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Walt Disney World Marathon - RunMarathon

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Orlando, Florida
United States
Walt Disney World Endurance Sports
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 12m 46s
Overall Rank = 1731/20679
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 239/1347
Pre-race routine:

Stayed up to watch Packers game until half-time (turns out I saw the best part) then tried to sleep. I had a really rough time falling asleep. Finally drifted off about midnight...and in a blink it was time for my 2:30 wake up call. Thought I would be a mess with so little sleep, but I never felt it. Maybe sleep is overrated. Got up took a quick shower, had my morning constitution and then had two bagels and a banana before headed off to bus. Headed over to Epcot to the start and had a nice conversation with a guy on the bus. I have to say one of the nice things about this weekend was being around some many runners. Every bus ride, I met someone new and had a nice conversation with them. As fellow runners we just get each other. Ride to Epcot took a little longer than the day before and when I got there they had already called my wave to start the 20 min walk to the corral. Because I wanted to be toward the front of the corral, I high-tailed it toward the corrals as soon as I got there. For both days, one of the first things that caught my attention was the sheer numbers of people lined up peeing in/near the trees that lined the road we were walking on. Both men and women, many with very little modesty. Got to my corral about 20 min before my start and tried to get myself a little closer to the front. Found a spot a little bit in front of 4:15 pacer and sat down. I had a banana about 40 min before race start and some clif shots 30 min and 15 before start time. After all the pre-race festivities (including an interview with Joey Fattone, who was in my wave), the fireworks went off and we on our way at about 5:35.
Event warmup:

Just the walk to the corral...and the 1/2 marathon the day before, and the 5k the day before that.
  • 4h 12m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 39s  min/mile

Wasn't sure what to expect with running the 1/2 the day before and the warm temps, so I figured I would be happy with anything between 4hrs and 4.5 hour finish. So I decided to start out just in front of the 4:15 pace group and see where I was at 1/2 way. The first 6 miles were familiar territory from the 1/2 the day before. Went out at a very steady, easy pace. I was relieved that legs didn't feel sore or tight from the day before. First few miles I was within earshot of the 4:15 pacer, but then picked it up a little and put some space between the group and myself. At mile 6 hit the Magic Kingdom, which at 6 something in the morning (still dark) lived up to its name with everything lit up and a huge crowd lining main street again. Stopped for a picture in front of the castle again, but the photographer was irritated with the runners not going in the exact spot and that kind of ruined 'the magic' (in my picture I am not smiling). We ran on service roads for a few miles and then entered the Richard Petty Experience Race track. This was cool, but I was now 'experiencing' the need to use a 'pit stop' of my own. I had never gone to the bathroom in the middle of a race. However, I had been very diligent with my hydrating, getting water at nearly every aid station, plus some sips from my fuel belt. So I made the decision to use a porta-potty. I got in and out pretty quick (my wife would be shocked), but then I decided to wash my hands. They had a a little sink with soap outside the porta-potty, except after I put on soap, I realized there was no water. So I pulled one of my fuel bottles out, rinsed the soap and I was good to that I had went. Only problem is I lost about 2 minutes and saw that the 4:15 group was just out in front of me. So I decided to hit the speed button for a bit. Mile 9 my pace was about 8:20 and mile ten about 8:50. After that I decided to reel it back in for a while. Plus I wasn't planning on any more stopping. About mile 12 we entered into the back of Animal Kindom. As we entered the park, some of the staff had some animals. There were birds of prey and a goat and...then I saw them: two Donkeys!! I really had no choice, I stopped over and asked one of the handlers to take my picture with a Donkey and less than 30 seconds, I was off. This was a fun park to go through, as I was feeling really good. In fact I continued to feel really good. I continued to get water at every aid station, took my enduralytes and shot bloks on schedule (enuralytes every hour, shot bloks every 45 min. At 15 (and again at 20) they had aid stations with bananas and I took one at each station. At mile 15 I gave myself permission to pick up the pace. The sun was getting hotter and there were a few more 'hills' (overpasses) At mile 17 there was a bit of an incline up to ESPN Wide World of Sports. I passed quite a few people who were starting to fade. We ran a few miles around the various sports fields. After mile 19 I looked down at my watch and realized that my pace had slipped a little. At mile 20 we went into the baseball stadium where there was lots of cheering fans and you appeared on the jumbo tron. I wasn't really crazy about this part because we were on the warning track made of crushed gravel. Things were still feeling ok and I saw I had an outside chance of finishing in 4 hours. By this point I was baking pretty good and there was no shade in sight. My pace was slowing a bit each mile. No big drop off, but I was feeling 'it'. Whatever 'it' was. Miles 22 and 23 took us through Hollywood studios. I really wanted to enjoy this part, but things were getting tough. Then I entered an attraction I had not noticed on the map, the "pain cave." However I have to say, as pain caves go, this one was relatively mild. I also tried to tell myself to enjoy these last miles as this was my reward for all those wintery training miles I had put in. To this point I had not walked a step in the race, but I decided to walk the aid stations at miles 24 and 25. Mile 25 was the toughest (it usually is) with a 'you call that running?' pace of 10:58. Then it was into Epcot for the 3rd race in 3 days. With the finish calling me, I picked up a little and tried to soak it all in. I finally crossed the finish line, exhausted, but plenty happy with results of the weekend. I got my medals, got my finisher photo, got some food and found a place to sit down in the shade. Then my tummy got angry with me...real angry. So I staggered over to a trash can and threw up. (Don't worry I took my medals off). Then I laid down on the ground and slept it off like some drunken street person. As I finally felt good enough to stand up again, I thought, this was great, I would like to do it again next year...
What would you do differently?:

