Walt For some people, the act of believing that you can do something is just a daunting as the act itself. With fitness seemingly at the height of society, the belief and drive to be physically fit can be something that is better suited for a New Years resolution. But, with every will there is a way, and it seems Walt Disney World has found a way to make getting fit fun and exciting.
Starting this off, I’m not a person you would deem physically fit. Im an average “joe” living in Orlando that enjoys a good video game session and a movie over going to the gym. So, instead of going insane and signing up for a marathon or anything like that, I opted for the sensible 5K event. This way, I figured, I could at least walk it if I had too.
The event starts early, around 6 am, meaning you have to get up, and get up early! After waking up at an ungodly hour, I proceeded to drive to the EPCOT parking lot. The drive is easy and quiet, since most people are asleep, and the parking lot is empty meaning parking is not an issue (yay). What’s even better is if you purchase a package through select runDisney marathon providers, like Pegasus, transportation is no worry. These packages include race registration, resort hotel stay, and park tickets. These select resorts take care of the transportation and provide a hassle free experience.
The energy when you arrive is BUZZING. Being in the area alerts your body that something big and fun is about to happen. Everything is laid out in an easy manner that even the “Dopey-est” of dwarfs could figure out. Bright colors and corral gates illuminate the early morning sky which help alert your senses to the upcoming events and designated areas. If that’s not enough, their is also a DJ of sorts yelling out times, schedules, and information from a stage centered to the corral area.
After a bunch of excitement, that would awaken even the deepest of sleepwalkers, the event starts and the corral gates open one by one ushering out the hordes of runners. This is probably the most nerve wracking and dangerous part of the race. I personally felt like I was on a highway. My recommendation is just stay left if you are serious and stay right if you are just doing the causal stroll. The race path is laid out in a way that takes you through the park before it opens, and also around the back areas, allowing you to see your favorite parks in a whole new light.
Every mile is highlighted by a large mile marker board that shows you how far you have run and also how long it took you. For every mile marker you cross, there is a Disney character not far away that will pose for pictures. This is a great time to mention that you must maintain a 16 minutes mile average, whether you walk or run, to be able to cross the finish line. If not, the balloon ladies will place you on their bus, not allowing you to finish the race. So take that into consideration when thinking about stopping for a picture. I personally did not stop for pictures, since I was worried about making that 16 minute mile average.
The whole time I was involved in the marathon atmosphere, my attitude slowly changed. As previously stated, I’m not the active type, so the whole time I was starting to second guess myself and regretted signing up. But half way through, I have to admit, I started to enjoy it. Most people weren’t nasty, or mean, they were up lifting. Motivation seemed to be the word of the day. These people just want to see you finish. And THAT, right there, seemed to make the whole world of difference. It wasn’t just a run to the finish, it was a way to see people interact politely and professionally. I even witnessed people meeting for the first time from groups on Facebook, allowing them to make friends from across the world. Magic definitely seemed to be in the air.
After crossing the finish line, you are awarded your medal, a Powerade, and a snack box (best part). Taking a moment to gather your breath as the sun peaks through the clouds is a great feeling and amazing way to start your day. Now pumped and motivated to take on the day, I realized that it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but perhaps, a great experience to remember. Now that the inspiration was starting to wear off, and the reality of the day started to creep back in, I remembered something… I still had to go to work 🙁Rocco Arcuri – Marketing Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org | (407) 812-8812