2017 Pro Bowl 5k Race Recap

Greetings, Team Tutu!  A couple of weeks ago, Melanie and I decided to take a last minute trip to Orlando to run the Pro Bowl 5k. This race wasn’t on the official runDisney schedule, but it was advertised via a runDisney newsletter and managed by runDisney, so we thought it might be worth the trip.  The entire race experience from start to finish was so much fun and definitely exceeded our expectations! Here is how the weekend went down:

Registration, transportation, and packet pickup:  We registered for the race on active.com less than a month before the race. Registration was a breeze and we only paid $49.00 for the 5k!  Compared to the $90.00 fee for a typical runDisney 5k, this was quite a pleasant price to pay!  There was plenty of information about how to get to the race and pick up packets on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Website, so we knew exactly how to get to the race and pick up our packets.  Melanie and I decided to stay off property because there weren’t any official race transportation buses provided for this race. We booked a last minute flight, hotel, and rental car deal on Priceline (yet another way we cut costs for this last minute trip). We flew in late Friday night, and we drove to the race on Saturday morning without any issues. This race had packet pick-up the morning of the race, which was a very nice perk. We didn’t have to take off of work on Friday just to go to an expo to pick up our bibs. The race registration did not include a race shirt, but that didn’t bother us because we have waaaay to many race shirts already.

Our costumes:  We come from a big family of Steelers fans, so Melanie and I were excited to have an opportunity to represent our favorite team at a race!  Melanie and I both wore black and gold tutus, Steelers themed eye blacks, black and gold knee socks, and black and gold Sparkly Soul headbands. I made us some matching bows, and we brought along a football to carry through the race. I wore my Ben Roethlisberger jersey and Melanie wore an Antonio Brown jersey.

The race:  This was an untimed race, so there were no corral assignments.  The race was small enough that there didn’t seem to be any issues running the pace we wanted to run. We didn’t wait in any lines to pick up our bibs, and we were able to enjoy some prerace entertainment. The runDisney commentators (including Carissa) were out at the start to get the crowd hyped. We saw prerace coffee available with no lines, and there were plenty of port-a-potties to go around.

The race course was the exact same course as the Princess 5k!!! That’s right, we paid 49 bucks and got to run through the World Showcase with less than 3,000 other runners!! We started in the parking lot of Epcot, ran through the World Showcase, past Spaceship Earth, and then back out to the Epcot parking lot.  Melanie and I took our time on the course, interacted with other football fans, and took a lot of fun pictures.

Some of the course highlights for us were:

  • When I fumbled the football less than a mile into the race. Another friendly Steelers fan recovered the football and attempted to throw it back to me, but I was unable to catch the ball. I am clearly not a NFL caliber athlete, so the football hit me right in the head, and I dropped the ball for a second time. Finally, I somehow managed to recover the ball, and we kept the ball fumble free for the remainder of the race.
  • Taking pictures along the World Showcase. There were some fun photo backgrounds out in Epcot for the International Festival of the Arts, so we took advantage of those for some race photos. There weren’t any race photographers on the course, so we tried to take as many fun pictures as possible!
  • That moment Melanie decided to twerk in front of Spaceship Earth. Antonio Brown is well-known for his signature touchdown twerk dance. Melanie thought it would be great to channel her inner Antonio Brown right in front of Spaceship Earth, and IT. WAS. WORTH. IT.

Race bling and Finish: As we approached the finish line, we got to see NFL mascots and cheerleaders cheering for us.  There was so much room at the finish line that Melanie managed to capture another Antonio Brown stretch move (fellow Steelers fans might know  this move as the “Immaculate Extension”) right as we crossed the finish line. 

The medals for this race were amazing, especially considering this was a 5K. They were the same size and quality as most of the runDisney medals we have earned.  We got post-race bananas and water in a bottle that had the Pro Bowl logo on the front. We were so excited at the end of the race we did a touchdown dance in the middle of the Epcot parking lot.

We had no issues getting out of the Epcot parking lot and back to our hotel. The race crowds were low enough that we didn’t sit in a long line of traffic trying to exit the race.  After the race, we took a quick rest break (and proceeded to share our adventures on social media). We opened our Twitter account and squealed with delight because THE STEELERS TWEETED US!!  EEEEEEEE!!!  It was a huge surprise to us  because we don’t usually have  many exciting notifications on our Twitter feed! We are definitely more active on Instagram.  Here is the moment our football fangirl dreams came true live on Twitter:

Extra Magic:   Melanie and I headed straight to the parks to celebrate our race. We were so excited because we were able to enjoy the Inaugural Epcot Festival of the Arts. We booked a dining package that included breakfast at the Garden Grill and a fastpass to return to Epcot that evening for a concert featuring Disney on Broadway hits performed by Broadway singers! We heard music from Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, and Tarzan. The concert and the festival were absolutely amazing! There were tons of food booths and adorable art themed snacks.

 

The next day, Melanie and I headed to Magic Kingdom to sneak in some last minute park time before heading home. The park crowds were so low that we literally managed to ride everything in Magic Kingdom! All in all, it was a pretty magical weekend!

Next up for us is the Princess Half Marathon weekend. We are busy finishing up our costumes (and training, I guess). We definitely want to meet some of our team tutu friends at Princess Half! We are preparing some more fun race-themed tattoos to give away over the course of the Princess Half weekend. Stay tuned to our Instagram, blog, and Twitter for more updates on our Princess plans!

 

-Christine

 

 

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