I did it, friends!
Check out that bling!
I had to a grab a celebratory drink, of course!
But let’s go back a bit.
I got all my gear out before heading to bed, made a list so I wouldn’t forget anything in the morning, and headed to bed a bit early.
Race day started with a 3:30am wake-up call (ouch).
I don’t even look awake in this picture, but I got everything together (including a bagel with peanut butter and banana) and boarded to the bus to Epcot. I stayed in a Walt Disney World hotel, so transportation to and from all things marathon was a cinch.
I got to race location, made the necessary bathroom pit stop, and headed to my corral. At that point, I only had to wait about half an hour before the race started, and luckily, it was a beautiful morning. I didn’t even need throwaway layers. Disney also had entertainment going pre-start to keep the energy up (or to wake us up!). The race got going, and I was amazed at the fireworks that shot off for every corral start!
Soon enough, I was on my way!
About 5 miles in, I was entering the majestic Magic Kingdom! My boyfriend was there to cheer me on in front of Cinderella’s Castle, which was breathtaking.
I rounded the bend into Tommorowland…
…and then headed into Fantasyland, where I snagged my first character pic.
T. I. Double ga. Er!
And Mickey and Minnie were on the other side of the castle!
Then we were out. The first 10 kilometers were over before I even knew it!
As I ran down the highway heading toward The Disney World Speedway, I stopped to say hello to Goofy…
…Pluto and some other Disney pups!
Then we were on to the Animal Kingdom, where I snagged some photo ops with these great peeps (and creatures).
I thought about being a villain…
…and then got my conscious cleared.
I stopped to see Minnie and Donald on Safari…
…and of course had to stop for Mickey!! He was waiting around mile 15, and after that, there weren’t any more characters until the home stretch! I’m talking about 8 or 9 miles sans picture opportunities. That was a little disappointing and made those miles pretty tough. I felt great through the whole first half of the race, but after that Mickey pic, things started getting a little difficult. My pace slowed, I started feeling a little pain in my feet, and mentally, I was starting to slip. I wish there had been some more characters to lift my spirits. We had the ESPN World of Sports to run through, but otherwise, it was a lot of highway mileage. My legs started burning around mile 21, but at that point, we were heading into Hollywood Studios. The cool surroundings and the amazing crowd lifted my spirits!
Soon enough, I only had a 5K to go. I saw Wreck it Ralph, and stopped to take a picture, but the camera guy must not have known how to use my phone. The picture didn’t get captured. Oh well, I only had 3 miles left!
Then 2 miles left!
I entered Epcot. 1 mile left! I passed the Hallelujah choir. I was mere meters away from the finish line! Minnie was awaiting my arrival. I gave her a huge high-five and crossed the finish line! My boyfriend was there to see the finish. I was tired, but so incredibly happy.
This marathon was such an incredible experience. Everything was so well organized, and the volunteers were wonderful. Getting to my corral was easy, water and fuel stations were in all the right places, bathrooms were never crowded, picturing taking was surprisingly quick, and there weren’t even crowds at the finish line! I got my medal, snack box, and found my boyfriend right away. It was amazing.
Crossing that finish line was one of the best feelings of my life, and it was also one of my greatest accomplishments. Thank you, RunDisney, for making my first marathon unforgettable.
Did you run in one (or all) of last weekend’s Disney races? What was your favorite moment? If you didn’t run, was the best moment of your first big race?