Friday, January 21, 2011

Running, running, running!

My husband and I talk a lot about how we'll plan out our future (as if you hadn't noticed that by my Celebration post).

Tonight though, we started a different type of planning: race planning.

After the half marathon, we're both hooked.  We're looking for more races and hoping to make it down in January for next year's race.  With a 1 year old, training for a whole is just not possible, so the full marathon is currently out of the question.  But, I'm curious.

My plan - after we're done having children and they're old enough to entertain themselves, I want to do the full.  I told Adam and he decided that he would run it with me (what?!?!?!).

And then came the most shocking of statements:
"Well, if we're going to do the full, we might as well do Goofy"

Yes, ladies and gentlemen.  We're planning to do the Goofy Challenge.

In 2017.

Now, about the 2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon...

Our alarm was set for 2:15 a.m. on race day - early enough to wake up a little while getting dressed and heading to the EPCOT parking lot.  I'd read several things about it getting crowded quickly, and instead of being stressed and dealing with traffic, we left our villa at Windor Hills by 3 am.
Before we left
Gatorade and Clif bars in our bags, we made it with no problem and parked in the 2nd row.
Before anyone else was around - Spaceship Earth in the background!
They had music blaring, and eventually people starting coming in - buses started bringing people in at 3, so we weren't alone for long.  We met up with my college friends, Ruth and Katrina - Ruth ran with us, Katrina watching. We stood around talking, listening to them tell about the Disney Heroes Race in Iraq, and continuously getting psyched for the race.  Luckily, it was just under 50 degrees, which is about the temperature we ran in - 50 with sunshine.  MUCH better than the races in 2010!

Before we headed to our corrals, we met up with the WDW Radio Running Team.  Mingled, had some nice (light - it was 4 a.m.) conversation, and took a few pictures with the team.  A few were there to cheer us on (including Lou and Deanna Mongello, and Valerie Drew who helped organize this team as well as Mary Jo Collins from afar), and there were several other racers (including at least 1 Goofy!).  It was nice to be part of the team and special to run for a great cause!

Shortly after the picture, we headed towards our corrals, maybe a 10 minute walk away.  We hit the port-o-potties one last time before the start, then Adam and I headed towards Corral D and Ruth walked to Corral G.

Once you're in the corrals (approximately 5 a.m.), you get comfortable, stretch, and wait, and listen to the DJ play great music.  Around 5:30, they started with the Wheel Chair race - giving them a few minutes before letting Corral A out in full force.  Corrals are assigned based on speed, but showing that we were in Corral D, I think some of it is based on when you sign up.

Every corral start, they had announcements, a gun shot, and fireworks.  Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy were there cheering us on as we crossed the start line - setting off our official times as recorded by our D tag (a computer chip on a piece of plastic we attach to our shoe laces).

Adam and I ran our first mile together, but than I stopped for my standard 1 minute walk and he took off.  Starting early on, there were local high school bands playing for us in the dark.  We ran towards the Ticket and Transportation Center first, with the Richard Petty Driving Experience on our left.  Around mile 2-3 is when I realized I was going to have to take a port-o-pottie break.  That wasn't part of my plan, but I accepted it, paused my watch, and found a "short" line.  2 minutes later, I was back on the road heading toward the MAGIC KINGDOM!

Around mile 6, we entered the back stage area of the Magic Kingdom and ran down Main Street, U.S.A. with crowds of people cheering us on.  Through Tomorrowland, the characters were much more frequent and I decided it was time to start taking pictures.  I mean, I couldn't miss up a chance to meet Alice in Wonderland, could I?
Nor could I miss Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen... and Louie!!

After we ran through Fantasyland, we ran thru Cinderella Castle, and headed back out the park.  Honestly, after taking my picture in front of Cinderella Castle, I don't actually remember where we ran.. Adam thinks Adventure Land?  Yup, it's a blur!
Somewhere near a resort, I met Mary Poppins, Burt, and a Penguin!
We left the MK and headed back towards EPCOT.  Not the most exciting part of our run, but I had my playlist keeping me pumped.  Around mile 7, I had Don't Stop Believing (the Journey version, not my clarinet quartet version) and Bon Jovi to help me get motivated, as well as some 10+ year old rap tunes.. the good stuff!

Back towards EPCOT, there are 2 separate off ramps to run up and around.  Not the most fun, but nearing the top of one of them, I met an Army man, who I felt the need to take a picture with.

After that, we were nearing EPCOT.  We ran in passing Test Track, headed towards the World Showcase, around the Christmas Tree, and back out of the park to finish.

I finished in 2:45, not bad considering all of my stops.  And, being the only time I had ever completed 13.1 miles (13.3 according to my watch!), I most definitely set a new personal record!

We're headed back in January.   Are you?


  1. Interesting Story, and good run considering all the stops you took. I could just see you telling your husband "Oh, look it's Mary Poppins... let's stop and take a picture!".

    What they should do next year is have all seven dwarfs out on the racing track to slow people down so they take a picture with each.

    As for 2017, I have no doubt you two will be ready! ^^

  2. What a great race report! Among my favorite moments are the lounge singer (I got "Sweet Caroline") near Grand Floridian, Off Kilter and - of course - the gospel choir right before the finish.

    You sound as if you had a good race, and embraced all the Disney fun that goes with it. Kungaloosh!

  3. Josh - My husband ran ahead of me after the 1st mile! I had no one to worry about except myself, so I stopped on a whim!

    Debra- You must have been near my husband - he heard Sweet Caroline, too! I didn't get songs that pumped me up on the way, for the most part.. Off Kilter wasn't even playing when I ran by! The Gospel Choir was pretty cool - I had forgotten about them!! Thanks!

  4. Jenn - Thanks for sharing your story, this is very inspiring! Like you, with my three little ones, finding time to train for a full marathon is just impossible, but I have definitely started training for a 1/2 marathon. I would love to run a Disney marathong one day - what an amazing experience!

  5. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who plans ahead (real ahead)! Kudos to your goal of Goofy in 2017; heck, why not Dopey?! Me, I've declared "full marathon at 60" as my master scheme. Here's to us!!