Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Walt Disney World Marathon Race Report

Thursday morning, January 10th, my alarm went off at 3:30 am. I got up and got ready, finished packing, grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the airport. I still haven't figured out the timing to the airport with the new toll road, but let's just say I got to the airport early for my flight. It actually worked out well. Originally I was not scheduled to fly out with the other members of the TNT team, but as I was checking in I saw several of them. Their flight was leaving about an hour ahead of mine, so I checked to see if I could get on the earlier flight. There was room and I was on. This worked out well, because my friend Brandi (who I would be staying with) was on a different airline and was originally scheduled to get into Orlando about 40 minutes ahead of me. With me on the earlier flight, I would now get in about 20 minutes ahead of her. I felt like I was on the amazing race - everyone headed to the same destination on different flights trying to get there the fastest.

After landing, I headed down to get my luggage only to learn 30 minutes later that because it had the hotel tag on there, that it would be delivered for me. Brandi was finding out the same thing at the same time, so we got in line for transportation to the hotel. When we checked in Brandi played twister on the big board at Pop Century and we grabbed a bite to eat while waiting for my parents' flight to arrive. Once they got in we headed to the expo to get our bibs and chip and any marathon merchandise we wanted. After a quick trip back to the room, we caught a bus to Magic Kingdom and spent the next few hours riding rides until the park closed.

Friday morning we got up fairly early, ate breakfast and headed off to Animal Kingdom. We did the Safari ride, Mount Everest, and a few other good rides before heading over to Epcot for the Team in Training pasta party. While Brandi and I were at that, mom and dad ate lunch and explored Epcot. Then we headed back to Magic Kingdom for a couple of the rides we had missed Thursday night. And then it was off the MGM Hollywood Studios for the Tower of Terror and then the Fantasmic Light Show. After the show we headed back to Epcot where Disney magical hours would keep the park open until midnight. And we stayed until midnight, too. My mom wore her pedometer (which is not entirely acurate) and at the end of the day it said 16.5 miles. It was a busy day!!!

Saturday we slept until we woke up and then had a yummy waffle breakfast at the hotel before heading to Downtown Disney for some shopping. By lunch we were back at the hotel. I spent a couple of hours by the pool reading my book and relaxing. About 3:30 we headed back to the expo for some last minute purchases and then ate at the cafe right outside. Then it was back to the hotel to lay everything out and go to bed. I think we were in bed by 8:30.

Sunday morning the alarm went off at 2:30 am. Yes, you read that right. Disney requires that all runners be at the race site by 4:00 am for the 6:00 am start. We got up, got dressed and made sure we had everything. I headed to the restaurant to get some hot water so I could make and eat my oatmeal and everyone else met me in the lobby at 3:30 to catch the bus.

When we got to the race site it was relatively warm. Not really warm, but I think it was 100% humidity which made it feel warmer. Then it seemed like heavy mist and started getting a little colder, but nothing like we had two years ago. We hung around until time to check our bags and head to our coral. We got to the start line with about 30 minutes to go. And then we were off.

This was the third year that Brandi and I have done Disney. The first year, she was on track to stay with me, but had to peel off early to go to the bathroom. I was going for time that year and wasn't going to stop and wait. Last year we did the Goofy challenge and had plans to stay together, but she was hurt (tendonitis and stress fracture) and was afraid she would be so slow we would get swept. After heading through the castle, she told me to go on. So this was the year that we said we would stay together. And we did. We also stopped at every mile marker to take a picture and we stopped any time we saw characters along the way to take pictures with them.

We did pretty good keeping a decent pace for the first ten miles. Then came the first bathroom break and Magic Kingdom. There were several characters in Magic Kingdom and our time really slowed. After leaving Magic Kingdom our time picked up again until we got to Animal Kingdom and then it slowed again. Brandi's knee started hurting at this point and the sun was poking out making my exercise induced asthma act up so we did more walking and less running at this point. We didn't care what our time was. We wanted to have fun.

There is an out and back from just before mile 20 to about mile 21.25. It's mentally brutal. And it was hot. We walked. Then we ran some more to get to MGM and then slowed again for pictures. And then it was back to Epcot, past the hallalujah choir and to the finish line. We crossed in 5:57:16, which I think is my slowest marathon ever, but we stuck together the whole time and crossed the finish line together. That was our goal. The good thing is that I was not really sore after the marathon and didn't have the "marathon limp" so many people have after a marathon.

