Disney Princess Half Marathon

So, I ran the Royal Family 5k on Saturday, and then had to get up at 2:45 Sunday for the Princess half marathon. After only four hours of sleep, I wasn’t too thrilled to hear my alarm. I got up anyway, and put on my tutu.  It was if the world was instantly more fun! I was so excited to wear it.


All 3 of us ready to run


We made our way to the start line


and since I had a free pass to the race retreat (thanks runDisney and FitFluential!) I left my mom and Karen outside for a couple of minutes so I could go inside and take pictures. The race retreat isn’t cheap, but I can see why. It has a private bag check, potties, tables, food, couches, TV’s, computers, and character photo ops!



I grabbed a banana and a half of a bagel and some hot chocolate to warm me up.




I quickly spotted my blogger group of friends and sat with them for a few minutes. Me and my fellow Belle, Meghann.


Of course we had to get a Belle picture! Meghann, me, and Callie.


I definitely will consider the race retreat next time, especially if it’s really cold. It was nice to not have to stress about breakfast or the bathroom!

I headed out and wished them luck, and met up with my mom and Karen right at 5:00. We decided to join the masses of people heading to the corrals. We came to a standstill for a long time, and then realized the culprit. Disney did something I don’t remember them doing at the past two marathon weekends I participated in…they had a row of port o potties on the way to the corrals…so the lines for them were literally blocking the people trying to get to the corrals! It was a bit frustrating and poor planning in my opinion. (But hey if that’s the worst Disney does, then that’s not too shabby!)


We made a quick bathroom break ourselves, then headed to our corral. We got in about five minutes before the start, and had plenty of room to move around and take pictures.



People behind us


Before long, the fireworks went off, and it as time to run! There was so much excitement in the air, and of course, lots of tutus!



As we passed the start, I yelled to Carissa who gave me another shout out. One for each race, I’ll take it girl! The first couple of miles were pretty uneventful. We tried to keep a good pace to clear out from the crowds. Unfortunately, that never really happened.


We saw our first set of characters and had to stop. After all, our goals for this race were to have fun and get lots of pictures. The line was already really long, but we didn’t really care.


As we were standing in line, look who I spotted in front of us! Dave Mari, who I ran Disney’s Wine and Dine with, Brandi, who I also ran with and who was my skirt helper for the booth at Wine and Dine, and Juli, who is a fellow Running Skirts sales rep!


We took a picture with some of the men


I had to take a picture with the Beauty and the Beast mile marker

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We then ran into these awesome ladies


We finally made it to the Magic Kingdom and I started getting excited about running through the castle!


We made it around to the TTC where these awesome drummers were playing.


and then up the dreaded hill.


During the full marathon, Bobby loved watching the tumble monkeys, and asked them if he could get on their trampoline, so I took this picture for him.


We lost a lot of time stopping for pictures, and it was SO congested. I do not remember it being this bad for the half and full. I was constantly stopping, weaving, and bumping into people. It was impossible to even run two across, although some groups were walking 3 and 4 people across the road. oy.

I can see the castle!


About to head into the Magic Kingdom


About to turn onto Main Street USA!




I love love love this part of the race, but not going to lie, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have in the past. When I turn onto Main street and see that castle I am bursting with emotion and I want to run…fast! There were sssooo many people I was basically at a walk the whole time, and spent my time going down the street a little frustrated that I couldn’t move.


So I just took a bunch of pictures.



We of course had to get the castle in the background

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We had to go to the bathroom, so we hit up the same one we used during the full marathon, the one in Tomorrowland. We were laughing because the women had taken over the men’s bathroom, too!




Since mom was Cinderella I made her take her own picture with Prince Charming


I’m ffllyyiinggg through Fantasyland!


We made it to the back of the castle and this was actually one of I think three photo op’s we skipped. It was for Minnie and by time we realized it, we had missed the back of the line and didn’t dee it safe to swim upstream around all those people.


We ran through the castle and out the other side and headed into Frontierland.



