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Trip Report You Are Braver Than You Believe, Stronger Than You Seem, And Smarter Than ... Nope. Piglet Goes Dopey

Hi everyone, welcome to my trip report. I’ve been reading lots of other reports and have really enjoyed them so thought I’d join in the fun. We’ve been back home for a week now, photos are sorted and it’s about time I got round to doing this.

I did write a pre-trip report (A Dopey Dream) but I’m a bit technically challenged and don’t know how to link it, so I’ll go over a few details.

Who:

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Me, Sharon aka Piglet. About to celebrate a scary big birthday (50) next month. This was one of the reasons for the trip. Husband, Darren, older than me 😂. Alice, turned 13 while we were there, and Lexi, 10. We live in Milton Keynes, UK and are DVC members. One day I will find a photo of all of us together that isn’t completely hideous.

Where and When:

Saratoga Springs Resort January 1st to January 13th
Cruising on the Disney Dream January 13th to January

Extras bits:

While we were there I just happened to run a couple of little races. 5k, 10k, half marathon, first ever full marathon. Just the sort of thing that normal people do while they’re on holiday.
 

Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sorry to read about this. My DLP races got cancelled as did a 10k that I was supposed to do in May (but got moved to the first weekend in October) and both notifications came out the same day. And then the next week or so was cold and rainy - it was the first time in ages that I slacked off due to weather because I just couldn’t motivate to run in bad weather when I was no longer « in training » for something.
Sorry about your races too. I had read about the Paris races, hopefully you’ll get to run them next year. It is really hard to stay motivated isn’t it. I trained in horrible cold wind and rain last week because I had a reason to. This week it’s getting up to 30 Celsius, and I’m not sure I want to run in that heat (I’m not very good at getting up early to run)
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
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Sorry about your races too. I had read about the Paris races, hopefully you’ll get to run them next year. It is really hard to stay motivated isn’t it. I trained in horrible cold wind and rain last week because I had a reason to. This week it’s getting up to 30 Celsius, and I’m not sure I want to run in that heat (I’m not very good at getting up early to run)

I hear you. Yesterday I said to my friend with whom I was running that it would probably be my last mid day run for a while (at least if I run lakeside where there is no shade). If they would open up the showers at work, I could run into work on the days I go in.
 

Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Monday 13th January: Cruise day 1 (cont)

The downside of taking Disney transportation to the cruise is that you arrive much later than most of the other guests so you have less time to enjoy the ship on embarkation day. But it does mean that there are practically no queues when you check in at the port terminal. Because we’d booked our cruise quite late, we’d opted for a guaranteed stateroom type rather than knowing which stateroom we would be in. It was a huge saving but we were a bit nervous, I’m quite a light sleeper and was really hoping we wouldn’t be somewhere noisy. We knew we would have a verandah and were told when we checked in that we were on deck 8 aft.

There was no queue at all to board the ship and because it was already after 1.30 the staterooms were open so we headed straight there to drop off our carry on luggage. We were so pleased with our room, it was a couple of doors away from the aft elevators so we avoided too much noise, but really easy just to pop up to cabanas for meals.

Quick photo of the view from our room before heading up for some lunch.

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I was starving again by now, this would continue to be the theme for the whole cruise, and we all enjoyed our first meal on the ship. It was busy but not absolutely packed, the worst of the lunch rush had already passed. I did notice that there were a lot of fellow runners on the ship, we were all still wearing our medals.

Even though we had very full tummies we had to stop by Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats just to check out what we would like to eat over the next few days. It all looked so good.






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Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Monday 13th January: Cruise day 1 (cont)

The girls had a lot of fun hanging out in Vanellope’s, they were planning out their list of flavours to try over the next few days. For Lexi the unicorn gelato was definitely top of the list. I thought it looked like a small child had mixed all their Play-doh colours together.

