Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day Four

More later, but this will have to do for now .....

OK - let's start at the beginning . . . .

I woke up before my alarm (again) at 3:15.  I was in Anne's room by 3:30 (again) and we were at the bus at 4 AM (again).  The crowd was about the same size-wise, but the weather was much cooler and (as we would later find out) much better.

We back in Corral K, which meant that even though the race started at 5:30, we didn't get started until closer to 6:15.  Unlike the day before, the first mile went by pretty quickly.  The first 7 miles of the Marathon follow the same route as the first 7 miles (or so) of the Half.  But, although a little sore, I felt much better on Sunday than on Saturday.

The obigatory "Magic Kingdom" photo (nowhere close to the Magic Kingdom)

It also helped (a lot) that we had family stationed throughout the course.  Hope and the boys were at the Transportation and Ticket Center (about Mile 4), so we had that to look forward to.
A blurry picture of us emerging from the TTC Tunnel.

From there it was only a couple of miles to the Magic Kingdom, where I once again hugged Lou from WDW Radio (and left him a little damp - sorry Lou!).  We again stopped at our secret Tomorrowland bathroom (no pictures so we can keep it to ourselves) before heading to the back of the Castle.

Is she TRYING to look like a Bad Ass, or is she just simply a bad ass?

After running through the Castle, we stopped at our first character spot (mostly - ok, entirely, because there was no line).

And then in only 3 more miles we got to see the family (and a couple of Disney Friends) outside the Polynesian!
We still look happy!

All in all, we were feeling pretty good at that point.  My parents were stationed just out the Animal Kingdom (Mile 13-ish) so that kept us going on what was otherwise fairly tedious miles.

We entered the back on Animal Kingdom around Mile 11 or 12.

Anne and I had talked about trying to ride Expedition Everest during the race, but as we entered the Animal Kingdom it was only 8:45 and the park doesn't open until 9 AM.  Bummer!  We talked about waiting until 9, but thought we'd seize up.  So we decided to keep running.  As we were passing Everest, the Cast Member staffing hte line said, "If you're not worried about your finish time, come on in!"  Anne yelled, "Seriously!?!" as we took a sharp left, ran through the queue and BOOM! Next in line.
Psyched to be riding a roller coaster DURING a marathon!

I kept runkeeper on, so it showed some pretty extreme elevation changes.

We are the freaks in the back row.

After Everest, we took a quick bathroom break in Dinoland and then left the park and ran into our parents in the parking lot!  Yay!  Gulp!  After seeing Mom and Dad, we were entering . . .the dead zone!  From Mile 13.5 until Mile 20 there ain't much out there.  Lots of highway running and then a turn into the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Frankly, it doesn't get much better after ESPN as we have to double back a bit on the highway and turn onto another highway before FINALLY entering Hollywood Studios at Mile 22.5 (ish).  To get from my parents to ESPN I counted intervals to myself.  My goal was to count to 10 intervals (50 minutes).  And for the most part it worked.  We just trudged along.  Laughed at the Haunted Mansion Ghosts trying to dig graves on the side of the road; clapped at music; thanked the thousands of volunteers; and just kept running.  We finally made it to EPSN and then weaved our way through various baseball and soccer fields, around a track and then around the braves Spring Training Field before doubling back to the highway.  Ugh.

As we made the turn to the final highway, we ran across the always motivating "Army Guy" - "You CAN get up that hill!  You WILL get up that hill!"

From there we turned into Hollywood Studios (where I completely melted down when I ran the 2005 WDW Marathon) and we got to see Brenda and her family.  I am pretty sure they were yelling obscenities at us, but it was all a blur.  The run down Hollywood Boulevard was awesome!  The park was open and there were thousands of people cheering - it made it fly by!  After HS we took the footpath to the Boardwalk, crossed a bridge and entered the Yacht and Beach Club.  A note on that bridge - it is apparently made of some really bouncy material, which made running over it feel really weird.  I didn't understand that it was the surface that was squishy - I thought I was having a fainting spell.  I freaked out and told Anne "something's wrong.  I don't feel right!"  We stopped for a second and I drank some powerade and water and we slowly got started again.  As soon as we were off the bridge, I felt much better (although my head was still a little messed up).

It was less than a mile until we saw Hope and the boys again 

and half a mile after that we were in Epcot (and saw Andy again, we basically chased us down).  I think largely because people just wanted to be done, there were no lines for character pictures any more! 

In France.

We wound around the countries, through the back gate, past the Gospel Choir and towards the finish line.  I don't think I could carry Anne again, so we went with a choreographed dance routine.  

We grabbed some water and powerade and grabbed a couple of these . . .

Got our official photo:

And then took the bus back to the hotel, where everyone was waiting.  A quick ice bath, shower and a change of clothes and we were back on a bus, but this time the destination was much cooler!

We went on Pirates, the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain and Mickey's Philharmagic before heading over to the Wilderness Lodge for a couple of these . . . 

And one of the best steaks I've ever had the pleasure of devouring.  After dinner, we headed back to the Magic Kindgom for more rides (Space, Buzz, Laughing Floor, Pooh, Big Thunder) before heading to Beaches and Cream for some much-needed ice cream.

Several weeks ago I bet another TSA guy a beer if he raised more money than me.  Well, he did.  So at 11 PM I paid my debt as Jason Fine (he's actually much better than just Fine), his buddy Matt and Michelle from Team TSA and I grabbed a couple of beers at the hotel bar.  It was a great night - we talked about the race, about TS, about family, about Disney.  It was like being with old friends.

I got back to the room a little after midnight (up for nearly 21 hours at this point) and went to bed.  Ahhh.


  1. AWESOME recap! Congratulations! Dopey was my first marathon...what an incredible, amazing, EXHAUSTING experience! :-D

  2. Loved reading your recap!! Fantastic accomplishment!