Thursday, January 30, 2014

(3things) new favorite race distance, To Russia with Love and Maleficent

I think I've re-evaluated my new favorite distance. I'm usually a HUGE advocate for the 10k/ 6.2 miles, but I'm slowly realizing that it might be a TAD too short for me nowadays. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great distance for getting miles in, and not taking up your whole day. BUT the half marathon distance is still a little too far (especially after this weekend. But again, it was the farthest I had run since the marathon and once I get back into it, I'm sure it'll get easier). With all that said, I'm kind of loving the 15k or 10 mile distance. Sadly, those are not as popular distance races as I'd like. 

I stumbled on this initiative that Front Runners New York is doing and I think it's awesome. I hope they get enough miles to run there and back! You should log your miles here.

Earlier this week, Disney released a new trailer for Maleficent, including a hauntingly amazing remake of "Once Upon a Dream" by Lana del Rey. From the trailer, the movie looks like it's going to be from her point of view of the Sleeping Beauty story. Maybe I was thinking too "Wicked" and hoping it would be more of a prequel but I was a little disappointed. So, from here on out, I'm not putting too many expectations on it. But whatever the story is, she is my favorite and it's really important they get the story right. . . she was wronged!! haha. .  Anyone else feel this strongly about a fictional character?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon

formerly, The Manhattan Half. 

The night before I re-watched Run for your Life, the documentary about Fred Lebow and how the NYC marathon/ NYRR came to exist. This is a must watch for all runners, especially if you've ever run the marathon or ever plan to. They had copies available at packet-pickup for a discount. The DVD copy has an hour of extended footage (that's not available with the iTunes version). A portion of the sales went towards the NYRR youth programs.

Since the race is newly re-named after the man behind the marathon, it was encouraged to wear your vintage NYC marathon gear. I saw a TON of Asics NYCM jackets, but it was too cold to see the shirts underneath. The most vintage marathon shirt I had was the infamous orange one, so I decided to wear my beautiful blue one (that I haven't really worn as much as I should!) along with my 2012 jacket and my striped hat. 

I decided to sign up for this race, after the exciting announcement that it would be changed to The Fred Lebow Half and all the cool things they promised! It also helped a lot that this race would still be considered a qualifier for the 2015 NYC Half. I had a 12.5 mile run on the training schedule, so I thought this would be a good way to motivate me to do it.

So, how was the race? I should start by saying I really shouldn't have signed up for it. This was a pretty miserable race for me, so it may or may not affect my opinion. I was already cranky and tired from my 4 miler the day before. I just wasn't in the mood to brave the cold again. The forecast said sunny and that was my only saving grace. No matter what, I knew I had to get out there and run at least 12.5 miles, so it might as well be with support.

This race is just 2 loops of central park. That's 2 climbs of Harlem Hill, along with a ton of people looping you by mile 5. I was trying to hang on mentally until all those runners turned to finish and I could continue my 2nd loop in peace. Those motivational Fred Lebow quotes that were supposed to be all over the course? No where to be found, which I could've used the distraction. Later, I saw 2- one by bag check and the other at the information booth. . . not a place really needing motivation, in my opinion.

Then a lady in front of me turned to ask what the course time limit was. . . I had no idea? 3? 3:30? Again, it was 2 loops of the park. . no street had to be reopened, so maybe? This of course freaked me out, and I asked a course marshal who stated "3 hours". So, instead of a nice peaceful 2nd loop I was looking forward to, I was freaking out over the time limit and running faster than I should have. Awesome.

The water was frozen at all of the water stops. . . as well as in my water belt. It was also so cold, I decided to experiment with 2 pairs of pants. Verdict? Not the smartest idea, but you live and learn. I was also having a really hard time breathing, which is new; I don't normally have that kind of trouble. Since I was freaking out about time, it was only making matters worse. Seeing as this race had turned into an unscored fun run due to weather for the past 2 years, I'd assume NYRR would figure out that it's not an awesome plan to have a half marathon in NYC in January, but no judgement. After the 15k disaster, I remembered to bring extra clothes as well as another hat and gloves. Bonus points that the NYRR bags could fit all that PLUS my winter coat (and I made sure to tie it tight so no snow would get in). 

Frozen water

Also, I didn't see a medical tent on the course at all. Bummer because I really could've used one. I could tell my toe was bleeding and being able to fix it mid-race would've been awesome. The only medical tent I saw was after the finish line, which was not helpful at all, especially if you needed medical, DURING the race.

