2017 Walt Disney World 10K Race Recap

Update: This post has been archived. Click here to read more about the 2019 Walt Disney World 10K and to get information on the 2020 edition of the race.

The 10K is the Dopey Challenge race I get the most excited about. The marathon has the most the payoff, but as good as it feels to cross that finish line, it’s so hard to really get excited to run 26.2 miles. The 10K is just long enough to make waking up at 3AM worthwhile, but not so long that you can’t walk around the park afterward. I like to plan my best costume for the 10K because you get a good amount of wear out of it, but you also have more flexibility around it because it doesn’t have to be the most comfortable gear. It also happened to have the best race shirt this year.

Apparently it’s easy to catch a cold at Disney World when you’re around a million children sneezing and touching everything. I managed to come down with a cold after the 5K and woke up at 3 AM not feeling awesome.

I had picked my favorite outfit for the race, Princess Anna from Frozen. It was low 50s when I was getting ready, which was a bit cooler than the day before, so I added an extra base layer and capris under my skirt.

Can we talk a minute about how great this costume turned out? If you’re making your own RunDisney costumes I have four words for you: felt and hot glue. If you don’t want to actually mark up your running gear, I also recommend the magic of turning your running shirts inside out for a plain canvas and safety pin everything, which is what I did for my Donald Duck costume (that I didn’t actually get to wear because the Half was cancelled).

We left for the bus when they began running around 3:30AM. They recommended you board a bus by 4AM to make the 5AM corral open for the 6AM race start. It’s unbearably early, but I went to bed around 9 the night before so I wasn’t a total zombie.

I went through security because my Flip Belt showed and they screen all running belts. The line wasn’t long at all and I was able to basically walk straight through. The security lines were much better than last year, which I remember being a huge bottleneck. I never actually went through security last year though, so I’m not sure if the process changed or was expanded, or maybe I just got lucky.

Minnie Mouse and Dopey were out and available for photos, but the lines were crazy long by the time we got there. If you’re interested in photos before the race, I’d recommend getting on the first bus from your resort and going straight to the character line. The DJ was fun, but we headed into the corrals pretty much as soon as they opened. I was corral B.

They advanced the corrals to the starting line in order and pretty much right on time. The national anthem was performed beautifully, but other music was still playing from the other speakers nearby which was disheartening.

The MCs were really excited about the concept of the newly minted “mini corrals” which was pretty much exactly what it sounds like. They had volunteers hold tape lines across the corral groups breaking them into smaller groups which started at two minute intervals. This probably helped reduce congestion a little bit, but it’s still a very crowded race for much of the course. You are not likely getting a PR at a RunDisney race.  

The course isn’t particularly great having just run the 5K. You basically tack on an extra 1.5 miles out on a highway, turn around, and then run the 5K course all over again. The course also adds a run around the Boardwalk, which is cool. They also have about the same number of characters along the course as they do on the 5K, but they are just more spread out.

The first characters we spotted were Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack from Ducktales. This was a really cute throwback / preview to the 2017 relaunch of the cartoon. We didn’t stop though, because we’d made the mistake of waiting in a long line for the first character of the 5K and decided to hold out.

A little while down the road we ran into Mr Incredible and Elastigirl, who we did stop for. Kenny had never actually seen the Incredibles, so I made him watch it on the plane on the way home. He didn’t love it.

After we turned into Epcot, we got to the America pavilion and hit the holy grail: Mickey, Goofy AND Donald dressed in their Revolutionary War best. It was amazing! We waited in line for about 20 minutes. As soon as we got to the front, Mickey had to take a quick break, but Donald and Goofy stayed out. Having just waited in line to see all three of them though, no one wanted to settle for a Mickey-less photo. This was actually really sad and I felt really bad for Donald and Goofy! The life of a B-Lister. After that, there was pretty much was no better picture we could possibly imagine so passed up the last few.

We closed out our race around the ball and crossed the finish line. We got our snackboxes, waited in line for the bus, and we got back to our hotel around the time the parks were opening. However, instead of rushing to Hollywood Studios, I did something I’ve never done at Disney before: I napped.