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We left Vanellope’s and took a stroll through the family pool area on our way back to the room. As usual on embarkation day it was absolutely packed. This is the one part of the ship I’m not particularly keen on, in five cruises I’ve never had the urge to spend any time here.

It was getting close to the time for the muster drill now, so we headed back to the room hoping to start some unpacking while waiting for the alarm to be sounded. Unfortunately none of our luggage had arrived yet. I always feel a bit anxious waiting for luggage on a cruise, it feels out of my control and I have images of the ship sailing and not having any clothes for four days.

The alarm sounded and we headed down to our muster station which was out on deck. I’m very much a rule follower, particularly where safety is concerned, and it always annoys me when other people just can’t be bothered. This was one of those times. It seems to happen on every cruise that there’s at least one family who don’t take the muster drill seriously. Everyone else in our section was all checked in, and the crew member was calling for one remaining room. After about 10 minutes this family just strolls in like they had all the time in the world. So frustrating, but at least they had all their family with them. On a previous cruise we were waiting for a large family group who arrived late with beers in hand and they’d managed to lose one of their children. Ugh people.

With everyone finally checked in we were given the all clear and I headed back to the room while Darren stopped on the way to get our first adult beverages of the cruise. He checked out the drink of the day but said it looked very sweet so got a mango mojito instead. Piglet was very happy with this.

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We debated going to the sail away party but really didn’t feel like battling the crowds so settled on to our verandah instead. Much more relaxing. It was our first time on this side of the ship so we didn’t have anyone to wave to as we set sail, just enjoyed the views and the lovely sea breeze as we sailed away.

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Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Monday 13th January: Cruise day 1 (cont)

I really must get this report finished before I forget absolutely everything. No excuse, other than things are finally getting back to something approaching normal here, and I’ve spent lots of time in the last few weeks catching up with friends after not being allowed to meet up with other people for close to 3 months.

So on with the report.

Our luggage was finally starting to arrive, one case at a time, so I could get on with the unpacking. Obviously the one I really wanted with our dinner clothes for that night was the last to arrive, luckily we were on the late dinner seating so we had plenty of time.

There was an open house at The Edge tween club and the girls wanted to go and check it out. They had both been too young on our last cruise and had been to the Oceaneer Club for younger children. The Edge is for ages 11+ so technically Lexi was too young at 10, but I had seen online that they would allow 10 year olds in with an older sibling. And even though she’s younger than Alice, she’s actually the more sensible so I wasn’t worried about her being there. We had to sign a permission slip for Lexi, and that was the last time we saw our children on the cruise 😂. Not quite, but we didn’t see a lot of them, they spent a lot of time at the club and hanging out with the other kids.

We headed back to our room and got ready for dinner, which tonight was at Enchanted Garden. On arrival we met our tablemates and our servers for the cruise, Louis from India, and Sebastien from Paraguay (or Uraguay, it definitely ended in guay). As soon as Louis realised we were brits, he promised he would be bringing us curry the next night. They were both excellent servers and we had some lovely chats with Louis at the end of our meals, our tablemates tended to eat quickly and leave, we prefer to take our time a bit.

I ordered the wine package for the duration of the cruise, and chose a bottle for that night. Sebastien told me he was going to recommend something for me for the rest of the cruise. I think I must have been starving again by now because I didn’t take any photos of the food until dessert. I probably didn’t want to look too weird in front of people I’d just met as well. I know I had the lobster ravioli to start, absolutely delicious, I must remember to order 3 or 4 of the these if we get to go on a cruise again. Then scallops for main course. Dessert, I had to look up the name of, apparently it was a lemon raspberry mousse bombe. It was their no sugar added dessert and it was very yummy.

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After dinner the girls went to hang out at The Edge, while Darren and I headed to one of our favourite places to go in the evening. Not the adult nighttime district, we’re not big bar or club people, but the adult pool area. We love to take a cocktail up here in the evening and just chill out on the loungers, it’s so peaceful. We went right to the front of the ship, but it was a bit too blustery.

