On Thursday morning, my alarm started going off at 3:30 AM and all I wanted to do was throw the clock through the window. It felt like I hadn’t gotten any sleep at all. Thankfully, I had laid out my running outfit the night before so I didn’t have to spend too much time or effort thinking.
Around 4:15 AM, I kissed Pete good bye and headed out the door to catch the monorail over to Epcot. The monorail was a lot emptier than I am used to on race mornings but I figured that it was still pretty early. When I arrived at Epcot, I headed over to the starting area to wait until the corrals opened. While I was there, I ran into Jill and her cousin John. Before too long, it was time to head over to the corrals. For the 5k, there were only 5 corrals (A-E) plus the wheelchairs. On our way to the corrals, we ran into a couple of other friend (Linzie, Jessica, Jenn and JJ) and we all ended up in Corral C. (Some of us were actually placed in Corral B but runDisney does not allow anyone to move up.)
At 6:15 AM (shortly after the wheelchairs started), the first set of fireworks went off and the Disney Family Fun Run 5k got under way. The corrals started about 5 minutes apart and I crossed the starting line about 10 minutes later. Since this race was the first of 4, our group decided to take it super easy. Jill set her interval timer for 2/1 and we were off.
Mile 1 – 12:11 min/mile pace
The first mile of the course took us through the parking lot area and towards the backstage area. We spent quite a bit of time dodging and weaving through the other runners. When we passed the first character stop (Flik and Princess Atta), we decided to skip it because the line was a little longer than we wanted to wait. After all, we were supposed to be maintaining a 16 minute/mile pace.
Mile 2 – 28:17 min/mile pace (<— oops! character stops!)
The second mile began our journey through Epcot. We entered the park near the Mexico Pavilion before circling around the World Showcase. As we passed by Norway, we spotted a character stop (Norwegian Daisy Duck) and decided that we weren’t going to pass this one up. The photo line took a little bit longer than I expected but it was totally worth it.
After the photo, we continued running around the World Showcase. When we passed by Germany, Dopey was there but his photo line was so long that it stretched all the way to the next pavilion! We decided to continue running instead of wait in that line. In France, we spotted another character stop (Emil and Remy) with a much shorter line so we stopped.
So far we were doing a pretty good job of taking it easy. Stopping for 2 character stops really slowed down our overall pace. Unfortunately, the weather was starting to turn on us. I am not the biggest fan of running through the rain even when it is only drizzling.
Mile 3 – 12:44 min/mile pace
We left the park at the International Gateway and run through a backstage area before we headed back in to Epcot near the United Kingdom Pavilion. The last mile of the race took us through Future World and around Spaceship Earth. As we looped back out through another backstage area, I could see the finish line and just like that we were done with the first leg of the Dopey Challenge.
After crossing the finish line, I made my way through the Finisher’s Area. I collected my medal and received the first of quite a few wristbands. All Dopey Challengers received a wristband to signify that they had completed the first race. Even though this was my slowest 5k time EVER, I had such a fun time running with friends through Epcot.
Disney Family Fun Run 5k by the numbers
- Official Finish Time – 56:23 minutes
- Average Pace – 18:08 min/mile pace
- Total Weekend Miles – 3.11 miles
Check out my other Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend posts: