even post race, the parking lot was a zoo to get out of, and buses were long waits for the back of the packers to get back to their hotels.


James said...

Hi Leana, yeah, I thought the whole start of the race was a mad house. I was one of those poor souls that got there early and had to endure the half stepping all the way from the staging area to the corrals. Heck, I thought I had done the half already by the time I got to my corral. They should have had some entertainment on the road down to the corrals to keep use from getting crabby. Unfortunately, I just could not find the fun in this race because of it.

Lily on the Road said...

I heard it was a mad house and that friends of mine were being pushed around and they found it hard to get to their corrals.....

Too early a start for this chick, as much fun as it looks, I will definitely pass on this group of races.

Melinda said...

We had the same problem at the first Disney halloween 13k about 3 years ago (I believe these are no longer run any more). We actually got there just in time (after waiting in traffic for an hour to park), but so many people were stuck in traffic getting to MGM (Hollywood) studios where the race was starting that they delayed the start by over 30 minutes! Very bad traffic control.

Melinda said...

BTW, the Cincinnati Flying Pig marathon has great traffic & crowd control & you can park about a 5 minute walk from the start line (or right beside the buses if you're doing the relay). Come & run in Cincinnati next time!!!

tri like mary said...

That sounds crazy and I would have lost my mind! I always have to be early for everything and I would have been really stressed. Looking foward to hearing the rest (way to keep us hanging!).

Love the maple leaf visor by the way!

Marluce Fagotti said...

Wow! That's the race i want to run one day. However, to tell the truth I do't think I will be able to wake up that time. Good runs, Marluce from Brazil

taio said...