Saturday, January 07, 2006

Disney 5K Mishap

I've missed a few events I've signed up for. In 2003 I skipped the Blue Lake tri because I had twisted my ankle (playing volleyball) the week before. In 2005 I missed the Valentine's half marathon outside Olympia, WA because of a business trip. Now in 2006 I missed the Disney 5K, because I just couldn't get there in time! I was trying to meet Francesca and Joe for this fun run, and wound up missing it.

One frustrating thing about the Disney website, particularly the Wide World of Sports section, was the usual race information was missing. Information such as: day of event packet pick-up? Driving directions?? On the day of the event it looked like they were trying to route people to one of the entrance roads (the one I wound up stuck in) while another one was less crowded.

I left my house at 9:15 am for an 11:00 event, exited the freeway at 10:00 am, and then spent the next hour creeping along in traffic, finally making it to the Epcot tollbooth at 11:00. That's right, I spent one hour moving from the freeway exit to the Epcot entrance. As traffic slowly moved forward, I saw a steady stream of runners along the roadside, heading towards the event start. When I reached the tollbooth, I decided not to pay $9 to park because I would probably miss the event, so I turned around and drove off to Downtown Disney where I grabbed a mocha and read a magazine while I waited to hear from Francesca and Joe. They told me the race had been delayed to 11:20, but I had already turned around.

The whole ordeal was useful - I am now very unlikely to sign up for another Disney sports event. I'm sure they are well run and fun and so forth, but the time involved is ridiculous. For this 5K I would have had to pick my packet up the day before (~75 mile round trip), allow about 2.5 hours to get to the event the day of, and then another hour to get home. Pretty much the only reason anybody should do the event is if they are already there anyway, spectating somebody in the half marathon earlier in the morning.

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