Thursday, January 16, 2014

Disney Half Marathon

Last spring Jerry and I decided we'd run the Disneyworld Half Marathon. Back then it seemed like a good idea but as the date of the race approached I began to have second thoughts. They stressed throughout all of the race info that if runners failed to maintain the proper pace they would be pulled from the race course. I was so worried I'd fail and wouldn't get my coveted finisher medal. But....I made it!

It was an interesting race weekend. On Thursday they held a 5K family fun run. On Friday it was a 10K. Saturday was the half marathon and Sunday was the full marathon.

They had 2 special challenges - the Dopey and the Goofy. The people running the Goofy did both the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday. Those running the Dopey did all 4 races! Since each race began at 5:30 am those doing the Dopey were pretty sleep deprived by the end of the weekend!

There were about 21,000 people in the half marathon in 16 corrals, each starting about 3 minutes after the previous. Unfortunately we were in the 15th corral so there was a lot of standing around until we could start.

The entire race was a party atmosphere. There were Disney characters all along the course and runners would stop and line up for photos with each character. I didn't stop because I was too worried about maintaining that pace. There were also lots of costumes. It was a warm humid morning and I'm sure some people regretted the attire.

We didn't spend as much time in the parks as I'd anticipated. We started just outside Epcot and ran along the roads to the Magic Kingdom. We ran down Main Street USA and through cinderella's castle and then out onto the road to return to Epcot. We ran by Spaceship Earth and then back out of Epcot to the finish just outside the park. I thought we'd be done before the park opened, but I was mistaken and enjoyed the cheers from the park goers as we ran past.

Note Donald duck's butt in this photo and the runners that stopped this close to the finish for a photo! I don't even remember seeing Donald there and didn't realize it until seeing this photo. Guess I was too focused on finishing.

Jerry ran the race without his glasses. His last few miles were really rough as his calves cramped up on him.

All in all it was a fun event. Don't think I'll be doing it again anytime soon though.