This was also the first half marathon I've ever run without a medal waiting for me at the finish line. Originally, having a really great designed bike hat sounded awesome. But at mile 10 of the race, it did nothing to motivate me to finish (especially considering that it was already in my possession). Once I got to the finish line, there was a bag of pretzels and an apple waiting for me. Seriously? There are bagels at 4 mile races when you've barely burned those calories, but not after 13.1 miles? All I'm saying is a french toast bagel would've been nice to wash away the memories of the race. Or a plain one. I wouldn't have been picky at that point. 

I was sad that for me, the race itself did not hold up to all the hype that surrounded it. And while $40 for a regular half marathon is extremely reasonable, I was expecting more for a race that was held inside Central Park without the expense of tshirts or medals.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Glass Slipper Challenge Training: week 17

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 2.5M

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4M

Sunday: The Fred Lebow Half Marathon

I couldn't get to the gym on Tuesday due to another round of a foot of snow with negative degree weather. So, I decided getting reacquainted with some Rodney Yee was a good plan. 5 days later, my abs were still hurting. Yoga is no joke, especially when it's been many months since you've practiced. I should probably keep that in the training rotation. Then Thursday, I got a solid run on the treadmill, even though I was trying to make it an easy run.

Saturday, 8AM was the only hour of the day that showed sunlight, so that's when I decided to do my 4 miler. I was going to try to wait until after B went to work, but snow was in the forecast and I couldn't risk it. The weather was also "feels like 10". How in the world did I motivate myself to get out of my nice warm bed?! I had to keep telling myself this will prepare me. The more prepared I am on race day, the better I will feel after. 

It took me a solid 5 hours after the run to actually feel warm again. That seriously concerned me for the 13.1 miles I would be out in the cold for on Sunday. Spoiler alert: it wasn't that bad! I remembered to pack an extra set of warm clothes and ran with 2 pairs of pants. It was the coldest I've ever run in and coincidentally, the most miserable . . but more on that later. One day I'm going to learn that a 12.5 mile training run and a 13.1 race are NOT the same thing. I think I pushed myself too hard and I'm hoping I didn't do too much damage. Rolling and stretching are now a top priority for the rest of the week (as they should be always, but clearly I've been slacking).

As much as I complained and was super cranky about this weekend, it's done. It's in the books. Even though my longer run was not a great mental boost, I know I can do it. I followed the training plan almost to a T for Dumbo (or at least a LOT better than I am this time) and I felt great. No, I didn't PR but I wasn't in unnecessary pain after. I think that's the main goal for Glass Slipper- that and don't get injured from now until then. I just really hope it's a lot less painful than this weekend! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

(3 Upcoming Races) Fred Lebow Half, RNR NOLA, Sea Wheeze + some Heavy Medals

I'm running a half marathon this weekend because I have 12.5 miles on the training schedule and thought "What's the extra .6?" I'm starting to freak out about it a little because I haven't done more than 8 miles, and every time I try to run outside, some sort of precipitation happens threatening my immune system. 

from FB

The race is the Fred Lebow Half (formally The Manhattan Half). Running this half goes towards qualifying for the 2015 NYC Half, if I decide I want to run it again. Instead of a tshirt, we got bike hats, so you know I was sold- random free stuff I'll never use, awesome!- plus the branding is completely RAD and speaking of RAD branding:

from FB
Lululemon's SeaWheeze Half marathon registration went on sale today. I REALLY need to run this race, for no other reason than I love the branding every year (and the awesome wooden "locket" like medal last year was BRILLIANT!) Seeing as I have decided NOT to go back to rematch the Disneyland Half (the memory of the SUN and hot concrete under my feet as not faded enough to get me to sign up for that torture) and it's the weekend after that, maybe it's in the cards?

But moving back to reality and the very real half marathon this weekend. So, all that's fine, but I've decided I will also be running ANOTHER half marathon the weekend after:

from FB
because seriously who could resist this medal? 

How's that for training? I need to take these two races REALLY easy. . . because The Glass Slipper Challenge is the ultimate race and I need to be healthy and ready for that. 

PLUS RNR NOLA is on my legal birthday. How often does an awesome race fall on your birthday AND in your hometown?! For a second, we weren't sure this trip was going to happen (hence why I signed up for a race the weekend before) but I have officially bought our plan tickets and we are figuring out plans now. This will be B's first time in NOLA and we're very excited. 

It also happens to be Superbowl weekend. Boo. I've had to share my birthday and my hometown with this event many times, but this year it's really annoying bc it's in NYC, which means my flight isn't as cheap as I wanted it to be, but whatever. At least we are getting OUT of the crazy instead of going into it.

If you're paying attention that's 3 half marathons in 5 weeks. . . kind of reminds me what my first year running sounded like. So, it should be just like riding a bike, right?

from FB

Remember when I was obsessed with getting the ROCKSTAR medal (running 5 of the Rock-n-Roll series half marathons in one calendar year), that I accidentally signed up for 2 more races and got the Rock Legend? Well, I've heard a rumor (and their facebook page confirms it) that they're finally planning on switching up their heavy medals series. Guess who might need a new challenge? 

and I'm pretty sure that's more than 3 things :) 

What upcoming race are you most excited about?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spectating the WDW Marathon 2014

Don't let anyone lie to you. Spectating a race, is hard work! Whether you're following one runner along on their journey, or trying to catch as many of your friends as possible, it takes serious work- mentally and physically!

My original plan was to try to catch everyone in Magic Kingdom. I've always said if I were to ever be a spectator, I'd want to spectate there. BUT I know how much it means to have support later in the race, so I decided Hollywood Studios (mile 23ish) would be a good place to spectate with the best possibility of seeing everyone. I was trying to spectate about 6 different runners, all at different paces and I was worried I would miss people if I tried to move around. Plus, this way I'd finally get to "sleep in" and planned to get to there as soon as it opened at 9am.

In case you're ever in a spectating situation for any morning half/ full marathon, it's important to know that all transportation 
stops between the hours of 5AM and 7AM. So, in order to see your runner at Magic Kingdom/ TTC/ Polynesian/ early in the race, you pretty much need to wake up and go to the start with them. I've also heard that the monorails are extremely packed with other spectators, so you need to account for that travel time as well. 

First things first, breakfast of spectating champions: Coffee and King Cake. Thank you, nolarunner! MacKenzie's is and always will be my favorite King Cake (even if the official bakery isn't around anymore) and it was as delicious as I remember!

Soon after I boarded Disney transportation to Hollywood Studios, my text alert told me that Sarah was already at mile 20! Geez, speedy! Slow down. This is a Disney race. Seeing as the park had just opened, I didn't think I had enough time to fight with the security bag check and get into the park to see her. So, I hopped off the bus and stayed outside of The Studios.

As I waited, I made friends with some other spectators who had already spectated their friend twice that morning (TTC and Polynesian) and after this stop were going to Epcot for the finish- Kudos to them! My running around that day consisted within the smaller park on property and I was still exhausted. 

Within a few minutes, Snow White came running down and I was screaming and jumping! The entire area I was in asked what her name was and joined in the cheering. It was a great moment and I was so excited I got to see her. She looked awesome and I hoped we were a good pick up for the last couple of miles. PS- That was her 2nd fastest marathon ever- even AFTER the Half marathon, 10k and 5k the days before. That's insane and I am so proud of her!

Sarah kicking some serious marathon butt!

After that excitement, I knew I had some time, so went into the parks to see what characters were out. Normally Donald, Daisy and Stitch meet and greet outside of the hat, but since that's right where the race was going, they moved to the Animation courtyard.

Score for getting Daisy and Donald in their Hollywood attire WITH NO LINE! 

Stitch says he'd rather sleep than get up and run. 

After that, I got the notification that Fred was on his way, so I went over to the Street of America to catch him. That ended up being my to-go place to see everyone. I even made friends with the cast member who was directing the day guests around the course. Tip: This is a GREAT area to spectate. No crowds of spectators, or even day guests. It was awesome! Super emotional for me, too (when isn't a race emotional for me?!). A continuous loop of New York, New York? Reminded me of the start line of NYCM. 

Fred flying in!

The text message alert system was extremely helpful all day and pretty accurate. Sadly, the only glitch was it didn't send me Karen's mile 20 update, and I missed her, but she seemed to have a great race- riding Everest twice and picking up a funnel cake to give to the runDisney announcers! My friends are pretty Dopey ;)

I must say, the crosswalk system Disney had in place for The Studios was brilliant! Since I'm usually running, I've never noticed it- just the crowd of people either cheering as they wait or giving us death stares. Cast members direct runners to one side of the road while other cast members "unload" and "load" guests into a holding area in the middle of the road. Once the area is loaded with guests and there is a break in runners, they start directing runners to the other side of the road. The guests are unloaded to the other side and then repeat. I never waited more than a few minutes to cross- and I was crossing throughout the day. 

Originally, I thought I would ride rides and play in the park as I waited for people, but I was too excited and just continued to cheer for runners. It's not every day you're in Disneyworld and a marathon is running through it. Note to self: Next time, make a sign and have a cowbell! 

I saw this runner at the half marathon finish line the day before and originally thought it was fake. Nope. This is a real Tuba and he ran the half marathon AND the full with it. WOW!! 

This Dopey runner stopped to pin trade. No lie. What other marathon in the world can you see all this shenanigans?! It. Was. Awesome! 

Next up was Mrs. Jeannine, who was in great spirits! She was on track to finish pretty much over an hour before we did last year. The cooler weather was definitely making it a better race (I was down right COLD! Extremely thankful I had a jacket, but wished I had a long sleeved shirt under it) and I would be lying if I said I wasn't a tad jealous. But don't worry, not enough to attempt to run it again, ha! 

Soon after, Pam got there and I followed her along the course to the finish. She was struggling a little from having a blister pop earlier in the race. Ouch! So, I talked to her and tried to distract her from the pain. I followed her around the course to Epcot, and then to the finish line. By the time I got around to the family meeting point, she was just getting there as well. I made sure she was good and got her onto a bus back to her resort. 

Couldn't resist this photo op! 

I made a stop in the merchandise tent for a quick survey. They had stuff available for all the races- Half, Full, Goofy and Dopey. They even had Sweaty Bands left! This also peeved me, but glad to know that Disney is on top of that issue as well (fingers crossed, anyway!) Tip: Every WDW race I've run, has had a merch tent at the race and they have had stuff I didn't see at the expo. If you're looking for something in particular, always check there.

The original plan was to go back and play in Epcot, but there wasn't enough time. I only had time for some popcorn and people watched then it was time to say good-bye. It was a great weekend and I'm so glad I got to experience it with all my Dopey friends! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Volunteering for the WDW Half Marathon 2014

As soon as I decided I was going to run the inaugural WDW 10k, I knew I wanted to volunteer for the half marathon. I wasn't really interested in running an UNofficial 19.3, but didn't know if I could justify another trip to Disney for just a 10k. I would be back to run the Princess Half the next month (which is pretty much the same exact course and the 19.3 is the official Glass Slipper Challenge), so why not have a new experience and give back to the runDisney/ running community? So, that settled it.

I did a little research about volunteering at runDisney and waited for sign up to open. From what I found, if you think runDisney races fill up fast, try signing up for a volunteer slot! Word on the street was registration would open about 5 months out. I was sitting in the airport waiting for my delayed flight home from The Tower of Terror weekend, when I saw signup opened and I was on it! My main goal was to try to get medal distribution, but that wasn't available so I signed up for Finish line runner direction- it was close enough to the action for me! 

This year the volunteer headquarters was at the Blizzard Beach parking lot. I was hoping that was a typo and it was still at Downtown Disney, that way I could walk there from our hotel. No such luck. So, I scheduled a cab to pick me up for 4:30AM. From Saratoga Springs Resort, it was only $15.

I checked in, got my awesome orange volunteer jacket and a ziploc bag of snacks. (Tip: They give you a bigger bag when you pick up your credentials: bring it. This would've come in handy. Normally the volunteers use the pouch that the previous year's half zips come in, but this year it was a full zip jacket. Another veteran volunteer showed me that the pocket cut outs could be used as snack storage as well. I looked like the Michelin man all day, but crisis averted.) Then we boarded the bus to shuttle us to the finish line. We sat there for about 45 minutes- we had to wait for the race to start so the roads would be clear. I accidentally fell asleep on the ride over (It was dark and warm and 5AM- what do you want from me?!) but woke up when the bus stopped a couple of times- apparently the state troopers weren't given the memo the volunteer buses were allowed to go through. 

Once we got to the finish line area, I followed a group of volunteers and we went in the wrong direction. We missed the first part of the responsibilities speech (like, keep the runners moving, don't take pictures for them. opps) but I guess we figured it out. Biggest word of advice: if a runner is bent over, do NOT stick your head under there to see if they're ok :) If we saw someone limping or had bloody nipples (which was way more often than I thought), we would point them in the direction of the medical tent. Of course, if we saw someone in real trouble, we'd just call for medical but they were always close by. The medical volunteers were really good about spotting the runners who needed help and would escort them over to the med tent. Luckily, we had good weather, so we didn't see too many runners needing serious attention (at least not where I was)

I'd say my main job was to answer where the Dopey/ Goofy tent was. There were a couple of volunteers who had the "medical on the right, water and Powerade straight ahead" spiel down, so I did a lot of smiling and congratulating. We were standing along the barracades where finishers could see their family, so we had a lot of people stop to say hello/ have a quick photo taken, which we could allow, but they had to keep moving. We took finisher photos for runners, but then stopped because it started to get crowded.

The only issue I saw was in the beginning of our shift. 2 runners ran up to us from the other side of the barricades demanding we give them a medal because they missed the start of the race. Because WE, the finish area runner direction volunteers, didn't clearly tell them about how transportation worked, it was all our fault. If they flew home without a medal, their husbands were going to divorce them. YIKES! Granted, I don't know the whole story and I also don't know what ended up happening, but I can't imagine the feeling of not getting to the start line of your race. I hope everything worked out.

Ready for the runners!

The Team Leads were super nice and you could tell they really enjoyed their jobs. They made a point to tell us to hydrate and move around. They checked on us throughout the day. The medical lead even came around and brought us more water. There were a couple of times I started getting dizzy from watching the runners come in, and I had to stop trying to focus on them. I was very grateful for the trail mix I had stashed in my pocket as well. It really helped when I started to feel lightheaded. I wish I would've walked around more, but I didn't know where to walk to!

Every time I saw a friend finish, I would use that time to walk them down the finisher's chute as my time to move around. It was working really well! I only missed a couple of people's finish. But walking back upstream through a wall of sweaty/ tired runners was challenging!

 Fred made it!

As did Karen!
(everyone else did as well, I just didn't get photos)

When it started to get towards the end, I walked closer to the finish line to cheer on the last bunch of runners. I got pretty emotional at how ridiculously inspiring and overwhelming it was. I totally cried when Katy Perry's Roar came on (it was the song I finished the NYCM to) and when the massive group of TNT coaches ran the last finisher in. 

Fun fact: The Balloon Ladies are NOT the last to cross the finish line. They crossed the finish about 10-15 minutes before the official last finisher. This was very surprising to me, from all I've heard about being swept during the runDisney races. (I also saw them in Epcot during the full and there were TONS of people behind them. I guess as long as you're in front of them before the last sweeper spot, you're ok

Once the last finisher crossed, we headed to the buses to go back to Blizzard Beach to check out. They punched out credentials and handed us a park ticket- that will come in handy for GSC!

Luckily I made a friend with one of the volunteers who was sweet enough to give me a ride back to my hotel, otherwise I had no idea how I was going to get out of the Blizzard Beach parking lot! I understand that most volunteers are local, but making it a tad easier for those of us who want to help on our vacation would've been nice. Again, at least at the old Downtown Disney meetup, you had guest buses. I heard there was lots of problems with Blizzard Beach's parking lot not having enough parking space, so maybe next year it'll go back to how it was.

It was a great experience and I would highly suggest giving back to the running community if you ever get the chance- runDisney or local. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

RunDisney's Inaugural WDW (Minnie!) 10k

After the 2013 WDW Marathon weekend, I wasn't planning on going back for 2014 (I was hoping I could do Tinkerbell weekend instead). Then, the WDW 10k was added to the marathon weekend lineup and when I saw the character who was hosting, I knew it was a must do. 


I calculated and it worked out perfectly to squeeze one last trip to Disney on my annual pass before it expired. So, it was done. The race was held on Friday morning, which didn't thrill me that I had to take a day off of work, but I dealt. Luckily, everyone I knew that was traveling down that weekend was attempting the Dopey Challenge, so they would already be there and someone could pick up my bib for me (Thanks, Fred and Karen!). I flew in Thursday night, which wasn't ideal, but hey! You only live once and it was only a 10k. I eventually got to the hotel around 11pm, then turned around and woke up at 3am to get ready for the race.

