Fi's Mutterings

Disney, running, swimming, living with disability, challenges…


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Disneyland Paris Half Marathon

After last year’s runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon that ended up being a 7 mile run instead of 13, I did my sums and decided that Adam and I could do the inaugural half marathon at Disneyland Paris in September 2016.  I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun.  The only downside being that my husband will probably be away working so only Adam and I are booked on the trip 😦

Today, I finally did the last thing which I needed to get done/booked before we go so I can now relax and not panic, well not much anyway, until September.

So, I have booked the Disneyland Paris hotel, the Eurostar (from London to Disneyland Paris), the hotel in London for the day before Disneyland Paris and for the day we return from Disneyland Paris, trains to and from London (so happy that if you register with Virgin Trains you can book your tickets up to 6 months in advance rather than the usual 12 weeks).  I have also bought our half marathon entry and tickets to the inaugural party at Walt Disney Studios.  I’m so excited!  The amount Adam keeps talking about it, I think he’s excited too – I had to tell him so that I can get him out running/training for it.

One thing which is different about this run is that unlike other events where you can sign a waiver, under French Law, you have to get a Medical Certificate signed by your doctor to say that you are fit to enter the race.  I finally organised the Medical Certificates for Adam and me and picked them up today.  They are now uploaded to the registration site and we are ready to go.

Now we just need to put in the miles and the time in training for it.  At least we still have over 4 months to go 🙂

I managed to get a longer run than I anticipated this morning due to forgetting to pick up the Medical Certificates yesterday.  I was planning on running a 3km loop but had a phone call (which I didn’t answer) when I was half way round.  I looked at the caller id which came up with “No Caller ID” – when my doctors surgery calls it comes up with that – which made me remember I needed to pick up the Certificates.  So, I decided I’d extend my run and run to the doctors surgery.  I’d done 4km of consistent running, no walking, by the time I got to the doctors so decided to pause my Garmin and then restart it when I got going again.  I ended up with a, not quite constant, run of 5.55km in 36:15!  It’s not the time or the distance that I’m happy with (well, I am because it’s the fastest I’ve done for a while) but more the fact that, apart from the stop at the doctors, I ran without any walk breaks for over 35 minutes 😀

Bring on the York 10K – yes, we’ve entered that again – and the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.  We may add the Yorkshire 10 mile if they do it as part of the Yorkshire Marathon again.

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Running in 2015: Part 3

This is the final part of my Running in 2015 catch-up.  Our final run of the year was the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to get places for Adam and myself to take part in this event, even though it was a night run the day before we flew home.

Wine and Dine Half FB Cover

When we knew we were going to be going to Walt Disney World for Adam’s 21st birthday and then found out that if I planned the dates right we could take part in a runDisney event, I had to at least try to get entry for myself and Adam.  After all, taking part in a runDisney event was on my wishlist as was/is doing a half marathon.  The fact that it was a night run, no getting up at 4 am for a 5.30 am start, was even better.  The down side was that in order to be at Disney World for both Adam’s birthday and the half marathon we’d have to fly there the day before Adam’s birthday and fly home the night after the half marathon.  Or, more accurately, fly home on the day we finish the half marathon.

We have done a runDisney event before.  We did the Royal Family 5K in 2014 which is part of the Princess Half Marathon weekend.  I hadn’t been able to get a place on the half marathon for that event so Adam, his Dad and I took part in the 5K instead.  We still had the full race weekend experience though, including going to the Expo so we knew what to expect.

For the Wine and Dine half marathon, we went to the Expo on the Friday to pick up our race packets which included our race bib and commemorative shirt.  I love the shirt as it is a long-sleeve running/performance one (photo at the end of the blog).  There were loads of stands too with everything from running skirts, and other running apparel, to charity stands, upcoming events and so much more.  I don’t think I saw all of it but I spent a fortune!  There were also speakers, including Jeff Galloway, giving information about the event and what to expect during the event.

twitter_profile1The half marathon was a night run which meant that it was due to start at 10pm.  runDisney laid on buses from select resorts as well as Epcot from about 7pm to get the runners up to the start area at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.  As we weren’t staying in a host resort this year, my mistake I didn’t check! we went to Epcot to get the bus.  This meant that my husband could go in to Epcot and enjoy the finishing party while we were running.  In the start area, they had a left baggage area and, because they had forecast thunderstorms, I had packed spare trainers and a dry set of clothes for myself and Adam just in case we got wet so I dropped the bag off.  There was also a big stage with a Disney DJ and some of the organisers letting everyone know what was happening.  This was also part of the warm up – they don’t do the traditional aerobic warm up like they do at the 10K events here, they play songs which have a dance routine which most people know like Thriller or the Macarena and you can either use that as your warm up, or not.

Also in the start/waiting area you could meet some of the Disney characters – Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip and Dale.  We joined a queue without knowing who we were queuing for – it was Mickey 😀

Meeting MickeyWe also queued to see Donald Duck but a thunder/lightning storm rolled in just as we were about to see him and we were all asked to go inside until it passed.  This was at 9.45pm as we were about to be called to our corrals 😦  Needless to say, Disney always think about the safety of the runners, their voluntears and cast members first so everyone was asked to go into the main buildings at the Wide World of Sports until the storm had passed and it was safe to start the race.  It was a little frustrating but I understood completely why we were sent inside.

