I got up Sunday morning at 2:30 to get dressed and ready by 3:00 for the Event bus. I had heard nightmare stories about the busses for the Half and I was nervous! When I got to the bus stop, I boarded right away and before long we were on our way to the Starting Line!
I had purchased the Race Retreat, and went right to the tent. They had Tinkerbell and her Boy Toy (as my teenie called him) and there was NO line, so I rushed over to get my pic taken!
Afterwards, I joined my friends from the PbRC and had half of a bagel with PB&J and some water, courtesy of the Race Retreat, at a nice comfy table on comfy folding chairs. LOVING the RR so far! Ahhhh but the best was yet to come. A round of Porta Potties with no line, all to ourselves! LOVE it, worth it's wait in gold right there!
We all gathered outside at around 4:15 for the group photo. This was when I started to worry about Colleen! She wasn't there yet! She was still on the bus!
With a little fanfare, Disney style, they started our corral just before 6.
Back to the road and on to mile 2. I stopped to visit some Pirates in order to let Colleen catch up.
Jack and Barbosa were great! Still no Colleen though! I started really worrying at around mile 4 when I got to MK and still didn't see her. I stopped again at mile 4.75 to meet some old friends, Jack and Sally. While on line, I heard my name called out and there she was! There was much hugging and silliness and then we had our turn!
Soon we entered the Animal Kingdom, and the first mile was back roads. They had some friends to greet us though, and it was shady, which was nice. It was starting to get hot!
After we left AK, we were on a stretch of very hot, very long, very boring road. These were the ugly miles. Mile 15 was a good one, because the Grave Diggers were there. We gladly waited on line for a photo op!
After this, though, it was 4 straight miles of.....nothing! It was hot, boring, lifeless. Very few spectators, great volunteers, lots of walkers. We did some walking as well, after about mile 17. It was just so hot.
Mile 19 was the ESPN Game Zone, and everyone was perking up. We were almost to the Mile 20 Surprise! Woohoo Disney had been bragging about this for weeks, and we were so excited to see what the big surprise would be! So many ideas had floated around and there was a rumor of a Flash Mob. FUN!
We continued dow that vicious highway, towards Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. Somewhere around mile 21 or 22 were the Army Men from Toy Story, shouting at everyone to forge up the hill, having people drop and give em 20. It was cute, but the hill was an off ramp that also tilted and running on it was rough. The head soldier promised it was the last hill.
Just sayin, lol, there are bridges ahead that we were not made aware of!
As we entered the back of Hollywood Studios, volunteers were handing out little mini Hershey Bars. Ahhhhhhh chocolate! There were smooshed up wasted chocolates on the ground from previous runners, and the volunteers were running low! Luckily, I got mine, and no one had to die that day!
We ran through the back of the park, through the tunnel where they show the costumes being made for the parks. It was nice and shady. And it was mile 23. OMG we were almost done! I think this was around the time I had my first Moment. There were Cast Members with signs, telling us how awesome we were as we entered the middle of the park, and I definitely got teary eyed!
Between HS and EPCOT, we ran along some very narrow paths. There were lots of spectators and we were given a couple very tasty Twizzlers. There were alot of walkers here, and we got stuck behind them over and over again. I am all for walking a marathon, especially in that heat. BUT many of them were walking 4 wide, and that was all the space there was. A few times we got separated, which was frustrating, but temporary.
Soon we entered EPCOT, and I was teary eyed again! The finish line was ahead, and Colleen kept telling me I was a Rock Star. I must have looked like death, lol. Thanks to her, I crossed the Finish Line with a time of 7:12:51. We ran through holding hands. It was awesome!
We were given our medals, and found her mom, who took our picture. I couldn't find my daughter, so I texted her to meet me at the Retreat. We got our water bottle, and a cute OZ tote bag, and walked through the finish line corral. We were then told that we had to open our bottle and drink in front of the ladies in order to proceed. Apparently, the hospitals were filling up with people suffering from heat exhaustion! NO PROBLEM! We were already drinking!
I don't have the words to even describe how it felt to finish my first Marathon. There was no doubt that I would do it, but while I was out there in that heat, it felt like the hardest thing I had ever undertaken! I was so glad to have Colleen there with me to push me, and to experience it with me! Over 5400 people did not finish the Marathon, and there were 2 reported fatalities. Marathons are no joke, and so many people did not properly train. Disney may be a family park, but racing is hard work, and you need to be prepared!
I am also glad that I ran Disney. I am totally signing up for Princess 2014, to run the Half!
Have you ever run Disney???
One last picture! I updated my Achievement Board after Disney, and the colors are really popping! If you want one of these and are not artistic, I can make you one of your own for $20. Just email me with your choice for a center picture and I can make you one of your very own!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, or to ask any questions you may have!