2017 runDisney Disneyland 10k Race Recap

Hello, Team Tutu! It’s been a busy fall season around here, but we are excited to get the blog up to date on all our fall adventures! Kicking off a series of fall race recaps with the Disneyland 10k!  It was a quick trip for us as we “only” ran the 10K, but it was a blast nonetheless! We were so thankful to be able to experience the runDisney Disnelaynd Half marathon weekend one last time before the Disneyland races take a hiatus.  Here is a quick recap of the race weekend:

Race expo: We arrived at the expo on Friday afternoon and were pleasantly surprised at the low crowds in the expo area. The race weekend was Pixar themed, and runDisney did a wonderful job with coordinating the expo signage and décor. The special themed details are part of what makes a runDisney event so magical.   We absolutely loved the adorable art on the blue carpet on the entrance to the bib pick-up area.

Adorable carpet in the entrance to bib pick-up at 2017 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.

Pixar themed signs entering the race expo.

Backdrop for pictures in bib pick-up area for 2017 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.

The 10k was Monster’s University themed, and the race shirt was royal blue and featured an adorable image of Mike and Sully running on the front of the shirt. We think this is one of our favorite runDisney race shirts to date!  We were also excited to see there was plenty of merchandise still available when we arrived at the official merchandise booth. We were able to snag Tervis water bottles for all three of us! We also saw plenty of shirts, headbands, and tree ornaments still on the shelves.

2017 Disneyland 10K merchandise.

2017 Disneyland 10k participant shirt.

The best part of the expo was getting a chance to catch up with some of our Instagram friends in real life. It was a pleasure to see Kate Malo at the Raw Threads tent. We registered for the race via the Raw Threads Club, and  Raw Threads made a special race themed patch for club members and gave club members a special waterproof ID/credit card holder! We also had the chance to see our friend Alex (@alexquevado) at the expo. He had an amazing Pizza Planet costume for the half marathon! We loved getting a sneak peek of his Pizza Planet hat at the expo.

Always a pleasure to see Kate Malo at the Raw Threads booth!

Free patch and card holder from expo for Raw Threads Club members!

 

Costumes:  When we heard there was a heat advisory for this race, we tried to ensure our costumes would be appropriate for the warm weather conditions. Amanda decided to go with the Monster’s University theme and dressed as an MU cheerleader for the race.  She ordered a blue cheerleader skirt and top from Amazon and then glued felt letters to the front to make the MU logo. Our friend Sam Steelman made Amanda an adorable headband that looks just like the headpiece the MU cheerleaders wear!

Amanda dressed as a Monster’s University cheerleader!

Melanie dressed as an alien from toy story. She made a blue tutu with one layer of tulle so it wouldn’t be super poofy. She printed out the pizza planet logo on iron on t-shirt transfer material and ironed it on to the front of a blue running tank top.  She made the alien face out of green foam and made the eyes out of images printed on glossy computer paper. She attached the alien face to the front of a green headband from Raw Threads instead of a hat to make this costume more warm weather friendly.

Melanie as a Toy Story Alien.

I dressed as Darla from Finding Nemo. I’ve actually been thinking about dressing as Darla for several years, but never seemed to find a race theme that suited this character. As soon as I heard that the race weekend was Pixar themed, I knew it was time for Darla to make her debut! This was actually a pretty easy costume to put together. I found the “Rock N’ Roll Girl” image from Amy Ever After, and printed it out on t-shirt transfer material. I found the skirt on Amazon, but when it arrived, I didn’t love that the skirt was unhemmed and didn’t really have any tutu flair. Thankfully, my good friend Carolyn (AKA Gg) came to my rescue and helped me repurpose some of the fluff from an old petticoat to add some finish and flair to the skirt.  I found the stuffed Nemo in a stack of toys at the lab where I work, and I “borrowed” him for the week of the race. I wanted to give him a special touch, so I made him a tiny tutu from a hair elastic. I put Nemo in the clear bag from the ice bucket in our hotel because I left the plastic bag I intended to use at home. I secured the bag to my wrist using some scrap purple tech material I had so I wouldn’t have to carry it the entire race.  The headgear took me a little while to figure out. I really wanted to wear the headgear because it is such an iconic part of Darla’s character. I ended up taking some floral wire and wrapping it in tin foil to give it a metallic look. Then, I attached the ends of the wrapped wire to a headband.  I have long hair so I tucked the ends of my pigtails under so my pigtails would look more Darla-like.

Christine dressed as Darla from Finding Nemo.

Race Day:  After some of the challenges Amanda encountered at the Tinkerbell 10k, we were a little concerned about long lines at race security, and potentially limited on course entertainment. Fortunately, runDisney really responded to the feedback from the last event and made some significant improvements to the security process and the course entertainment! We had no issues in the security line during race entry. As soon as we arrived at the pre-race party area, we were pleasantly surprised to see the Pizza Planet truck out for photo ops along with a backdrop specifically designed for the race!  It was very easy to get to the corrals and the corrals were smaller compared to previous races. We loved how the smaller corrals helped control course crowding. We also loved the race course! We started near Downtown Disney and ran into California Adventure for the first few miles. Then we ran into Disneyland, and got to run through the castle!!  The mile markers were very cute at this race. Each mile marker on the course featured a different Monster’s University character which made for adorable photo ops!

Photo ops at the 2017 Disneyland 10k.

2017 Disneyland 10k mile markers.

Speaking of characters, there were so many character meet and greets on the course! We loved that prior to the race, the announcers gave a full run-down of the characters that would be out on the course so we could decide when we wanted to stop and take a picture. We saw Russell and Dug from UP, tons of Monster’s University cheerleaders, Roz from Monster’s Inc.,  Mike and Sully, Daisy and Donald Duck, Chip and Dale, Goofy,  Mickey, the CDA, Lightning McQueen and Mater, Ratatouille characters, Flick and Princess Atta, and Nemo and friends. I of course had to stop and take a picture with Nemo! Amanda stopped to take a picture with her fellow MU cheer squad! We noticed DJs playing upbeat tunes during portions of the course that were not on the parks property. We also saw a big band musician and the drum line from the Pixar parade!!

Nemo and friends character stop at the 2017 Disneyland 10k!

Another special touch on the course was the use of signage and digital projections to add  Monster’s University details throughout the course! When we ran past Paradise Pier, all of the World of Color lighting was on, and the MU logo was projected on to California Screamin’. When we ran between California adventure and into Disneyland, we saw an adorable wall with the rush signs for each of the MU Greek organizations. There were also digital projections of the MU Greek letters throughout the course.

MU themed decorations on the course.

The temperatures were very high for this race, so we took it easy and didn’t push ourselves. We were thankful for the well-staffed water stops that kept us hydrated. We were feeling a little sluggish towards the end of the race, but we thankfully ran into our Instagram friend Andrea right at the finish line! She helped motivate us for the last leg of the race and she crossed the finish line with us. It was such a fun moment!   The post-race area was very well organized, and the post-race picture area featured a picture with the Monster’s University student ID. It was super cute. We sadly did not stop for the post-race finisher picture because the sun was rising and my ginger skin was not about to make it much longer in the heat!  We headed straight to the hotel for showers and a long nap as soon as we grabbed our medals! We loved the medal for this race because it included a special touch of a quote from Mike Wazowski on the back!  This is the first time we’ve seen this detail on a runDisney medal. Overall, we were very impressed with this race event from start to finish! Bravo, runDisney!

Finishing the race with our friend Andrea!

2017 Disneyland 10k medal. Quote says, “We’re not going to lose because we have everything we need to win right here.”

Post-race shenanigans: On Sunday morning we saw how hot the temps were and decided to head out the half marathon course to cheer for the runners and offer some candy to strangers. We stopped at the Walgreens outside of our hotel, picked up a sharpie, a poster board, 500 Starburst candies, and parked ourselves just before the mile 12 mile marker. Melanie put her art skills to work and quickly taped her alien headpiece to the green poster board and made a sign that said “OOOOOOOOOHHHHH the finish line has chosen you!”

Cheering for the 2017 Disneyland Half Marathon participants.

We were so impressed and inspired by what we saw on the course. It was so hot and humid, but every single runner we saw was giving it their all and pushing towards the finish line. Congrats to all who survived the hottest race ever!  We are proud of you!!

After cheering for the half marathoners, we went to a quick brunch with our friends Kirsten (from Crowned Athletics) and Sam Steelman at Storytellers Café. We enjoyed all the Mickey waffles we could eat and then headed home.

Brunch with friends!

Well, I think that is all for now! Stay tuned for recaps of the rest of our fall adventures.  Our next post will be a recap of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November. Did you participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend? If so, let us know what you thought about the race weekend in the comments section below!

Congrats to all who survived the heat!

-Christine

Tutu Tutorial 2.0: Tips for Running in a Tutu

Greetings, Team Tutu! Hope you are having a great summer! We have been busy preparing our costumes for the fall runDisney races. This obviously means a few new tutus are happening in our future!  While we are knee deep in tulle, we thought we would take a minute to share a few things we have learned about running in a tutu.  It has been 2 years since we posted our first tutu tutorial, and we have definitely discovered a few tricks and tips since then! So, without further ado, here is our Tutu Tutorial version 2.0!

Tip 1: Don’t cut the tulle one piece at a time. If you have ever made a tutu (click here for our full tutorial), you know that you need to cut a lot of tulle. I used to cut the strips of tulle one at a time and it took FOREVER.  I am very thankful that a fabric cutter at my local Jo-Ann Fabrics saved me from this misery and told me how to cut a spool of tulle all at once! To use this tulle cutting hack,  grab a piece of cardboard that is the length you want your tutu to be. Next, grab a spool of tulle and clip the end of the tulle to one end of the cardboard.  Then, wrap the entire roll of tulle around the cardboard (as if rolling up a cord). Finally, grab a sharp pair of scissors, slide the scissors under the end of the cardboard where you clipped the tulle, and cut all the tulle at one time. This will give you even strips of tulle with clean edges so your tutu will look nice and neat.

Tip 2: Experiment with different waistband options.  We initially made all of our tutus using 1 inch elastic waistbands. Over the past year, we have fallen in love with crochet material. We love the crochet material because it is comfortable and you can make multiple layers of tulle for a fuller tutu.  The crochet elastic material is located in the ribbon section of Jo-Ann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. If you are making a tutu for a child, you can use crochet headbands already sewn together.  Speaking of sewing, the crochet material can be difficult to run through a sewing machine. We wrap ribbon around the crochet material when we run it through our sewing machines to keep it from bunching up and getting stuck in the machine. Hand sewing is also an option for crochet material if you don’t have a sewing machine. Even though it is a little extra work to sew the crochet material, we think the end result is worth it!

 

If you aren’t a fan of sewing or gluing, a long piece of ribbon can also function as a tutu waistband. For this option, cut a piece of ribbon long enough to securely tie around your waist. Then, slipknot pieces of tulle around the ribbon leaving extra ribbon on each end so that you have enough ribbon to tie the tutu around your waist with a bow in the back (as you would with an apron). Ribbon tutus are not a poofy as tutus make with elastic waist bands, but they are definitely a great no sew, no fuss option if you want to make a tutu in a short period of time.

Tip 3: Length matters. Running in a tutu can be a disaster if you make your tutu too long. Trust us. We have made this mistake! If the tulle is too long, it will fly up under your arms, or worse, between your legs. To avoid this issue we make our tutus as short as possible (usually 7-9 inches long).  The perfect tutu length varies from person to person, so take some time to experiment and find the length that works best for you. For extra comfort, try yoga pants, tights, or compression shorts with your tutu so you can keep the tulle from sticking to your legs while running.

Amanda and I made extra long tutus for the 2011 Princess Half. These tutus were difficult to keep under control!

Tip 4: Reuse and re-purpose. If we spend the time to make a tutu, we like to try to use it as many times as we can. Solid color tutus (e.g., black, white, brown, pink) are easy to reuse.  You can gently hand wash a running tutu in the sink and hang it dry to use for another race. Here are a few ways we have recycled solid colored tutus.

  • I wore a white tutu with a couple pieces of blue and gold tulle when I dressed as the It’s a Small World attraction for the Disneyland 10K last year. Then, I removed the blue and gold tulle and wore the tutu under an overlay for my Mrs. Potts costume at the Wine and Dine Half. After that, I wore the white tutu again for a snowman costume at a local 5k.
  • Melanie has a black tutu that she wore at the Pro Bowl 5k, Star Wars Dark Side 10k, Hall of Fame Marathon Relay, and San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon.
  • Amanda has a brown tutu that she wore when she dressed as an Ewok for the Light Side Half Marathon. She wore the brown tutu again the next month at Princess Enchanted 10k when she dressed as Wall-E and then re-fluffed it to wear when we dressed as Aristocats for the second runDisney Virtual Running Shorts race.

Well, that’s all the tutu tips I have for now. I hope that these tips have inspired you to have fun and create a unique costume for your next race. Do you have any tips for running in a tutu? If you do, let us know in the comments below!

 

-Christine

 

Tinker Bell 10K 2017 Race Recap

This May, I participated in my third Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. As usual, it was FILLED with pixie dust, magical moments and happy memories with friends. After completing the Pixie Dust Challenge last year (and the Glass Slipper Challenge just a few months before,) I decided only to run the 10K this year (it’s funny to say “only” the 10K, because a 10K is just as big of a deal!) I absolutely LOVE the 10Ks in Disneyland. They’re short and sweet, lots of park time and a little less expensive than the Half Marathons.

This year, I got to help out at the Raw Threads booth during the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo. It was so much fun getting to meet so many people at the booth! I especially loved getting to meet some of our Instagram friends in person.

One HUGE improvement I saw at the Expo this year was that the official race merchandise didn’t sell out so quickly. I stopped by the race merch area a few times throughout the weekend, and they were almost always stocked with wine glasses and Tervis cups (for the past two years those wine glasses have sold out in minutes.) HOORAY for that! I also loved this super fun fairy photo op at the Pandora booth!

 

It’s no secret that we love EVERYTHING runDisney at Runs in Tutus, but I do want to touch on a couple not so great things that happened during the weekend – and then I promise I’ll get back to the five million AMAZING things that were going on.

