This past weekend I ran my third marathon. I also ran my third Walt Disney World Marathon. Amber and I did this one together. We did our first half marathon together and we completed the circle with the marathon.
I can honestly say I never really found my “giddy up” for this race. I was over the training and I really didn’t want to even do it. However, I did it anyways, and I’m officially retired from the marathon distance!
We got up at 0-dark thirty in the morning so that we could leave the room by 3:30am and be at the staging area by 4am. The first corral went off at 5:30am. To give you an idea at 5:30am it was 64 degrees with 95% humidity and 26,000 people standing around you. It was yucky! We found Megan’s dad and adopted him for most of the race. His power-walk was our interval speed and he was excellent company!
We were really hoping to do a 6:30:00 marathon since that would mean a PR for both of us. Around mile 2.5 it got REALLY crowded. So crowded in fact that we started walking. There was no point in running or run/walking because there was just a wall of people. We decided at this point to just go out there and have a stupid fun time!
For the first time in I don’t know how many Disney races I’ve done, we stopped for character photos. We didn’t stop at all of them. Some of them we just did selfies with from a distance cause we didn’t want to wait in line.
The run through magic kingdom is always my favorite part. I wish they would reverse the course so that you are in the boring parts at the beginning and the Magic Kingdom at the end! We got to run through New Fantasy Land which was a nice addition. We got through the Magic Kingdom and out onto the roads again. ANDDDD another brick wall of people. They took us down to 1 lane on the road and so everyone had to squeeze in and there was really no way to do much running unless you wanted to seriously weave. I’m all for getting around people but in a marathon that uses a TON of energy and we were only at mile 7 so we walked a bit.
I can honestly say the first 15 miles were fun! Even with the brick walls of people. We have a ton of other photos but they are hanging out on Amber’s phone and she’s been too lazy to post them!
It was around mile 15 that these women appeared on bikes and started telling us our buffer time. To which, I have decided they had absolutely no idea what they were saying. At mile 15 they said we had a 1.5 minute lead on the sweepers. SOOOO we kicked it into gear and started running. Entering ESPN (around mile 18) the same ladies reappeared and said we had 5 minutes on the sweeper ladies. SWEET we had made up time and were still going strong! At mile 20 they appeared again saying we had 2 minutes on the sweepers. HELLO Disney mindfuck! If we maintained our speed at mile 18 how did they gain 3 minutes on us in 3 miles? Either they didn’t know what they were saying or those sweeper ladies were going faster then their approved 16 minute mile.
At mile 21 I was just mentally done. Physically, I felt fine, but mentally I didn’t want to be doing it anymore. On the on-ramp towards hollywood Studios a police officer said “Maintain this speed and you won’t be swept. We are picking people up after this” I got excited but as a race director I know that he has NO IDEA WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT! Right after this is when I met the nice sweeper ladies. No I did not get swept. I kept right in front of them the whole time. They however, stayed about 50 feet apart for some reason.
We got into Hollywood studios and ANOTHER BRICK WALL. There was no way to run. It was just shuffling at this point and it was sad! However, my theory that if I couldn’t get through neither could the sweepers seemed valid at the time.
Thankfully, Amber and I made it to the Boardwalk and the sweep safety zone! At that point we started power walking and I was spent! We finished up through Epcot (where Amber got a beer) and made our way to the finish line!
I love Disney races but I can say that they are getting super crowded! I’m glad I did the race but I think I’ll stick with half marathons or below from now on.
Thanks for reading and have a Magical day!!