Let’s start with a quick visit to the race expo… this is where you pick up your race number (bib / kit) and tee shirt(s). After you get your stuff you can walk through the expo where tons of vendors sell all things running gear from clothes to technology to costumes. There was also a separate set up for Run Disney merch. I went the first day of the expo and it looked like some things were already sold out. I saw magnetic car signs that said 13.1 or 26.2 in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears. I wanted a Dopey Challenge magnet that had 48.6 miles, but didn’t see any. I asked, but the cast-member said what they had out was all that’s left. There wasn’t an obvious empty spot where a Dopey Challenge magnet would have been so I’m not sure if they were sold out or don’t exist.
Everything went quickly at the expo and I got my bibs and t-shirts for the Dopey Challenge (I shared ALL the shirts on Instagram here). Then, I said a quick hello to the Sparkle Skirt girls. Love them! Highly recommend you dress up in one of their skirts if you’re running a Disney race or other costume run. Trust me.
I’d planned to buy fuel for the full marathon at the expo because I was all out at home and usually order it online, but knew it wouldn’t arrive in time. This is usually no problem-o, but they didn’t have my favorite flavor of gel – Clif Mocha. I usually carry one Clif Mocha Gel and a packet of Clif Margarita Shot Blocks. I had to get another brand’s closest flavor – Espresso. *Check out this fuel & my other Running Must Haves Amazon List Here*
Quick photo op with the Dopey Challenge Medal sign!
There were a few fun photo opportunities in the building with the official Run Disney Merchandise. I skipped this area when I came to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon expo a few months ago, so I was happy to snap a pic of my Run Eat Repeat pose with Mickey and Minnie.
After the expo we headed to the hotel to check-in. I needed to get my entire life together for all the miles and early wake-up calls ahead!
I’m doing a separate post on what I ate before the races, transportation, the hotels (I stayed at 2 different ones), etc… after I recap all the races. LMK if you have any questions.
I’ve always wanted to dress up like Merida from Brave for a Run Disney race. As a redheaded Mexican, I always felt a lil (okay a lot) weird with this BIG RED HEAD. It took a long time to love this trait that only 2% of people have and now I only want to be red-headed characters for Halloween or Run Disney Races. (Spoiler alert: I’ve already done Ariel, Anna and Jesse from Toy Story – so the rest of my costumes this time are non-gingers.)
I knew to truly be Merida I’d have to run with my hair down since she has wild, curly red hair. So, I picked the 5K for this costume since it’d be the least amount of time running with my hair down (something I’d never do otherwise).
My hair is very straight so I planned on curling my it the night before, then rolling it up in soft rollers to sleep. I set my alarm for extra early to allow time to take out the rollers and re-curl any pieces that needed a touch-up.
Please note: The race start time is 5AM Eastern Time, but you have to get on the shuttle bus around 3:30AM. So this was aggressively early.
Here’s a picture before I left the hotel…
Aaaaand here’s a picture walking towards the 5K starting line (after getting off the bus from the hotel). Note that my curls were already falling out BEFORE THE RACE. I’m so glad I spent hours curling it for one hotel lobby photo.
Walt Disney World 5K Race
Pre-Race: The starting line area was well lit, there were a lot of cast members directing runners where to go, and a lot of signs – so everything was easy to navigate. There were a lot of porta-potties too – so no long lines for that.
The 5K Race: This race was 3.1 miles starting outside Epcot. The Mile 2 marker was inside the theme park and the finish line was just outside. The 5AM start time = the entire race was before sunrise. So, parts of the course were pretty dark. I tried to take a lot of video for my recap, but a lot of it was way too dark to really show you the course. I made a short 1 minute recap of the 5K you can see on my Instagram @RunEatRepeat
The 5K course is flat. The corrals, starting line and finish line are well organized. The race started on time. Overall everything was great.
Run Disney races are known for their fun atmosphere, community and photo ops. This 5K run definitely had that! There were photo opportunities with characters and at a few great photos in Epcot.
Since the race was so dark I didn’t get many good photos before, during or after the run… so I decided to buy the official race photos. They’re pricey but…
a.) the entire race weekend is a lot of money and something I’ll only do once so I want the memories
2.) a big part of the reason I decided to do the Dopey Challenge was to blog / vlog it on RunEatRepeat.com to share all the tips, tricks and info with other runners thinking about doing it
c.) I woke up before 2:30AM EST time to curl my hair and run 3.1 miles in a diy costume – and I need photo evidence as a reminder to myself to make better choices… (hair choices, life choices, etc.)
This finish line photo is a lil blurry but has a Mickey Mouse photo bomb so it’s also a lil amazing.
Run Disney Posts to Check Out
Okay… Gotta run. I’ll be back with the WDW 10K Race Recap next.
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