First, let’s discuss the infamous Tinker Bell 5K character stop crisis of 2017. I did not participate in the 5K this year, but many reputable sources have confirmed that there were indeed no character stops at the 5K. There was a sighting of Captain Hook, but he was behind ropes and not available for pictures. This was a total bummer, and we still aren’t entirely sure what happened. Did someone forget to schedule the characters for that morning? Did the Evil Queen cast a dark curse, sending all the characters to Storybrooke? We may never know.

BUT the good news is that the problem seemed to be resolved in time for the 10K. I spotted lots of characters on the course including the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, Chip ‘n Dale in pirate outfits, Goofy, and more. There were a few characters set up with a Photopass photographer, while others were just on the course without a photographer or designated photo stop. Personally, I really enjoyed this setup. The characters that were not at a designated photo stop were interacting with runners on the course rather than posing for pictures. This made the course really fun, and if you really wanted a photo with that particular character, you could always snap a quick selfie!

Aside from the character crisis, the other big news was that this was the first time runDisney did not use volunteers at the race. Instead, everyone distributing race bibs, giving out water or snacks during the race was paid to be there. This sounds OK in theory, but you could notice a HUGE difference. That usual enthusiasm that comes from the cheerful volunteers was missing. Some of the water stops weren’t running quite as efficiently, and there seemed to be a problem with checking IDs at bib pick-up (there was even a reported bib thief, but this may or may not have been related to the change in personnel since it had happened before.) I really missed the volunteers and how excited they were to be there. I do hope runDisney chooses to use the volunteers again in the future.

Now here’s a quick recap of race day! Melanie and Christine had just completed the Dark Side Half on the other coast so they sat this one out, but I got to dress up with my lovely friends Katie and Sam! We decided to go with a Lost Boys theme so that we could wear giant ears and tails!

There was something a little weird going on at the start line corrals. We had to walk through a really narrow entryway that got EXTREMELY backed up. I don’t remember this happening the last two years. There was a major traffic jam trying to walk to our corrals – it was so bad that I almost didn’t make it to the start line in time! I made it to my corral about 30 seconds before we started. Phew! Make sure you give yourself extra time to get to your corral at the Disneyland races in case they continue this new setup.

After the first couple miles of the 10K, we were already in the park and the magic began! I ran into a Lost Boy right away. I stopped for a quick picture, we did a quick Lost Boys crow to each other, and then I was on my way.

Gotta love running into your character on a mile marker!

I ran into lots of friends on the course! I wish I could’ve gotten a picture with everyone, but I did manage to snap a quick pic with our friends John Biel and Kirsten. John makes the BEST costumes, and we are really excited about Kirsten’s awesome new athletic clothing line Crowned Athletics. Check it out on insta: @crownedathletics!

@builtbybiel

 

@crownedathletics

The most magical moment of the weekend of course was the finish line! This was a 10K PR for me, and it was the fastest I’ve been able to run since I injured my knee a year ago. It felt SO GOOD to finish a race without knee pain. Luckily, Mickey was there to give me a victory high five! Those Mickey high fives are just the icing on top of a magical cake.

I celebrated with my friends Sam, Sarah, Katie and Pluto over brunch at Storyteller’s Cafe! It was EXTRA special because Sarah finished her VERY FIRST 10K!! Congratulations Sarah!

Next up we’ll be finishing the Virtual Running Shorts, then we’ll be participating in the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend!! CAN’T WAIT for that new Pixar theme!

See you soon team Tutu and congratulations to ALL our friends who completed a race at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend!

-Amanda

Feeling aches & pains during runs? Try these tips for improving running form!

We are all familiar with the aches and pains that can pop up during a long run. Knee pain, hip pain, stomach cramps or maybe it’s the day where your big toe randomly decides to hurt. If you run enough, you are bound to feel those aches and pains at some point! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you are a bionic woman and we are all super jealous.)

The good news is there are things you can do to protect your body and minimize the discomfort that you may feel while running. Improving your running form is a great place to begin. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Relax your shoulders.

Take a moment during your runs to focus on your upper body. Are you holding a lot of tension in your neck and shoulders? The goal is to keep your shoulders low and loose. Relax them down and back, drawing them away from your ears. Sometimes it helps to give them a little shake to loosen the tension. This will help you maintain good posture and reduce neck pain after a long run.

  1. Activate your gut and your butt.

You can make a lot of progress by focusing on activating the proper muscles. First, your core should always be working when you run. Think about bracing and tightening your midsection. This will be especially useful if you tend to feel back pain after a long run. If you aren’t sure what it feels like to brace your core, just cough. See if you can use some of those cough muscles more often.

Second, make sure you’re using your glutes (aka junk in the trunk.) A lot of runners rely solely on hamstrings, quads and calves to propel them forward, and this results in under-active, weak glutes. The main problem? Your glutes are what stabilize your hips. Everything in your body is connected. Unstable hips lead to unstable knees. Unstable knees lead to unstable ankles..etc. etc. If your glutes are asleep during a long run, you may run into a number of problems such as knee pain, ankle pain or IT band pain. (Side note for anyone who needs it – your IT band is a ligament that runs down the outside of your thigh from your pelvic bone to your shinbone. I could write a whole post about the notorious IT band but I’ll save that for another time.)

So how do you activate your glutes? There are a lot of exercises you can try such as squats and floor bridges. For more on that, check out our posts on how to perform a proper squat and best exercises for runners. The goal is to actually feel those muscles contracting when you run (like how you feel your biceps contract when you show off your arm muscles.) Next time you go for a run, be aware of the muscles you feel and try squeezing your glutes as you push off in your stride.

  1. Land mid-foot.

Pay attention to how your foot strikes the ground when you run. Here’s what you DON’T want to do. DON’T let your heel strike the ground first. “Heel toe” running used to be the standard a few decades ago, but now we know it leads to unnecessary impact on the joints and it’s counterproductive. Think about it. You are trying to move FORWARD. If your heel strikes the ground first, you have a force pushing you backwards. You also have extra impact running up your leg to your ankles, knees and hips. Try this instead. Land lightly toward the middle of your foot, then roll forward and push off with your toes. Try not to sound like a Tyrannosaurus Rex when you run. More noise means more impact. Try to keep it quiet and springy!

OK now also make sure you pat your head and rub your belly. Just kidding…but I know it’s a lot to think about. Don’t try to conquer all of this at once. Next time you go for a run, see if you can pick one thing to focus on to improve your form. Once you’ve got that down, move onto the next thing. Before you know it, all of these tips will come naturally and you won’t have to think about it quite as hard!

Good luck runners and I hope these tips are helpful! Post any questions in the comments below.

-Amanda

2017 runDisney Virtual Running Shorts Series Details and Free Printables

It’s that time of the year again! It’s time to talk about virtual running!  Last year we participated in the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts series and it was a blast!  It was a great way to stay motivated to train during the warm summer months.   We were so excited when runDisney made the announcement that races would be back again this year with a Pluto theme.

