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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon Recap

Hello, team tutu! We are so excited about our 2017 race schedule. We are registered for so many fun races and adventures this year including the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Tinker Bell 10K and more! Thanks to our Raw Threads Club membership, we’ve been able to register for all of the upcoming runDisney races with ease. We started our 2017 race fun off with a trip to Disneyland for the Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon. This was our first time participating in this event and we loved the entire experience. Here is a quick review of some of our favorite moments from the weekend:

Race Expo:

The last few runDisney race expos that we’ve experienced have been pretty crowded and a lot of official race merchandise has sold out within hours of expo opening. We’ve started to arrive at runDisney expos prepared for crowds and limited race merchandise availability. Melanie and Amanda arrived at the expo on Friday evening and I came to the expo on Saturday. We were relieved to find low crowds and some of the race merchandise still available on Friday and Saturday. This was a great surprise. Melanie and Amanda were both able to snag the coveted Tervis tumbler along with some other cute merch! Packet pickup was a breeze and the long sleeved race shirts were a nice perk!

The best part of the race expos is getting a chance to catch up with some of our friends. We were excited to see so many of our friends at the expo. We got the chance to see our friends from Run all the Races, Chase this Skirt, and Raw Threads.

 

Race Day:

We drove to the race and parked at the Mickey and Friends parking garage. It was a breeze parking and getting to our corrals in time for the start of the race. The quick commute to the corrals was a relief for us because we were definitely not feeling 100% on race day. Melanie and Amanda were both fighting a cold and I was nursing some nagging foot pain. We were slow getting up that morning but thankfully traveled quickly to our corrals. Race day weather was a little chilly at the start, but quickly it warmed up to a very comfortable temperature.

We decided to dress as Ewoks for this race. We wore brown tutus and sleeveless Ewok hoodies from Her Universe. About a week before the race, I found some adorable Ewok felties on Etsy and decided to make Ewok hair bows. The Ewok bows were my favorite part of the race costume.

The race course was absolutely amazing! It was entertaining and not very crowded. This was by far our favorite runDisney course to date! That’s saying a lot considering how much we love princess things. The first 4 miles of the course ran through the parks. There were several character stops in the parks and lots of opportunities for pictures.

We ran through Fantasyland and Cars Land. The highlight of the park portion of the course had to be running past It’s a Small World. The attraction was still decorated for the holiday with beautiful lights. As I ran towards the attraction, I was giddy as I saw the pretty lights from afar. My giddiness was momentarily squelched because as soon as I ran up to the front of the attraction the lights turned off as the timer turns the lights off daily at 6:30 AM. Thankfully there were some WONDERFUL cast members working in front of the attraction. As soon as I disappointingly asked what happened to the lights, Brian and his team radioed for help and got the attraction lights turned back on for the remainder of the race!!! It. Was. Magical!!!!!

We were initially concerned about the second half of the race course as a majority of the course was outside of the park property. When we ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May we found the second half of the race course to be less than entertaining. That was definitely not the case at Star Wars Half! The second half of the course actually ended up being the best part of the race! There were so many spectators cheering on the course and there were two cosplay groups out in some of the most amazing costumes. We all took the opportunity to take as many pictures as possible with the cosplayers out on the course. The cosplayers gave us the boost of energy we needed to finish the race!

All 3 of us made it across the finish line and earned the gorgeous spinner medal! We all agreed that Star Wars Light Side Half is our new favorite race course!

After the race, we headed to the parks wearing some new accessories I made for the weekend. We had some Star Wars themed ears and vintage Disney movie poster inspired tote bags. The parks were pretty crowded due to the holiday weekend, but we still managed to take a trip back to ride It’s a Small World Holiday. That attraction was completely worth braving the crowds in the park!

This was a quick trip for us. We headed back to normal life on the Monday after the race. We were sad to leave the Star Wars fun so quickly, but we know we will be back to the magic next month at Princess Half.

That’s all the race highlights for now! Did you go to Star Wars Half? If so, let us know your favorite part of the weekend!

-Christine

The Most Magical Moments of 2016

Happy Holidays, team tutu! It’s been a great 2016 filled with tutu fun and running. We thought we would take a quick break from the holiday eating (and attempts to keep up our race training) to review our favorite memories from 2016.

Christine’s top 5 moments:

  • Running the Disney Princess Half Marathon dressed as Mary Poppins and getting to take this awesome picture with Ms. Practically Perfect in Every Way. 
  • These epic pickle hats Melanie and I made for the Mansfield Pickle Run.
  • That time our runDisney virtual shorts antics were featured on the runDisney Facebook page and earned us Raw Threads fan of the month!
  • Running Ohana style at the Wine and Dine 10k.
  •  Finally finishing the Tinker Bell Half Marathon! This moment sits at number one because I experienced several health setbacks in 2015 that left me unable to finish the Tink Half. I felt like 2015 had a dark curse and I wondered if I’d ever be “normal” Christine again. Thanks to the support of my family, I started feeling better and I decided that I would use the moment I crossed the finish line at Tink half as a fresh start. Crossing that finish line made me feel like I could do anything. For my fellow Once Upon a Time fans… here is the moment I “broke the curse:”

 Melanie’s top 5 moments:

  • Meeting Spiderman in Disneyland. No further comment needed. =)
  • Achieving the ultimate tutu poof when I made this live action Fairy Godmother costume for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. It was so poofy that I even had an extra-large shadow.
  • My Agent Carter castle pic. Although finishing has always been most important to me, not my pace, I set a goal this year to feel stronger and increase my pace. I worked out really hard over the past year and a half and because of that, I was able to get to Cinderella Castle earlier than I usually do at the Princess Half. I was so surprised to see a less crowded Castle picture! This is when I realized I worked hard and achieved my goal.
  • When all three of us got to run in the same corral for the Disneyland 10K and we met Max Goof! Thanks to my hard work at Princess Half, I finally had a proof of time that let me run with my sisters. It was so magical!
  • The moment my Wine & Dine half Marathon costume was featured on the runDisney website. This moment made me so happy because I have definitely spent years perfecting my costume making and race pic posing!

Amanda’s top 5 moments:

  • Riding the brand new Frozen ride during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon after party. We waited until a little later in the evening and since the crowds were starting to disperse, we only waited 20 minutes! The ride was so magical that I started crying when I saw Elsa in her ice palace.
  • Meeting Darkwing Duck at the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. This race was a tough race for us but it was 100% worth it to get this amazing picture with some of our favorite classic Disney characters! It was like re-living our childhood days all over again.
  • When my boyfriend came to the Wine & Dine 10K and took the “dine” part very seriously. High five to the Photopass photographer who snapped this epic action shot.
  • That moment I got a Disney Premier Annual Pass. I took a leap of faith and relocated across the country this year for work. One of the best perks of my new job is that I live within driving distance of Disneyland. Nothing beats a stroll down Main Street after a long day’s work.
  • When my sisters surprised me by registering for the Disneyland 10K on 2 weeks’ notice! I had just relocated from DC to California and it made me so happy to have my sisters come to my new house and get a chance to run together in Disneyland.

There were so many fun moments this year, but the best part of the year has to be all of the friends we’ve made! We all agree that the ultimate magic award of the year goes to all our team tutu friends who ran with us and shared their inspirational tutu pics with us! Thank you for inspiring us daily! Here is a collage with a few of the tutu moments from 2016.

That’s all for this year, team tutu. Let’s raise our glasses (of Gatorade?) to a tutu-rific 2016! Cheers!

 

2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Race Recap

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap

Hello Team Tutu! A few days ago we wrote a recap of the Wine & Dine 10K and how much fun we had running with our Dad. Melanie, Christine and I completed Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge, which included both the 10K and the Half Marathon, so here’s a recap of our experience at the 2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon!

The Race:

First of all, the start was not delayed by inclement weather, so it was already on track to be better than last year! This year, we decided to coordinate our costumes and stick with the Beauty and the Beast theme in honor of Lumiere’s new Two Course Challenge. Melanie dressed as Cogsworth, I went as Babette the feather duster, and Christine dressed as Mrs. Potts.

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The race started at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and we had a great time dancing at the pre-race party! We really lucked out with the weather this year. It was a little chilly waiting for the race to start, but it felt great when we started running. I always pack a few mylar blankets with me so I can stay warm on chilly race day mornings. You can buy a whole pack of them on Amazon for pretty cheap.

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The first few miles of the race were on Osceola Parkway, then we entered Animal Kingdom for a couple magical miles around the Tree of Life and Expedition Everest. We were really excited to run through Animal Kingdom since that section of the course was removed last year after the rain delay. We made a quick stop to say hello to Baloo, then carried on our way until we ran into Chip and Dale.

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We were having a great time, but we had no idea what was in store for us as we continued on down the course. We turned a corner and found DARKWING DUCK and LAUNCHPAD. It was a flashback to our childhood and a much appreciated tribute to the cartoons of the 1990s. To top it off, the speakers were playing a continuous loop of the Darkwing Duck and Duck Tales theme songs. Here is a picture of that magical moment in all its glory.

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Miles 9 through 11 got a little rough. The sun was out, the temperature had drastically increased and we ran up several freeway ramps. The last couple miles of the course took us through Epcot, and luckily we had a big group of spectators there to cheer us on as we entered the park! We took a quick trip around Spaceship Earth (aka the Epcot ball) and then raced on to the finish line to earn our medals!

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Post-Race Party

Up until this year, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon had always started around 10PM. It was a night race that ended in Epcot for a post-race party. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the change to a morning race, but I ended up loving it. Usually I finish the half marathon after midnight. I’m exhausted and I want to chug water instead of wine. This year, we got to head back to the hotel, take an extra long nap, shower, eat a bunch of food THEN head to the post-race party in the evening. I was completely ready to party and drink wine, and we stayed at the park until almost 2AM. Best of all, we rocked the party in matching leggings from Oh Sew Magical!

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Magical Cheers leggings from Oh Sew Magical!

 

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There were definitely a few kinks with the new event schedule. Runners were allowed to enter Epcot for the post-race party beginning at 8PM. Once entering the park, everyone with a post-race party ticket had to stop at one of three locations to pick up a wrist band. The lines to get a wristband were insanely long. Once we picked up our wristbands, we realized that even though runners could enter the park at 8PM, the park didn’t close to the public until later. Around 9PM, the park shut down for an hour as the general public left the park. The rides were closed and every food cart was closed. We couldn’t even find a place to buy a bottle of water. It was very awkward waiting an hour for the park to open back up.

At exactly 10:00PM, the World Showcase lit up, music started playing and all the food carts opened up. Most people had been waiting an hour to buy food, so the food lines were long and the World Showcase was packed. We found a nice quiet spot in the Italy pavilion and waited for the crowds to die down. At around 11:30PM the park started to empty out. We only waited 15 minutes to ride the brand new Frozen ride (by the way that ride is life changing), and we could finally stuff our faces with delicious dishes from the International Food & Wine Festival.

We ended up having an amazing time at the post-race party and we even met up with a few Instagram friends. If the race is organized the same next year, I highly recommended arriving to the post-race party a little late. It’s a much better experience later in the night when the big crowds start to disperse.

That’s it for our recap of the 2016 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend! Congrats to all who participated. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below and we look forward to meeting more friends at future runDisney races. Next year you can find us at the Star Wars Light Side, Star Wars Dark Side, Tinker Bell, Princess and the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.

-Amanda

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Inaugural Wine & Dine 10K Race Recap

Wine & Dine 10K RecapThe Runs in Tutus team has just returned from the Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend in Disney World, and we can’t wait to share some of the highlights with you! This race weekend was extra special for us (we might say that after every race, but I really mean it this time!) We got to experience the brand new Wine & Dine 10K and Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge. More importantly though, our Mom and Dad joined in on the trip and we got to run the entire Inaugural Wine & Dine 10K with our Dad. We all decided to stick together for the full 6.2 miles regardless of our varying paces. We called it running the race “Ohana style.”  Melanie, Christine and I also completed Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge which included both the Wine & Dine 10K and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, but we’ll save that recap for another post.

On Friday, we all visited the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo together. Melanie, Christine and I participated in the usual silly photo ops, but they were even more fun this year with our Mom, Dad and my boyfriend Robert there to join in on the fun.

