WDW Marathon Weekend – The Dopey Challenge: The Marathon

28 Jan

Well…here it is!!! I had been looking forward to this day for at least a year and a half!!

 

Today there were no costume alterations — the weather was going to be more along the lines of what I’d expected the whole weekend to be! There was a slight chance of some rain, but…well, I’d deal with that if and when it happened!

Before bed on Saturday I had put my things together in my gear check bag so I’d be sure to have everything I needed, set the alarm and hit the sack!

Another early morning…another wait for the bus, another ride over to EPCOT and a quick stop at the Race Retreat before meeting up with my friends for a picture

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This was the early crowd…some of us, or, ME, wanted to get to the corral quickly!

 

and heading to the corral!

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With a thousand or so of our close friends…watching the runners in front of us moving up…

 

We waited for an hour again – at least this time we knew what to expect! Then it was go time!

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I had trained using 1:1 intervals and didn’t use them on Friday or Saturday. I wasn’t completely sure I would use them for the Full, but I had my timer set up, just in case…but I started out just taking it easy and guessing at my intervals.

Things were going really well, and I was kind of in a groove…keeping my eyes open for friends along the way. My big goals for today were to have enough cushion to ride Expedition Everest (about mile 12-13) and to not get swept!

That being said, it was a fairly uneventful first 5 miles…though it was kind of cool to see the earlier runners already heading through the Raceway (about Mile 9)

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These lucky people are already at mile 9!!

 

Running into the park “the back way” is kind of cool!

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The run up Main Street USA always takes my breath away! What’s really great is that the volunteers are always willing to take pictures! The gentleman who took mine insisted on the TAH DAH! pose!! 🙂

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And from the backside of the castle too!!

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Hello!!!

 

And then, entering Frontierland, I saw him…

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Me and Woody!!

 

It was really great that the next mile marker featured Toy Story too!!

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Finally we were winding our way out of our first park — some boring miles until we got to the Speedway…and the clouds seemed to be getting thicker and darker. Around mile 10, on the way to Animal Kingdom, we run past the ever popular Water Treatment facilities for Walt Disney World!

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We come into the back side of Animal Kingdom and part of the fun is the animals that they bring out to cheer us on!

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And then. There it was. The mountain I’d been focusing on all morning! And, I was going to make it!! Research had told me to go in the Single Rider line – apparently in prior years, the cast members were pretty cool about letting runners get on quickly from this line. Apparently that was prior years….so a few of us waited. It seemed like hours, but was probably only about 10 minutes! And then we were off!!  I got a great “selfie” of the girls behind me!!

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This was so much fun!!!

 

Once we jumped off, the cast member at the picture booth was yelling to remind us that our pictures were automatically captured on our MagicBands…

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You can kind of almost see a little bit of my shirt…in the back seat!!

 

 

As we ran out of the Animal Kingdom it started to rain. Not heavy rain at all…and it actually felt pretty good! We were now on our way up to the Wide World of Sports: ESPN. Now, here was an out and back section so I was REALLY keeping my eyes peeled for my friends who had started a couple of corrals ahead of me. The timing was about perfect so I figured I’d see someone!

And I did!!! As I was turning into the road up to ESPN I heard Angela and Karin calling me! Man oh man – was it wonderful to see them!! And of course there was a small bit of crying (I’m telling ya, this marathon thing is pretty emotional!) and then I knew that I was good for the next – LAST – 9 miles!

Up next, around miles 22-23 was Hollywood Studios! On the way there, I met up with 2 more friends and decided to hang with them the last few miles – until we got into the park and I saw Mike and Sully waiting for me!

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After my picture break I caught back up with Chris and Krista — until I had to break off … for my first ever jumping attempt – that, sadly, is not documented…

 

And a final potty stop before the final push to the finish!

Once out of Hollywood Studios and on the path over to the Boardwalk, any danger of being swept is past. Which causes some people to just really come to a crawl…but I managed to catch up again to Chris and Krista and we stayed together until we got to EPCOT.

But before we could get to EPCOT, we were going to run past our very own cheering station!! Vanessa had gathered the troops to set up a spot where we could grab a bite to fuel up for the last mile and a half! And again, it was SO good to see them out on the course! The M&Ms and Twizzlers were nice too!! 🙂

Once in EPCOT, I really just wanted to be done so I split off on my own again and just steadily made my way through the World Showcase — full of tourists already. Along the way, I passed Santa. Yes, really! Santa! I was happy to be in his corral because NO ONE would DARE sweep Santa!! 🙂

You know you’re getting to the end of the run when you turn the corner to see the Gospel Choir singing in their golden robes! From here, it was another .3 or so to the finish line!!

Once across the finish, Dopeys had to check in at a special booth – at the expo we’d had our pictures taken with our bibs and it seemed that they were comparing those pictures to the person in front of them, as well as verifying that all of the races had been completed. After that it was simply a matter of collecting the bling!

The Marathon Medal

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Mickey!

 

The Goofy Medal

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Goofy!!

 

The Dopey Medal

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Dopey!

 

And again, off to see what treats awaited in the Race Retreat and wait for Tracy (or meet her there…who knew!?!) The Race Retreat would be closing soon so I really hoped that Tracy was already there, or on her way (and that’s a topic for another post…)

Tracy arrived shortly after me, but wasn’t hungry so we headed back to the room – she was leaving that afternoon and I was heading out to dinner at the 50’sPrime Time Diner with my running family!

I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself for getting through the weekend! And, I had gone into the Dopey Challenge with those famous words “One and Done”…but ….I may be back.

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