Here are some more details about the races:

  1. Runners need to register in advance with runDisney. The races cost $40.00 each or $142.00 for the challenge.
  2. There are 4 opportunities to earn the Pluto themed race bling.
  • Virtual run #1 (June 1-June 30)
  • Virtual run #2 (July 1- July 31)
  • Virtual run #3 (August 1- August 31)
  • The Virtual Running Shorts Challenge: This registration option is a commitment to run all 3 virtual 5ks within the time frames listed above. Finishers receive all the virtual 5k medals AND a special finishers medal for completing the challenge. Challenge participants also receive a free Coolcore towel.
  1. You can print a race bib for each of the virtual runs from the runDisney website on the event page for the virtual shorts under the “runner information” tab.
  2. Poof of run is not required to meet the completion requirements for the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts events. Simply go out for a 5k between the allotted dates and earn that virtual bling. You can visit the runDisney website on the event page for virtual run after completing your virtual run and enter your time to receive a complimentary printable finisher’s certificate.
  3. The Virtual Running Shorts series benefits the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando charity. RunDisney is encouraging participants to complete 1k of the series with your pet! If you registered for the entire series by April 30, runDisney will send a dog tag and a collapsible dog bowl for your furry friend.
  4. While the race registration does not include a t-shirt, you can purchase commemorative race items on the runDisney website. There is a commemorative sticker, hat, and jacket.

All three of us at Runs in Tutus are participating in the Virtual Running Shorts Challenge. As we did last year, our plan is to make the virtual races as magical as possible (we are already thinking about our race costumes). We will be sharing our virtual run experiences on Instragram and we would love to get social with the virtual races and run at the same time as some of our friends.  We thought it would be fun if we got some of our readers and Team tutu friends together (virtually) to run the virtual races at the same time. We ran virtually with some friends last year and it was a blast!  Here are the days we plan on completing each of the 5ks:

If you are registered for any of the Virtual Running Shorts and would like to join us for some Team tutu virtual fun, grab your running shoes and join us on June 17, July 2 and/or August 6. You can share your team tutu pics Instagram by using #runsintutus. Even if you can’t join us on the same day we are running we would love to see how you completed your virtual 5k!

And finally…For some extra magic – Here is a set of free printable stickers and mile markers inspired by the Virtual Running Shorts Series.   For the stickers, simply download the file, print, cut, and stick to your planner or training log using glue or an adhesive of your choice! You can also try printing onto Avery Sticker Paper. You can print out the mile markers and use them as photo stops on your race course!

Free printable stickers!!

Download the stickers here: Free stickers

Download mile markers here: Mile 1 Mile 2 Mile 3

Can’t wait to “see” all our virtual friends on the course!

  • Christine

2017 runDisney Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Race Recap

Last month, Melanie and I went to Walt Disney World for an out of this world weekend at the runDisney Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon. This race was the second Star Wars themed race for this year us as we participated in the Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon in Disneyland in January.  We decided to participate in both of the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathons this year because they are part of a special challenge race series called the Kessel Run Challenge. If you complete the Star Wars Light Side Half and Dark Side Half Marathons in the same year, you get a special Millennium Falcon medal! We love extra bling, so we did not hesitate to register for both events!

To make things even more exciting, Melanie ran a 10k and a Half Marathon on the Dark Side. She earned an epic Death Star medal for completing both of those races. Here is a breakdown of how the weekend on the Dark Side went:

Expo:

We went to the race expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Friday afternoon.  We always try to time our trips to the runDisney expos so that we avoid crowds and lines of non-runners who are there only to pillage the merch to re-sell on eBay. We’ve found in the past that the expos are less crowded in the middle of the day, so we timed our visit for early afternoon on the second day of the race expo.

No crowds at the expo! We picked out each other’s outfits =)

We were pleasantly surprised to find that this race expo had very low crowds. We had no trouble walking around the expo, taking pictures, and browsing race merchandise. Almost 100% of the race merchandise was still available when we were there, so we took the opportunity to finally snag some race themed merchandise. It’s been a couple of races since we had a full selection of race merchandise when shopping at a runDisney expo. It was quite a treat! We also had the chance to stop by the Raw Threads booth to pick up our patch for participating in the race as a Raw Threads Club Member. The race themed patches are such a fun perk of the Raw Threads Club.

Raw Threads Club race patch!

Yes! The Dark Side has sweat pants!

The expo was very Star Wars themed with Stormtroopers patrolling the expo area. There were Star Wars quotes up on the walls of the Joesten center, and some awesome wall art in the exit area from bib pick-up.  Our favorite part of the expo was the Cantina area complete with photo opportunities. We got the chance to hang out with our friend John Biel from the Not Real Runners podcast and snap a few fun pictures at the Cantina. The only thing missing was the Cantina band.

Stormtroopers on patrol at the expo!

Hanging at the Cantina with John Biel.

 

10K Race Day:

Hi! Melanie here with my recap of the Dark Side 10K.

Costume: For the 10k I wanted a fun and simple tutu due to the amount of time I needed to spend on my half marathon costume. I printed out images of TIE fighters, used mod podge to stabilize the print-outs on some craft foam, and glued the tie fighters and star confetti to a black tutu I had made for a previous race. I wore a plain black tank top and a Galaxy Sparkly Soul headband that I purchased from Sparkly Soul at the race expo.

TIE Fighter tutu for the 10k.

 

Pre-Race: I walked into the pre-race area and saw there was photo opportunities with Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, Darth Vader…. and then I stopped and saw the wait to get a picture with Darth Vader was 40 minutes. I REALLY wanted a picture with Darth Vader, but after waking up at 2:30 AM to get to the race, doing the math on how much time I had to take the picture was not going well.  I basically stood in the same spot for several minutes by myself trying to figure out what I should do… BUT luckily standing out in the open aimlessly allowed me to find some friends! I ran into Christine (@disneymom05) and Jess (@jbullski) and got to chat for a few minutes and take some selfies. Running into them really helped me wake up and get excited to start the race, and I decided to head over to my corral.

Corral area:  The set up for the 10k corral area was a set up I had not seen before. The corrals were set up to where you were facing the side of the start line and could see the race announcers. It made waiting for your corral to start a much better experience. I felt excited for each corral to start because I could actually see it! The corrals were also set up in waves with a shorter time in between the start of each corral and wave. I felt like I didn’t wait long at all for my start.

Race course: As far as I know, this was a new course for a runDisney 10k. The race started in the parking lot of Magic Kingdom, and we began running down the road out of the entrance to Magic Kingdom. I didn’t find this portion to be very entertaining, but that was overshadowed by my excitement to experience a completely different course. At about the halfway point, we entered into Hollywood Studios where I found Darth Maul!

Darth Maul!!

Hollywood Studios had a lot of Stormtroopers out, and this is where I felt the course got really fun. We exited out of Hollywood Studios down a walkway to Epcot. The walkway was a little narrow which made this section fill a little crowded, but it was short and we were able to quickly spread out once we entered the World Showcase. We approached Spaceship Earth where there was a fun photo opportunity with Stormtroopers and Spaceship Earth in the background!

