WDW Marathon 2011 Recap Part 1

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 Good afternoon everyone! It is finally time for my marathon recap! Hang on, it’s going to be a wild ride!!!

My alarm went off at 2:50 AM. Last year, I got up at 3:00 and felt rushed, so I decided to get up a few minutes earlier. I had only slept three hours that night so I was very very sleepy.

all my stuff ready to go the night before


I don’t really remember much from that morning except I was frustrated with my bib because I couldn’t get it straight on my shirt and I can be a little OCD about it being straight…We finally made it down to the lobby where we met Karen.

ready to go!


in the lobby of Wilderness Lodge


We headed outside and there was an almost full bus waiting. We hopped on and were off within 3-4 minutes. The bus was taking way longer than expected to get us to the family reunion area, but we finally made it and had a quick blgoger meet up with Katye and Kelly.


The we headed over to another blogger meet up with the ROTER’s (Running of the Ears, runners who love Disney!) They had already taken the group pic which we missed, but we did get one with Jenn!


It was chilly out, but not bad, and definitely better than last year! We started heading to our corrals. There were so many people we were barely moving and it took forever. I don’t remember it being like that last year!


We made it to the start and jumped in a potty line, then headed to the D corral. After a little confusion we made it in, and everything seemed to go a lot faster than last year. We were not in the corrals for 5 mintues when they sang the National Anthem!

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There were some amazing displays of fireworks like only Disney can do, and the first wave started! I got a little emotional with the fireworks, but surprisingly, I wasn’t that nervous. I knew I would finish. We weren’t going for time, just to have FUN and take lots of character pictures. it was so nice not having all this pressure on me to finish in a certain time.

Before I knew it, our corral had moved up and it was our turn!


We started running and before I knew it we were in EPCOT. (After basically making us run in a circle. So mean of Disney!)

They had some floats out from the electrical parade which was cool.


I had already tossed my pants at the start, and was planning on tossing my sweatshirt before we got into EPCOT so that my bib would be visible for photographers. I told Bobby he needed to do the same, and then he proceeded to tell me he would run the race “like this”


awesome. Whatever floats your boat, dear.

When we hit the EPCOT ball, we noticed a cast member standing off to the side. Karen asked her if she would take a picture of us in front of the ball and she said “your going to make me take my hands out of my pockets and be cold!: How rude! She wasn’t too bright, because this is the picture we got “in front of the ball.”


seriously lady?! We made Bobby to it the RIGHT way!


We ran to the left towards the World Showcase, past Mexico, and then around some backstage area and out of Epcot. Wow. that was fast! It was here we encountered our first characters!


We made it back out onto the road, and I was a little turned around for a bit. We ran around a few circled inclines which m knee did NOT like, and the sun started to come up. We made it out to World drive, and they had this huge EPCOT balloon blown up. The day before, a cast member told me he had gotten very confused driving to work because he thought it was the real EPCOT ball!


We made it to mile 7!! Still smiling!


This is about where I stopped at my first of many medical tents. My knee wasn’t hurting yet, it was just a little tight, but I was being proactive. I slathered on the first of a LOT of biofreeze I would use that day!


At this point, Karen had started texting her husband Jason. He was supposed to be waiting to see us at the TTC. When we got there, there were so many people we almost missed him! After that, we saw this fun guy with these huge hands!


I was starting to get excited because we were almost to the Magic Kingdom, my favorite part of the whole race! But, I realized I had to go pee REALLY bad! We made a plan to stop at a REAL bathroom in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom.

We made it around back and out onto Main Street. I kept telling myself to soak it all in. I wanted to run though because I was so excited but I also wanted to stop and walk to look at everything and everyone!


I got emotional here last year, and of course it happened again. the on course support is so amazing!


We saw our first group of ROTE supporters here and it was a nice boost to see “fans!”

This is where the picture taking Bonanza began! We took FOREVER in the Magic Kingdom because we took a ton of pics!


back of me and Bobby’s heads haha


We finally made it to the POTTY! yes, Karen took a picture of me running into the bathroom!


I felt MUCH better after that and like I could enjoy the race more ha!


next we ran into these guys by the teacups


and then these guys soon after


We then approached the back of the castle and saw this lady


Then we ran through the castle, another super fun part, and got more pictures

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We then ran through Frontierland, and before you knew it we were out of the Magic Kingdom. Sad smile I was a little sad because I knew this would be the longest stretch of nothingness of the race. but, Disney did a good job of keeping us entertained! There were characters, fun signs to read, music, etc. It really wasn’t that bad!

We came down the road past the Grand Floridian so of course we had to take a picture with our favorite hotel Smile


We came up to the golf course on the left, and this is where we got lucky. There was a long line for Minnie and Mickey, but I really wanted a pic with them, so we got in line. When Karen went to take her pic, Goofy walked up and got in it, awesome! So then Bobby and I went to take our picture, and Donald walked in it too! We had all four characters! All these racers and spectators started snapping pictures, sow e are probably in a lot of peoples pictures! After our pic, Mickey and Minnie left! Donald and Goofy were there to switch out, so we were the ONLY ones who got all four in our picture. Score!


After that, we saw Jason again and he snapped this lovely picture ha!


Soon after this, we hit mile 13. HALFWAY! In a way, the first half seemed quick, but also in a way, the thought of running 13 more miles seemed really daunting!


so how would we fair in the second half of the race? You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out. Winking smile

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  1. I don’t understand why you stopped so often. Was it a regular marathon – or something special?
    How long did all these breaks take?
    Looking forward to part 2!

  2. Ahh I love the recap and all the pics! You look so happy in all of them. I’m getting excited for you all over again haha 🙂

  3. Fun! If I ever get the chance to run Disney, that’s just the way I’ll do it! 🙂

  4. fun! it’s obvious you guys were having a blast! i hope that continues into tomorrow’s post…Great pix!!!

  5. Morgan @ Becoming Rooks says

    I firmly believe you don’t run Disney races for time – you run for the experience! They are a lot of money so you might as well get a lot of great photos! I’m still laughing about the cold hands lady (after reading about her in Karen’s RR, too) – I would been like “Lady.. YOU get out here and run 26.2! Now take my picture!”

    • haha! Well, she was standing all alone, maybe she was grouchy and no one wanted to stand by her!
      I am SO glad I took it slow and had fun. Being miserable after spending all that money is no good!

  6. What a fun post! I’m doing my first Disney race in February – the Princess. And that’s exactly how we plan to do it – for fun, character pics, – I want to be able to have fun and enjoy the experience without worrying about time. I’ve been freaking out alot lately and you post reminded me why I signed up. Thanks for putting it back into the best perspective ever!!!!

  7. FUN TIMES! We had a blast! I want to do it again! lol

  8. great race recap and pictures!

  9. Jenn (aka DisneyGirlinNJ) says

    Loving Part 1 so far! 🙂 I said the same thing about the crazy camera lady on Karen’s blog. I would have probably gotten a little snarky with her and pointed out that she’s not the one running 26.2! We totally stopped at those same real bathrooms in Tomorrowland too. And jealous of all your character photos! I have a bunch but def not as many.

    • haha thanks! we wanted awesome photos so we stopped with nearly every character! why not, right?

  10. What a fun post! This years Disney marathon was my first as well! I wish I had done a better job with pictures and documenting the experience. Oh well, there’s always next year! Congrats and can’t wait to finish reading the rest tomorrow!

  11. Love all the pics. I had friends do this same race and did the same thing, took lots of pics. Looks like you had a lot of fun.

  12. I love all of the pictures!!! You make me want to do this one!!

  13. Ahh! Looks like you had so much fun! I can’t wait to do the Disney Marathon! Maybe in 2012! I can’t believe that Disney person actually said that to you! She was the one being completely rude!

  14. What a way to leave me hanging!!! This looks like a blast! I think next year I want to try and do this.. or maybe that next year haha. Cant wait to read the next part!

    BTW Love the new look of the blog

    Khourt from http://lifeasaconvert.blogspot.com

  15. Congrats, Heather! You look so excited and happy in every picture. What a perfect race experience! My good friend ran the 1/2 that weekend and did the same thing – stopped for pics and soaked it all in. She said it was her favorite race ever!

  16. Hi Heather! I actually followed your time that day! I think the way you guys ran was AWESOME. Why run it for time, unless you planned on winning 🙂 I just started running last year and in a couple of months doing a 10k. I want to do the half next year….just trying to decide between the Wine and Dine in Oct, next January’s race or the Princess. Any opinions? I cannot wait to read more!

    • aw thanks for following me! I had a blast. Well, wine and dine is at night at 10:00, so thats something to take into consideration. I think for a first time the Jan. weekend is so fun b/c its 55,000 people all there for the same thing and it just seems to be a bigger event than princess. I have never done princess and want to next year, but I am so glad I did WDW marathon weekend last year for my first half!

  17. I love that you guys took so many pictures! Can’t wait to hear how the rest of the race went!

  18. Melinda Neely says

    Wow. You are really providing great perspective on what it’s like to run at the Disney Marathon with all the great photos. With all the characters to keep you company along the route, it has to take some of the pressure off the pain of running! Can’t wait to read part II!

    • It definitely made running 26.2 so much more fun. i was nervous about the distance, so having fun with it really helped. Now that I know I can do the distance, I feel like I can work on my time now and not be afraid!

  19. Katy (The Singing Runner) says

    Looks like so much fun! I didn’t stop for any character pictures during my half, which I am now regretting! Haha… oh well, next year! 😀

  20. This is such an awesome recap! I’m super excited for my first princess half now! Thanks H

  21. Congrats Heather!! You all look like you’re having so much fun – I’ve got to add a Disney race to my “bucket list!” Off to read part 2!

  22. WHAT! I never saw Rapunzel either! and I was dressed like her! oy. wow I am so oblivious during races I need to learn to turn my focus back on while running! last year during the half I was so nervous I didn’t even know there were characters on the course. Bummer!

    • aha! thats why you need to run a race like me! not for time, just for fun! we saw all the characters! rapunzel was in MK past the teacups on the left

  23. Some of us *ahem, me* would like to know your thoughts, perhaps a new post, :), on the best places for eating while there. Specifically the night after the race. We have a vegetarian in our group of 4 but the rest of us are not picky. I’m looking at the list of restaurants and am completely lost. Any suggestions?

    • haha no problem! I have a few reviews for different sites in the works. if you go to the disney food blog and searcg “grand floridian cafe” you wil find a review.
      we LOVE
      Whispering Canyon Cafe
      Coral Reef
      Grand Floridian Cafe
      Liberty Tree Tavern

      for a fancier place..
      Yachtsman steakhouse
      california grill

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