After 4 days of park hopping & 3 days of running through parks our final morning at Walt Disney World had arrived and “only” 26.2 miles between us and competing the Dopey Challenge. After another early start to our morning and a shuttle ride to the starting area we began the long walk to the starting corrals. Along the walk I talked to a few friends I saw walking and made it into my corral just before the first set of fireworks started to kick off marathon morning.
The race got underway and I was running solo for the first few miles, GoPro in hand taking selfies as I ran along stopping for pictures when I had the chance. The marathon and the half marathon share the first 8ish miles so a lot of the characters were the same as the day before. I stopped again for Wreck It Ralph, and I made it a point to stop for pictures with Jack Skellington since I always seem to miss the photo stop. After running into the Magic Kingdom and through Cinderella’s castle I stopped to take a picture with Snow White and Rapunzel and while I was stopped I was yelling at runners passing by to stop and take a picture, including Sean Astin who ran by yelling that he usually never passes up Snow White pictures, when from behind me in the line my F3 friend Gina yelled my name! I stood with her in line for pictures and tagged along with her for the rest of the race, which turned out to be the best decision ever!
The marathon course has some great parts that you can not get from other races during marathon weekend or at any other runDisney event. I’m a NASCAR fan and love running around the WDW Speedway. This is also the only course that wraps through all 4 parks before finishing. Gina and I ran through the course catching up and stopping along the way for dozens of pictures.
The downside to being in the early corrals is not being able to do a few things that the later corrals get to do because of the time of day such as ride Everest as you pass through the Animal Kingdom or stop for beers around the World Showcase. Both of which were closed as we came through. We did make a few stops though, the first along the boardwalk for a little relaxation and a light tanning on the beach front as runners went by and Again after exiting the showcase we peeled off the course to go to Starbucks. As we were standing in line the barista asked us how we finished, he didn’t expect the answer “We haven’t yet.” He put a rush on our drinks and we were on our way to the finish line iced coffee in hand.
Every runDisney event is full of fun and adventure and I’ve said many times that it’s less about the miles or the medals and all about the people that make these weekends so special. Over the weekend I was able to spend time with a lot of friends and make a few new ones along the way. And we earned to a whole new rack of medals, which makes for a great day too.