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As usual, the runDisney Expo was filled with all of our favorite vendors, and the merch was irresistible. Unfortunately, a lot of the official runDisney merch was taken off the shelves due to a typo in the word inaugural. We weren’t able to buy some of our favorite items like the Wine & Dine Tervis, but we still walked away with plenty of fun keepsakes. I especially loved the shirts at the New Balance booth and bought the running for adventure t-shirt and a cute sweater with the castle on it that says “home.”

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After the Expo, we spent a little bit of time at the parks then got plenty of rest before the 10K! We stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort and had no problem catching a bus to the race in the morning. This has become our favorite Disney hotel for race weekends. We’ve tried a lot of different resorts, and the best race transportation has always been at Port Orleans French Quarter.

Since we were running the race Ohana style this year, we coordinated our race costumes for the 10K so that we felt like a team! We decided to go with classic Disney characters in their finest culinary attire.img_0049

Chef Daisy Running Costume

Christine as Chef Daisy

Chef Donald Running Costume

Melanie as Chef Donald

Chef Mickey Running Costume

Dad as Chef Mickey

 

Chef Minnie Running Costume

Amanda as Chef Minnie

The course started in the Epcot parking lot where we gathered in our corrals and waited for the fireworks at the start line. We were excited to meet some of our Instagram friends in the staging area! Since the race was Ratatouille themed, Remy was on stage with the race commentators to help send us off. The first three miles were mainly on the highway, but we loved checking out all the amazing costumes on the course. They get more impressive every year! Right before mile 4, we entered my favorite part of the course – the Epcot World Showcase. Almost every country had a photo op and there were a few rare character appearances like Pinocchio and Geppetto in Italy.

After leaving the World Showcase, we entered the Disney Boardwalk area for a beautiful run around Crescent Lake. There was actually a coffee shop open so my boyfriend Robert stopped for coffee and a muffin. I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re concerned about your time, but I guess it’s a helpful tip for anyone who gets sleepy on the course! We thought it was funny that the race photographer took a picture of him with the coffee.

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Robert takes a coffee break. Note: I tried very hard to convince him to dress up as Chef Goofy but he chose this outfit instead.

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Enjoying the Disney Boardwalk

 

Aimg_0144fter we made our way around the Boardwalk, we entered Epcot one more time for a jog around Spaceship Earth and then crossed the finish line at the Epcot parking lot. It was so special crossing the finish line with my family, and we were so happy to have our Dad right there with us. All in all, the Inaugural Wine & Dine 10K was a fun event. The course was entertaining, the runners were friendly, and it was fairly well organized considering it was an inaugural race. For us, runDisney races are about being with family, feeling good and accomplishing something together, and this race was the perfect place to do that.

 

Finish Line

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Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Wine & Dine 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and/or Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge! We’ll be posting a recap of the Half Marathon very soon, and we’re looking forward to running the Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon in January!

-Amanda

runDisney Virtual Running Shorts Series Recap

2016-10-04_11-04-09_000Happy fall, Team Tutu!   We are currently training and preparing for our next trip to Disney World in November for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  We love fall races, but logging the training miles in the heat of summer can be a challenge!  We signed up for the first ever runDisney Virtual Running shorts series to help keep us motivated to keep our training up over the summer.  This was a three part series of virtual 5ks with a Mickey Mouse theme (Red Pants 5k, Yellow Shoe 5k, and White Glove 5k). The races could be done as an individual event or as a challenge that required registration for all three races. We elected to complete the Virtual Running Shorts Challenge because it included a bonus medal and a runDisney tumbler. We can’t resist an up-sell on Disney merch and medals!

Here is our experience completing the Virtual Running Shorts events:

Registration:  Race registration for the challenge was a breeze. We registered the day the event was announced and the process was very similar to other runDisney events. The time window to complete each event was clearly printed on the registration information, and it was clearly communicated that no proof of finish would be required to receive medals. Other than that, there wasn’t a lot of information from runDisney following registration. We had to do a bit of searching to find details on where to find printable race bibs, and when to expect the medals to be mailed. We learned it is important to follow runDisney on all forms of social media, and to follow the individual pages for each race. The race included a free printable bib, and bib download information was initially released on the event page for the races on Facebook.  The race bibs were adorable, so we were really happy we figured out how to download and print them.

