Races

Duck-N-Dodge 5k

My Daughter likes to run but she loves to run trail courses. She has been asking me for a long time to find her an obstacle or mud run.  Generally everything I found was way too intense for a young girl, I was not putting her in a “tough mudder” type of race.  I finally found just what we were looking for, the Duck-n-Dodge at Camp Warner.

Saturday was race day and we arrived the recommended fifty minutes before her 9:30 wave was to run.  We were given a map in the parking area showing us the course and check in.  Very nice!  Who hasn’t wandered around at a race trying to find check in at least one time?  The volunteers were so friendly and energetic for this race. It was really fun to see!

There was free face painting to get you in the mood.

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Arriving early gave us time to see the first wave (9am runners) hit some of the obstacles and for a little strategy for her run.  We saw that racers with painted on beards were given a 29 second head start for their wave.  So she went to working painting on a great beard!

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Yule Run, I’ll Walk fun run

I figured since we had put all of this work into getting race ready why not fill in a couple of weekend with races?  I failed to realize how cold it might be for this Christmas type fun run.  It was a freezing clear night!

The run was at the Fifth Third Ball Park in Grand Rapids.  Two laps thru the Christmas lights, easy enough.  It had been raining off and on most of the morning, it was windy, cold and I just didn’t feel like doing this by the time we left for the run.  It was at 7pm on a Friday night, I was ready to be in my warm house instead.

But we powered through it, I think it might have even made us go crazy from the cold for a bit. I think the free face painting helped her be cheerful.

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The race had some moments where it was a little dark, we wished we had worn a head lamp or something.  So we took it easy on those corners.  It was fun to run thru the Christmas lights! The Salvation Army had some band members playing on the course for our enjoyment.

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At the end we were offered Hot Chocolate and bagels.  Did it, didn’t freeze to death and we have the T-Shirt.

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Mickey’s Jungle Jingle 5k recap

Way back over the summer we signed up for the Mickey Jungle Jingle 5k at Animal Kingdom. I figured I had plenty of time to get to a 16 minute mile. Easy.  And then life happened, then school was starting and you know all the excuses.  I had over estimated my fitness level, way over estimated!  I started to read reviews of the 2012 race and figured this might not be as easy as I had thought.

I wanted to stop for pictures are we ran, I didn’t realize I would have to board a bus at 5:15 in the morning or how much walking we would do the day before.  I needed to get my rear in gear!  I have a great running partner who put up with me and my whining. Around mile two there is a lot of whining.

But on this day there was very little whining!!!!!  If there was it was because we were up at 4:45 inhaling pop tarts. Triple checking that we had everything we started the walk to the bus around 5:10am. In the dark!!!!!  By 5:15 the bus was full and we were headed off to Animal Kingdom.

It was amazing to walk across the dark parking lot and to look behind us at all the runner streaming in!  I wish it had been lighter to take better pictures, but it was 5:30 in the morning. The lines quickly formed to take pictures with the characters, the child refused so we walked around people watching.  What a creative group we were running with.  We saw Cruella Devil and her puppies ready to run.  All sorts of princess, fairies and characters.  A family of the Incredibles in costume and groups in matching tutus.  So fun to look at all the costumes!

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We were in our running corals as the sun was rising, stretching and trying to stay loose for the beginning of the run. Disney had corals A-D set up.  We were in the back of C because I made us to the bathroom before we lined up.  I didn’t want to hear at 7:30 during the run that we needed to stop.

The time to start went quickly and our coral was off past Mickey and Minnie cheering us on at the start line.  Things got interesting because I have never run with this many people before.  Disney did not require proof of time for a 5k, so I assume many people were very generous with their estimated speed.  Before the half mile we had hit so much traffic we were almost at a walk.  It was very frustrating to try to “run” around people walking 3 wide.  That is my only complaint about the race.

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By the time we finished the parking lot mile and headed into Animal Kingdom we had spread out, the runners were past the walkers for the most part.  We stopped to take some pictures by the tree. Disney did a great job having alot of volunteers willing to take pictures with your camera for you!  As we ran around toward Asia the paths were narrow so there was more traffic to watch for.  It seemed to pass so quickly! Next thing I knew we were running past Everest.  Another lovely volunteer took a picture for us with Everest in the background!  We headed back toward the front of the park for the long leg we still had in the back lot area.  We turned the corner and my child was so disappointed to see the back of Expedition Everest. She didn’t even want me to take a picture of it.  LOL!  Just ugly brown metal.

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Another turn and we were back out at the parking lot for the last .1 of the race.  It was fun to have everyone still cheering at the finish line.  Another volunteer gave us our finishing medal and we were also given a snack box.  There was tables full of Gatorade and waters. A huge and impressive undertaking to put on these races!

As we tore into our food boxes we started talking about what race we wanted to do next and why.  Its sad, we hadn’t even showered yet!  There were plenty of Disney buses waiting to take us back to our hotels to clean up. No one wants to smell like a runner all day.  We proudly wore our finisher medals all day at Animal Kingdom.  It was not my fastest 5k with all traffic but it was the funnest!

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The downside after spending the rest of the day at Animal Kingdom was we felt like this at 3pm. Well, she felt worse. I had worn my pink compression socks after the race.  They really helped with my recovery.  The one time in your life you don’t feel like a dork for wearing compression socks has to be after a Disney race!

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Categories: Disney, Races, Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

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