Race Finish: There were Stormtroopers guarding the finish line to watch all who completed what the Stormtroopers called at the beginning of the race “training” for the First Order. They warned us not to disappoint Captain Phasma, so I crossed the finish line and made Captain Phasma proud! I received my medal, banana, and box of snacks and headed back to our hotel to get ready for some Disney World park time. Overall, I really enjoyed the course entertainment and all the costumes at the 10k!

Now, back to Christine for a recap of the Half Marathon!

Half Marathon Race Day:

Costumes: Melanie and I were pretty excited about our race costumes for this event. A few months prior to the race, Melanie and I teamed up with a group of other runners who wanted to dress as Boba Fett/Disney character mash-ups.  I was a little nervous about the mash-ups because I am far more of a Disney expert than I am a Star Wars expert. Thankfully Melanie is a pretty big Star Wars buff, so she helped me make sure that my costume was as true to Boba as possible. Melanie dressed as a mash-up between warrior Mulan and Boba Fett, and I dressed as a mash-up of Mary Poppins and Boba Fett. Melanie chose Mulan because she is a super strong warrior capable of saving a nation. I chose Mary Poppins because she is practically perfect in every way, and because I really feel like the Dark Side needs more sparkle and lace.  Here are some pictures of our costumes and our group of Boba mash-ups.

Mary Fett/Boba Poppins mash-up costume. Lacy and sparkly armor was so much fun to make! Also loved the tiny umbrella and carousel horse details!

Mulan Fett. Melanie hand painted the Mushu detail on the armor!

Boba Fett mash-up group!

Our friend Sam was also in our group. She had an amazing Tink Fett mash-up!

 

Pre-race fun: We stayed at the Pop Century resort and had no problems catching a bus to the pre-race village for some fun.  There were a lot of photo opportunities before the race, but we chose to sleep a little later and forego the pre-race photo ops. We did have the chance to snap a quick picture with our Boba mash-up group and see their amazing costumes. We also had the chance to see our friends John Biel and Autumn Ziegler. They had some amazing costumes at this race. John dressed as kyber crystals which are the power source for light sabers. Autumn dressed as a sparkly 40th Anniversary edition Millennium Falcon.  After talking with Autumn and John for a couple of minutes, the most magical thing happened us. We were interviewed by THE Star Wars Show!!! As in the one on starwars.com.  The same show that interviewed CHEWBACCA MOM!  Squeeeeee! It. Was. Epic! We loved getting the chance to share a little more about our costumes and talk with a crew who really appreciated the costumes we made. Thank you, Star Wars show, for interviewing us (even though there wasn’t time to include us in the webisode)!

Pre-race with Autumn and John.

Corral area:  As was the case with the Princess Half Marathon, the Star Wars Dark Side corrals started in waves.  Each corral was divided into separate waves so that there wasn’t as much crowding at the race start. We really like this change and felt like it helped cut down on course crowding at the beginning. We were very happy to see that runDisney provided a full fireworks show at the start of each corral that was very substantial compared to what we saw at Princess Half.

Melanie and I ran in separate corrals for this race because we both weren’t feeling 100% at the start of the race. We didn’t want to hold each other back during the race. I had a cold the week leading up to the race, so I was a little concerned about how I would fare in the heat. Melanie has been battling a flare up of her autoimmune disease as well as a knee injury.

Race course: The race course for this race was a brand new course! We were very excited to have the opportunity to check it out.  The course started in the Magic Kingdom parking lot, ran towards and through Animal Kingdom, then through Hollywood Studios, through the Boardwalk area, and then finished in Epcot. This was by far our favorite race course in WDW to date! We loved that the stretch of the race that was on the highway was in the middle of the race vs. at the end of the race as is the case at other runDisney events at Walt Disney World. The first part of the race course had beautiful tree scenery and the race directors took full advantage of the scenery to add a little bit of Star Wars flair to the course. At about mile 3 the Ewoks were out in the wooded area and there was fog, lasers, and the music from the battle at Endor from the movie!! This was such a cool touch, and made for great on course entertainment during the portion of the course that was outside of the parks.  We also loved that this race ran through 3 of the 4 Walt Disney World theme parks. It was very motivating to have some of the best park scenery at the end of the race as the sun was coming up and when we were getting tired.

Finish area and medals:  We loved the finish area for this race because of the awesome scenery complete with Stormtroopers and music. I was pleased that I made it to the end of the course with all my costume pieces still intact. That was a personal win for me. The most amazing part of the race finish had to be Melanie’s experience on the course! She has been working very hard on her fitness and running over the past few years, and her improvement has been unbelievable!! She has transformed into one strong warrior, and been such an inspiration to Amanda and me! Just when we thought Melanie couldn’t level-up anymore in her beast mode game, she proved us all wrong by getting a PR at Dark Side Half Marathon!!! This wasn’t just a small PR, this was THIRTY MINUTES FASTER than her fastest half marathon!! What makes this PR even more impressive is that she achieved this victory while battling an autoimmune disease flare up and a knee injury on the day after running the Star Wars 10k!! Way to go, Melanie!

Melanie after her epic PR!!

After crossing the finish line, it was time to enjoy some sweet Star Wars bling! Here is a picture of all the bling we earned over the weekend.  Melanie and I both earned the Kylo Ren medal for completing the half marathon, and the Millennium Falcon medal for completing the Kessel run challenge (the Light Side Half in Disneyland and the Dark Side Half in Disney World). Melanie also earned the Death Star medal for completing the Dark Side Challenge (the 10k and half marathon in the same weekend). The Stormtrooper medal is the medal Melanie earned for the 10k the day prior.

 

Allllll the bling!

Postrace fun: Melanie and I used the weekend as an opportunity to have a “Treat yo’self” weekend. We went to Epcot and enjoyed the topiaries and outdoor kitchens and the Flower and Garden Festival on Saturday. On Sunday, we had brunch at Ohana and went to the Magic Kingdom and watched the new Happily Ever After castle projection show. We also couldn’t pass up the chance to take the PhotoPass picture with the floating lantern from Tangled! We were sad that Amanda couldn’t join us, but she decided to stay behind in Disneyland so that she could attend Dapper Day with our friend Kirsten from Crowned Athletics. We think Amanda looked adorable at Dapper Day and had a great time that weekend, too.  All in all, it was a magical weekend!

Enjoying the Flower and Garden Festival.

We had some yummy snacks!

Breakfast at Ohana

Watching the floating lanterns gleeeeeam.

Amanda at Dapper Day in Disneyland!

That’s all we have for now!  Up next for us is a trip back to Walt Disney World to preview Pandora at Animal Kingdom.  Amanda will  also be posting her recap from the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend later this week. She represented Runs in Tutus at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in Disneyland last weekend. Did you run the Dark Side Half Marathon events? If so, let us know your favorite part in the comments below.

-Christine and Melanie

 

 

 

 

DIY WALL-E Running Costume

Hello Team Tutu! At the Enchanted 10K this past February, I dressed up as Wall-E. It was a big hit, and I had so much fun running the whole race with Wall-E’s little boot and plant in hand. With the Pixar themed Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend coming up, I wanted to share a guide for making this costume. My costume making skills really aren’t that advanced, so trust me when I say you will be able to make this costume! It’s a beginner level DIY for sure.

There are basically four key components to this costume: the shirt, the visor, the tutu and the boot/plant prop.

Let’s start with the shirt. Here is what you will need:

  1. A yellow t-shirt
  2. Grey, black, red and yellow felt
  3. Hot glue
  4. Iron-on transfer paper
  5. Acrylic craft paint (I used Martha Stewart craft paint in different colors like “metallic rust,” “satin black” and “chestnut brown.)
  6. Sponges – I used a variety of natural sponges for different textures

STEP 1: Cut out the felt in different shapes to look like the front of Wall-E, then hot glue it to the front of the shirt. Here’s what mine looked like:

STEP 2: Print out and iron on the Wall-E logo at the bottom of the shirt. Optional: Print out and iron on Eva’s green plant symbol to the back of the shirt. You can use these PDFs or you can Google for the one you like best:

STEP 3: Get out the paint and sponges! Dab on some paint until Wall-E looks nice and rusty, then let dry.

Next is the visor. Here is what you will need:

  1. A visor. I recommend this one. It’s a little taller so you have space to glue on Wall-E’s eyes.
  2. Brown craft foam
  3. Mod Podge
  4. Printer

Step 1: Print out Wall-E’s eyes as big as you want them to be. I just googled a picture of him and cropped out his eyes then print it out.

Step 2: Cut out the eyes then trace the shape onto craft foam.

Step 3: Glue the paper eyes onto the craft foam and coat the top with Mod Podge. Let dry.

Step 4: Hot glue the eyes to the visor.

Now it’s time to make the tutu! Here is what you need;

  1. Elastic band
  2. Brown tulle
  3. Sewing machine OR heat n’ bond

You can reference our post on how to make a tutu for this part. I only tied tulle to the sides of the tutu so it looked like wheels.

Finally – Wall-E’s boot and plant!

Here is what you need:

  1. A boot. I went to Payless and bought a pair of children’s boots on sale for $10. It was worth it because this was my favorite part of the costume!
  2. Artificial green leaves: I cut some off of artificial roses I had in my house
  3. Styrofoam ball that fits inside the boot. This will secure the plant.
  4. Leftover paint and sponges from when you made the shirt.

Step 1: Use the sponge to dab different colors of paint on the boot to make it look old and dirty. Let dry.

Step 2: Put the styrofoam ball into the boot and then stick the stem through to secure the plant.

That’s it! You are ready to go! Wall-E is one of my favorite Pixar characters, so I’m hoping he will get lots of representation at the Disneyland Half Marathon. Good luck and make sure that plant gets to the finish line. The fate of the world is in your hands.

-Amanda

 

 

 

2017 Glass Slipper Challenge Race Recap

 Hello, friends! We’ve been back from the Princess Half festivities for almost a month now, and we are finally ready to give  a recap of all the fun of the Glass Slipper Challenge.  We usually post a recap of the 10K and the half separately, but we thought it might be fun to recap the whole experience of the Glass Slipper challenge in one extra magical post. Here is a super-sized recap of how the races went down this year:

Registration:  This was our fourth trip to the Glass Slipper Challenge, and we were really excited to head out for another magical 19.3 miles. The challenge includes the Enchanted 10k on Saturday and then the Disney Princess Half Marathon the following day.  As with the Princess 5k, we registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge via our Raw Threads Club membership. We love the ease of registering with Team Raw Threads.  For more information about the Raw Threads Club you can visit this link .

Packet pick-up/Expo: Melanie and I went to the Expo on Thursday late in the afternoon. We don’t usually go to the expo on the first day, but I had to go that day because I needed my 5k bib for the next morning.  We’ve learned from previous expo experiences that it’s not very fun to arrive at a runDisney expo when it opens. The lines tend to be long and full of non-runners who are only at the expo to buy a bunch of merchandise to re-sell on eBay.

Thankfully, we had no issues with crowds or crazy eBay merch-buying trolls when we arrived late afternoon. We were able to walk around the expo without any issues, and even had a chance to snag the coveted Tervis water bottle!  Amanda went to the expo on Friday, and also had no issues with packet pickup. We loved the race shirts this year!  We especially liked the fact that the Glass Slipper Challenge shirt paid tribute to Cinderella rather than Beauty and the Beast.

No long lines at the expo when you go in the late afternoon!

 

2017 Glass Slipper Challenge shirts.

The Tervis water bottle. The back says, “Live like a Beauty, Run like a BEAST!”

The 10K -Costumes: We initially wanted to all go with the Beauty and the Beast theme for our 10k costumes. We already dressed as Mrs. Potts, Belle, Cogsworth, and Fifi the feather duster at previous races, so we had to dig deep to find some characters.  I went pretty low key and dressed as the Beast. I wore my brown tutu that I made for my Ewok costume I wore for Light Side Half in January. I bought my Beast themed shirt from a company on Etsy called Kawaiian Pizza.

Melanie and Amanda were far more creative with their costumes for this race. Melanie dressed as the Enchanted Rose and made a tutu out of the petals from one of those huge silk roses sold in the floral department at Hobby Lobby. She looked so enchanting!

Amanda went off theme for this race and made one of her best costumes to date! She decided to dress as Wall-E for this race.  It. Was. Epic. Amanda hand painted her Wall-E shirt. She made some modifications to her Ewok tutu from light side half so it looked like wheels. She also made a Wall-E face and attached it to a visor. One of the cutest touches to her costume was the adorable small boot she carried around for the entire race.

From left to right: Amanda as Wall-E, Melanie as the Enchanted Rose, and Christine as the Beast.

Amanda’s amazing boot she made to carry with her Wall-E costume.

 

10k course and medals: We arrived at the 10K in plenty of time to enjoy the pre-race party and to meet up with some friends. We got a chance to say hello to our good friend Leslie (@ldayres), and to get a good warm-up via some sweet dance moves. We take pre-race dancing very seriously.

Pre-race fun with Leslie.

Pre-race dance warm-up. We take pre-race dancing very seriously.

We love the Enchanted 10k course.  As with the 5k course, we got to run through the World Showcase and around Spaceship Earth. The 10k also includes a lap around the Boardwalk area. We adore Boardwalk area! It’s always our favorite part! We thought the crowds were pretty manageable for this race and we appreciated that the corrals started in waves this time. It seemed to minimize the crowding at the start of the race compared to previous runDisney events.  We didn’t stop for any character stops at this race but we enjoyed waving hello to the characters as we ran by. Some of the character stops were repeats from the 5k (For example, Dopey was in the same place at the 5k and the 10k). That didn’t really bother us much, but just an FYI for those who like to run in multiple races for the purpose of meeting unique characters.  We crossed the finish line together and loved the look of the Beauty and the Beast themed medal!

Princess Half Marathon costumes:  We decided to dress off-theme for this race because we had literally already dressed as every Beauty and the Beast character. Melanie dressed as Moana because that movie is amazing, and because Moana is a fierce voyager. Melanie made her costume by sewing together 2 children’s costumes. She sewed the tube top to a tank top, and it turned out to be a very comfy costume. The best part of her costume had to be the light up necklace. It was a very fun detail!