We’d given the girls a time limit for being at The Edge, and met them on the way back to the room. We were having quite an early night, I was still feeling tired after all my races. I did tell the others to stay out without me but they decided to get some sleep as well. We had our first blanket creation in the room, and Piglet and Duffy had made themselves comfortable.

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Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday 14th January: Nassau day

I always sleep really well on a cruise, super comfy beds and gentle engine vibration are a great combination. I do always seem to wake pretty early though, not a bad thing as I wouldn’t want to sleep through the whole cruise. So this morning I was awake well before we arrived at Nassau. Darren was already awake and dressed so he headed up to get some coffee for him and coke for me. While we waited for the girls to wake up we took our drinks on the verandah and enjoyed the view.

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The girls were taking a bit too long to wake up, and I was getting hungry, so we gave them a nudge to get going. We’d docked at Nassau by then.

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Up two decks and we were in Cabanas. It really was great how close we were, it took about two minutes to get there from our room. We had a nice leisurely breakfast and chatted about our plans for the day. We weren’t planning to actually go to Nassau but were going to enjoy the ship with less people on it.

The girls wanted to go on the Aquaduck so after breakfast we headed back to the room to change into our swimsuits. Darren didn’t want to ride so we’d planned that Alice would ride alone and I would be with Lexi. There wasn’t much of a queue so we hoped to get a few rides in. However when we joined the queue we were told that no single riders were allowed today because the winds were too high. So Lexi got to ride twice, I sent the girls up first then took her with me. I love the ride but the water was absolutely freezing so we decided we were done after that.

The family pool area was pretty quiet, the photo was taken at about 11.30.

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After this the girls went to The Edge for most of the day. They were under strict instructions to stay together at all times, and to make sure they ate some real food not just ice cream.

Us adults had a super lazy day. The weather was beautiful, not too hot and a lovely breeze, so we pretty much chilled in the sunshine for the day. I must have walked around at some point because my steps count was just under 10,000 for the day, I’m not sure how.

At some point we went back to Cabanas for lunch, sitting outside and enjoying the view.

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Love some mini desserts. The little bowl had panna cotta underneath, yum.

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And some time in the adult pool area with a few drinks.

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Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday 14th January: Nassau day (cont)

It was only about 5.30 when we left Nassau and it was still a few hours to wait till dinner, so on the way back to the room we grabbed some pizza to snack on. I think there may have been some more adult beverages as well.

We freshened ourselves up and headed out to dinner, tonight was the Royal Palace. We were pretty early so hung out in the atrium for a while just taking in the atmosphere.

I must have been hungry again because no photos of the appetisers, I had the iced lobster and jumbo shrimp. Darren tried the escargot gratinee and thought it was pretty good, he couldn’t convince the rest of us to try it.

I’m not much of a meat eater, I usually prefer seafood, but tonight I wanted some steak. So I ordered the Chateaubriand-Roasted Filet, it was really good.

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Louis kept his word and brought out a few curry dishes. Our tablemates were vegetarians so he’d brought a selection of veggie curries for them and us.

Alice wanted a Mickey bar for dessert.


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Lexi had something with chocolate and raspberry.

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I had the best dessert on the menu, Grand Marnier soufflé, yum. Louis brought me some creme brûlée as well. I attempted to eat both but was defeated.

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After dinner Lexi made herself comfortable.

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The girls headed off to The Edge and Darren went to enjoy a drink in the adult area. I had an early morning for my race the next day so I went back to the room for an earlyish night making sure all my alarms were set.

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Earlier in the evening the Captain had made an announcement that unusually we would be docking at Castaway Cay sometime during the night. Just as I was settling in to bed I felt the engines changing and went out onto the verandah. We had arrived at Mickey’s Island.