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Pre-race fun:  We had never done a virtual race series like this before, so we decided to make the event as fun as possible. We selected a day to run each of the events, and wend to our Instagram, Twitter, and blog to recruit as many friends as possible to run virtually with us. It was so much fun to feel like we had a team of tutu friends running with us for each of the 5ks! We had over 100 friends run with us!

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RACES

Yellow Shoe 5k:

Amanda’s experience:  Amanda ran the Yellow Shoe 5k in Washington, DC and took a tour of the monuments. She had so much fun pretending she was running through the castle in Disneyland!

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Melanie’s experience: Melanie ran the Yellow Shoe 5k in Austin, TX. To make the event a little more magical, she made an adorable shirt inspired by the logo we made for our free printable stickers. The magical shirt made bearing the Texas heat much easier!2016-10-04_10-35-24_000

Christine’s experience: Christine ran the Yellow Shoe 5k with her good friend Ashlea. It was Ashlea’s first runDisney event, and her first ever 5k! Ashlea’s daughter joined in on the fun, too! They dressed in tutus, and Mickey themed shirts. They even made mile markers and a finish line to help make the race extra magical. In a moment of ultimate magic, Christine’s yellow shoe 5k picture was selected as the runDisney fan of the week pic!!!! It was truly an awesome first race for Ashlea and her daughter!2016-07-04_003121000_f9bcb_ios

 

Red Pants 5k:

Amanda’s experience: Amanda completed this event with a little help from her adorable doggies!  They strolled through the streets of DC for an extra magical family 5k!

Melanie and Christine’s experience: Melanie came to Fort Worth and joined Christine and her friends for the Red Pants 5k. They elected to dress in Alice in Wonderland themed attire from Raw Threads because the new Alice in Wonderland movie had just been released. They made mile markers and used the same finish line from the first race. In yet another ultimate magic moment, Christine and Melanie’s Red Pants 5k picture was selected as the Raw Threads fan of the month picture!!2016-07-04_014132000_2008a_ios

 

White glove 5k:

Amanda’s experience: Amanda finished up the virtual race series with one last run through DC with friends before she moved to Dana Point, CA!  She was sad to say goodbye to her friends, but she is super excited that she now lives 35 miles from Disneyland!!

Melanie’s experience: Melanie got hit with some oppressive temps and rain in Austin, so she took her white glove 5k to the treadmill. Melanie managed to make the treadmill look extra magical by rocking her race bib and listening to some Disney tunes.

Christine’s experience: Christine ran the last race with her friend Ashlea, Ashlea’s daughter, and her friend Leslie.  They went with a princess theme because they were all hyped up about princess half registration. Thankfully, they had just enough red streamers left to take some epic finish line pics!

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Medals: It took exactly 30 days from the end of the race series for the medals and tumbler to arrive. It seemed like a long wait, but it was definitely WORTH IT!  runDisney did not mess around with these medals. They are HUGE (as in bigger than nearly every runDisney medal we own).  The tumbler is hand wash only, but very adorable. It is Tervis style, but is not a Tervis brand. It isn’t as durable as some of the Tervis tumblers we own. Melanie’s tumbler arrived with cracks in the bottom, but after a quick email to runDisney, they sent out a replacement tumbler. We thought it was a nice touch to include the tumbler with the challenge race. Especially considering how hard it is to grab a tumbler during a traditional runDisney race expo.

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Overall, we had a great experience doing the virtual races and would definitely do them again. It was a great way to stay motivated to train over the summer months.  A special thank you to all our team tutu friends who joined us virtually for the 5k events. It was so much fun to see all your pictures and to share this fun experience with people who love running and Disney as much as we do. It looks like runDisney is planning to continue the virtual races in 2017. 2017 Virtual Shorts information  is up on their website with some hints that there could be a new theme to the medals next year! Perhaps Pluto??

Next up for us: Lumiere’s 2 Course Challenge! We hope to see some of you in real life at the race!

 

That’s all for now , friends!

-Christine