Two years ago on November 5th, I was in surgery for a full hysterectomy because of a cancerous tumor in my uterus (a story for another time). Last weekend on November 5th, I ran my second runDisney 5k. It was the 1st race since before the global pandemic and only my third runDisney race. I previously ran the runDisney Princess 5k and the virtual runDisney Wine and Dine 5k last year.
Like the previous races, I didn’t do a lot of prep in the form of running a few times a week since you don’t have a to submit a proof of time for the 5k or the 10k races. I am not a runner by any means, so it was nice to be able to run or walk this race when I felt like it.
The most prep I did do was picking out my costume. This year’s theme was Disney Villains, with the Evil Queen being the villain on the 5k medal. I wanted my costume to be Cruella Deville inspired or the Evil Queen, but I couldn’t find pieces that would arrive in time to make an entire costume that I absolutely loved. I am very particular when it comes to my Disney inspired costumes and outfits, but since I was running out of time, I settled on doing Patch from 101 Dalmatians. I purchased a red running skirt from Sparkle Athletic, and paired it with Dalmatian spotted socks, a white tank top with Patch on the front and Patch inspired Mickey ears that I found on Etsy.
A lot of runners go all out on their costumes (and there were a ton of adorable and outrageous ones on the course that morning), but I wanted to be comfy and still be able to actually run. The weather that morning was forecast to be cold and rainy, and boy, was it ever!
Before any of the races start, runners have to visit the runDisney expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports that starts on the Thursday before the 5k. There, you pick up your race bib and your complimentary shirt that you get with registration. There are different vendors at the expo and photo opportunities, but the best part is the merchandise! Unfortunately, I never get to the expo until later in the day, so most of the 5k items are picked over by people who buy as much as they can and then resell it online for crazy prices. This year, I was able to snag a pullover and a magnet.
I arrived to the Epcot parking lot a little before 3:30am that morning. It was raining before I even left the house and it didn’t stop except for a few minutes during the race. I had a poncho that I was able to throw on over my clothes so I didn’t get drenched and it kept me warm as well. I was running alone, so I didn’t have any friends to hang out with while waiting for the race to start, so I just stood in line to get my photo taken with the Evil Queen’s mirror and then made my way over to the corral to wait.
At exactly 5am, the first fireworks went off and the race started! Runners are let out of the corrals in waves for safety reasons and so that people are spaced apart a bit. I was in corral 2, so I was able to start closer to 5:15am. Once I crossed the starting line, I got a little emotional because I was just so happy that in-person races were back! I didn’t mind the rain at all and ditched the poncho so I could enjoy every second of the race.
There weren’t many opportunities for photos with the Villains that were out since it was raining, but I did get some photos that photographers took on the course.
I ran through Epcot and to the finish line in 54 minutes. I was proud to have made it in under an hour and got emotional again. Chris was waiting for me at the finish line in the stands with other guests who came to cheer on their runners and I snagged my poison apple, I mean, medal and met him out in the parking lot.
Running in a runDisney race is the most magical experience. I can’t wait to sign up for my next one!