I did it, I finished the 2013 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge, all 39.3 miles!
Disney really knows how to put on a race. One thing for sure is that the Walt Disney World Marathon is one of the best, most well run and fun marathons out there. END OF STORY!
The weekend started with a bit of a flurry Thursday night, my brain was spinning with everything I had to get done before I attempted to get a good nights sleep. My checklist included among other things, new music for my iPod, putting finishing touches on costumes and packing any little thing one might need when running not only a half marathon but also a full marathon! A big shout out goes to my wonderful boyfriend who was so helpful Thursday night.
Friday morning I caught an early flight out of LGA to head south. At the airport I met up with my running buddy Amanda and we headed to Disney’s Yacht Club Hotel. The hotel couldn’t have been better, located right near Epcot and across the water from the boardwalk! After checking in we headed to meet the rest of our group at the Disney’s Wide World of Sports Expo.
A crowded expo, but a great expo! Below is the crew for the weekend!
Friday night after the expo and dinner we turned in early to try to get some sleep. Disney races are notorious for early starts. Both Saturday and Sunday the races started at 5:30 AM!
For Saturdays half marathon we chose Minnie Mouse costumes. I loved my classic red and polka dot Minnie Mouse outfit!
After a long wait in line for the bathrooms we headed to our coral for the start. (I’ll get into more depth about the crowd situation in my half marathon review later this week.) For some reason I wasn’t nervous about the run before the race started, I kept telling myself “It’s only a half marathon”. Unfortunately it was a different experience once the race started. I think I felt so nervous about the full marathon that I stressed out about every little ache and pain during the 13.1 miles. Needless to say even at the slow pace we were running I found it difficult to find my zone.
It took me a very long time to warm up, but eventually around mile 10 my body started to relax and enjoyed the run. Our goal was to run somewhere between 2:20 and 2:30. We finished right on the nose at 2:25, stopping to take a couple of pictures along the way!
BEST place to carb load!!!!!
Saturday night was again an early night… I think I was asleep by 8:30. We planned to get up a 3 AM the next day to get to the race early to relax in the race retreat. Luckily since we ran such an easy pace in the half I was feeling pretty good and was much more optimistic about the full marathon by the time I went to bed.
All our costumes ready to go the night before:)
The next morning I was ready to rock! In my mind as long as I could make it to mile 16 I was going to be good.
Perfect Rapunzel hair!
I was so thankful that the marathon was much less crowded than the half. We were able to stay together for most of the race without fighting to stay on pace. The marathon started out SOOO much better for me than the half. Although, at around mile 10 I started thinking about how I should have rested my feet more the day before instead of traipsing around the parks waiting in lines!
Somewhere between miles 18 and 20 I started to feel really awesome. Just after mile 22 I left two of my friends to finish the race by myself. I was really looking forward to the last couple of miles through Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. It was during these miles that something happened… I got a “runners high”. Possibly the best one I’ve ever gotten. My feet stopped hurting and my breathing came easier. If you have never experienced this keep trying. It makes all the hard miles and early morning workout’s worth it.
Hands down the best running experience so far. Can you tell by my smile at mile 25? Yes, its true I even re-applied my lip gloss…
After the marathon we relaxed in the race retreat tent until we felt like going back to the hotel. At the hotel my poor little feet were throbbing. Still today, three days later my feet are swollen and I can’t fit them into any shoe but my boots or tennis shoes! Oh well, it was worth it!
Sunday night we enjoyed a few drinks around the world show case at Epcot and had a nice dinner in Italy. I’m so lucky to have great friends to travel and run races with.
Two great marathons in a row (check out my Atlantic City Marathon experience here), and with no major injury! I couldn’t have asked for a better marathon season.
What is your best race memory?