The Princess Half Marathon and I met again this past weekend. I repeated last year’s events doing the 5k, 10k, half marathon, and of course, the vowing that this was it, this was the last time I was running it.
A lot of people talk shit about the Princess race and in particular the expo this year was apparently quite an intense experience during the morning when it was first open. I drove up from southwest Florida with my parents and we got to the expo around 2:00 pm. After hearing what had gone down at the expo in the morning, I was a little nervous about my parents coming in but my dad had never been and wanted to “see where Nicole goes every time she’s here” so they came in to walk around.
It was busy, but it wasn’t crazy. There were no lines for the official race merchandise so I picked up the stuff my sister wanted (I did it shirts and a magnet, everything else she wanted was sold out) and left. I purchased nothing, which honestly, is great. Tip: Just go late and don’t get emotionally attached to merchandise.
I also started in the last corral for the 10k (F) and the third to last corral for the half (N). I want to be really clear: people were not rude. They were not bitchy. They at no point verbally or physically assaulted me or the two other people I was running with during either race. In fact, everyone was really polite. When I said excuse me, they let me pass by, when we would accidentally bump into each other there was a chorus of “sorry!”. It was crowded, yes, the lines for characters were long, yes, but no one was behaving badly. Tip: If you’re in the back, make peace with it and don’t get annoyed with people running their pace since they’re in the right corral for them. The reality is, if this weren’t the pace you wanted to run, you’d be screwed. It’s frustrating, but, it is what it is.
Overall, I thought Princess was a lot of fun, as usual. Why do I not plan on running it next year? Mostly, it’s just a really expensive weekend overall to travel to Disney. With race registration and higher hotel/travel costs because it’s right after presidents’ day, plus being just about a month after marathon weekend, it’s a lot. Also, going with my parents just doesn’t work. My mom hates Disney and is miserable the entire time, letting her displeasure be known. Plus, overall the theme is just meh to me and there are a lot of other (cheaper) races in Florida that weekend that I’d like to do at some point.
Anyone else run Princess and have a good time? What about Gasparilla and A1A? I’m thinking one of those next year.