After a little brainstorming on the best way to do this race weekend recap I decided it would be best in a 3 rundisney post setting, the third having nothing to do with the run and everything to do with the Disney. Seven total members of Jonnie’s GoodGuys travelled to Orlando to take part in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, 6 taking on the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge and one running the half only and taking care of the rest of us after finishing Goofy. Due to my work schedule and an incredibly inopportunely scheduled honor band clinic I was unable to travel to Orlando until Friday evening. Luckily six other GoodGuys arrived before me and were able to go through packet pickup and grab my bib and race shirts. Friday night we celebrated GoodGuy Jessie’s birthday in the hotel room and settled in early for as close to a full night’s rest as we could muster before a 2:15am runDisney wake up call.
We woke Saturday morning, filed out of the hotel by 3 and piled into the car and headed for Epcot. Many factors contributed to us struggling to find the starting location, but after only a few circles around the greater Orlando area we were parked and heading to bag check. Crossing into the “Runners Only” side of bag check was hectic. Lines for the porta potty blocked traffic from the lines to the starting corrals. As a group, the 7 of us pushed, slipped, shoved, and “excused me’d” our way across the sea of runners to the gravel road leading to the corrals. After what seemed to be a half mile or so of shoulder to shoulder waddling we finally made it into Corral C around 4:45, stretched out, and awaited the opening ceremonies and the 5:30 fireworks to kick off the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.
Corral C crossed the start line about 15 minutes after the clock started. These 15 minutes were enough to clog the roadways with litter and with walkers and extend the lines at all of the first few character stops to a several minute wait as the first miles ticked by. The first 4 miles were all highway road and parking lots wrapping and the Disney Super Speedway and the Transportation Center. Mile 5 brought along the first real taste of magic as we ran around the Seven Seas Lagoon and entered the Magic Kingdom. Main Street was fully packed with spectators on both sides creating a slow down along the run way. This wasn’t helped by the runners stopping to take pictures of Cinderella’s Castle on the horizon, I can’t say that I didn’t do the same. A quick turn into Tomorrow Land, and an even quicker photo stop with Buzz Lightyear, sent the course through the back of the Magic Kingdom and through the center of the Cinderella’s Castle. Exiting the castle traffic came almost to a complete stop between photographers on the bridge and runners stopping for the castle backdrop picture.
Exiting the Kingdom and back around the Lagoon put us back along the highway making our way back towards Epcot. Along the way were several more character photo stops and as the mileage wore on the lines were shorter and shorter at each so I stopped in for a few within the final miles, as well as a few mile 10 push ups by order of Toy Story’s green Army men. Miles 11 and 12 wrapped around Epcot and out in front of Spaceship Earth and back out to the parking lot to the finish line with a net time of 1:56:07. After finishing I went through bag check to retrieve my bag and after being told that I could not return to the finishing area I went to the G tent to wait for the remaining GoodGuys to finish their race. Once all 7 of us had crossed the line we made our way back to the hotel for an afternoon of poolside relaxation and recovery.
Half Marathon Results: