A few months back I happened to find the webpage detailing the Minnie Marathon Weekend. I thought the 15K race sounded like a lot of fun, so one evening on the phone I casually mentioned to my mom that I was thinking about taking a solo trip to WDW to run this race. She was pretty intrigued by it, so before you know it we managed to plan a whole vacation around it. My mom wanted to be part of the fun so she was keen to enter the Go Red for Women 5K as her first event ever. We signed up as a mother/daughter team for the 5K and I entered the 15K as well.
I haven’t been to a really large marathon expo before, but even still, this expo felt a bit small. We picked up our race packets and t-shirts. We got really cute bags with the Minnie Marathon Weekend logo on it, a few samples of cream and various flyers and coupons. The 5K race shirt was a cotton t-shirt with the Go Red for Women logo on the front. The 15K shirt was a black, short sleeve, v-neck technical top with the Minnie Marathon, Women Run the World 15K logo on it. Vendors included Macy’s, Champion, New Balance, Skirt Sports, Adventure Babe, Footlocker and a few others I can’t quite remember. After dinner at the 50s Prime Time Cafe we headed back to our hotel to get ready, lay out clothes and pin race numbers on our tops.
Go Red for Women 5K Race Report:
I was a little worried about how the humidity would affect me since I live in a city with practically no humidity at all. The race started at 7:30 though, so luckily it hadn’t had a chance to get too warm so that helped. We drove to the start at Downtown Disney and it was great to see all the folks milling about. I found a green WISH shirt and introduced myself – it was terrific to finally meet some of the folks I’ve been chatting with on the boards. We took a few pictures and before we knew it, it was time to start lining up for the start of the race. I wished my mom good luck before she went to join the walkers and I headed off to the running start. The course was really nice and I really enjoyed the run through Downtown Disney, then on to the golf course pathways. It did narrow a bit at times which caused some congestion. I can’t speak to whether they were sweeping the race or not, but I did see a 6 seat golf cart at the 1 mile marker, so I’m not sure who that was for! I made a point to try and say good morning to as many volunteers out there as I could. Before I knew it I saw the finish line and I sprinted in for it. I got my medal, had my picture taken, then went to grab a drink and a bagel before heading back to the finish to cheer other folks in. I saw my mom coming in and it was great to see the big smile on her face as she approached the finish. She was so excited to get her first ever medal! After grabbing some snacks and drinks it was back to the hotel to freshen up and enjoy a HOT afternoon at Animal Kingdom and the WISH meet up at Earl of Sandwich later on.
5K Race Results:
Overall: 41 of 135
F25 – 29: 353 of 1,108
Minnie Marathon 15K Race Report:
I met up with two other WISHers bright and early at 4:30 in the lobby of POR – Angie and Jen. The lobby was pretty empty at that time in the morning so it wasn’t too difficult to find everyone considering we’d never met before! We drove over to Epcot to park, then caught the bus to the start at Animal Kingdom. We quickly found more WISHers at the start thanks to the bright green shirts. The time seemed to fly by as we chatted before the start of the race. We took some pictures before the start, then it was time to self-corral ourselves. The race started at 6:15 am so it was still dark out. Minnie came out to wish us luck and count us down, then fireworks went off to start the race. The first mile was just through the Animal Kingdom parking lot. Only 3/4 of a mile in there was a girl sitting on the side of the road with two friends. Somehow or other she managed to hurt her foot and I’m not sure if she was able to run after that or not, but I hope her foot was okay. After we made it out of the Animal Kingdom parking lot we were running down the highway toward the WWoS complex. There were a few spectators out cheering us on. Before I knew it I could see the turnaround folks heading our way, then turning off towards MGM. I kept looking over at the folks coming the other way and a nice fellow said not to worry about those folks, but to just keep moving ahead, one step at a time and we’d hit the turnaround soon enough. Once we hit mile marker 5 there was a DJ right before we hit a ramp heading up. She was playing this rather slow country song and rocking out to it, when I really wanted something upbeat to carry me over that ramp! The DJ cried out that this was our last hill too, but I later found out that she was wrong about that one… Once I was past that point it was time to head into MGM! Seeing the back of the ToT was thrilling and it was exciting to be off the highways and into the parks.
We ran through the costuming department where a few ladies were already hard at work sewing early on a Sunday morning. When we hit the Sorcerer’s Hat we finally saw our first characters – Mulan, Wendy Darling, and another one who I wasn’t sure who it was… I didn’t stop for a picture though because I wanted to keep going – silly me! It was down Hollywood Blvd, through a cast member area for a water stop, then down the Boardwalk. Even though the pathway narrowed at this point in time I noticed fewer folks around me so it didn’t feel too crowded. It was pretty empty at this point in the morning and I hit the point where I felt like I could have used some more crowd support or music. Somewhere between Boardwalk and the entrance into MGM we heard cries of “last hill ahead.” It was easy to get through that last hill though because before I knew it we were in at the UK pavilion in World Showcase. It was exhilarating to run through all the countries. Unfortunately by that time I was a bit too tired to take the camera out and snap pictures – I really just wanted to run through it. All of a sudden Space Ship Earth was ahead of me! I ran towards it, through a cast entrance and out into the parking lot for Epcot. I saw my mom at the finish line waving a sign for me and I sprinted towards the end. Hurrah!
I then got my very cool Minnie medal and a hug from my mom. She even brought my 5K medal with her so that I could wear it for some photos. Unfortunately Minnie and Mickey weren’t at the finish line when I crossed (must have just missed them), but I was able to get some pictures with Snow White, Pocohontas, Daisy Duck and Belle. I found the WISHers and we cheered people in, staying for the last person to cross the finish line. It was great to see how excited she was to finish the race, and Mickey and Minnie ran out to her, held her hands and they all crossed the finish line together. The only sad part was I was never able to get a picture with Minnie after the race.
I really enjoyed the race weekend. It is a shame 2007 was the last year for the Minnie because I would definitely go back and do it again. Oh well – here’s looking forward to the Tower of Terror 13K and the Marathon weekend in January!
15K Race Results:
Overall: 898 of 1,991
F25 – 29: 122 of 256