We were only inside for about an hour and as soon as we were allowed out and the corrals were filled with everyone ready to go the run was started very quickly.  Due to the late start, and the fact that there were 12 waves of runners to get going (and finished), the organisers decided to cut out part of the route – up to Animal Kingdom – so the run was about 7 miles instead of 13.1 miles.  Part of me was disappointed that Adam and I would not get to run a full half marathon, but the other part of me was glad that the bit they’d cut out was the route up to Animal Kingdom because I hadn’t been looking forward to running up the hill from the park entrance to the Tree of Life, lol.

Course map

The route for the half marathon was brilliant.  Mostly flat apart from a couple of flyovers and a bridge between Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  More that the route though was the entertainment!  There was something to see about every half mile or so, whether it was a character who you could stop and have a photo with (if you wanted to, we didn’t although there were a couple of the characters from Hollywood Public Works who I would have stopped for a photo with if I’d seen them in time and hadn’t been on the other side of the road) or a video wall.  They even had the toy soldiers from Toy Story on the hill going up one of the flyovers with one of them shouting encouragement to get us up the hill – fantastic and just what I needed!  We also got to see the backstage areas of Hollywood Studios and Epcot and run through the Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios.

Considering it was only 7 miles, our time wasn’t great at 1:24:31 but it was a very warm night at 22C and humid.  There was also so much to see that we got a little distracted.

All in all, it was a great event to be part of although if I were to do it again I’d make sure that we weren’t flying home the next day as we didn’t get a chance to go to the Finish Line Party because I was conscious that we needed to be up and out of the room by 11am and we didn’t even get through the finishing area and into Epcot until 1.30am!  My husband had a great time in the Party though and managed to go on Test Track twice without queuing at all.

Finally, I would encourage anyone thinking about doing a runDisney event to do it.  It is very well organised and the entertainment around the course is amazing.  runDisney are putting on their first event at Disneyland Paris in September 2016 and if there are still places left I’m going to enter Adam and myself so that we can cross the half marathon off our list.


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Running in 2015: Part 2

So, I’m catching up with my blog posts, slowly.  I wrote about the 10K events a few days ago so am now moving on the the final 2 events of the year.

When we ran the York 10K, there was a flyer in the goodie bag for the York 10 Mile.  This was a new event which the Run for All team had added to the Yorkshire Marathon day.  As Adam and I were already going to be running a half marathon, I asked him if he’d like to do the 10 mile as a warm up.  I wanted to do it just to see if we could get that far and still be able to carry on for another 3 miles.  Of course, he said yes.

Can I just say, the organisation and the course was fantastic.  The 10 mile event was on the same day and using part of the same route as the marathon.  The marathon runners started first, about 30 minutes before the 10 mile runners, and then we were invited to go in to the funnel to get ready for our start.  As usual, I hung back because I needed to go to the toilet as late as possible.  I really didn’t want to have to go to the toilet part way round the course, especially at around 7 miles or so because I’m not sure my legs would have started again after they stopped!

We started on time and there was a lovely downhill section at the beginning.  I say lovely, it was when we were going down, not so much when we had to run up it to get to the finish.  Anyway, we ran down the hill away from York University and then turned left to head up to the city centre.  As we had done for the 4 10K events, Adam and I decided to run 3:1 intervals as this had worked well for us in the previous events and we had been training with either 4 or 5 minute running intervals so cutting it back to 3 minutes was easier on the legs but also meant that we ran faster during the run intervals and recovered quicker during the walk breaks.

When we got to the city centre, a friend of mine from parkrun was on one of the marshalling posts.  She took a photo of us, typically we were on a walking break!

After running through the city centre and past the York Minster, the route took us out of York towards the countryside.  The route was reasonably flat, apart from the hill going over the bridge to get over the A64.  Fortunately, Adam and I had been trialling eating jelly babies during training and can I say: Jelly Babies whilst running are awesome!  They certainly helped us get up over the bridge.

At around the 6 or 7 mile mark (I can’t remember), the route split with the marathon route carrying on straight and the 10 mile route turning right.  The routes merged again at about the 7 or 8 mile mark for us, I think it was about 23 or 24 miles for the marathon runners but I could be wrong.  As we merged back on to the marathon route, we were asked to keep right so that the marathon runners could come through on the left, and come through they did, very fast they were too.  As usual, there was a hill at the end of the route and my friend was there, once again, to take a picture.  This time we were pushing up the hill although looking at the photo it doesn’t look like it.  I was hoping to finish in under 2 hours which would give us a realistic goal of finishing the half marathon in just over 2 and a half hours.  We finished in 1:50:45 😀

In summary, the route was great and the number of people supporting the runners along the route was amazing.  I don’t know what it was like along the of route we didn’t share with the marathon but, I think because it was along main residential routes in York, the 10 mile route was well populated with supporters and lots of offers of jelly beans and jelly babies 🙂

I was going to write about the runDisney half marathon in this post too but as this post is another long one, I think I’ll leave that for another day.


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101 in 1001 Challenge – March 2013 update

I have 6 months left to complete my 101 tasks.  I’m not going to make all of them but I should be able to make most of them.

I have now completed 5,526.45 km of my virtual walk from York to Walt Disney World (total distance 6,882 km).  I’m going to have to pick up my walking/running if I’m going to make it in the next 6 months.

I’ve also completed 420.89 km of my 1001 km challenge.

I took part in the Royal Family 5K during the Princess Half Marathon weekend on 21 February 2014.  It was brilliant!  We didn’t get a very fast time, in fact it was really slow compared to what we had been doing – about 42 minutes – as when I put the entry in my son had never run so I selected a slow finish time for him.  As a consequence, we started in the “walkers” corral.  On the plus side, we ran the whole way instead of our usual intervals 😀

I have now written over 400 posts for my blog 🙂  Next goal? 500 posts.