Can you see me?





and of course made a few stops along the way.

When we got to the backside of the Magic Kingdom, we saw a line for characters that was WAY long. My mom was getting tired and had a good idea. She said for us to stay in the line, and she would start walking and we would just catch her. Worked for us, so off she went. AAAAnnnddd we stood here for a long time.


About this time, Jen texted me and I sent her this picture to show her how crazy long the lines were!


We exited the Magic Kingdom and headed out on the skinniest portion of the race. The past two times I ran on the grass just so I could pass people. I think this part is dangerous and needs to be changed! We hit the halfway mark and the STRONGER sign with Kelly Clarkson’s song blaring. Loved it!


We got to the Grand Floridian and I saw Belle! There was a cast member standing there telling me the line was closed. Huh? She said Belle had to go get ready for the day and go to the park. I got very frustrated. We pay a lot of money for this race and should have the characters there until everyone is done. I was about to burst into tears. After all, she was the only picture I really wanted! A sweet girl at the back of the line offered me her spot! I was so grateful! Just then, the cast member decided to let us in anyway.


Belle told me I must have been rummaging around in her closet haha.

We caught up with my mom about mile 8.

photo (7)

This is the boring part of the race (comparatively) but it was still full of people and we were still weaving around to pass. We did a few run walk intervals, and finally made it to the overpass heading to EPCOT. The skies were looking mighty dark and you guessed it..it started raining. hard. I stuck my camera and my phone under my tutu and we kept going.


We could see the entrance to EPCOT, and knew we were getting close. Poor mom was wearing down, so I had to keep telling her to come on, and keep up. I wasn’t going to let her wimp out now!


We made it over the last hill, and I could see the EPCOT ball!


We made it into EPCOT and I told mom we were going to run the rest of the way. She didn’t seem to keen on the idea but I knew she could do it.


People kept telling Karen “I like your frog!” No one seemed to get it was Pascal from Rapunzel!


I kept telling my mom we were almost there, and to finish strong. I told her she is stronger than she thinks and that she was ALMOST DONE! We passed the gospel choir right as they started to sing “Joyful Joyful” and I ran by and slapped all their hands.


We saw Karen’s mom as we made the last turn.

We could SEE the finish line. I told her we can’t stop now, we are so close! We picked up the pace and ran it in.



My favorite race photo of me, ever.



That is…until we saw Mickey mouse! We stopped dead in our tracks and I think my mom was about to kill me!


We regrouped, and crossed the finish line together. I always get emotional when I cross the finish at a Disney race, and this one was no different.





Of course, my mom started crying, and I told her she DID it!



Medals, and pictures all around



Number 10, in the books.

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It started raining again, and we couldn’t find Karen’s mom. I was supposed to go back to the race retreat but everyone seemed a little stressed out so I didn’t say anything. Come to find out, they got breakfast, mimosa’s, and cute Princess flip flops. So sadly, I didn’t get any. Bummer, but it’s my fault.

We got on the monorail to go back to the resort and Princess was officially over.

This race gets two huge thumbs up from me. The organization is great, the characters are fun, and where else can you run in a tutu?!? I know for a lot of people, Princess was their first half. I was so proud of EVERYONE out there on that course, bettering their bodies, and becoming more healthy. That’s what it’s all about. PR’s are great, running your butt off is great, but you don’t HAVE to do those things to be a runner, or a half marathoner. It took us well over three hours to finish this race, and I don’t really care! I am strong, I am healthy, and I am happy. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be working on half marathon number twelve. I feel so blessed to have the ability to run, and a healthy body to carry me through each and every race. I never dreamed it, but it is HAPPENING! If your goal is to run Princess next year, do it! Don’t put it off. Start your journey TODAY. We aren’t promised tomorrow. Start with a 5k, work your way up if a half marathon is your goal.  It will be tough but I know you can do it. Disney is a place where dreams come true, and I highly recommend all of the Disney races.

As a very wise man once said, If you can dream it, YOU CAN DO IT!

