Thursday, January 17, 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon - Recap

We woke up for round two at the luxuriously LATE time of 3:11am. I know, we live on the edge. Somehow, it took us a billion minutes to get ready, and we got on to one of the last buses to leave, at 3:59 am. Danger is our middle name!

I finally got to see Dee (@deefsu) just before we headed over to the corrals. Dee and I went to high school together our freshman year, and did a lot of bonding while we skipped PE. TWENTY (oh my GOD) years later, we run marathons. HILARIOUS. Dee pretty much saved our bums and gave us awesome cooling towels for the hot hot hot day ahead (THANK YOU again!!).

We headed over to the corrals, and had our FIRST picture opp with the Fairy Godmother.

She was super, duper chatty.

Our goals for the day were:
  • Don't get swept.
  • Run as far as we can before the sun comes up.
  • Stop for new pictures only.
  • Have all the fun.
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The race started on time (of course, because it's runDisney), and we managed to maneuver all the way into the Ticket and Transportation Center before stopping (for the bathrooms). We didn't hit our first character stop until we were in the Magic Kingdom, where we stopped for Buzz, since we missed him the day before. We saw Fruit Fly and her MF in MK, and leapfrogged through the pictures.

The first 7ish miles are the same as the half course, and they had ALL of the same characters out for the first 7 miles, with the exception of Royal Minnie and Mickey at the back of the castle. Kind of disappointing.

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Holiday lights still up, and on when we came into the park!
After that, we split off from the half course, and headed into the Speedway.

I'm not a fan of cars, or banked roads, or the weird ramps we had to go down and up to get there. Frankly, this part of the course was blaaaahhhhh for me.
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We saw this car (don't shun me, but I've never seen Cars)....

We headed out of the Speedway around mile 9.25, then shortly after hit an aid station. I knew there was a LONG way to go before the next one, because I'm a map obsessor. Considering the road we were on - open, hot, exposed, and empty - and the weather, I'm kind of surprised there was no supplemental station added here. We went from mile 9.5 to mile 12 before the next station.

Coming into the back of Animal Kingdom, we finally had more character opportunities!

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And then we rode Expedition Everest. BEST RACE EXPERIENCE EVER.
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Ever wondered what a roller coaster looks like on Garmin maps??

Exiting the ride, we bought some drinks (Coke! Best idea ever, thanks B!), and ran into Fruit Fly again!!

Saw a few more charaters, then headed out of AK around mile 14, and looped through the parking lot and down Osceola Parkway. The Clif station at mile 15.5ish was out of product, AGAIN. Luckily, I had a giant bag of candy that was working juuuuust fine.

There were a couple of character spots, a couple more aid stations, before we arrived at ESPN at mile 16.5.

Okay. ESPN? LAME. I was not a fan. It was boring, it was monotonous, it was hot (not Disney's fault, but it was), and it was LAME. Maybe if I had some desire to look at empty fields, I guess this would have been more interesting? Meh. There was a sponge station at mile 17, that was pretty great, and bananas at 18 that were DELICIOUS. There was a second Clif station around 19.5 that had two flavors left, but again, I had my candy. We ran through some sort of baseball field sometime in here, too, but compared to running through Angels Stadium at Disneyland, it was kind of boring.

The only thing moving us through ESPN was the Mile 20 SPECTACULAR. We FINALLY turned the corner at mile 19, and it WAS spectacular!!

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I wish I had taken more pictures, they had maybe 6? 8? giant puppet things lining the road.

We stopped for this super awesome picture - what a happy coincidence that the characters matched us!!

While we were running down the very, very hot road again, I mentioned to B that if there were still people coming into ESPN, we could take things a bit easier - until now, we were pretty much running a steady pace between characters and aid stations, but I was having some ankle situation, and B mentioned her IT band being cranky.

But when we came around the corner back onto Osceola, there was no one going into ESPN, and they were clearing the course. Dun dun DUN. So we started booking it through - we wanted to be able to stop for any potential character sightings!

Miles 20-22ish were HOT. SO hot and SO humid, and everyone around us was walking. We just kept running, and running.

Some point we headed into the backlot of Hollywood Studios (not my favorite park, so I don't know much about it), and a CANDY station at mile 22.5! DELICIOUS!

There were only a few characters out in the Studios, and then we headed around to the Boardwalk area - I LOVE the Boardwalk area!

It was pretty crowded, since everyone was walking, and obviously, at mile 24, people are just kind of hurting and out of it, but we tried to run as much as we could through them. Somewhere in here, someone (someone WALKING) made a snotty remark about how we shouldn't even bother at this point. Okay, then. Whiner.

At mile 25, we headed into my happiest place on Earth, EPCOT!! We also managed to run into Dee again (yay!) and stop for a couple more character shots, while running around World Showcase. My parents live sorta close, so they were out spectating (FIRST time someone has spectated a race I'm running!) in front of Mexico. After a super quick hello to them, B and I sprinted into the finish (despite what she says, we really did run fast - my Garmin showed 8:17 pace when we crossed the finish line!).

All the pictures.....
Having no fun at all. Clearly.