Amanda and I decided to dress as Mulan and Mushu. For the Mulan costume, I purchased a shirt from Kawaiian Pizza to save time on trying to make the top of Mulan’s dress. I made a light pink tutu with a red overlay for the skirt. I ironed on a small Cricket so that I could have some good luck on the course. I made a flower for my hair out of foam and tied a red ribbon around my hair bun. Amanda made the best Mushu costume ever.  She has mastered the art of the visor headpiece. She made an epic Mushu headpiece out of a visor and foam.  I told her she needs to write a full blog tutorial about how she made the epic headpieces for her costumes for Princess Half Weekend. She hand painted her Mushu shirt, and made a super cute dragon tail!

From left to right: Christine as Mulan, Amanda as Mushu, and Melanie as Moana.

Melanie’s Moana necklace.

 

Princess Half Marathon pre-race excitement: We stayed on property for this race because we wanted to have the perk of easy bus transportation to and from the races. We stayed at the Art of Animation resort to keep our hotel costs as low as possible so that we could have extra funds for future races. This was our first stay at a value hotel, and we enjoyed the Ariel themed room and the overall décor of the resort. The resort is very large, so we were initially concerned about waiting for a long time for race buses. We didn’t have any trouble catching a bus to the race, and the bus staff was very well organized. The bus staff made sure to pack as many people as possible on each bus.

On the day of the half marathon we were able to get right on a bus, and we were so excited to take the quick ride to the start. Our bus pulled out of the parking lot behind a line of race buses. We watched 3 buses in front of us take the left turn out of the resort towards the start.  Unfortunately, our bus driver decided to turn right instead of left out of our resort.  That’s when the not so magical craziness began.  This wrong turn meant we did not get to enter the race area in the bus entry area. We instead got the pleasure of waiting in the super long line of cars waiting to park in the parking lot for the race. It took us almost an HOUR to get to the race.  I get a lot of anxiety about arriving late (just a trait of my type A personality), so that bus ride was a pretty stressful hour for me!  We got to the pre-race area with barely enough time to take the walk to our corral. Thankfully, they started the race about 10 minutes late. Otherwise, I think we may not have made it to our corral before the start of the race.

Once we settled in our corral, we had a pretty fun time. We liked the fireworks at the start of each corral. We noticed that the Fairy Godmother was not at the start of the race as she has been in past Princess Half Marathons. We missed her magical send off at the start of the race.

Race course:  Full disclosure: we were a hot mess the week before this race. Melanie and Amanda had both been sick, and I was nursing a foot injury.  Given our less than stellar physical condition, we decided to take it easy during the half marathon. Our plan was to run until we got to Magic Kingdom, and then to chill and take it easy for the rest of the race.  This race was far from a PR for us.

The first few miles of the race course are not in any of the parks. We felt comfortable just running a steady pace and not stopping before we got on park property. There were several character stops on the course before entering the parks so there was plenty of entertainment to see. We passed Jack Sparrow, the Pixie Hollow Fairies, and the Villains all before entering the Magic Kingdom.  The best part of the first few miles was when Melanie saw Moana cheering us on from one of the overpasses. Melanie yelled, “AHHHH MOANA!! WE KNOW THE WAY!!!” Then Moana said, “Yes, we know the way!” It was super inspiring.

Once in the Magic Kingdom, we noticed higher crowds relative to previous Princess Half Marathons. Even though we were in about the same corral as last year, we had a lot more people around us while running at the castle. We always come to this race prepared to share the course with a lot of other people, so the crowds didn’t bum us out too much. The Princess Half is the happiest race ever. Crowds or no crowds, it’s one of our favorite race experiences.  We still managed to take a good castle pic in front of the castle, which is pretty much the number one goal of the race course for us. Here is our pic from the front of the castle.

Our castle picture. This is where you stop to take a picture after running through the castle.

Speaking of the castle…. You may have noticed I did not share a picture of our running through the castle moment. Instead of a running thought the castle pic, here is a PSA for any princesses who plan to run the race in the future. The photo pass picture as you are running through the castle is meant to be an action shot.  Please don’t stop running as soon as you see a photo pass photographer at the castle. You can stop and take a pic in front of the castle as soon as you run through the castle.   If you stop running suddenly during a race, the person behind you may not be ready to stop, and you are likely to create a collision with a fellow princess. I feel so bad because this is exactly what happened to us as we ran through the castle. Several people in front of us stopped suddenly and I accidentally ran into them because I was not prepared for a sudden stop. I almost stumbled over the girl in front of me!  I felt horrible.   I know that running through the castle is the highlight of the Princess Half Marathon. The thought of running through the castle is literally the only thing magical enough to get me off my rear to train for a race. It can be so tempting to want to stop in the middle of the castle to take it all in (Especially considering how pricey it is to run a runDisney event!). That being said, it is really unsafe to stop suddenly in the middle of a race. So, for your safety and the safety of those around you, please don’t slam on the breaks when you see the castle.

Ok, now that the PSA is over, let’s continue with the magical coverage of the second half of the Princess Half Marathon race course! This is the point in the course where we went into chill mode. We walked a lot of the stretch between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We stopped to take a picture with Mary Poppins Penguins, and we got a chance to meet a few of our Instagram friends in real life on the course.

We were pretty delighted to run into the Princess Men! We loved all of their costumes this year. Especially, Christopher (@biggsjeep on Instagram) as Mulan. John Remus coordinates the Princess Men crew, and he did an incredible job writing a recap of all of their adventures at the princess half marathon. We highly recommend you check out their recap here .

We also got the chance to catch up with the lovely Rachelle and Erica from @reignitefit.  It was fun to get to know them on the course, and to find out that they are literally my neighbors! I hope to see them around the corner from my house soon!

The lovely ladies from @reignite fit on Instagram!

As we got closer to Epcot, the sun began to get warmer. We decided to pick up our pace and avoid a sunburn (redhead problems are real, y’all).  Amanda made a quick stop at the medic tent so she could cut the sleeves off her Mushu shirt, and we guzzled a few gummy bears for fuel. Other than that, we were in full speed ahead mode as we went through EPCOT.  When we got to the last mile of the course, Amanda and I squealed with delight because we saw MUSHU!! We jumped for joy, and obviously had to stop for a pic with him. It was our favorite character stop from the course.

OMG!!! MUSHU!!!


We were elated the see the finish line of this course because all three of us were ready for some rest time.  We loved the finish line because got 3 medals at the end of this race! We got the gorgeous Enchanted Rose medal, the Glass Slipper Challenge medal, and the blue 10th Anniversary Coast to Coast medal for running this race and Light Side Half in Disneyland. They also handed out pink drawstring backpacks at the finish line.

All the bling!

Princess swag.

Woo hoo! We finished!

After the race we took a long nap, and then we headed to the parks to eat all the foods. All in all, it was a great race weekend!

Well, that’s all for now!  Let us know what you thought about the Princess Half weekend in the comments section below. Next up for us is the Dark Side Half Marathon weekend in Disney World in April. Will we see you there?

