My first leg of the runDisney Dopey Challenge (running 48.6 miles in four days) was running the family fun run 5k.
I was excited because this race started later than other runDisney races, yes, at the late hour of 6:15 in the morning. This meant I got to “sleep in” until after 4:00! I decided to dress as Minnie Mouse, because I knew a lot of people were doing Minnie for the 10k, so I wanted to be different and chose her for the 5k instead.
We hopped on a bus from our hotel and made it to the start. We were running a little late, and ended up towards the back of our corral, corral C. (the corrals were based on your estimated marathon finish time, and apparently Dopey runners were pushed back into farther corrals for all the races than they should have been).
When the race began, we still had to wait over 20 minutes to start. I could tell it was going to be a frustrating race as I overheard people saying they were walking the whole thing, etc. and I knew the course was very narrow in the beginning.
We finally started, and literally, people crossed the starting line and began walking. Hear me out, there is nothing wrong with walking a runDisney 5k, or any 5k… I think it’s awesome that so many people were out there at all, but runDisney has got to come up with a better system, or people need to be honest about their times and move to the right corral or the back of their corral to walk. I felt like it was definitely a safety hazard, and that there should have been more corrals spaced 5 minutes apart instead of less corrals spaced 10-11 minutes apart. I think the 7,000 Dopey runners made this race way too big and runDisney should make a separate Dopey 5k and family fun run 5k. I thought it wasn’t fair to the families and kids who wanted race photos with characters but because there were so many participants, there was no way to do that unless they stood in character lines longer than at the parks.
So our corral started, and we began going through the parking lot, weaving in and out of people, running in the grass, just trying to keep a running pace at all. We finally hit mile one, and made it into EPCOT where the course opened up a little bit, ah, running room!
We had not decided if we were going to stop for photos, but after seeing the first ones we knew we definitely would NOT be stopping. With the added number of participants, the photo lines were SO LONG. Dopey was on the course (still not sure why) and his line was easily 200 people long.
Speaking of characters, I only counted 3-4, and one character line didn’t even have a character at it when we went by! I remember running the Royal Family 5k a couple years ago and there was a princess at nearly every country, so I was kind of bummed by the lack of them.
We ran around the World showcase, keeping an easy and comfortable pace, and just kept on going.
I honestly don’t remember this race too much, just looking down a lot so I didn’t trip as we weaved around people. I remember the pretty torches being lit around World Showcase, and just running, running, running! The finish line was in sight, and I couldn’t wait to cross that same spot on Sunday after the full marathon.
We finished in about 35 minutes, collected our first of six medals, and I was finally able to meet up with Dani in real life! It was great to finally meet her, and we were both dressed as Minnie!
Oh, we also had to get our 5k finisher wristband so that we would be eligible to get our 10k band the next day.
We went back to the hotel, showered, ate breakfast, then headed back to EPCOT to spend the day in the park. We didn’t stay all day though, we still had three races to run!
QOTD: What are your thoughts on crowded races? Should there be more corrals? Less people?
For more info on running a 5k with runDisney, visit their website.