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LisaBelle

Well-Known Member
I just binge read your report! I especially loved reading about your race experiences. Congratulations on completing the Dopey challenge! What an accomplishment! My first ever race experience was running the 2016 Princess 5k for my 50th birthday. It was an amazing experience and I would love to run another runDisney race some day. Running through Epcot as the sun was rising was a moment I’ll never forget. A Disney Cruise is on my Disney bucket list. I am looking forward to reading more about your cruise! Thanks so much for sharing this trip with all of us!
 

Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I just binge read your report! I especially loved reading about your race experiences. Congratulations on completing the Dopey challenge! What an accomplishment! My first ever race experience was running the 2016 Princess 5k for my 50th birthday. It was an amazing experience and I would love to run another runDisney race some day. Running through Epcot as the sun was rising was a moment I’ll never forget. A Disney Cruise is on my Disney bucket list. I am looking forward to reading more about your cruise! Thanks so much for sharing this trip with all of us!
Thank you so much. Disney races are definitely addictive, I so want to do another one. Two more cruise days and one race to go.
 

Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday 15th January: Castaway Cay (challenge) day

This was one of the days I was most looking forward to on our holiday, Castaway Cay is one of my absolute favourite places. It’s weird because I’m not usually much of a beach person but there’s just something about the island that makes me really happy.

I was up with my first alarm, got ready quickly and was at the Walt Disney Theatre by 5.45. This was the designated meeting place for the runners taking part in the challenge. We had to wait outside for a little while, but there were some tables set up with coffee and bananas. When we were let into the theatre we were instructed to sit in the area that corresponded with our corral letter. I was in C, the last corral but as my bib number was only 750 I wouldn’t have to wait too long to start. While in the theatre we were given some instructions for the race and then were led out of the theatre and off the ship in corral order.

We were off the ship just before 6.30, the sun was just rising and it was looking like it was going to be a beautiful day.

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I managed to get some photos while walking along, some are a bit blurry because I didn’t want to hold people up. I loved seeing the ship all lit up.

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We had quite a long walk to the start of the race, it was on the airstrip between the family beach areas and the adult areas. It was a great atmosphere at the start, I think everyone was happy and relaxed with the big races over and looking forward to a nice gentle, no pressure run.

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Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday 15th January: Castaway Cay (challenge) day (cont)

There wasn’t much of a wait at the start line, there were less than a thousand runners for this race so nothing like the other runDisney races. Unfortunately no fireworks at the start of this race 😢. So less than five minutes after corral A started, corral C were off.

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I started a very gentle jog down the airstrip to start. Then tried to pick up the pace a bit but it felt like I had someone else’s legs. They just didn’t want to work and were like jelly legs. I’d felt ok walking around the last few days, but I guess the mileage of Dopey had really got to me. I had planned to try to finish this race reasonably quickly but that was not going to happen. So the race turned into more of a walk/shuffle sort of pace.

It really was lovely running around the island. It’s a slightly different route than the regular Castaway Cay 5k, starting and finishing on the airstrip.

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There were a few characters out on the route, I’d already got photos with most of them so just stopped for Chip and Dale.

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A couple more photos along the way

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Although I enjoyed the race around the island, I was glad when it was over and that it was only a 5k. It was still quite early and nothing on the island was open yet so I decided to head back to the ship and meet up with the family. Luckily the trams were working for the journey back so I didn’t have to walk. A bit of a nice coincidence on the journey back, I ended up sitting next to the fellow brits that I’d been talking to at the end of the 5k a few days ago. We had a nice chat on the way back, comparing notes on all the races.
 

DouglasE

Well-Known Member
I am so impressed with all of the running that you do. What a great example for your children! I can see doing a 1/2 marathon, but a full marathon I think I would go bonkers. The one nice thing about running is that I'm left alone with my thoughts. Great way to work things out in your mind.

I don't know why I do this. I should never read a trip report while hungry. I'm in the middle of intermittent fasting, so I should have read just after eating. Your food pictures looked so good. Now I'm considering adding Coral Reef for my next visit whenever that will be.