-Christine

 

 

 

2017 runDisney Princess 5k Race Recap

Hello, Team Tutu! It’s been a busy few weeks since our magical trip to Princess Half Marathon weekend! We’ve finally recovered from all the fun, and we are ready to share some recaps from the weekend.   Let’s kick off our recap series with a review of all the fun from the Princess 5k!

I was so excited about this 5k because it was my first ever runDisney 5k.  It’s been difficult to include a 5k in our travel plans in the past because the runDisney 5ks are usually on Fridays (work really cramps our style). Plus, the thought of adding an extra 3.2 miles to the 19.3 miles required to complete typical runDisney challenge didn’t sound like something I was ready to conquer.  I decided to run the Princess 5k because my friend Ashlea and her daughter committed to running the Princess 5k as their first ever 5k race!  Ashlea and her daughter got the runDisney bug this summer when they participated in the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts series. They had so much fun on the virtual runs that they wanted to see what a runDisney experience was like in Disney World.  As soon as I heard they were interested in the 5k, I jumped at the chance to join them for the fun!

Here is how the race experience went:

Registration:  We had a pretty easy registration experience this year because we were all able to register with Team Raw Threads. I am a Raw Threads Club member and one of the awesome club perks is early race registrations for yourself and sometimes up to 2 family members or very close friends. I was able to snag a bib for myself and 2 bibs for Ashlea and her daughter without any stress. If you are a big runDisney fan, and love the Raw Threads apparel, it is definitely worth it to purchase a club membership!

Costumes:  As soon as we heard the theme was Beauty and the Beast, Ashlea’s daughter asked if we could dress as Mrs. Potts, Chip, and Belle. Our costumes were really easy to put together.  I had just finished dressing as Mrs. Potts for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, so I had some left over fabric laying around that I was able to give to Ashlea so that they could make their Mrs. Potts and Chip costumes. Ashlea’s mom is an amazing seamstress and she made adorable Mrs. Potts and Chip costumes for Ashlea and her daughter!  Like a true seamstress, Ashlea’s mom had some gold sparkle fabric laying around that was perfect for my Belle costume.  She graciously donated it to me so that I could make an overlay for my Belle tutu. It was the perfect addition to the costume!  The rest of my costume was a breeze to make because I borrowed Amanda’s Belle inspired tank top from last year’s Princess Half. I made a new rose embellishment for the top out of some of the scrap sparkle fabric, and then used a remaining scrap as a ribbon for my hair.

Mrs. Potts and Chip. Ashlea’s mom made them!

Thank you to Ashlea’s mom for the tutu overlay fabric!

Pre-race fun:  The 5k pre-race party was hands down my favorite of the weekend! It wasn’t overly crowded, and the vibe was a lot less intense than the other races. We got to see so many of our friends during the pre-race party because it was very easy to walk around and say hello! We had the pleasure of seeing a few of our Instagram friends in real life. It was great to see Jessica (@jbullski), Kimberly (@belle898), Cindy (@copleycoture), and Lara and her sister (@lalalenz & @critterclubhouse)!

@copelycoture looked amazing!

Always great to see @jbullski! (Photo credit to her for this pic)

Finally got to meet @lalalenz and @critterclubhouse ! (repost from @lalalenz on Instagram)

As soon as we walked into the pre-race party, we ran into a group wearing some of the most amazing Beauty and the Beast costumes we saw all weekend (they actually had amazing costumes for all the weekend. Check out their full group on Instagram @la.lee11)! They had almost every Beauty and the Beast character accounted for in the group. We were in awe and stopped to talk with them for a few minutes. As it turns out, they did not have a Mrs. Potts, Chip, or Belle in gold in their group. When we all stood together talking we created quite a scene because we were literally the full cast of the movie! Several runners even asked to take pictures with us!  RunDisney announcer Carissa noticed our costumes and came over to give our group a shout out on the big screen and on her Instagram! It was fun to meet Carissa!

Our group picture with the fabuous friends we met at the pre-race party. Thank you @la.lee11 for letting us hang with your group!

Race start:  We were able to make it to our corral without any problems and had a few minutes to warm up and take a drink of water before the race started. This year runDisney started a new system with the corral starts.  Each corral is divided into waves rather than starting all at once. It seemed to keep the race start fairly uncrowded. We were in the second wave of our corral, and right before our wave started Carissa headed back towards us to do pre-race interview.  Carissa walked towards us and the next thing we knew she was interviewing Ashlea’s daughter!  When we crossed the start, Ashlea’s daughter looked at me and said, “Do they always interview you before the race starts?”  She was surprised to hear that we had never been interviewed before =).

I was a little sad that we didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of Ashela’s sweet daughter on the big screen. Shortly after the start of the race, we got the chance to meet Laura, the lovely blogger behind Joyful Miles. Laura is such a nice person. She greeted us with a smile and let us know she got some video of our pre-race interview.  We were so thankful she caught the moment on camera! She went the extra mile (pun intended) of sending us the video during the race! Now that’s some serious multitasking.

The lovely Laura from @joyful_miles

The race course:  This race course was also my favorite of the weekend (and no, it’s not because it was the shortest =) ). Nearly all of the 5k course was in Epcot! We ran around the whole World Showcase and around Spaceship Earth. We even got the chance to take a picture with some great characters. Everyone looked like they were having a great time. There were lots of families running together, and there were a lot of amazing costumes on the course!

The mile markers were adorable!

Finish and post-race fun:  Ashlea and her daughter did a great job pacing themselves during the 5k. We took it easy and enjoyed ourselves at the beginning, and then finished the race strong. The medal for this race is one of my favorite runDisney medals to date. The medal features Mrs. Potts and Chip and is a pretty equal size to the other medals from the Princess Half weekend. runDisney recently upgraded the 5k medals from a plastic medal to medals made of metal. The upgrade was very much appreciated at the finish line of this race! After the race we went to 1900 Park Fare for a celebratory brunch!

All in all, this was a great 5k experience! I would definitely consider registering for another runDisney 5k in the future.

Congrats to Ashlea and her daughter on their first 5k!

That’s all for the 5k recap… stay tuned for a recap of the rest of the weekend’s events and races!  If you ran in the Princess 5k, leave a comment and let us know what you thought of the event.

-Christine

Free printable magic rose stickers

We just got back from an extra magical weekend at the runDisney Princess Half Marathon weekend!  The best part of the weekend was getting to meet so many of our Team Tutu friends in real life. We are working on a complete race recap, but in the meantime we wanted to share some free printable stickers to commemorate the princess fun!

The stickers are the same image we used on the temporary tattoos we gave out to friends at the races. The set includes a sticker for the 5K, 10k, 13.1, and 19.3 distances. There are also blank stickers so you can write in a milestone of your choice.

Be our guest and download the file for free here: Free printable rose stickers download link

Directions for making stickers:

  1. Print the file on white cardstock or sticker paper (Try Avery Sticker Project Paper)
  2. Cut out the stickers
  3. If you print the stickers on cardstock, use glue dots, tape, or adhesive of your choice on the back of the stickers
  4. Put the stickers in your planner or training log to reward yourself for a job well done

Side note: I also love the Xyron Sticker Maker. It’s super cheap and you can turn anything into a sticker – as long as it fits into the machine!

Congrats to all who ran!

-Christine