QOTD: What is something you have done that you never thought possible?

*If you love my tutu you can have one made of your very own! My friend Rachel makes them, check out her shop. She can personalize one for you!

I was always planning to go to the race, but a couple of weeks before I left, I was asked by runDisney and FitFluential to come as a part of a group of blogger media. Part of my expenses for the trip were covered. However, I am obsessed with Disney and their runDisney races, so all opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. Great race recap! I love running Disney (I have done the W&D, Disney World Half, and Disney World Full Relay) but I haven’t done Princess. It is on my list next year.
    I love your pic with your mom after you guys cross the finish line and are looking at one another. Pure emotion!

  2. Awesome recap! That stinks that you had to weave around people most of the race – boo. CONGRATS to your mom on finishing! Such an inspiration.

    And I think someone had that last quote on their shirt for the race 😉

  3. What an awesome recap. Love all the pictures and how you keep it “real” by saying the highs and lows of the race. So happy you and your mom got to run together. How fun!

  4. The Princess race is my dream race & seeing your adventure, it makes me want to do it even more!!!! That is the BEST race picture EVER btw! 🙂

  5. Awesome recap! I love all the pics and your costume was superb! I can’t believe how congested the race was the whole beginning…wow!

  6. What a great recap! Congrats to you… and your Mom! How cool! I’m planning on my first Disney race (W&D) this November. The only thing that I worry about is the crowds. I usually stress out running in congestion like that. And all the long lines? Not sure I’d actually stop that long, just knowing myself.

  7. I never, ever in my life thought that I would be able to run a marathon. And I did it in 2010! Now, will I ever do one again? Who knows. 🙂 Now I’m focusing on PR’s and so far I’ve done that with my half and my 5k!

  8. Tara Burner says

    I LOVE all the pics and recaps! feels like I was there…
    and now in reading your comments about how congested it was, etc…I may not be going to Princess next year…
    massive people on top of each other and I do not go well together…
    may have to rethink this…though daughter wants to do the disney 5K are those as crowded?

  9. Congrats to you and your mom!
    Great pictures! I also love the one of you giving the thumbs up and with your pony tail flying.

    It was great meeting you! Thanks again for giving me a few minutes to share.

    • no problem, thank you for sharing! you are actually in one of my race photos, not sure if i posted that one or not, but its by the castle, coming down the ramp!

  10. Jennifer says

    Love that picture of you and your mom right after the finish. 🙂 I can’t wait to run the DL 1/2 with my mom now!

  11. Congrats Heather!

    Your pictures are AWESOME especially the ones in front of the castle.

    I am also jealous of you Mickey photo at the finish line! In 2010, I missed Mickey and Minnie at the castle because the line for them was sooo long. So my goal in 2011 was to definitely stand in line for them no matter what! They were BOTH at the finish line that year so I immediately stopped and got my favorite photo ever! This year they were not at the finish line at all! I was totally planning to stop there for them. I did get Minnie at the castle, but I wish that had them together…oh well!


  12. LOVE this recap. Your pictures with the characters are great! I love reading other people’s experiences of the race, I’m so glad everyone loved it just as much as I did!

  13. Kristyn @ Life In Running Shoes says

    great race recap! I am still on my race high coming off of my first half. I am already searching and planning my next one for this fall/winter!! I am hooked! Congrats to your mom on finishing-that first finish line is so awesome.

  14. Great recap!!!

    This is fantastic, you and your mom are so stinkin’ cute. I love the tutus!

  15. I loved your recap! You guys looked super cute in your tutus! Those are really good pictures. And I’m really glad you got your picture with Belle. (I missed out on a picture with Snow White, which was my costume, due to the rain.)

  16. Such a fun recap! You have some truly amazing race photos! Aww I’m so happy for your mom! She’s so inspiring!
    Crazy they almost didn’t let you take a picture wuth Belle! I would have been mad!

