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Walt Disney World Marathon - RunMarathon

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Orlando, Florida
United States
55F / 13C
Total Time = 6h 47m 19s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Let the fun begin.

Got to bed later than I wanted...around 9:30, then woke up every 20 minutes until 12:00 when I stayed awake. A car alarm went off at up to make sure it was not ours and couldn't go back to sleep. Alarm goes off at 1:45.

Plan A--We leave at 2:15 and go to McDonalds...Speaker Head says "we don't serve breakfast until 3:00".

Plan B-- (I always have a Plan B)...Go to Denny's. Seated at 2:35....chirp...chirp....get up and leave at 2:55 ...(really there was only 1 other family there and 3 servers but they NEVER came to the TABLE...WTF)

Plan C--(Usually have a Plan C)...Go to another McDonalds...since it is 3:00 they will serve breakfast, right?....not so fast. Speaker Head says...and I quote.."we can't serve you now"...I ask why...he replys "WE ARE CLOSED FOR 20 MINUTED...PLEASE LEAVE NOW"...OK really...WTF

Plan D--(I don't usually have a need for a Plan D)...Decide to take a gamble and stop in a store to see what they might have...SCORE. Buy some bagles, peanut butter, water and fruit. Who knew that the next big pre-race breakfast HOT Spot is.......wait for it......Walgreens Drug Store.

Head to the park to get into the traffic line (that we were told would be at LEAST 1 hour)....we are in the parking space eating a bagle in 18 minutes. Cool. Dr. GoodHands sleeps while I go scope out the area and we head to the porta potties about 5:00 and walk to the starting line and are in place by 5;30 for a 5:50 start.
Event warmup:

Walked the .6 miles from the group lot to the starting line
  • 6h 47m 19s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 33s  min/mile

I read many, many race reports about this and other marathons and the common thread among those that bonked was that they didn't stick to the "plan". Almost always this led to disaster. My job was to stick to our plan...the "Upright and Ambulatory" Plan. We had NO time goals and to finish healthy was our only focus...that was my job to get us BOTH there. It worked perfectly.

Miles 1-10 went by easily and we were using a run/walk split of 4/1. The weather was nice and cool but not cold. At about mile 12 we picked up a 3rd to our party (Cathy) who was having some ITB issues and wanted to run/walk with someone...this worked out GREAT. This allowed us to keep a focus on something besides ourselves and our pain and was a very positive distraction. We went to 3/1 about mile 14 and maintained that through mile 18. Mile 19 was tough for the good Dr. and Cathy so I dropped the pace to 2/1 for a while so that Cathy could ease up a bit and Dr. GH could deal with some GI issues.

The Dr. had gotten friends and family to pick a mile to think about her and those miles that were not picked she "assigned" a friend. She put these on a list and had them with her. At each mile marker I would ask her "who is next"? She would check the list and begin thinking about that person and this helped a GREAT DEAL to get us through the miles. At mile 24 Cathy said she was going to walk on in so we went on at about a 2/2 pace and we were able to finish VERY STRONG. Crossed the line and got our medal and felt awesome.

I have been very fortunate to have done some very neat things in my 56 years on this earth but outside of the Fire Department stuff and getting married/having kids things....this tops them all. Not just the race but the entire process of the training and the responsibility to get someone else trained and across the finish line. I am so proud of this accomplishment, especially at this stage in my life. And thank you to all of the BT folks that helped me get there mentally and emotionally.
What would you do differently?:

I don't believe I would do anything differently for my first race. This was about BOTH Dr. GH and I finishing...nothing more...and we accomplished that.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around and put some ice on the lower back that had tightened up a LOT around mile 10. It is so amazing how much pain adrenalin will mask. Ate some fruit, drank some Coke and had pictures takes.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing besides being old and slow. But who cares. I will do another one of these and will train and shoot for a time goal. When that happens I will worry about limiters and try to train for then to be minimized...but for this race...not a factor.

Event comments:

It is frickin DISNEY. They can put on a show. I would HIGHLY recommend this as a first marathon for anyone. Great destination, great course, great weather and organization...what more can you ask for for a Virgin Mary ;)

Several people were talking in our coral about this race being so HUGE...22,000. We do the Peachtree RR in Atlanta on July 4th with 55,000 close friends so this was big but not overcrowded.

Last updated: 2008-09-29 12:00 AM
06:47:19 | 26.2 miles | 15m 33s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Loop through and around Disney World. Starting at Epcot and ending back there. Nice and flat and cool at the start hot at the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-01-14 11:34 AM

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Suwanee, Ga.
Subject: Walt Disney World Marathon

2009-01-14 11:59 AM
in reply to: #1907107

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Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

Great Race Report!!!  I am soooooo proud of you for crossing the finish line of your first mary, awesome!  Loved the part about the assigned miles!  I've got to remember that one.

WTF was up with the food issues?  Geez, next year i think a picnic basket would suit you well  

Congrats again, well done!!!!

2009-01-14 12:35 PM
in reply to: #1907107

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Liverpool, New York
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

Awesome Report Steve! 

Congratulations on your first Marathon!  You ROCK!  You worked hard, you had a plan - you stuck with it and you DID it!

now, go get your azz in the pool!


2009-01-14 12:37 PM
in reply to: #1907107

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

Congratulations! You've accomplished one of those things that no one will be able to take away from you! I am sure that the sensation of crossing the finish line is a memory for life.

Thanks for emphasizing the improtance of sticking with the plan!

2009-01-14 3:19 PM
in reply to: #1907107

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon
Steve!! Congratulations on an amazing first marathon! I knew you'd be great, but I'm still so excited that you obviously had a fantastic race.

Now enjoy your recovery!
2009-01-14 3:39 PM
in reply to: #1907107

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Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon
Congratulations !

2009-01-14 6:05 PM
in reply to: #1907107

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

I am so proud of you!!  Looks like your running partner came up with her own version of a mantra and it had great meaning.  Good idea.

I have an idea of what you could have done differently, buy breakfast the night before!

Rest up.  You have another event to plan.


2009-01-14 7:19 PM
in reply to: #1907107

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon


You are so awesome. In training and racing, you've done a life-changing thing, and nobody can every take this away from you.

You trained the plan, and you did an excellent race plan, adjusting when necessary. Congrats on getting over the finish line in TRIUMPH!!!

2009-01-15 8:27 AM
in reply to: #1907107

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Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

Great're very funny..loved your 'upright & mobile' plan!

Congratulations on a great race for you, Dr GH and the tag-along...sounds like you made all the right decisions out there!!

2009-01-15 2:57 PM
in reply to: #1909118

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Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon
Enjoyed your race report. You did fantastic. I really like the way you think about others. That is pretty rare out there on the race course.

2009-01-15 8:56 PM
in reply to: #1907107

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Richmond, VA
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

Congrast on the great race.  2nd the love of the "Upright and Ambulatory" plan! 


2009-01-16 6:56 PM
in reply to: #1907107

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Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

Good report and good race!  Unbeivable your breakfast plans.  lol


2009-01-16 9:13 PM
in reply to: #1907107

Extreme Veteran
Northbridge, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

Great job!!!  I always bring my own breakfast!! Congrats on finishing your first marathon!!


I love Disney and have done the full twice, the half once and the Disneyland Half twice.  We are going Goofy in 2010!!  (Doing the Half (Donald Medal) on Saturday, Doing the full on Sunday (Mickey Medal) and getting the extra medal (Goofy) for doing both.  Hope to see you there!!

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