Thursday, January 22, 2015

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

All the sudden I was entering day 3 of the Dopey Challenge, the half marathon. I remember feeling super tired. (I also remember almost falling asleep standing in the corrals.) Nate got up early with me and came to the start. He was going to head to Magic Kingdom and then back to the finish to see me.

Half Marathon Route

After hanging around for a little while I headed over to the corrals. I was in corral L for the half and the marathon. All I can remember is closing my eyes and knowing that I wanted to sleep. I knew that I couldn't though. My game plan for the half was to take it easy and walk a lot of the course. I was also feeling a little sick. (Did I mention I was sick the night before? Yeah…awesome.) Soon we were at the start line and off we went.

Starting line!

We headed out of the parking lot towards Magic Kingdom. I think running through the parking gate towards Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite parts. We've all driven through the gates that say Magic Kingdom on top and this would be the first of two days that I would be running (or walking) through them. After you pass through these gates you head towards the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and the Contemporary. Nate was at the TTC to see me which was great. It was a nice pick me up. After the TTC, you have to go under a water bridge which is pretty cool. They always have a DJ with huge Mickey gloves on to get you up (as one runner called it over the weekend) "Disney's Heartbreak Hill". (I've run Heartbreak Hill, this is nothing.)

One of the best parts of this course is coming in a side entrance to Magic Kingdom onto Main Street. The street is lined with spectators and this is your first glimpse of Cinderella's Castle. The castle is lit up, but it depends on when you get to Magic Kingdom if you see it lit up in the dark or in the light. Today was light when I arrived. Nate had said that he was by the Christmas tree, but I hadn't seen him. So he headed towards the castle to see me.

On the way to Tomorrowland!

From Main Street you head into Tomorrowland before heading back towards the castle. I had seen Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland and the Queen of Hearts by the Teacups. I wasn't stopping for any pictures today so I kept on trucking by. Soon we came up on the back part of the castle. Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff were out there with fake snow again saying hi to everyone.

They're trying to take over Cindy's castle!

Running through the castle is usually the coolest part of the route. Today I hated it. All the sudden everyone just stopped inside. They were taking pictures inside of the castle which I didn't expect until I almost stepped on a photographer. I didn't get to run out of the castle and get a fun photo like I have before because everyone was walking. They were taking photos in front of the castle as well, but I didn't head over there. I did see Nate and gave him my jacket now that I was warming up. I kept going and headed over to Liberty Square and towards Adventureland before heading out of the park. 

Now we were on our way back to Epcot.

Epcot this way!

We were half way through the half marathon. I was almost done with day 3 of the challenge. Whoa! I had read on a Facebook group that there was someone dressed as Richard Simmons doing the Dopey Challenge. I didn't really believe it until I saw him on the starting screen while waiting for the start. I ended up texting Carrick about it. (We send each other Richard Simmons memes for motivation.) All the sudden I heard something. I turned to my right. There he was! I laughed and it helped me move more! He was great. I wish I ran with him more! 

Soon we were back in Epcot and almost done! Nate was at the finish line waiting for me and I was thrilled to be done. I grabbed some ice on the way out and headed to the reunion area. I was done with day 3.

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

10k: 1:37:49
15k: 2:19:53
Finish: 3:13:32
Clock Time: 3:54:16

Place: 16,683/22,081
Division: 1,230/1,697 (W 25-29)
Gender: 8,605/12,379 (Women)

Only the toughest pose with ice!
We met with my family later that day for lunch and hung out at Magic Kingdom for a little bit. Nate and I headed back to our hotel early. I was ready for bed and head to get up one last time super early. 

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