I decided to run the Disney Halloween 5k a few weeks ago, but then I got sick coming back from vacation. I had a bad cold going into this work trip and I felt miserable. Friday, I worked the expo from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm. I didn’t know how I would get up at 5 am for the 5k, then work the expo all day, break down the booth, then run the half, all while sick. I figured it was just one day, and while it would be hard, it was just 24 hours.
My peppiness and optimism quickly subsided when my alarm went off at 5. It was dark and cold and I didn’t want to get out of bed! I knew my running buddy Ernie would be knocking on my door soon so I had to get up and get ready. The race started at 7, and we got to the Animal Kingdom a few minutes before 6 and took some pictures.
We stood around for almost an hour before we were ushered into the “corrals” (big signs that had suggested pace times on them.) We got toward the front and were just ready to start after standing around for so long.
When the race started with the usual Disney fireworks, we actually headed AWAY from the Animal Kingdom. If you are familiar with this park, you may remember the giant curve that goes around the outside of the parking lot…yeah, we ran that whole thing, which was quite long, then headed back towards the park. Still feeling sick and congested, I couldn’t breathe through my nose AT ALL, so I was wheezing and coughing trying to keep up with Ernie. We got back to the park entrance and I was ready to see and take pictures with characters!
Right at the part entrance was a character with a big line, so we decided not to stop thinking there would be many more along the way. (Do you sense the foreshadowing here people?) We ran all through the park as the sun came up, and I kept looking and looking for more characters, to no avail.
The closest thing I saw to a character was at the 2 mile marker, where there were some cast members holding some birds and such…yeah…
Honestly, though, we aren’t sure if he was out there for course entertainment or if he was heading to breakfast at Tusker house because his character handler seemed annoyed we wanted a picture, and other runners told me they didn’t see him. We saw the haunted mansion guys towards the end of the race, but no one else. We went around one more turn and the finish line was in sight, so we picked up the pace.
We crossed the finish line and got our medal..er…rubber medallion and Powerade/water/banana/bagel
I was glad for this to be over because I was dreading having so many things to do that day, nice to scratch something off my list! It seemed to go by so quickly, but I have a million other things on my mind so didn’t really care at that point. Ok, so now for the good, the bad and the ugly.
It’s always cool to run through the Disney parks! Fireworks at the start, lots of cheering at the finish, Minnie and Mickey at the starting line, and since it was a Halloween 5k, lots of fun costumes were all over the place. Wish I had taken more pics of some of them!
Getting up at 5 and having to get there by 6 to stand around for an hour in the chilly weather is never fun. Also, not having specific corrals, a bunch of walkers started in the front so there was a good bit of weaving in the beginning, but nothing major.
I was VERY disappointed in the bang for your buck. This race was $53 dollars if you include the active.com fees. I assumed that there would be a bunch of characters on the course like for the half marathons, and other 5k’s I have been told about. The only characters on the course was a monkey at the beginning from Tarzan or Jungle book, Donald, and the gravedigger guys from haunted mansion. That.. is.. it. For the hefty entry fee I expected a lot more than that. Also, what is up with the rubber finishers medal? As it is, you get a t-shirt instead of a technical fabric shirt. (I pay $15 bucks for local races and get a tech shirt) I KNOW Disney is making a ton of money on this race, they could have made it more worthwhile. I thought it was a HUGE waste of money and unless it’s free, I highly doubt I will be running anymore Disney 5k races. Coming from someone who loves Disney and Disney races….I just had to give it the honest review it deserved.
I loved the half in January, as well as the full and would recommend them to anyone (and I will be running Princess in February). The full this past January was my favorite race ever. Tons of characters! Great crowd support! Well organized! I just can’t in good conscience recommend the Halloween 5k to anyone unless they make some changes, which saddens me greatly as a HUGE lover of Disney and of running. However, I would LOVE to be proven wrong, so let’s go Disney and make next year awesome!
QOTD: Ever been disappointed by a race? tell me about it!