Catching up from where we left off at the end of the Run Disney opening party, after a very short sleep at the Hi Park it was 5 am and my alarm was going off to tell me it was 10 Km day! I eventually got up and ready and before I knew it I was making the walk back to the parks!
Race day morning atmosphere is always super weird, at least in my experience anyway. It has a weird buzz, a mix of excitement, nerves and definitely a weird wired awake feeling, where I know I’m exhausted but I also feel a strange kind of couldn’t sleep even if I tried thing.
After going through security at Newport Bay (which has made me even more excited to stay there soon!), it was a quick stop in the expo to drop off my gear bag, then straight to the corrals to try and find Steven. Despite it being super early and pretty dark out, things were starting to fill up but a combination of being small and polite helped me to navigate through the building crowd and get to Steven which instantly made me feel more relaxed. as the 10 km and half marathon start lines followed the format of the previous year and started outside Vapiano/Five guys, this meant the stages with the big screens were back, and though I didn’t pay a huge amount of attention to a lot of what was going on, it certainly sets up a good pre-race atmosphere.
Before we knew it it was time to start, this would be the first course of the weekend that encompassed both parks, and being the first 10 Km race every at Paris, it was really exciting to see how many characters would be out, and to experience the route for the first time.
The course first took us through Studio 1, and into the Walt Disney studios park, where out first meet was outside art of animation again, the three little pigs! Fiddler Fifer and Practical pig, don’t ask me which is which because honestly I just haven’t got a clue! But what I do know is these guys are pretty rare to meet, and apart from the occasional farmers brunch in Inventions, meeting them is a real treat, I guess I don’t need to tell you how happy I was to see them, it’s written all over my face!
After the three little pigs it took a while to get to our next character, but once the characters started they just didn’t seem to stop and kept getting better, so it was worth the wait! The course took us back out of the studios, through fantasia gardens and up main street, at this point it was just starting to get light out, and how I wish I had taken a photo of our castle against that beautifully perfect pink and blue morning sky, it really was something incredible to see.
Once we got to the top of main street we took a right turn into Frontier land, and ran through to Adventure land and this is where the character meets started again, As we rounded the corner into adventure land I could see Genie and Prince Ali, I think I was pretty much set on stopping for them, when to my delight they switched out for Jasmine and Sultan! Now if anyone remembers, last year I just missed the Sultan and Jasmine on the half marathon as I was next in the queue when they got swapped out, so I was so so happy to get my photo this year, I’ll really treasure this one.
After adventure land we cut back into fantasy land round to the Carrousel de Lancelot, where Pinocchio and his guide Jiminy Cricket were meeting guests, this was really cool and though I would admit I’m not particularly a Pinocchio fan, the idea of meeting Jiminy was really cool, as an avid character hunter, anything out the ordinary was going to impress!
After Pinocchio and Jiminy it was time for one of the best parts of run Disney, running through the castle! Its such a small thing but it’s the perfect touch, I just wish there was a photographer to catch the moment, after the castle we ran past castle stage, where the giant steam punk Maleficent from Stars on Parade was blocking the walkway to Fantasy land towards small world, meeting in front of it were the three fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, I have a recent obsession with all things sleeping beauty, so even though the queue was long, we decided to wait, after a few mins the CM came over to tell us the fairies would be leaving soon, but that Aurora and Philip would replace them, and although a little disappointed as the fairies are a more rare meet, it was still good enough for me to stay in the queue, Steven was very kind and agreed to stay with me, and our friend Seb joined us too.
After Aurora and Philip it was round to Discovery land where we had been told Stitch was meeting, this was someone Steven really wanted to meet so it was full steam ahead, when we got there, Angel experiment 624, was with stitch and i think its clear from the pictures I was very very excited to see her, even though I must admit I did feel a little bit bad meeting her without my good friend, and total stitch fanatic, Shouls, who was holidaying in WDW.
Next was a quick run around the Back of Space mountain, and down the path that take you to the Fantasy land gates next to Small world, here the first float from Magic on parade was parked up and the Fairy God mother and Merlin were meeting with it, now in hindsight, this is probably one of those things I am going to regret skipping, but, we’d been told Bullseye was out with woody and well, I needed to try and see that, so we carried on a loop around the back of story book boats and Casey Jr to bring us out to run around the labyrinth, I think Chesh and White rabbit may have been out, but if they were we skipped them as we’d met them before, we stopped quickly outside Dumbo to get a photo of my costume with the 25th board then into adventure land and another backstage loop behind Indiana Jones.
This brought us out to the back of Frontier land by the Chapparel theater and towards the cowboy cookout, sure as anything Woody was there, Jessie was with him but unfortunately we’d missed Bullseye, Steven had run ahead to try and get in the queue for us, so we met back up with him, as I still wanted a photo with my Toy Story favourites.
We then carried on towards Phantom Manor where Jack and sally were meeting, and I’m honestly gutted to say the queue had already closed when we got there so we couldn’t meet them, this was a real shame as I personally haven’t met the two of them together since 2012 and its only Jack that meets during the Halloween season, at least I’ll get to see him really soon!
The course then cut back across to the Studios park with a loop of catastrophe canyon and a run round the tram tour and through the stunt show, I believe Remy and Emile were out again, but same as the 5km the queue was already too long for me to have time to meet the rats, so it was straight to the finish line and to get our second medal of the weekend!
A huge shout out to both Steven and Seb for running with me, when i started to feel in pain around Km 7 they never left me or gave up on me, and it was an absolute pleasure to cross the finish line and collect my medal with them.
So that was the race, I’ll be back soon with my round up of how I spent the rest of my Saturday.