As part of Wine & Dine race weekend, I participated in my first RunDisney 5K – the Jingle Jungle 5K. As Oliver likes to point out, that means I did 3 races that Saturday (he wants to be sure I remember to include his race too!). While I wasn’t particularly keen on waking up early to race the same day I’d be staying up late to run, I’d heard such good things about the Jingle Jungle 5K I was willing to make that sacrifice. Truthfully, as a parent, it’s not like I’d really be sleeping in that day anyway, right?
Unlike the half marathon later that night, I had no trouble with travel to the race site on Saturday morning. Buses were quick to arrive to the Polynesian and we had no trouble getting to the Animal Kingdom for the race start. I didn’t bring a bag to check and the line for the character meet and greet (Minnie and Mickey, if I’m remembering correctly) was LONG so I just went to hang out in my corral until the race start. I enjoyed the costumes and the fact that there were actually families out to run the race. Seeing families getting active together always gives me the warm fuzzies. 🙂
I also got to see my first snow of the season! It’s odd for us not to have gotten snow in Nebraska by this time of year, but we hadn’t so this fake Disney snow was the first I saw this winter.
Mickey and Minnie moved up to the starting line to get us on our way.
I had plans to take this race at a really easy pace and was liberally sprinkling in walk breaks in deference to both the heat and the fact that I was running again later in the evening. The first mile was a big loop around the Animal Kingdom parking lot without any character stops, so I ended up finishing faster than I’d planned (around 12 minutes).
In the second mile, things got a lot more interesting (as reflected by my 33 minute time!) with improved scenery as we entered Animal Kingdom, and lots of fun character stops.
After mile 2, we exited the park into more backstage areas and while there were more character stops (Christmas Pluto and Donald and Santa Goofy) I was ready to be done. This was partially because I was melting and partially because I wanted to get back to the Polynesian in time for Oliver’s race.
As I finished the race, I was really tempted to just walk it in because this was by far my slowest 5K but as I came near another woman running into the finish, I decided to stick with her and run as much and as fast as she did the finish. I thanked her at the end for keeping me from giving up!
All in all, this was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed running through the Animal Kingdom (especially since that part of the Wine & Dine course was cut later in the evening!) and the Christmas theming was really cute. I also enjoyed all of the other runners, who had a really laid back, out-for-a-good-time vibe about the whole thing. I would definitely do this race again if we were in the area!
Thanks as always to Marcia, Patty and Erika for hosting Tuesdays on the Run! This week’s topic is Playlists and I’ll definitely be checking those posts out to update my running lists to keep me entertained through the winter.
Have you run any Christmas themed 5Ks? I confess, I had enough fun with this one that I’ll be looking for one here in Omaha even though I’ve met my 100 miles of races goal for the year already!