Walt Disney World Half Marathon

January 10, 2015

Even though my alarm woke me up and I didn’t let myself stay in bed too long, I’m moving a bit slower this morning so I’m running a little bit later than I want to be. I’m meeting John near the bag check tents so we can walk to the corral together and hang out while we wait. We are planning to run together as well.

I finally make it out the door just before 4 AM. John has texted me and is almost there as well. I’m at the mercy of the bus system though it is running very efficiently. The line is long but it is moving quite fast.

It’s another cold morning though not quite as cold as the last two days. And, the wind isn’t blowing. It is much more tolerable than the first morning and should make for very good run conditions. I’m wearing a running tank top and a pullover. I also have my gloves and my ear warmer headband. I can take my gloves and headband off if I get warm enough. They will tuck into my FlipBelt. I can tie my pullover around my waist if needed.

I finally make it to the bus drop off. I follow the stream of runners walking towards the entrance. I have no bag so I am able to go through the ‘no bag’ security entrance. I make way over to the bag check tents and find John. We both need to use the bathroom so we head through to the runner’s area and wait in line to use the porta-potties before we start walking to the corral.

Once we’re in our corral, there’s not much to do except wait. We chat and make friends with people around us. We also get to see the rocket launch this morning. It had been delayed because of the wind. We were standing there chatting about it and I looked up and pointed out a bright spot in the dark sky. We realized that was the rocket launch! It’s not every day you get to see one of those! Everyone was snapping pictures.

That little dot is the rocket!

That little dot is the rocket!

Once the first corral goes, we still have a good wait. We are in corral L; with about five minutes between corrals, we have some time to wait.

Nothing to do but wait...and take selfies.

Nothing to do but wait…and take selfies.

We’re finally in the start gate and it’s almost our turn to run. When the fireworks go off, we’re sent on our way. As we’re running, I almost run into a cameraman who is filming for the live stream. Literally in my first 20 seconds of running, I almost crash into someone! Crisis averted though!

John and I take our run at a comfortable pace. We are running 1/1 intervals and I am teaching John proper race etiquette. We are moving to the side before we walk and signaling to let runners behind us know that we’ll be slowing down. (Course map)

John isn’t too interested in stopping for character photos. We snap a couple here and there as we run/walk by but we don’t really stop for anything except my mile marker pictures. So far, I’ve gotten a picture at every mile marker during the 5k and 10k. My goal is to have selfies with all 48 mile markers.

The weather is great today. It is cool but the wind isn’t blowing so it’s perfect for our run. We make the turn out of the Magic Kingdom backlot and head down the single lane stretch. We are over to the side on the shoulder of the road. John is in the grass and I am running on the edge of the pavement. Another runner decided this was a good place to come barreling through and clipped my shoulder as he bull dozed his way by. It knocked me sideways and caused me to step off the pavement into the grass and I rolled my ankle. John and two other runners by me immediately asked if I was OK. We moved to the side and walked so I could make an assessment. I didn’t want to stop because I was scared it would start swelling. We kept moving and walked through a couple of intervals until the course opened back up. Once it opened back up, we started jogging again. My ankle feels OK but I fear it’s going to swell once I take my shoe off. I’ll ice it and wrap it once I get back to my room. It’s tender but it isn’t hurting. At this point, I’ll proceed with caution.

We make the turn heading towards EPCOT. We’re at mile 12 and the crowd is thicker. There are so many people leading into EPCOT and it’s so exciting and energizing to have random strangers cheering for you. We’re heading into EPCOT and one of the folks that I know from my gym; also named John; passes us. He’s running Goofy and tomorrow will be his first marathon. We share a quick few words. He seems to be doing OK though he’s said that he is tired. I tell him to take it easy as there’s still a lot of running to do. He darts off though. We’re so close to the end and I know there’s that feeling of “I just want to be done”.

We make our way around the loop by World Showcase and are heading towards Spaceship Earth. Once we pass Spaceship Earth, we leave the park and make a turn into the parking lot and head towards the finish line. It never gets old crossing the finish line. It’s so exciting to have some many people cheering.

13 mile markers and 13 selfies during the half marathon. So far, I'm making my goal!

13 mile markers and 13 selfies during the half marathon. So far, I’m making my goal!

We collect our medals and some water and Powerade and then make our way to the Dopey check tent. We still aren’t having to get pictures verified. The volunteers have told us that we will be verified tomorrow before we get our challenge medals.

We grab some food boxes and find a spot of pavement to sit. We finished the race in 2:56:49. This is not a PR for either of us but we had a great run today and we still have the longest race tomorrow. Mileage wise, we still aren’t halfway through our 48.6 miles.

After we eat and stretch a little, we say goodbye. I’m going to head back to my room and shower. Then I’m going to tape my ankle and put some ice on it. John is going back to his hotel and we’ve made plans to meet for dinner with a group of my other running friends at my hotel.

5k, 10k, and half marathon medals on my "medal rack" at the Art of Animation!

5k, 10k, and half marathon medals on my “medal rack” at the Art of Animation!

Three races and 22.4 miles down; one race and 26.2 miles to go.

Until tomorrow…gotta run!

This entry was posted in Disney World, Orlando, Race Recap, runDisney, running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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