Becka was SUPER EXCITED for Meeko

Wow, we are FUNNY.

Epcot makes me the happiest!

Hellooooo, mile almost the end!
Yeah. Better stop that Garmin.....

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I'm conflicted. I really, REALLY wanted to just LOVE this race. Obviously, I'm a giant fan of Disney. Obviously, you have to actually travel from one park to the other, the course can't ALL be in the parks. I did know the course, I saw the maps, and I knew what to expect, but I was just not a fan of the Speedway or ESPN. It's certainly not Disney's fault that I don't like cars, and I know that other people were enjoying the Speedway. Fine. But ESPN was just devoid of any entertainment. There could have been a lot more done here.

The shirt is unisex. I have a small, but it's GINORMOUS. For the billions of dollars runDisney charges for registration, I'm mildly surprised that they still don't offer gender specific shirts.


I am REALLY glad that this was not my first rodeo, and I knew sort of what to expect from the distance - I think I would have been a little devestated if I felt so crappy at mile 20, without KNOWING that it just feels crappy and to keep going. I would not do this as my first marathon!! I once considered doing it as my first, but I'm so glad I didn't, because I think it would have ruined the whole experience for me (draaaaamatic).

Riding Expedition Everest was SO much fun. We were let in to the fast pass line, and waited less than 5 minutes to get on. I'm pretty sure the chick at the register when we bought our drinks took longer to ring us up. If you have the opportunity to ride a roller coaster during a marathon, DO IT (hahahaahaa).

We found out after the race that there was a BACON CHALLENGE. WHAT. Eat three pieces of bacon, get a piggy medal. Three pieces is certainly no challenge. I wish we had known of this amazing offering beforehand.

Would I run this again? Like I said in the half recap, as a stand alone race, no, probably not. I WOULD do Goofy Challenge again (2015....), but not on its own. For me, it's just too expensive and time consuming to travel to Florida for a course I didn't love. I DO plan on Wine and Dine still (tentatively for 2014).


  1. I love the roller coaster part. I don't get the hype with Disney races and all that hoopla, but the coaster part sounds fun. I lol'd when I saw the roller coaster Garmin map part. What was your pace then?

    So weird that all of you accidentally matched the characters in one of the photos.

    I can't imagine how distracting this would be as a first marathon. Eek.

  2. Love the picture of you all with the corresponding characters behind you, so cute! Glad to hear what you thought about ESPN and the speedway, guess I didn't miss out on anything there. I agree with the race shirts... There were more woman than men in this one and you all still got the unisex crap:(
    Not surprised someone said "why bother", typical. My friend and I were yelled at by another participant to stop running during the scavenger hunt portion of expedition Everest. Whatever.
    It's great Disney has a non-competitive atmosphere but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

  3. A ROLLER COASTER?!?!? RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE!?!?! That sounds like the best news EVER to me.

    Also, Bacon Challenge would be the best challenge ever. Too bad you weren't able to try it! :(

    Sounds like you had a pretty decent time overall though - sweet medals!! :D

  4. This

    Never seen Cars?!?!?! I still love you.

    That garminacoaster --- love.

  5. Congratulations! Goofy is a HUGE accomlishment...I can't even fathom. I don't even want to run a mile the day after a half marathon, so hats off to you. Sorry it wasn't all that you expected it to be....but at least you had fun and did an amazing accomplishment!

  6. The picture with you and Becka in front of the castle is my favorite!

  7. Congratulations! Love that you got to ride Everest, it wasn't open yet when I went through, and totally jealous of your royal Mickey and Minnie pic!

    I actually liked both the Speedway and ESPN (I mean it's better than highway!)...I LOVE this race, definitely my favorite and totally can't wait until next year!

  8. Bacon and a roller coaster. Okay. It does sound fun. I like your honest assessment. And thanks for commenting on my post. I wasn't trying to be inflammatory. Sometimes my humour is crass and sometimes it veers into obnoxious. Okay, okay. It's pretty much always obnoxious. But I was honestly curious.

  9. Wait - you rode a roller coaster during a race?! Awesome. I think we hope to go to Disney in 2014 (we have friends to stay with there!!) but I really want to see Tow Mader & Lightning McQueen. So jealous!

  10. Are you SURE you didn't call Mickey, Goofy, and Donald to find out what they were wearing that day so you could match? That is just too uncanny!

  11. love all the pics!!!
    I just finished making a scrapbook order for someone and it was all from Disneyworld...and now I want to go so bad!

  12. Congrats on GOOFY! Love all the pics and love that you went on Expedition everest in the middle!! I was really interested to hear what you thought about this since I'm thinking of doing goofy next year!

  13. The roller coaster garmin is hilarious!

    The medals look pretty sweet but unisex shirts and the small is huge? I kind of think that's not acceptable for such expensive races (what is it, like $320 total for both?).

  14. i love that yall did the roller coaster! and i swear, you don't take a bad race photo. EVER. super cute. also-i remember wanting to eat every single piece of candy at that candy station. and ditto your review-wouldn't go back for that marathon. I enjoyed the 1/2 so much more!

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