You all know by now that I ran my first marathon during Walt Disney World marathon weekend. You may not know though that the following day I went on a cruise and completed the Castaway Cay Challenge. To take part in this challenge you have to complete an event during the Walt Disney World marathon weekend, be a passenger on the cruise embarking the next day (see runDisney website for specific cruise date), and register for the challenge. The challenges entitles you to an un-timed 5k just for marathon weekend participants, a special medal and on-course entertainment. This is unlike the standard castaway cay 5k because of the entertainment and taking part before the other cruise passengers can get off the ship.
I knew if I ran the marathon I had to do the challenge. Its the best of both world, a race challenge with a great medal and a relaxing cruise. I mean really how can you say no to that! The cruise is also a 4-night which means its a little less expensive and not as much time away from home. With limited paid time off this is really important.
I, along with 699 other runners, took part in the challenge and it was wonderful. The weather was perfect (about 60 degrees) the sun was shining and everyone was in great spirits. It was still an early wake-up call at 5am but since that’s when most runDisney races start I cant complain too much.
For this race I decided to get a good pace going because I really didn’t want to spend all day on the course. I planned to stop for whatever characters I saw and enjoy the morning. I was lucky enough to be in coral A which will probably never happen again so I had to earn that! We got to our corals about 20 minutes before the start but between the DJ and watching Goofy do his silly stretches the start buzzer went off and the race started.
I always try to be on the far left side of courses (so if you ever cheer for me thats where Ill be) and Joe got a nice start pic, thanks Babe!! The course itself was pretty simple straight down an airstrip, down a dead-end walkway, back down the airstrip, around a short bikepath then boom your finished. At the end of the airstrip on the way out was pirate Mickey. The line wasnt too long since I was in A so I stopped for a quick pic.
Down the dead-end street was Chip and Dale but their line was long and I’m not a big fan of theirs so I kept going. When I got back to the airstrip Minnie was where Mickey had been so I stopped again and this time she had NO line! Pic done and it was back off, quick grab for water at mile 2 and still plugging along. No more character stops along the way which was a little sad but the bike path was very peaceful to run through. By this time I had passed the majority of the racing field. I think there were only 20 people ahead of me if that. Since this isn’t a timed race I’m pretty sure most people decided to walk but I just had the urge to get those legs pumping. Plus, being in A truthfully made me want to run a little harder. I know its totally silly but that’s what was going through my mind.
I got out of the bike path and the finish line was in sight. I picked up the pace a little then I saw in my side-eye a lady coming up behind me. Oh HELL no! I turned on the heat, put the legs in high gear and SMOKED that lady. I know the race isn’t timed but ain’t no way I’m going to get passed at the last few feet! I cruised to a halt, got my well deserved medal then basically ran to get in line to high five Donald #noshame. After the photo-op it was back to the boat to shower then disembark with the rest of the cruise guests (you cant stay on the island and hang out they send you back to the boat).
Now I will say my body was still pretty stiff from the marathon and not being able to foam roll. I was able to get my willpower going and average out a 9 minute mile for the course which I was really happy about. The legs were fighting me a little but it still felt like I could have run harder if this was a timed race. Since it wasn’t and I was stiff still I didn’t go all out and I’m not sad about that decision. With the stops for characters I finished in 31:07 which to me was a great time all things considered. I think without stops my time would have been around 28 minutes.
After showing it was island time y’all! Soaking up the sun, having a few island cocktails and just enjoying the beautiful day. Of course as you can already see I took a ton of pictures with my medals and bib because I had to. Oh and I had all the characters sign my bib. I’ve never actually done the whole signature thing and this was a really fun way to capture those memories. I don’t mind if you use this idea in the future 😉 When we got back to the boat it was Pirate night and we headed to Pink for more champagne to celebrate the giant success that is completing my first marathon. Now that’s what I call a race-cation! Cheers!!
Don’t forget, I can help you plan your vacation to Disney, Universal, Cruises or ANYWHERE!!! Here is the link to my facebook page or email me at Rachael@DreamComeTrueVacations.com
CHIME IN!!! Have you been to the Bahamas? Ever been on a Disney Cruise? Would you run an un-timed race?