First, lets start with what I did right:
Followed coach Dave's plan. The back to back long runs in training paid off.
Took the the 5k and 1/2 very easy, even though I was tempted to go fast.
Walked around the parks between races with compression sleeves.

Just enjoyed the event and didn't get too hung up on the results.

What needs improvement:
Proper sleep. I never could figure out the early morning wake up calls (2:30) and went to bed too late.
Powerade. Took it to fend off the effects of sun and sweat, but I had never trained with it. Also I took my own in my fuel belt which was not as diluted as the stuff on the course. I think this may have contributed to my stomach upset.
Post race
Warm down:

see above for laying down post race

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don't know running a 1/2 marathon and a 5k the days before and racing in temps that were 30-40 degrees warmer than my training runs.

Event comments:

Really you can't beat this race for entertainment value. Disney does an amazing job considering the number of people that do this race. Only disappointment is post race food, although I wasn't really in the mood anyway. I would highly recommend this race to anyone.

Last updated: 2012-10-29 12:00 AM
04:12:46 | 26.2 miles | 09m 39s  min/mile
Age Group: 239/1347
Overall: 1731/20679
Performance: Good
Course: through all four parks and the Richard Petty experience race track and the ESPN wide world of sports complex and various service roads
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?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-01-23 8:58 AM

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Delafield, Wisconsin
Subject: Walt Disney World Marathon

2013-01-23 10:00 AM
in reply to: #4590822

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West Allis, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon
EEEAAAAWWWWsome job out there donkeyweb!!!!  you put in a boatload of miles this year and worked your tail off!  looking forward to 2013 and big things mister!
2013-01-27 8:27 AM
in reply to: #4590822

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Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

Good job out there Jim - looks like a tough weekend that you had a good plan for and held it together pretty well.

I'm jealous that you hit one of my goals - throwing up at a race.

Keep up the good work.

2013-02-03 7:55 AM
in reply to: #4590822

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Milwaukee, WI
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon

I read the 1/2 and full marathon race reports. Sounds like a great weekend. Nice job sticking with the plan. Thanks for sharing the experience.



2013-02-04 2:44 PM
in reply to: #4590822

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon
AWESOME JOB DONK!!  Great race report and congrats on a great weekend.
2013-02-08 11:24 PM
in reply to: #4590822

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Walt Disney World Marathon
Nice write-up Smile I like how runners are willing to share all the gory details. 

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