Saturday, April 16th-10k
I had gone to sleep at 8pm on Friday because my wake up was going to be super early. I had opted not to stay on Disney property but rather at home for this race so that meant I, and my friend, needed to be in the car headed to Epcot no later than 3:30am.
By 4am we were at Epcot.
We started heading to the corrals. In the past few years I have ran Minnie-the 10k during Marathon weekend, and 3 years in a row Enchanted the 10k during Princess Half Marathon weekend. All those 10ks the corrals were literally right by the staging area for the race. However this 10k was different-it was a hike to the corrals. But we made it so we could wait for the start.
The start finally came. Prior to this 10k I have completed four Disney 10ks. Throughout the 10ks I have previously done I have never dealt with any congestion. Except for one of the 10ks I have always been in the last corral so it is not like being in the last was different this time. The congestion from the beginning was intense. It was not until we reached Hollywood Studios which was close to Mile 3 that the congestion finally let up.
While the congestion had let up there were still crowds throughout the race. A little bit over a mile to the end was a dirt road within ESPN Wide World of Sports. I never run on trails, and the congestion was once again bad so I started walking.
The end was finally close. I realized I had not seen the Balloon Ladies. The Balloon Ladies keep the 16mm pace. Runners who go slower than a 16mm pace might possibly be “swept” which means not allowed to finish the race.
In 2013 I was “swept” during Princess Half Marathon at Mile 8, and during Tower of Terror at Mile 7. Since then I have completed all my runDisney races. However I have never beat the Balloon Ladies. Usually I finish right around the time they do.
When I realized I was going to come in ahead of them I almost started crying. I messaged my two best running friends to let them know that I was almost done, and was about to start crying with disbelief that I was pretty sure I would be coming in ahead of the Balloon Ladies.
I finished, and then went to meet my friend who texted me she was waiting for me at pictures. We had split after Mile 4.
We came, we ran, we finished. We were ready to celebrate. It was about 8am. I had made reservations at Cape May Cafe which is located at Disney’s Beach Club. We had started the race at Epcot, and that was where the car was parked. The race finished at ESPN Wide World of Sports. RunDisney’s plan was to that all runners who needed to get back to Epcot would get on a bus. I guess they never thought how many runners this would be. We stood in line for over an hour. This was just plain awful. We had just run a 10k-disntance of 6.2 miles, standing around for over an hour wasn’t great for recovery.
There was nothing we could do. Finally we boarded, and we were headed back to Epcot. We got in the car, and headed to Cape May Cafe. It was definitely time for breakfast!
Question: How do you handle congestion during a race?