Saturday morning was the Disney Half Marathon. Erin and I woke up a little before 4am to quickly get ready and hit the road. The shuttles from the hotel started at 3am, but we opted for sleep over waiting around the start.
We got to the race drop-off pretty quickly. We dropped off our bags and headed out on the long, cold, crowded walk to the start. Erin and I are both pretty short, so we had no idea at any point how close we were. A sudden burst of fireworks let us know that the first wave was leaving and that we were just steps away from the corrals. We hurried into ours and waited for our send off from Donald, Goofy and Mickey.
The race started on Epcot Drive, which is like a 4 lane road and the runners were on the right hand side. Unfortunately, spectators were on the left and side, far away. It would certainly be tough to spot a loved one cheering you on from that distance! The first few miles were boring. The highway was fairly quiet, and we didn't see any characters until a couple miles in. At this point I was seriously considering skipping the marathon the next day. I didn't think I could handle 26.2 miles back roads in central Florida.
We finally saw Scrooge McDuck. Erin had informed me that we would run through the race today, and during the full we would allow stopping for photos. This sounded fair to me, and it was the perfect motivation to make me run the full marathon. I wanted to stop at all the fun characters along the half! I was amazing by the variety of characters along the course. There were new characters like the cast of Tangled. Obscure characters like Darkwing duck. Recent favorites like Jack Sparrow, and then childhood favorites like Mary Poppins.
Around mile 5, we finally entered through the back door of the Magic
Kingdom! It was cool to see some of the behind the scenes stuff. Then
before I knew it we were running through Main Street surrounded by
cheering fans, the Mayor of Main Street USA, suffragettes, and tons of
energy! We ran through Cinderella's castle, through Tomorrowland, into
Fantasyland and Frontierland. It was amazing seeing all the familiar
landmarks and checking out the new additions. I definitely got into the
Disney spirit here!
After that things picked up! The miles flew by, and before I knew it we were in Epcot, where the race was going to finish.
We didn't set any records. I think our final time was 2 hours and 30 minutes, but we definitely had fun. I have to add that while I had my ipod, I didn't use it the entire course! I think I really enjoy ipod free running! Erin and I both agreed to leave them at home during the Marathon.
At this point we were only 1/3 done. I still wasn't sure how I would perform the next day, but I knew I wanted to get out there and have some more fun!