After a not-so-good night’s sleep before the 5k, I had absolutely no problem falling asleep before 9 PM on Thursday evening. I don’t think I moved once or even stirred before my alarm went off at 3 AM. Despite the early hour, I had a surprising amount of energy and nearly sprang out of bed. After examining the weather app on my phone, I got dressed and ready to go. It didn’t seem like it was going to be as cold and windy as the day before so I decided to leave my gloves and ear muff headband in the room.
At 3:30, I kissed Pete goodbye, grabbed something to munch on, and headed out the door. As I walked over to the monorail station at the Contemporary, I considered going back to the room for at least my gloves but decided against it. I reasoned with myself that I would warm up as soon as I started running and it really wasn’t as cold as the day before. When I arrived at Epcot, I headed over to the staging area to find my running buddy. After we realized that we had beat our goal by 10 seconds the previous day, we decided that we wanted to all of our race finishing times to be faster than the previous year. It was a lofty goal but one that seemed doable. For the 10k, our goals was to beat 1:39:12 and be closer to a 15:45 min/mile pace.
While we waited to get started with the race, I really started to question myself about not going back to the room for my gloves. My hands were absolutely freezing and I couldn’t find a way to get them warm. Since it was a little bit of hassle to get to our corral the day before, we headed over there early and waited for the start of the race. At 5:30 AM, the first corral was released and we only had to wait 30 minutes before our corral started. Those 30 minutes gave us more time to discuss our plan of attack for the race. With a time goal in mind, we decided to follow a similar plan to the 5k, which seemed to work pretty well for us.
Mile 1 – 15:19 min/mile
Just after 6 AM, our corral was sent on its way. Just like the day before, my running buddy and I started walking at brisk pace. Thankfully, I was wearing a different pair of shoes so I didn’t have any shoe lace malfunctions. When we crossed the starting line of the 5k, we made a right turn towards the parking lot exit and backstage area. For the 10k, we made a left turn and headed towards the main parking entrance gate. My running buddy spotted one of her friends who was using a metronome app to keep her walking pace consistent and under the 16 min/mile. I tried to keep up with them but her pace was just a little too fast. As we approached the end of the first mile, I knew that we wouldn’t be able to keep up that walking pace especially with the overpass hill coming up.
Mile 2 – 16:10 min/mile
After we passed the Mile 1 Marker, we made a U-Turn and headed up the overpass to go back towards Epcot along Epcot Center Drive. Walking up that overpass slowed our pace down, which I really appreciated. The first few miles of this course are not my favorite. There really isn’t a whole lot to see expect plenty of open roads and trees. Before I knew it, we were approaching another mile marker and getting just a little bit closer to entering Epcot.
Mile 3 – 16:08 min/mile
We passed the Mile 2 Marker and knew that we only had a little more than a mile to go before we were running through Epcot. Based on our current average pace, we would have to start running at some point but we weren’t quite ready yet and we wanted to hold off for as long as possible. We continued along Epcot Center Drive and couldn’t wait to until we were off the road. For some reason, the first half of this course is really not my cup of tea. We finally turned off of the main road and spotted the Mile 3 Marker.
Mile 4 – 16:03 min/mile
We walked past the Mile 3 Marker and after that we crossed over the 5k timing mat. I checked our official pace and we were a little bit slower than we wanted to finish. We knew we would have to start running a little bit sooner than we did during the 5k. At about mile 3.5, we finally entered the backstage area of Epcot. We snaked through the backstage area and entered the park right next to the China pavilion. We made our way around the World Showcase before we spotted the Mile 4 Marker at the Japan pavilion.
Mile 5 – 15:11 min/mile
We passed the Mile 4 Marker and finished making our way around the World Showcase. As we left the park through the International Gateway, we talked about when we wanted to actually start running. We turned left and started heading towards the Boardwalk Inn. Once we hit the boardwalk, we finally started our run/walk intervals. We wanted to make sure that we had a bit of a time buffer for our time goal. Plus, I was still pretty darn cold and running sounded like a really good way to warm up a little bit. We continued our intervals around the boardwalk area and headed towards the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.
Mile 6 – 13:06 min/mile
We spotted the Mile 5 Marker as we entered the Yacht and Beach Club area. We were almost done and we only had 1.2 miles left to go. We got back to the International Gateway and headed into another back stage area. We reentered Epcot near the Imagination! and The Land and ran past The Living Seas. Before I knew it, we were making the final route through Future World. My legs weren’t feeling super great but I wasn’t going to let that keep me from meeting our time goal. We made the final turn towards the finish chute and crossed the finish line well under our time goal. I was a little worried that we may have run too much at the end but I didn’t care because we were well under our time goal for the day (almost 2:30 under).
My running buddy and I made our way through the finisher’s area to collect our medals, drinks, and food. We checked in at the Dopey tent again and they told us that we were good to go. I was a little concerned that they weren’t checking our pictures or giving us any wristbands but I trusted that we were good to go. Once we had all of our stuff, we said goodbye and I went in search of Pete. Thankfully, he had one of my heavy jackets with him so that I could warm up as we headed back to the hotel. My hands were so cold and I decided that I wouldn’t underestimate the cold again.
Walt Disney World 10k by the numbers
- Official Finish Time – 1:36:44 total time
- Average Pace – 15:34 min/mile
- 5k Split Time – 50:27 (16:15 pace)
- Total Weekend Miles – 9.32 miles
- Total Time Running – 2:26:10
- Division Place – 765 out of 973
- Gender Place – 4,827 out of 6,309
- Overall Place – 8,941 out of 10,949
You may also like: