Race: Walt Disney World Marathon
Date: January 8, 2017
Official Result: 6:00:37 (moving time: 5:30:20)
|My Disney Princess|
Coming down from Chicago besides my sister's family, who was staying on property, we also shared our off-property town house with a few fellow Ragnarians and former co-workers, Dianne and Annie, who were running their first half and first full respectively. This helped bring the costs of staying in Florida way down, and made our stay way awesome, since they have been good friends for many years now. I highly recommend renting through All-Star Vacation homes, as this was our second stay with them and their accommodations both times have been top notch. Their website pictures are exactly what you get when you arrive. Blaine and Liz were also in town from New Orleans to run the appropriately named Goofy, where runners take on both the full and half.
The walk from the parking lot to the Expo was all my batteries for my GoPro gimbal could handle, and it abruptly died and couldn't hold a charge for the rest of the trip. So much for my family home movie. We arrived just as the Expo opened at noon and although the lines were long, it moved quickly. I effortlessly picked up my bib as well as the kids' bibs and shirts while Mae split off to get her bib and shirt which was in the next building. We met back up and checked out the merchandise to get my shirt, but since we had lunch reservations at Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom at 2 pm, we didn't spend much time at all there and went straight to the park.
After two trips to Magic Kingdom and about 45k steps the last two days, Friday had arrived, which was the day of Mae's 10k and the boys' Mickey Miler and Maya's 200m dash. I drove Mae to her 10k at 4:15 am for her 5:30 start time and slept in the car until 7:00 when she was expected to cross the finish. I got a feel for the magnitude of this weekend since all the big races were set up to begin and end here and walked around while waiting for Mae to finish. She did great despite her nonexistent training and we made it back to the house before the kids were even up. After breakfast we took the kids to their races at the ESPN complex and had a great time watching all of the kids there run their races. Both boys broke 10 minutes for their mile and Maya was the first girl to cross the finish for her race (4th overall)!
|Brown Derby Wagyu Burger|
|Staying warm before launch|
|Lines for character pics|
Finally the J corral was off and running and I got a quick lock on the satellite this time with my new Garmin Forerunner 230 watch. The battery on this is incredible; and was lucky to have it delivered in time just before our flight. I made a deal with Mae that I can buy it as long as I don't say anything negative during the whole trip! The first five miles running through the darkness were a bit unremarkable. There were a few characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow and Lightning McQueen but the lines were so long I decided to run past them. I just focused on holding a 12 minute mile no matter how slow I thought it felt. The most memorable part of this first stretch was running through the parking gate where I almost knocked over a runner in front of me who stopped to take a picture without giving a warning sign.
|Activate Beast Mode!|
After leaving the kingdom, miles 6-11 were set on tree-lined service roads between the parks which occasionally had a character here and there, and bits of trivia. I learned there were 167 miles of private roads on Disney property. I had put only 8 miles of training runs on my new NB 1080's and during the 80k steps I took over the last 4 days I felt a hot spot on the top right side of my foot. I started to feel it, but it was nothing too bad. Miles 10-11 had an out and back, and on my way back I saw a guy cut that mile from the course. That put a sour taste in my mouth. But that was quickly forgotten as we came up on a display that had many retired vehicles from rides of yesterday.
As we entered the Animal Kingdom approaching the 13.1 mark, I got to take a few pictures with some of the birds that lived there. I also got to see the hangar where they keep a bunch of floats there, and they had a dragon out for us to see. It was great getting a glimpse of things behind the scenes that you just don't normally see. I got a pic with Timon from the Lion King and took a selfie with the Tree of Life. I didn't think I was going to make it back to this park so I took in as much as I could while I was here.
I was getting texts from Mae letting me know that they were in
the parking lot after mile 14 and I didn't want them waiting too long for me, so I decided to skip the line for the Expedition Everest ride. Plus I had just crossed the timing mat for the half already and didn't know if I would mess up my timing if I went back over it to go to the back of the line. Now I regret not going on it - how many chances will I ever get to go on a freaking roller coaster in the (literally) middle of the race?
Exiting Animal Kingdom had us wrapping around the parking lot and I spotted my family across from a team of drummers. I stopped to hug them all and it gave me a nice energy boost. Out of all the amazing views I had already experienced, seeing them was the best part of the race. I love seeing them on course.
As we neared Hollywood Studios near mile 22 there was a relatively steep ramp we had to run up which broke many runners' gaits to a walk. There was a green army man barking orders at us to make it up the hill over a PA, and even made a runner to do some push ups. As much as I loved seeing that, I didn't want to do push ups so I made it up to the top as quickly as I could. At the park I fell in line to get a pic with Oswald, but when it was almost my turn he had to leave for a few minutes for an undisclosed reason. Nooo! At least I got to chomp down on a full sized pack of Crispy M&M's that were graciously being handed out while I was waiting.
The run through Hollywood Studios was very quick and before I knew it we were in the Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club resorts. I had never been to this area before and marveled at how picturesque the scene was. I want to go back! I also chuckled at a man holding a very un-Disneylike sign saying "Keep going, almost there! (that's what she said)" Almost all the other spectator signs I read pretty much just said "Just keep swimming."
|It's OK Sadness, I love you too!|
|Congrats Annie and Dianne!|
|Congrats Blaine and Liz!|
Flight: $147.99 (Frontier down, Spirit back up, excluding bags)
Car Rental: $39.34/day for $196.71 (Avis)
Townhouse (7664 Fitzclarence): $150.95/day for $754.75 (our share)
|My sister Ann Marie and our families. A true sibling rivalry!|