Thursday, May 22, 2014

Race Recap & Review: Castaway Cay 5k

Hello, friends!

Just a few days ago Matthew and I returned from my 30th birthday trip to Disney. I am just now getting caught up on laundry, social media, blogging, work, etc. Wow, what a trip it was! :-)

We spent four days and three nights aboard the Disney Dream and sailed to Nassau and Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. Once we disembarked, we then spent three days and two nights in Walt Disney World at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It truly was one of the greatest vacations I've ever been on. I think I speak for both Matthew and myself when I say there will probably be more Disney cruises in our future.

In the next few days, I'll be publishing posts detailing the trip- including thoughts about Disney Cruise Line and experiences staying at a deluxe WDW resort. But for now, I'm really excited to recap the Castaway Cay 5k.

On Saturday, day three of the cruise, we got to participate in the Castaway Cay 5k. For those of you that don't know, Disney owns their own Bahamian island- Castaway Cay (pronounced Key). A few years ago, runDisney started offering a 5k every time one of their cruise ships docks at the island.

Matthew and I knew that we wanted to run this event, so as soon as we boarded the ship we went to Guest Services and signed up. We received our bibs and were told to meet up in Evolution (one of the ship's bars) at 8:15 am on Saturday.

Dumbo Double Dare represent!
Our awesome 5k guide, Jamezy explaining the course to us.

We had two wonderful cast members, Jamezy and Mia, checking us in and handing us safety pins to put on the bibs. They explained how we would all walk off the ship together, walk to the start line together, and then start the race.

When we got off the boat, it was really, really windy and overcast. However, it was still quite warm and I was grateful for the respite from the sun. I'd heard that this race could be very hot because most of the course was not shaded and we were in the tropics, after all.

Anyway, we made the trek to the start line- I was taking tons of pictures- imagine that! We also got to meet Christl and her boyfriend- she and I had "met" each other on the Team #runDisney facebook page on a thread chatting about the Castaway Cay 5k. It was super cool to chat with another runDisney enthusiast, especially in the Bahamas!

At the start line, Jamezy once again explained the course to us. Then he jumped on a bike, counted us down, and rode out to the water stop. The course was really simple: a quick loop around the bike path, an out and back on the old airstrip, and then another loop on the bike path.

Lots of wind on the island!

Listening intently to Jamezy.

Using his pom-pom as a pointer!

Super cute starting line.

Matthew and I were off! Since I lost my Gymboss timer after Pittsburgh (so sad!), Matthew was keeping our intervals- 2:30/1. Neither of us brought ipods so we just trotted along, chatting during the walk breaks. When we got to the water stop, Jamezy was handing out water, cheering with his pom-poms, and yelling "I believe in you!"- he had us cracking up!

Before I knew it, we were headed for the finish. Despite it being overcast, I was really hot. Matthew was keeping the pace and I was struggling slightly to keep up. As we finished the last quarter mile, he asked me what my PR was- it was 33:32. We crossed the finish line in 33:17- a new PR for me :-)

Looking strong!

All smiles!

Jamezy working the water station.

Proud finisher with a new PR!

I'm a winner because my Disney Cruise Line lanyard says so. 

Happy finishers.

Christl and me.

He's so cool I can't even keep my eyes open :-)

After the 5k, we went out to the "Adults Only" beach and snapped a few photos. It was incredibly windy- so much so that people were sitting on their beach chairs wrapped in towels. We thought it was less windy at the "Family Beach" so we headed back there. I'll recap the rest of the day in a future post :-) But in short, we hung out on the beach, went snorkeling, and got to meet some cool new friends:

"But why is all the rum gone?!"

Overall, it was a great little Bahamian 5k. There are no frills with this race- just the opportunity to run an international 5k on Disney property. There was no extra cost to participate in the race, it's included in the cruise cost. I did purchase a shirt for $21.95- it's probably one of my favorite race shirts.

Love this design! And it's a women's cut, too.
But really, how beautiful is that water? :-)

Don't let this little bit of sun fool you- it was overcast and rainy the rest of the day!

QOTD: Have you run the Castaway Cay 5k? If so, what did you think about it? If not, would you want to run a 5k during a cruise?


  1. I've never gone on a Disney cruise, and really don't have any desire to, but I've gone on other cruises where I've run the deck of the ship early before people wake up. I might do a 5k as a featured excursion if I didn't feel like there were better choices offered. You look adorable in your outfit!

    1. Thanks, Jen! We also ran the deck of the ship on the other mornings- such a beautiful view! The 5k was actually one of the only options that day- everything else was cancelled due to the high winds. I felt bad for the folks that had planned excursions that were cancelled.

  2. Adorable outfit! And that looks like a lot of fun! Congrats on yet another PR – you are rockin' your races, lately :) I've only been on one cruise before, and it wasn't Disney, so no Castaway Cay 5k for me, though if I go on a Disney cruise that stops there, I would definitely partake. Can't wait to hear how the rest of the trip was! And happy birthday! (Not sure when it is/was exactly...)

    1. Thanks, Heather! My actual birthday is Monday :-) You must take a Disney cruise at some point- it was just incredible and honestly, pretty affordable!

  3. You and Matthew both look so happy. Glad the trip was such a success and you loved the cruise. It is a wonderful relaxing way to vacation and including a runDisney race makes it extra fun!

    1. Absolutely! It was full of activity and relaxation- if that makes sense!

  4. So much fun! A Disney Cruise is a bucket list experience for me for sure. And loving your Team Sparkle skirt!

    1. Thanks, Haley! Team Sparkle skirts are the best to run in! :-)

  5. Castaway Cay is my favorite place on the earth! Seeing all of your pictures makes me want to go back :/ I ran the 5K also. It's a great way to start the morning on the island.

    1. It really was beautiful, even with the crappy weather!

  6. Just ran this yesterday 6/28/14! Good way to start the day. The shirt now offered has Mickey running on the back and a small logo on the front left breast. I just loaded a scan of it on my profile.Super humid and warm, but it is fun to dip in the ocean afterward.

    1. Awesome! Glad you liked the course- it is a fabulous way to start the day :-)