runDisney Race Recap: Race for the Taste 10K 2022

Following the Expedition Everest 5K Thursday night, and a rest day on Friday, Saturday morning found runDisney enthusiasts like me back to toe the line for the Race for the Taste 10K.

Training & Goals
My plan for the weekend races was to have fun and finish before the sweepers. I aimed to start towards the front of my corral to have an extra buffer for photo stops and other shenanigans. I planned to follow my run:walk intervals on the road, stop for selfies at the mile markers, and mostly walk while in Epcot to enjoy the entertainment, characters, and atmosphere.

Costume
In keeping with my Star Wars mash-up theming, for this race I wore a novelty graphic t-shirt for the fictional Ratatooine Academy of Culinary Arts Running Club, along with a bulbous chef's hat and Remy-inspired grey fur print skirt.

Race Day: April 2, 2022
The weather for the weekend continued to look iffy, with predicted rain showers fortunately disappearing shortly before the start time. I left home at 2:34AM and got the car parked at Epcot by 3:26AM. After checking out the pre-race photo ops (there are still no characters out before the races), I headed to my corral to wait for the start. It was about 72°F with 95% humidity when I crossed the start line at 5:41AM. It was overcast and misty, looking like it might rain.

Mile 1, 2, 3: 15:57, 15:19, 15:25
The humidity was a real problem for me. I was already dripping with sweat before the race even started, and the thick air was tough to run through. The air was heavy and I felt worn out very quickly. 

I was part of a Facebook Messenger group of runners who reported on the location of characters on the course as well as the status of the balloon ladies (effectively the last runners before participants are swept from the course). Having this information was super handy and based on intel from the group I felt it was safe for me to stop for Horace and Clarabelle during the first mile. Later, Pluto was also out, but I didn't stop.

Miles 2 and 3 were more highway steps, including one overpass (the only elevation gain on the run). 

Mile 4, 5, 6+: 16:45, 18:58, 17:20, 7:25
Mile 4 brought us briefly through a part of Epcot before we headed to the Yacht, Beach Club, and Boardwalk resorts. There were some characters out, including Joy & Sadness, and Mickey & Minnie.

During mile 5 we finished with the Boardwalk and headed back into Epcot for the most fun parts of the race. Besides Chip and Dale and Goofy, other character stops were Geppetto with Pinocchio, and Emile with Remy in France. The line for the chef rats was so long it extended to Morocco -- whoa! I may have had time for that but I didn't want to risk it. I was truly afraid if the Balloon Ladies came by that I would not be able to keep up. The struggle with the humidity was real!

After the Race
I was totally knackered. My already slow pace fell during the last miles, and not just because I was stopping for a few photos. The humidity was completely defeating. Luckily the rain held off, but I couldn't have been more wet if it did rain -- I was totally sweat-soaked.

Recommendation
Despite running through pea soup, it was a fun morning. 

Chip time: 1:46:19 
Placement details: 459/656 in Age Group, 7022/9571 overall 
Race Amenities: Nice tech shirt, fun retro Epcot themed finisher medal
Cost: $474.37 for the challenge

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