2022 Virtual Series: Running in the Kingdom of (make-believe) Arendelle

2022 Virtual Series 5K #1 – Celebrating Frozen “The Original Classic”

It’s a really long wait between Springtime Surprise weekend and Wine and Dine weekend (probably because letting thousands of amateur runners loose in Central Florida in July and August isn’t a very wise idea).

Thankfully runDisney offers a virtual series of three 5Ks designed to fill in the gap over the summer. This summer’s theme is Celebrating Frozen! Since I’ve been dying to run a Disney race, and Frozen is in my top 2 Disney films, this one was pretty much a no-brainer.

I had the added mega-bonus of being able to do this one with my dear friend Kas, who I haven’t seen in more than 25 years. Kas was my sidekick and partner -in-crime in what was my best summer ever – the summer I worked at Magic Kingdom as part of the Walt Disney World College Program. We were based at Tomorrowland Terrace which, if rumors are to believed, was the world’s fourth-largest fast food restaurant at the time. The Tomorrowland Terrace of 1992 has now been re-imagined as Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, but it doesn’t look like much else has changed. On stage, we were the embodiment of the Disney Cast Member persona. Backstage we made up new, not so family-friendly lyrics to Disney songs. There were many hijinks and shenanigans, but those are stories for another day and another blog. Getting to do the Virtual 5K with my Disney buddy for life was a close second to doing the race live at the parks.

Ready to Race

We decided to walk this one, and picked a route from my house. One big bummer about running from my house is that I live on a hill. There’s always a lovely downhill at the start, but the flip side of that coin is that there’s no getting back to the house without that interminable, insulting incline to cap it off when your legs are gassed.

runDisney does their best to give you some fun to help you with your pretend trip to the parks. You can download bibs, mile markers, and a playlist to entertain you along the way. We opted to skip the mile markers and just use the start/finish line markers. It seemed a little ludicrous to run ahead or drive to plant the mile markers.

There are 3 individual virtual 5ks, and of course you can choose a challenge, if you want to do all three and earn the extra challenge medal. The mile markers we could download were specific to the race, but because we were both registered for the challenge, we got challenge bibs instead of the race-specific bibs. I was slightly disappointed at that because I hang my bibs on my “trophy wall”, and I would have liked to have all three, but this is a small detail. I’m not really sure why they didn’t make individual bibs available to challenge runners – it’s not like they had to pay to print them.

I donned my daughter’s sparkly blue ears and we set out. A good time was had by all – despite the soul-crushing hill at the end. The weather was perfect, and so was the company. We realized after we got back that we listened to the wrong playlist for the race – I hope that doesn’t disqualify us!! We were listening to the playlist for the second virtual 5k, which is themed on Frozen 2 rather than “The Original Classic”. Oh well – I guess I can redeem myself by listening to the first playlist during my second “race”.

Front Yard Finish Line

In the end, we made it up the big hill and back to our finish line. It might not have been a walk in the park, but it was definitely a walk to remember! I’m looking forward to doing the next 5K soon… but Dopey training beckons, so my next run is 9 miles. In my virtual rulebook that does not count as a 5K, so “The Heroic Sequel” will have to be run another day.

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