Overall, this race was a blast! I had a great time and I would be up for it again. But, there may be a few things that I’m totally going to complain about, so I’ll start from the beginning and warn you when the complaining is gonna go down (by the way, it doesn’t end up happening until tomorrow’s post).
Once it started to get into the 9 o’clock hour, I went from Downtown Disney, where I was killing time, to the entrance to the park, where I would continue to kill time. I asked some other runners around me where we go to check our bags. One woman (who had said she had volunteered all day, so I assumed she knew what she was talking about (but I know I should never assume things – my bad)) told me that gear check wasn’t until we got inside. I hung out in line waiting to get in and I met my new best friends, Wendy and Marty. Wendy’s lost something like 140 pounds! They are so active. She hikes every single day. (I told Wendy she should do the 52 in 52 challenge as well and she decided right then and there that she would!)
Around, I don’t know, maybe 9:40 we all got to start going into the park (which I think is pretty super cool, going in there once everyone else is gone). We were up there pretty far in line, so when we walked in you could actually sort of see how empty the park was before all the 5k runners filled it. We kept walking forward toward the castle. We were all chattering among ourselves. “Are these corrals?” “What’s happening?” Nobody really knew. It turned out we were in fact getting into our corrals.
Of course soon I realize that bag check actually was outside. (I was a total idiot not to realize that.) I say goodbye to my new friends, tell them I hope to make my way back up through the crowd before the race starts, but we’ll see. They wish me luck and I make a run for it back down Main Street and out of the park. I find the bag check and drop off my stuff.
I come back in the park, this time with a smaller group of stragglers since it’s getting closer to the start time. I look to my left and lo and behold it’s the man I met at the expo who had forgotten his wallet! They let him in based on the ID of his Facebook page! He gave me a huge hug and thanked me for giving him the idea. I was ecstatic that things had worked out for him and I hope he had an awesome race!
I continued to try to make my way back up toward the castle. At this point the crowd is pretty large. (There are 4,000 runners tonight.) We’re all stuck far back on Main Street. I break out onto the sidewalk and make a nice little confident jog up toward my new friends (and my old corral). A couple of Disney people look like they’re going to ask me where I’m going, but nobody bothers me since I look like I know where I’m going.
All the sudden, I see those wondrous people who had been strangers to me just hours before! There I am back where I started! I can’t believe it. The Disney person watching our corral looks like he might say something, but when two people react like were waiting for me, he leaves us alone.
The race announcers try to pump everybody up for half an hour as we wait for the race to start. At one point they ask us to do the wave. I knew I wasn’t nearly as far back as I was when I entered the park the 2nd time, but I figured since we were in a sea of people, I was still pretty far back in general, but no. I could see the beginning of the wave, which made it’s way to us within seconds.
Wouldn’t you know it? We were in corral A! What a change from corral 22 back in Arizona. Granted, I have no problems being in corral 22. I belong there. I’m slow. I don’t pretend to be a real athlete and I would hate to be in the way of real athletes, but it certainly was a different feeling being way up front…I didn’t necessarily like it…This is where the complaining is about to begin…in tomorrow’s blog post.