Funny things you can miss. On my last visit I had a breakfast at Gaston's Tavern and totally missed the giant chair and the tiny door. I'll have to take note next time.

How great it must be to run in shorts during January! I think Disney was smart to create Epcot Forever because you can't help to compare Illuminations to whatever comes next. This way, Forever gets the comparison and everyone should be happy with HarmonioUS. Unfortunately, it seems that in the 21st century EVERYONE has been hacked at one time or another. Can't believe that you also got charged to rectify the situation.

The shows at Walt Disney World can be dangerously comfortable. So easy to nod off so I am not surprised at all that you needed to be woken up at Carousel of Progress, especially since this is not your first visit. Glad to read that you enjoyed your visit to Oga's Cantina. I don't know how they will operate during this time before a vaccine for corona virus is around. Because they really pack them in. I am shy around strangers, so I probably would not have interacted with my booth mates either. I love how you were unaware of the fuzzy Tauntaun situation. If you want to know my take on it, you can check out my latest trip report.

The one nice thing you can do when your visit is over a week is have some significant downtime at the resort. I have noticed you have a theme of napping in chairs. I wish I was able to do that at Walt Disney World.
 

DouglasE

Well-Known Member
I love your runDisney magic band. It is a shame that plans are in place to eliminate magic bands in favor of having everything on your phone. I thought the Dopey challenge top was snazzy.

Midway through your report, I grabbed a cup of Chai Spice tea that I'm enjoying in my mad tea cup mug. Granted, it is only my local market brand, no PK tips or anything, but it's doing the trick. Glad to see you got some one on one time with Lexi. I would think you have to consciously carve out that time on occasion to develop a deeper connection. Good job Mom!

The pic of your alarms had me ROFL. I'm similar. I set several devices with alarms before a trip. How great to discover fellow cruise passengers after the 5k. What was your original plan to surprise the girls with the cruise? The surprise certainly worked.

I think you had a better time with the 10K over the 5K because the casual participants get weeded out and are left with those who actually regularly run. I used to run along a river here in town and would cringe whenever a boat regata would take place because I would have to dodge around the spectators like an obstacle course. I get your frustration. I was supposed to do a 10k this month but due to the virus it has been canceled. Hopefully, next year things will be back to something resembling normality.

I don't know what you are talking about. The pix of you during the marathon in front of Cinderella's castle were fantastic. My heart goes out to you for the "tour of the Disney portaloos". I need to take Imodium with me whenever I travel. We will leave it at that. So distressing!
When you discussed your food intake, especially gummy sweets, all I could think of was what a marathon would be like if I ingested cannabis gummies. It could go in 2 different directions for a result. Your description of your marathon experience was excellent. So emotional. Ok, I just read you are considering an ultra marathon. You crazy, girl, hahahaha!

That cruise you're describing sounds like the perfect way to decompress after your Walt Disney World adventure.
 
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Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I am so impressed with all of the running that you do. What a great example for your children! I can see doing a 1/2 marathon, but a full marathon I think I would go bonkers. The one nice thing about running is that I'm left alone with my thoughts. Great way to work things out in your mind.

I don't know why I do this. I should never read a trip report while hungry. I'm in the middle of intermittent fasting, so I should have read just after eating. Your food pictures looked so good. Now I'm considering adding Coral Reef for my next visit whenever that will be.

Funny things you can miss. On my last visit I had a breakfast at Gaston's Tavern and totally missed the giant chair and the tiny door. I'll have to take note next time.

How great it must be to run in shorts during January! I think Disney was smart to create Epcot Forever because you can't help to compare Illuminations to whatever comes next. This way, Forever gets the comparison and everyone should be happy with HarmonioUS. Unfortunately, it seems that in the 21st century EVERYONE has been hacked at one time or another. Can't believe that you also got charged to rectify the situation.

The shows at Walt Disney World can be dangerously comfortable. So easy to nod off so I am not surprised at all that you needed to be woken up at Carousel of Progress, especially since this is not your first visit. Glad to read that you enjoyed your visit to Oga's Cantina. I don't know how they will operate during this time before a vaccine for corona virus is around. Because they really pack them in. I am shy around strangers, so I probably would not have interacted with my booth mates either. I love how you were unaware of the fuzzy Tauntaun situation. If you want to know my take on it, you can check out my latest trip report.

The one nice thing you can do when your visit is over a week is have some significant downtime at the resort. I have noticed you have a theme of napping in chairs. I wish I was able to do that at Walt Disney World.
Thanks for reading, and for all your comments. I hadn’t thought about Epcot Forever like that, you’re right whenever Harmonius starts everyone will be saying ‘thank goodness, that other show was awful’.

Normally I would agree that it’s lovely to wear shorts in January, but it was just so ridiculously hot. And thanks for your comments about my race photos, I don’t like my photos at the best of times so I’m self conscious about being tired, hot and sweaty in them. I’m currently working on my running fueling and hydration to see what works, I don’t want another experience like that 😂

I hope you get to race again soon. I’ve given in and signed up to some virtual races. It’s a race company that’s local to me so I feel like I’m supporting them until they can have real races again. They’ve called it a 6 pack marathon, 2x5ks, 2x6ks and 2x10ks so a marathon distance if you complete them all. I meet up with friends and we run them together, not quite the same as a real race but it’s better than nothing.
 

Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday 15th January: Castaway Cay day (cont)

I headed back on board the ship to look for the family, the rest of the passengers weren’t allowed to disembark until 8.30 and it was still a little bit before that. They weren't very hard to find, they were about the third family in the queue to get off the ship. I had thought about getting a snack but didn’t want to miss their race so I joined them in the queue. I hadn’t taken a photo of my medals yet, so did that while we were waiting. I love the challenge medal with Captain Minnie, the ship’s wheel spins around.

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The start of the regular Castaway Cay 5k was in a slightly different place to the challenge version, near the shops at the end of the family beach area, so after being allowed off the ship we walked down there. Darren and the girls picked up their bibs and waited for the race to start. You’ll notice in the photos that they are all wearing matching running tops. These are for the athletics club that they’re all members of. They all race for the club at home and we secretly packed the tops for the girls so they could wear them on this day.

Alice was starting right at the front. She usually runs 5k in 22-23 minutes and was hoping for a good time on a very flat course.

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Darren and Lexi were just planning on having fun.

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A few minutes wait while the race route was explained, and they were off.
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After all the runners had started I browsed the shops for a while and then sat outside in the sunshine waiting for everyone to finish. The first runner (male) finished in about 21 minutes, then some more male runners in the next few minutes, and I was thinking Alice probably had a good chance of being the first female. But no, the first female runner finished in about 25 minutes, and no sign of Alice. She’s not that good in the heat, so I just thought she’d slowed down because of it. At about 30 minutes I was really starting to wonder where she was. Finally at 33 minutes I spotted the 3 of them all running in together.

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As soon as she’d finished I could tell she was upset. Apparently she’d got lost on the course. There’s a loop in the route that the runners are supposed to complete twice, but there aren’t any people marshalling or route signs, you just need to remember what you’re told at the race start. Alice had got a bit confused after the first loop, and because she was very near the front didn’t have anyone to follow. She’d managed to turn herself around and go the wrong way on the second loop where Darren and Lexi found her so she stayed with them. She ended up running about 6K and was very disappointed particularly since her pace for the first few kilometres was really good.

A photo at the end. One happy child, the other not so much.

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Swissmiss

Premium Member
So sorry for Alice. I can understand how that must have been a huge disappointment.

I don’t know if you are aware of when this happened a couple of years ago in Italy (can’t remember if it was a marathon or half marathon) and the professional runners where following the leading motorcyclist who made a wrong turn on a ramp and it cost them the race.
 

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