  17. Love love love your recap! It made me relive the race all over again and how much I loved it! I really want to do another Disney race! How long did it take to wait through the long lines for the characters? I was sad snow white wasn’t out on the course!

  18. Looks like it was a lot of fun! When you can dress in costume and stop to take pictures with characters, how can you not have fun.

    It does look like it was crowded, though. Even if I wasn’t “racing” I would probably get annoyed.

  19. I love your “story”! I ran the Princess for the first time in 2010 as a reward to losing 65 pounds after having a baby the previous year! I ran it again in 2011 and knocked off almost 10 minutes! I have some regrets not taking pictures but I love to see everyone elses!!

  20. Congrats! You got some great pictures with this one!

    I ran the Princess half last year and had the same problem with the course being overcrowded. I’m not a fast runner and I still couldn’t run at a comfortable pace because there were always people to weave around. I also tried to use the grass along the side of the pavement and nearly twisted an ankle so I moved back to the congested roadway. It really turned me off to running a Disney race again. Which is sad. I just think they are allowing too many people on the course. With as much as it would be sad to those who wait to sign up, I think they should start capping their races at a much lower number of entrants.

  21. Wow – so glad I found your blog! I am just starting my (slow) training for the 2013 Princess Half and reading your post has me super excited. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  22. Christine says

    Just found your blog and instantly found your Princess recap…my first and only (well, I’ve run 2) half. I loved your outfit – too cute! I’ve run the Princess twice with my mom and it’s totall an amazing experience and I cannot believe I’ve managed to run 13.1 miles. Go girl!

  23. Looking for some race info, I stumbled across your blog and realized my mom, sister and I were right in front of you on Main Street (in the multicolored tutus) and are a bunch of your photos! What a small world! I always wondered how many stranger’s pictures we end up in during one of these things.
    What a great recap. Happy racing!

    • that is TOO FUNNY! I ended up in someone’s video form the race, I run right by and am high fiving the gospel choir and someone else spotted me and told me about it! Are you running next year?

      • I hope so! We girls (two sisters and mom) try to go every year. We have talked about possibly doing Tinkerbell instead this year, just to do a race at the ‘Land. But the Princess is by far our favorite.

  24. Loved reading your blog so far! I did the Princess Half this year as well, dressed as my girl Ariel lol. This year I did it for time, but if I do it again I’ll def be stopping for pics!

  25. What did you use for your tiara and how did you get it to stay the whole run?

  26. What a fun race!! Now I have the warm runDisney fuzzies again. :0) Hope you have an awesome time this year at Princess! I think it’s great you get to cross so many finish lines with your mom! Makes it even more special!

  27. Great post! I am running the princess next weekend an I am so nervous! I am no runner and just found out I was running about 4 weeks ago! I am proud of myself and even did an 11 miler this weekend! I am right at a 15 1/2 minute pace bordering on a 16 minute pace. I am BEYOND worried about the sweepers!! How strict are they????

    • they start 16 minute miles after the last person crosses, so as long as you arent the very very last person you will have a cushion. Try to get to the front of your corral. 🙂 You will be fine, try run walking to give yourself time to recover.

      • Thanks so much for your reply! I appreciate it! I just found out that I am in the last corral. I have to say that I was pretty bummed all day yesterday as my friends are two and three corrals ahead of me. I am trying to be positive and just do my very best and make sure to get to the FRONT of the corral!!! Thanks again and have a great race!

  28. So fun to take a look back at last year! We can’t wait to run again in just a few days. The faster 1/2 is a “Perfect Princess” and the slower 1/2 is just semi-perfect since. 😉

  29. I am debating doing this race next year, and I was googling costumes and what not.. so glad i found this post – made me a wee bit emotional 😉

  30. Hi! How did you make your costume?? What’s under your tutu? You’re photos are awesome!

    • running skirt is under tutu, I have two different people that make tutus for me, everything else I just bought and pieced together.

  31. Hi Heather,
    Where did you find the yellow arm sleeves?
    Your costume is awesome!!

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