It was terrible! ME, not the race! The race was actually better this year. They made a lot of improvements and I definitely noticed.
They put lights through particularly dark areas, most notable were the disco balls and lights throughout the area that, last year, I referred to as the back parking lot around mile 11. Last year, I couldn’t believe that so close to the finish line we were actually in this dump of an area that amounted to some back alley in my mind. This year, all of a sudden it’s this disco tunnel. The runners were going crazy for it and taking pictures and other stuff.
Other changes were that the corrals started faster – every 2 minutes. I really liked this part. Last year it was over 5 minutes (or was it 10 minutes?) until each corral started so it took forever for me in the last corral to even get to the start (I didn’t have proof of time last year so I started dead last). And the security for the corrals is unparalleled. My race buddy and I were waiting for these little old ladies to taser us to the ground if we put a toe in the wrong corral (and yes, the reason we were thinking about this is because I may or may not have been testing their security to see if my buddy could join me in my higher corral… not saying I would have done it, but can’t I just check? for blogging purposes?).
Let’s see, and then there was the giant pirate ship somewhere in there. Forgot the mile but definitely past mile 6 I think. It was this enormous pirate ship and Captain Jack Sparrow right there with some other really menacing looking pirate. I’m not one to stop for character pictures during the race but it actually crossed my mind to get a photo with these guys. The whole thing was pretty impressive. It was like off a movie lot.
The finish line area was a little fine tuned as well. They had this area people could wait in if they wanted to take an end photo with another runner who hadn’t finished yet. I went in there and waited on my run buddy to cross. He came in quite soon after me. Know why? Because I finished in record slow time!!! It was my worst race I’ve ever done in my whole life! I added so much to my time that it’s just insane. I’ll talk about that in another post but it was awful (hint: injury).
I don’t know what it was but, crazily enough, I had a better Wine and Dine Half experience this year than last year, even with my busted time. I think things were less shocking this time around. Also, starting off way up in the first corrals is a world of difference from the back. But in general it helps to know what you’re getting into with a Disney race and especially one winding all around through parks and back lots.
Oh, and the long sleeve tech tee was much better too! It was black instead of that forest green from last year. The race medal was just as good as last year, while still being different. And the after party was good too (more on that later).