Once I got to the start area, I made a beeline for coffee. Not making it in the room beforehand was a big mistake. Normally, on a full night's sleep before a 5k, sure. I could wait that long for caffeine. Working on 3 hours of sleep with a 6.2 mile run ahead? This was about to be a very dangerous situation for all parties involved. Luckily, there was coffee at the start, but I'm pretty sure that coffee didn't kick in until I crossed the finish line. Bummer, because I really could've used it at that on-ramp no one told me about at mile 1. 

Daisy and Minnie(s)!

It didn't feel like they changed the corral system much for this race. There were only 5 or so of them and there was about 7 minutes in between sending them off. We hung out in the back of ours, giving ourselves room to breathe and then off we went! 

It took me until about 1.5 miles in to realize it was disgustingly humid and I wasn't used to running in it. Yuck! But it was a runDisney and I was running it- what did I expect? I bring the cursed heat! I was hoping some good character stops would distract me. I saw that Remy and Emile (Ratatouille) as well as Flik and Atta (A Bug's Life) were out on the 5k course the morning before and REALLY wanted them to be out again. No such luck. In fact, I wasn't impressed with the characters on course at all. Even if I was, the lines for the 1st couple of characters were ridiculous. Peter Pan and Wendy alternated with Captain Hook and Smee at mile 1.5, then there wasn't any others until you got to World Showcase. Mushu was in China (got his picture at the 2012 Fiesta 5k) and The Genie was in Morocco (got him at Princess last year). We didn't stop for any of them because their lines were too long. 

 Running back into Epcot

Stopped for The Green Army Man as we entered backstage.

Running around the countries in the dark was beautiful!

Football Goofy was outside of the ESPN Zone. His line was pretty obnoxious, but it was mile 4.5 of a 6.2 mile race and I wanted to stop. There was no way I was only getting one character photo. Pam texted a friend who had finished the race already to find out what other characters were out, so we would know who to look for and if we wanted to stop or not. (note to self: text Sarah at Princess about this!)

The Boardwalk as the sun was coming up.

Once we got back into Epcot, we saw Chip and Dale. Their line wasn't long, but I think it's bc it was hidden. 

Those parade people were out again. They're still taunting me from the WDW Marathon's 20th anniversary mile 20 spectacular.

Then it was time to cross the finish line! Done and Done. It was pretty crazy to think I had only gotten to Orlando about 10 hours previously and I was already done running. I hadn't even been to the expo yet!

I noticed there were more characters at the finish line area, which made it a little better that the course entertainment was lacking. I believe this happens at most, if not all, WDW races, but I'm usually trying to get back to the hotel as quickly as possible. I should probably hang out in the finish area more often!

Daisy- she was my muse after all!

And what's Daisy without Donald?! 

The line for Minnie was INSANE and after about 10 minutes of waiting and barely moving, we gave up. I was starving (note to self: Book a buffet for Glass Slipper Challenge!) and needed a shower. I do love that they put Minnie in the finish area, instead of on course, so everyone had a chance to get a picture with her if they wanted. I believe everyone in her line got a picture, which is awesome she stayed out that long. 

Overall thoughts:

I think my expectations were a little high for this one. After we had such a great experience at the Disneyland 10k, I was hoping for the same. The 10k is my favorite distance, so that's always a plus. I was excited about the new course that took you completely around the boardwalk- I've honestly never been! It was beautiful (even if it was a tad slippery), especially as the sun was coming up. I also really liked that they kept this race at 5:30AM (instead of pushing it back like the 5K)- you stay out of the sun longer but you're still finished super early! It was great.

BUT- 1 character stop on the 3 mile stretch of highway didn't cut it for me. There were a few cars along the course (and a TV monitor with cartoons?)- playing annoyingly loud music. Those were definitely not needed. I'd suggest replacing them with another character stop or 2 on the highway (the more original/rare the characters, the better) and it would be perfect!

The new and improved race shirts are amazing! Better material, cut and the adorable design is the cherry on top. Offering women's cut makes all the difference; I'm excited I'll actually wear this one. It almost makes me sad I didn't run more of the races to get more of the shirts- but then that would've meant I had to train. Fingers crossed the Glass Slipper Challenge ones are just as good! 

What character would you like to see runDisney theme a race for?