There are always going to be some of both. Especially with a race. And I feel like it is important to share ALL the information. I know it is always helpful to me as I read multiple race recaps from last year to help me prep for this race.
1. It was held at night which makes it hard on your family/friends if they are planning to watch you cross the finish. Not that my family complained... because they didn't even care one bit when I finished... they were just so happy to be there for support. But, I didn't cross until 1am - which made for a long day.
2. The course. As much as I LOVED running through the parks at night.. it was such a tight fit and hard to run a good race with so many people trying to fit down a narrow walkway. Especially when some of the runners that I encountered found it necessary to stop abruptly for pictures and to walk - leaving those of us running having to jump up on the grass to prevent ourselves from colliding. I was amazed at the lack of respect for other runners on this course.
3. SPECTATORS. And the fact that there was basically none. Spectators make a race successful. They are your encouragement and support during the race and are just as important ( to me) as fuel and proper running shoes. I get that the race is at night... and it is probably not safe for spectators to be along the course while out on the highway ( even though the roads were closed)... however, I feel that families and friends should be allowed to spectate from the parks and the finish. The same way they are allowed to during the January half and full marathons.
It was long and dark and LONG without having people cheer you on. And even though there were some cast members and some characters along the way... it just wasn't the same.
Disney was so intent on having people pay the extra $50 to attend the after party in Epcot that they basically prevented any one from watching from the side lines.
This is a picture of the finish line....
See my point? The finish line is where the lit up signs are on the left hand side. Disney prevented any one from getting closer by putting up a random fence and a large green lift that wasn't being used for anything. My family saw me cross ... but barely.
Every time we asked about where spectators could go... the response was " they can buy a ticket to the after party". A party that only lasted until 3am - AND you still had to pay for food and drinks. Not worth it... in my opinion.
The only other option was to stand outside of the Beach Club resort.... which would have been perfect except for the fact that it was in the middle of mile 12. So, even if they saw me there... they wouldn't be able to get to the finish in time.
Ok. Enough about that. I think you get my point. :)
4. The amount of hills. I was fine with them as I had been preparing ever since I had that bad run back in February. It is important to cross train with weights and spin classes... and a lot of running on an incline if you do not have hills to run on. I have always read that it is better to RUN up a hill because you can RUN down the other side and make up some time.... instead of stopping to walk on a hill. Use the flat roads for walking. I definitely used this advice and it made for a smoother run.
5. I lost my Clif gel in the middle of the race. (not Disney's fault, of course, only mine!) Don't depend on your Clif gel being able to hang on to your belt. It is delicate and will break loose if you are running a long distance. I wish I had put them in my spi belt pouch as Kev had suggested.
6. Having to drink Powerade. (Again... not Disney's fault) I ended up getting sick ( vomited.. sorry if that is TMI) once I got home and showered. I was feeling great and then all of a sudden it hit me. I'm not sure if it was me not being used to the powerade or the Clif gels or if my body was just pissed off that I just pushed it through 13.1 miles. Regardless, I got sick. But I felt MUCH better after that. I just feel that it is important to practice different forms of food/drink and figure out what is best for you to perform.
7. Not signing up for the right corral. ( And for the third time... not Disney's fault... I should probably put this under "lessons learned") I realize that it was too far out to predict... but as I mentioned in my race recap - it is better to sign up that you are running a faster race and back up if necessary. I could have saved a LOT of time and worry that I would hurt an ankle in the grass if I had been with the right pace group.
1. Um. The race was in Disney World! Need I say more!
2. It is a GREAT race to do if you are new to running, or running with friends, or if you just want to enjoy yourself and chill. It is definitely a fun experience - with entertainment, some costumes, and the running through the parks.
3. It is at NIGHT!!! I LOVED LOVED LOVED running at night! It is just my thing. I wish more races were held later. I feel that it gives you the chance to fuel properly, mentally prepare, and get plenty of rest. For early morning races... I tend to not sleep and then feel that I am trying to hard to wake up and get my head in the game.
5. The BLING!
The medals are pretty awesome! And will look great hanging on my wall!
5. There was plenty of water, powerade, clif shots, medical stations, etc. Disney definitely did a great job of making sure all our needs were met during the course.
6. Being able to sign up for race updates to be texted to my family! It was an awesome benefit and really helped with them being able to keep up with me!
1. My running outfit! I cannot say enough how much a good outfit makes the race. It was the most comfortable thing EVER. It didn't budge or chafe me. And it wicked away any sweat that I had and kept me comfortable and dry the entire run. I was even starting to question if I was sweating at all. But then when I removed my gear pre-shower... I realized that it was soaked! Ew!
2. Music. I couldn't have asked for a better iPod mix. D.J. Jazzy Kev made the best choices when it came to running music. It was perfect the entire way. I don't know how people can run without it. And the right song just always seemed to come on at the right time...
3. The three things that I listed under "cons" that were MY fault. I just don't have the energy to move them... nor do I know how to do it without having to delete the entire thought and re-type it.
(Darn my typewriter class in high school. It hasn't helped me one bit with technology)
4. Training pays off. BIG TIME!
5. You can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it! I know people say this all of the time... but it is true!! If you want something bad enough - you can make it happen. I'm not sure what is in store for me next... but I plan to keep pushing myself. To try new things... to continue to beat my personal best.
But don't worry... I will keep you in the loop. Every step of the way.
Thanks again for all of your well wishes, encouragement and support! I couldn't do what I do without you!