Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2012 - Elevation & Course Analysis

I was curious how many Florida hills (aka overpasses) there really were on this course, so I decided to take a better look at my garmin's mapping results...thought this was interesting...

Note: the numbers on the map link to the list below (these are not mile markers) which indicate significant changes in elevation.

1) Soon after starting you gradually ascend an overpass, right around the 2 mile marker
2) You descend quite quickly while merging off of one highway and onto the other (typical off-ramp connector)
3) Upon entering Magic Kingdom, you make a deep descent (where the trams go under the road to drop guests off)...and of course, when you go down, you must come up!
4) Running through/around the castle is a gradual uphill.  When you step back, its obvious that the castle is on a hill, but you really don't feel this at the time since there is so many visual distractions and the number of spectators is HUGE, so its surprisingly welcome!
5) slight descent upon leaving the park and entering the backlot
6) After quick a long segment of relatively flat pavement comes the dreaded Florida "hill"  ...the clover from one highway up onto the overpass of the other
7) Now you are running on the opposite highway from the original few miles and you must continue over that first overpass which surprised you in the dark of night!
8) Final overpass

So, the first 3 significant elevations are done in the you don't really stress over them.  Also, you have a TON of energy at first.  The second are right at Magic Kingdom, which you clearly see, but hey, its only the half-way point so you have energy...and besides, you can't walk with all the spectators around and the adrenaline pushing you.  The last few overpasses is what everyone hears about.  But, regardless of where you are on the course, the highs are pretty consistent and the lows are pretty consistent.  They really are not that much harder than all the other elevation changes....BUT....
  • You are tired at this point
  • No spectators are nearby so your ego isn't damaged if you let yourself succumb to the "walk"
SO, try not to fear the final three overpasses....if you can handle the first ones, you can certainly handle the last ones!

Other Princess posts that may be of interest include:

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