I took plenty of pictures and will let them tell the story.
We arrived Saturday afternoon, checked into the Polynesian Resort then headed over to the expo and a tour of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The expo was packed!
We paused our shopping for a pic. Notice the “champion” above our heads. I’m just sayin.
See, there really are glass running shoes!
After the expo we had a little welcome reception where we mingled with Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca from “Survivor;” and had a great, intimate Q&A with the legendary Jeff Galloway.
Me with Jeff Galloway. He's the runDisney training consultant. I was so thrilled because I follow his Galloway method for long runs. Am I grinning hard enough?
We left ESPN and headed to Hollywood Studios where we CARB LOADED at Mama Melrose. I could eat there every night if Disney, and my hips, could take it. Then it was off to bed - we had a 3:45 a.m. call time. YIKES!
My pre-race EARLY morning pic!
We hopped on the bus and dropped our stuff off in the Media/VIP tent before heading to the start line. Every corral started with a bang, literally, as fireworks sent more than 16,000 runners from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back. The course is filled with every one’s favorite Disney characters and live entertainment.
There’s nothing more magical than running up Main Street and through Cinderella’s castle.
The Princesses weren't the only ones who dressed up. There was frog man, too. Yup, he ran 13.1 miles in a frog suit. Got to love it.
There was also a little eye-candy to cheer us on.
And, a gospel choir at mile 13. It was Sunday morning and, yes, I needed a little Jesus to get to the finish line.
I finished in 2:46:42. The Princess is not a “race” race because you can stop a million times for pics and fun - unless of course you are this badass who sets a sub 2:00 PR!
Afterwards we celebrated in the Media/VIP tent; ate brunch and cheered in the rest of the runners. (Heather, me and T)
Oh, "Captain Jack" Jeff Galloway showed up there, too!
Most people rest after running 13.1 miles, but, um, yeah - not us!
We headed back to ESPN Wide World of Sports to catch the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Season Opener against the NY Mets.
It was a GORGEOUS day to catch a game.
After having lunch and the classic baseball snack we had a few more things on the agenda.
No, I didn’t really drive it but I did hit some golf balls.
The ladies and I were treated to a private hour lesson with two of Disney’s Palm and Magnolia Golf Course professionals.
If I didn’t have my hands full with running and tennis I just might of had to take up golf. I was whacking the mess out of the ball. GASP!
Next up we were all excited to learn more about sports and endurance nutrition with Disney Chef Gary Jones, a culinary dietary specialist.
He enlisted Lisa …
... and Heather to help him chef up a dish for us. He also fed us dark chocolate. Does it get any better?
We ended our evening with a FABULOUS dinner in France at Epcot’s Bistro de Paris, then had a private dessert party where we sipped champagne made for Disney’s newest cruise ship, The Dream, and watched the Illuminations fireworks show.
As if that wasn’t enough a few of us ran over to Magic Kingdom to take advantage of their late night Magic Hours and took on Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Thunder Mountain and the Haunted House. We were too tired to snap any pictures but my scratchy voice from yelling is proof that we were there.
A huge thank you to the wonderful team at Walt Disney World Resort for hosting such an incredible experience and for supporting our Get Moving! initiative. I’m excited that I’ll be here until Sunday for Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. No running for me today, I’ll be back at it tomorrow; maybe, I can get my girl Minnie to join me.
Winks & Smiles,
Disclosure: My travel, meals and accommodations were provided by Walt Disney World Resort. As always, my thoughts and opinions are all my own.