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Walt Disney World Marathon - RunMarathon

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Orlando, Florida
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 19m 2s
Overall Rank = 299/14928
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 39/
Pre-race routine:

The usual Disney routine...get up early at 0400, curse the day I ever decided to do marathons, and then suck it up and get ready to go!
Event warmup:

There's so much walking involved on Disney race morning. Brian dropped me off at the event venue and I walked into the staging area. Brian went to park and I met up with a few other BTers. Soon, it was time to walk down to the corrals.
  • 3h 19m 2s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 36s  min/mile

Well...another Disney Marathon down. It was HUMID!!

The start, being up front, wasn't too crowded. We started off amid the usual fireworks and fun. I ran comfortably, but not too slowly. I needed to see how fast I could go. I had previously thought I'd be able to go 3:05 to 3:10 on this day, but I was running SO much in the weeks previous that I just didn't know what I had left in me. I didn't FEEL a 3:10. So I just went to see what I could do. I knew my last Disney was a 3:43 and I could definitely beat that. A 3:15 would be a BQ race, so I figured I'd just shoot for that and if it happened, great.

By Mile 1, I was sweating. I had plenty of gels with me, but I could feel that I'd be pushing it. Disney is a hit-or-miss race with temps. Today, it was a and humid. I knew it wouldn't end happily by the time I got to Mile 3 and was in desparate need of water. We hadn't even cleared Epcot yet! I was glad to get water when I needed it.

I was looking forward to seeing Brian at the Mile 9 checkpoint over by the Polynesian, so I let that drive me. Miles 5, 6, 7, and 8 were pretty easy, but I didn't feel that kinda worried me. At Mile 8 (like I do every year) I look at the side of the road and I remember how I overcame that nasty cramp only 8 miles into my first marathon. That made me feel a bit better. As we crossed the Magic Kingdom outer parking lot, I made my way past all the speakers playing country music (you could go left for country, and right for rock). I figured I'd see Bri soon. Alas, when I got to Mile 9, it was so crowded I couldn't make him out, and I was running a low 7 minute pace at the time. I had no idea which side he'd be on so I just went on. It was a bummer but with so many people out there, it's hard to see.

We ran thru the Magic Kingdom. I'm always amazed at the crowds on Main Street. This time it was way foggy but they were all out there in force once again. It's a big boost. We ran thru Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and thru the castle, it's always slippery in there, and I always see someone lose their footing. Today was no exception. I came thru the castle, smiled for the cameras and went on my way thru Liberty Square and Frontierland. Things were good. It gets boring after the Kingdom when we're running on Floridian Way, but I knew Brian would probably be out there at Mile 13...I'd be able to see him this time.

I did! He was right there cheering for me...we slapped hands, he told me I was awesome, and I went on my way down towards Animal Kingdom. I always dread this part. The run in the park isn't too bad, but after it...UGH. As usual, I flew thru Animal Kingdom, smiling for a few shots along the way. But as we got out into the parking lot, I could feel my body starting to yell at me. My legs needed a boost. I took TWO gels here. I figured I'd need 'em. I think it was my smartest move all day. As we ran out onto Osceola Parkway...the bleak, white, concrete, road of nothingness, I remembered being in awful pain here in my first Disney Marathon in 2005. I was feeling BY FAR better now, but this was still my least favorite part of the race. I just put my head down and ran so I could get thru it. Mile 19 and 20 came and went, and soon I was at Mile 21. THERE WAS BEER!!! YAY!! I took a cup and went on my way. I still felt okay but I knew I was slowing down. Here's where I looked at my watch and knew I wouldn't have a 3:10...I was pretty sure I'd not be able to hit 3:15 either, my pace was too the low 8's now. I knew the mile between markers 21 and 22 was a tough one. The funny thing was, I was still passing people, as I had been doing throughout the race so far. The run along World Drive after the entrance ramp was painful. I really wanted to walk. I saw a guy in a Superman costume walking...I saw another guy, who looked to be an elite athlete...walking...limping. I ran past and drew a bit of power from knowing even the big guys have bad days. Soon, after a seemingly slow climb up an exit ramp towards Buena Vista Drive, I was entering the back of Hollywood Studios. This is my least favorite park, and it sucks that it's at the end of the run, cuz I just wanted it to be done at that point. I passed Mile 23, took a gel and some water, and just slogged on once again. Slower still, I was trying to just make my way to the finish. I was definitely sure my 3:15 was out. Now I just did some of my usual Ironman math and figured I could get a 3:20 if I could just stay with it.

Miraculously, at the Mile 24 mark, I saw Brian again! It made me feel really great that he got to that point and was on his way to the finish! I knew I'd be done in about 18 minutes and that's about how long I had to get that 3:20. I pushed as hard as I could but during the run through the Boardwalk and Yacht/Beach Club, I really started to stiffen up. Mile 25 was coming up soon and I really needed water, but there was none available. I was scared I'd cramp up and have to walk. I just prayed that I'd keep it together. I ran thru Epcot and ran past Mouse Gear, and thought (as I usually do on race day) of all the fun times when I worked there. That kept my mind off the pain. Soon, I was running past Spaceship Earth and there was the choir, right on cue! Only a minute to go...and I was at 3:18!! I had surprised myself! I actually ran faster than I thought!

I crossed the finish line at 3:19:02. I was glad to be done and I immediately started wondering why it is that Disney always kicks my butt.
What would you do differently?:

I think better planning and nutrition plan are in order for 2010.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a bit, got some water, and found Bri. We sat around for a bit so I could relax and stop sweating. Then we headed out.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Humidity for sure. Probably some nutritional issues and hydration mishaps as well.

Event comments:

Disney of course puts on a huge race...I don't think it's "THE BEST"...they really have cut alot out in recent years...and it's expensive for what you get. But there's nothing like running thru all four Disney parks, which is why I do this race every year.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-10-13 12:00 AM
03:19:02 | 26.2 miles | 07m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 39/
Overall: 299/14928
Performance: Average
Course: Thru all four parks and a bunch of boring roads!
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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] 4

2009-11-17 2:30 PM

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Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: Walt Disney World Marathon
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