After finishing, we headed to the TNT tent to check on our participants and see who had finished and who was still on the course. We hung around for a while and then had our finisher pictures made with Mickey and Minnie. Then we sat and waited for my parents. This was their first marathon (and last according to both of them) and they were walking. They knew their pace would be close to the 7 hour cutoff. And right at 7 hours, they crossed the finish line. Their official time: 7:00:03. We got their finisher pictures taken and then caught the bus back to the hotel. As soon as we got inside and were getting some food, the skies let loose. I'm just glad the rain held off until my parents were done.

After eating and showering, Brandi and I headed back to Downtown Disney for some last minute shopping. Then we packed and watched tv until we crashed. Monday morning Brandi and I had to head over to another hotel where we would take a TNT coach clinic so that we could be certified to coach for TNT. I was expecting some cheesy speaker. Wrong!!! TNT does it right. We had Jack Daniels (not the whiskey). He is a very notable run coach. He even gave us all signed copies of his book. And we also heard from Nancy Clark, who is a well known sports nutritionist. It was a great clinic.

Then we headed back to the airport where my plane was delayed by 30 minutes. I only had an hour layover in Dallas to catch my flight home so I was afraid I would miss my flight. But, I made it. I got home and in bed around 11:30 pm Monday night. This morning it was up early and back to the daily grind. I went to yoga tonight to stretch out those muscles and it felt great. I may take another day or two off from running and then see how I feel.

If you want to see the rest of the pictures (and there are lots), let me know. I will try to download them to Kodak Gallery and can send you and email link.

Official results: 5:57:16
5 mile split: 59:49
10 mile split: 2:01:23
1/2 marathon split: 2:43:13
20 mile split: 4:23:23
0verall: 9564
Female place: 4123
Division place: 824

Garmin splits (you can tell when we entered the parks)

Mile 1: 11:14
Mile 2: 11:22
Mile 3: 11:56
Mile 4: 12:46
Mile 5: 12:28
Mile 6: 11:24
Mile 7: 12:00
Mile 8: 12:11
Mile 9: 11:34
Mile 10: 14:23
Mile 11: 16:18
Mile 12: 12:13
Mile 13: 12:00
Mile 14: 12:59
Mile 15: 12:47
Mile 16: 14:17
Mile 17: 14:53
Mile 18: 14:25
Mile 19: 14:03
Mile 20: 18:00
Mile 21: 14:21
Mile 22: 13:51
Mile 23: 16:40
Miles 24, 25, 26 and .2: 49:04 (I forgot to hit the split button after mile 23)


Cortney said...

Looks like ya'll had fun.

Your mom and dad are too cute! They prayed in church that they would survive the walk. :)

Good job.

Shauna said...

I love it! That looks like so much fun! I'd love to see all the picture--if you get them uploaded somewhere, please let me know. Thanks for sharing!

Grandma J said...

Wow! I can only imagine your kids jealously kicking in! How did you manage a full week in Orlando whithout them?
Congratulations on all you do and all the marathons you run for the cure. Special kudos to your parents!!! That is awesome.
The Tower of Terror at California Adventure is Andrew's favorite ride. Last year he was stoked that he was tall enough to go on it and told everyone who would listen.

Shauna said...

I just realized I didn't answer the question you left on my blog. I'm training for the Ogden, Utah marathon that I ran last year. It's in May and is a BEAUTIFUL course. I would highly recommend it if you have a hankering for a Utah marathon!

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

Go Girl!! Awesome run!
I am going to try to run the SF Nike next Oct....the 1/2 though...my neck wouldn't take the whole...and maybe not the 1/2.

Thanks for posting your splits and all the photos. Great job!

Cindy said...

I am registered to run the 2009 marathon at Disney World. Looking VERY forward to the experience but I am such a planner and there are so many questions that I wonder about. Such as, you mentioned your bags being searched; what did you carry with you in your bags? What did you do about clothing? I have read something about wearing disposble clothes that you can peal off as the day warms is that the case in Orlando? Do the aid stations offer food as well as liquids along the run route?
Thank you so much!

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