When the alarm went off at 3 AM on Friday morning, I didn’t have the urge to throw it out the window. I actually woke up feeling rested and ready to go. I think my nerves had something to do with how poorly I slept on Wednesday night. I quickly changed into my Minnie Mouse running outfit, grabbed something to eat and was out the door by 3:30.
There were a few more people on the monorail this morning and my fellow Dopey Challengers were starting to show some signs of fatigue. When I got to the starting area at Epcot, the announcers were already telling people to head over to the corrals. I made my pre-race port-a-potty stop and headed over to Corral C. As I entered the corral, Mindy and Heather spotted me.
Mindy and I met during last year’s marathon weekend. She helped me finish my first marathon. I loved catching up with her while we waited for the race to start. Just before 5:30 AM, the wheelchair racers were sent on their way. Then at 5:30 AM, the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10k was started. Just like the 5k, it took about 10 minutes for me to cross the starting line and start my 6.2 mile journey.
Mile 1 – 13:32 min/mile pace
The course started at the same starting line as the 5k. Instead of making a right turn towards Epcot, we made a left turn away from the park. Before the race started, I decided that I was going to take it easy and follow a 1/1 run-walk interval ratio. After the race started, the course was a little congested so I skipped the first walk break and ran with Mindy. When the course started to thin out, I sent Mindy on her way and stuck to my intervals.
The first mile of the course took us out of the parking lots and onto the road that goes into them. Then it went under an overpass and continued through the Epcot parking entrance gate. I spotted the Mile 1 Marker before making a sharp right turn back towards Epcot … the long way!
Mile 2 – 14:56 min/mile pace
The second mile of course continued along the highway towards the backstage area of Epcot. Sometimes it felt like I was running on an endless stretch of highway. At one point, I spotted Captain Hook and Mr. Schmee from Peter Pan. Mindy was in line for a photo with them but I decided not to stop. I figured that I would stop for a really short line or for a super rare character. Before I knew it, I spotted the Mile 2 Marker.
Mile 3 – 14:48 min/mile pace
The third mile of the course was more highway running. I knew I was getting closer to Epcot though. About halfway through Mile 3, the course started following the 5k course and I knew that we would finally be heading into the park. I spotted the Mile 3 Marker just outside of the Epcot security gate.
Mile 4 – 14:51 min/mile pace
As I made my way towards the now familiar security gate, I heard the voice of Sarge from Toy Story. I spotted him right at the speed bump and NO ONE was in line for a photo. I quickly got behind someone who had the same idea as me and snagged a photo with him. Less than a minute later, I was back on the course and heading through the backstage area of Epcot.
The course entered Epcot near the Norway Pavilion and started making its way around the World Showcase. Mushu from Mulan was out and about as I passed by the China Pavilion. The Mile 4 Marker was located just before the American Pavilion. As I finished the fourth mile, I checked in with myself to make sure that I was following my plan. My legs felt strong and my pace was very easy and comfortable. I wasn’t pushing myself too hard, which is exactly how I wanted to run this race. The only bad thing was the humidity in the air but that is quite normal for Florida.
Mile 5 – 21:22 min/mile pace (<— photo stop!)
I continued running along the World Showcase. When I reached the International Gateway entrance, the course took a left turn and exited Epcot. The course entered Disney’s Boardwalk area for the giant loop around the lagoon. As I approached the ESPN Club, I spotted Mindy in a photo line but I couldn’t see who the character was. When I figured out who it was, I doubled back and jumped in line with her. Goofy is one of Pete’s favorite characters and I have never seen him in his football uniform.
While we were in line, she mentioned that the humidity was starting to get to her. I offered to finish the race with her if she didn’t mind running my intervals. After we got our photos, we headed off together to finish the race. We ran around the entire lagoon, going past the Boardwalk Resort, and the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. The Mile 5 Marker was located near the Yacht Club Resort. We were in the home stretch!
Mile 6 – 14:10 min/mile pace
We finished running around the Boardwalk and head back towards Epcot. Instead on going in near the United Kingdom (like the 5k race), we ran through a backstage area and entered the park near Imagination! and The Land. We cut across Future World and headed towards the finish line. For the second time in two days, I crossed the finish line and earned an awesome piece of race bling!
Mindy and I headed through the Finisher’s Area. We collected our medals, snack boxes and drinks. I also added another wristband to my collection. Then we found Pete, who didn’t accidentally sleep my race finish. Before heading back to the hotel, I got my medal engraved and grabbed a photo with Daisy Duck.
Walt Disney World 10k by the numbers
- Official Finish Time – 1:39:45 minutes
- Average Pace – 16:04 min/mile pace
- 5k Split Time – 46:12 (14:52 pace)
- Total Weekend Miles – 9.32 miles
- Total Time Running – 2:36:08
- Division Place – 540 out of 649
- Gender Place – 4289 out of 5194
- Overall Place – 8057 out of 9240
Check out my other Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend posts: