Welcome to my Part 2 of my Walt Disney World Marathon recap! So far i’ve talked about everything up to race day. Part 2 is all about Marathon Day!
Marathon’s morning start was just like my start to any other Disney race, you get up nice and early! I was up by 2:30am to get to the buses that start running at 3am.
I like getting there on the earlier side to get through security, get a couple character pictures, meet up with friends and acquaintances and use the bathroom before heading out on that long walk to the corrals.
For WDW Marathon morning I started out with pictures with Daisy Duck and Pluto. Dopey was out also but I figured i’d stop by him after I was done. I then made way over to the lettered banners to take a pic with other members of Team RWB. Then it was time to wait in the line for the port-a-pottle and go. I waited for a friend by the toy soldier making people do push ups for pictures and then we headed back to the corrals.
I was in corral J, again. I think RunDisney has a thing for putting me in J. I was ok with it though, I could have been in P. Plus I had planned to take it slow, extra slow. I had told my doctor I would anyways.
The corral was full of nervous energy. Disney had their usual announcers who are a bit corny and Mickey and Dopey were on hand. Mickey and Fireworks started each corral and one by one the corrals released and the corrals slowly inched to the start. Before I knew it was my corral’s turn.
I was off and running and started intervals. It was not really hot out, it was mid 60’s-70 out but it was humid, the type that really sucks, 100%humidity. It sucked but my pace wasn’t horrible. It was steady despite weaving and going in the grass. As I was going you would see guys running to the edge of trees to pee and girls hiding behind trucks. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go, even with a port-a-potty a 1/4 mile up the road. This was so different from the Princess Half Marathons, you didn’t really see many running for the tree line there. Port-a-potties and real bathrooms were plentiful on the course so I wasn’t worried about that situation.
The route started out just like the Disney Princess Half Marathon, you start in Epcot and head to the Magic Kingdom. The only difference were some of the characters and entertainment on the course. The marathon course also included marching bands from area high schools. The first few miles there really wasn’t much. After entering the Magic Kingdom area watching out for the bump ahead there were more characters such as Ralph, and Penelope from Wreck it Ralph and further down the crew from A Nightmare before Christmas. Before I knew it we were heading into the Magic Kingdom and down Main Street. The Christmas Tree was still up and that made me smile as it reminded me of high school memories of the original Candlelight Processional from before they moved it to Epcot in 1994.
Then there was the site of the castle and the crowd cheering you on as you run down main street. Once at the end I took my first stop, a pic with the castle in the background.
This took a couple minutes and then I was back to going through the lands and to the castle.
They had various characters out for pics but I was nervous about stopping, I had a big stop I was contemplating anyways. I was slower this year plus in my training I never did more than 20 miles. So I kept going to the castle where we were treated by Elsa, Anna and Christophe and “snow”. Going through the castle wasn’t crowded or too bad. The road block was on the other side. I made it through the road block and through Frontierland and then it was time to exit the Magic Kingdom. Over the bridge and onto Animal Kingdom we went.Animal Kingdom was the halfway point. I was still maintaining my pace, I had made a few people my “rabbit’s” and the characters along the route were helpful to break things up. As we entered Animal Kingdom there was a small petting zoo. They had things like buzzards, turtles, goats and snakes out. I entered Animal Kingdom just as it was opening. In fact everyone around me was talking, is it open yet, then we started seeing people.
I stopped at the bathroom and then I made the decision to ride Expedition Everest. Yep, I rode a roller coaster during a marathon! It was awesome!
The only down side was I lost a lot of time. Between the bathroom and the roller coaster I lost close to 30 minutes. I was now in the back of the pack and the threat of the balloon ladies was real. There were those around me that were even tracking them! I still had a buffer but I didn’t know how much. I made a decision to go with the flow instead of wasting extra energy weaving. My goal was to finish and I was going to do it. I had posted enough about training for a marathon on social media that I had to.
After Animal Kingdom things got kind of blurry until we reached ESPN Wide World of Sports, around mile 17. I can’t tell you what characters were out, just that they were there. I for some reason didn’t take a single pic either. I may have been a bit off after the roller coaster and needed to get back in the groove. I may have been in the zone. I really don’t know.
Wide World of Sports is not a fun place to go through. Although upon entering we were given wet sponges and they had Mickey out there for pics. The course narrows in this area and with the crowd it can really slow you down. As I was leaving Wide World of Sports I saw exactly how far in the back I was. No one was entering Wide World of Sports and they were cleaning up. That was a scary moment, maybe those balloon ladies weren’t as far back as I thought.
I came up to mile 20 and was feeling good. My foot was bothering me at this point but not too much. I knew I could finish. It was during this mile I picked up a partner for the rest of the race. I met Rev. Dr. Roger Fischer. He was an amazing man to listen to for the rest of the race, I could of listened to him for hours. We marched on through the Army men, entered Hollywood Studios and were treated with handfuls of Dove Chocolate. We then made our way to the boardwalk resort area and onto Epcot where I knew we were safe.
Next thing I knew we were coming up to the mile 26 mile marker.
We were almost done! I told Mr Fischer I was going to get a high five from Mickey and run it in for my kids. I had thought they were live streaming like they had done at the Princess Half Marathon. Off I went got my high five from Mickey, dropped my phone but still finished strong and upright. I did it! I am now a marathoner!
I received my medal and went straight to the medical tent area and got some ice for my foot. Those in medical were great!
I took a break and put my foot up and iced it for a while. Knowing I couldn’t stay there forever I hobbled my way through the finisher area grabbing my power aid and water, taking my finisher pic and then getting my food box. I decided to take another break where I sat near many other runners doing the same. I took the ice off my foot, ate my usual post run pickle (yes, I carried a pickle with me for 26.2miles) and then headed to the massage tent.
I was the last customer because they were closing up. Then it was off to the bus to my resort. It was the last bus they were running so we had to wait to leave until they were given the go ahead that there were no more guests, this took over a half hour.
Once back at my resort I showered and headed right back out to Disney Springs. I knew it was important to keep moving even though my calves at this point were not happy with me. By the time I got to Disney Springs the after party was over but I was able to pick up my free mismatched socks at lil mis matched.
After walking for a while I headed back to my resort ending my day having walked and run 33.5 miles! I was tired and my husband kept texting me that I needed to eat. It was an amazing day and I most definitely want to do it again!
Want to hear more? Read my Post Marathon thoughts in my Monday Miles.