WDW Marathon 2011 Recap part II


We left off at mile 13, halfway to my goal! As I said in my last post, the first half wasn’t bad, but the thought of going 13 more miles still seemed unreal.

Soon after the 13 mile sign, we turned off onto a road I had never noticed before, and I knew the boring part of the race was about to begin. I had heard stories about the long stretch between the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Honestly, it really wasn’t that bad! There was actually NO part in the race where I really go bored! Running with Bobby and Karen was definitely not boring!

Disney did their best to entertain us on this part of the road. There was music, character photo ops, water stops, and we had our first food stop here, and I grabbed a banana.

We came two ladies talking back and forth (they had microphones) they were hilarious! They were acting like tacky tourists, and did a great job.


We took a few character pictures, of course.


I took this one for you, Jen! Ask Karen!


Then we ran into these guys.


Captain Hook kept pushing me when we were trying to take the picture. I was falling over! See how my leg is back all weird? I told Peter Pan he was bullying me and Peter started picking a fight with Hook, it was quite commical.

After the boring road, we came around to the lovely waste treatment facility. It smelled awful! We joked that the poor people stuck volunteering at this water station must have drawn the short straw!

This is what most of the road looked like!


At this point, we hit Animal Kingdom, yay! We passed the “boring” part! We had some friends we knew would be cheering for us in Animal Kingdom, so we were excited to see them!

Here are some pics they took of us. Thanks JoDee and Pat! It was a great boost seeing yall cheering for us!!




We were in Animal Kingdom for such a short time, I wish more of the race went through here.


getting delirious…


No lie, I do NOT remember taking this picture!


more silliness ensued…


race9 race10



And before you knew it, we were back out on the main road. How sad. We had a pretty good stretch between here and Hollywood Studios, but we kept on going. Right outside of Animal Kingdom, there were a lot of spectators and several bands.


We gave high 5’s to all of the cheerleaders in this line!


Then we came across these guys and had to stop. I told Bobby to get on the ground like he is being buried, just joking, and he actually did it, ha!


We made it around the back of Animal Kingdom at some point.


We got to a point where there was a turnaround, so we were going one way while a lot of runners were going back the other way. it was nice to see faces for a change, and I enjoyed waving at random people. This was at the turnaround, a huge jumbo screen.


We made the turn, and I REALLY had to pee again, so we made a quick port o potty stop and all decided to go. Soon after, we ran into a stranger handing out candy. I grabbed some skittles and tried to eat them…and proceeded to choke on them. Turns out I am not so good with the running and chewing, so we stopped to walk while we ate.


We were all starting to hurt at this point but were still in good spirits. We kept stopping at every aid station and medical tent for biofreeze. We were sure to yell to people that Bobby had shorts on under his pants….


I finally convinced Bobby to lose the pants because it was getting warm outside. It was a lot harder to find him not wearing his neon pants though!

We came across some tumblers on a trampoline, and Bobby, being the tumble monkey that he is, asked if he could tumble. The girl thought he meant on the pavement so she told him to go ahead, then we said no, on the trampoline and she said no we were not allowed. darn it!

We did silly things like, running down the hills arms outstretched as if we were flying…weaving in and out of the orange cones (I almost fell!) and Bobby picked up cones yelling my name in them like a megaphone when I told a cast member I didn’t know him….It was great fun.

At one water stop, Karen almost busted it on a banana peel! I told her I’m sorry but if she would have fallen I would have probably peed my pants, but then I would have helped her up. So we had to recreate the moment.


By this point my knee was starting to really hurt. We had gone around another looped overpass that was uneven and I had to run in the grass because I was in so much pain. I think this is about where we started losing Bobby haha!

We finally got into the back of Hollywood Studios!


Bobby kept having to stop and walk, but it was ok because we were taking pictures!




This is when I realized something was really wrong with Bobby, he wasn’t running anymore and looked to be in a lot of pain. He told me he didn’t know what was going on, but the insides of both legs kept seizing up/contracting and not letting go and he could barely move let alone run. I felt really bad for him because I could tell he was really hurting, but I was also to the point where I wanted to get it over with and hurry up. Karen and I jogged along in front then we would stop and wait for Bobby. this went on for the next four miles. We finally made it to the main part of Hollywood Studios!

race1 race14

race26 race36

I started getting tearing up here. Karen and I were coming up on the place where it all started. Two years ago, we stood in “the curve” outside of Hollywood Studios and watched runners go by, waiting to see our friends in the race. While waiting, we were both so inspired by the runners, the support, the determination, that we decided that would be US one day. it finally WAS us! After running the half the next year, to finally coming full circle two years later to the full marathon, we. were. doing. it. I stared long and hard at that curve as we passed it, soaking it all in, thinking of all I had accomplished in the past two years. I couldn’t believe it, me, the sprinter, was running a MARATHON!

“the curve”


We made it onto the sidewalk that goes along the river heading to the boardwalk. I remember walking this last March saying “I will be running this soon!” Very sureal! I couldn’t quite jump for joy because I felt so awful for my husband. He was REALLY struggling. I felt bad because I felt fine (I had been taking Tylenol the whole race, as had he) other than some aches and knee pain.

We made it out onto the boardwalk, saw some more awesome ROTE supporters, and made it back to EPCOT! We were SO CLOSE!

We saw Belle, and there were some park guests about to tale a pic with her and the cast member said “can we let these runners go first please?” which I thought was really nice!


EPCOT was slow, we were walking slowly, and I think we took another potty break too. We finally made it around to the fountains in the front and I knew we were close! I asked Bobby if he would be ok running across the finish line and he said yes, he was saving his strength for that.

We saw Karen’s husband Jason one final time, and when I saw this sign I was SO HAPPY!


I loved that the choir was back!


After passing them, I could hear noise, getting louder and louder. We made the turn and I could SEE it! I started getting really choked up. I was about to FINISH a marathon!


race2 race16



We had already decided we were crossing together. We started this journey and this race together, and we were finishing together, no matter what. I am SO glad that we did!


As we came down the final stretch, tears in my eyes, I grabbed onto Bobby’s hand. As we crossed, We raised our hands in triumph. Not just for the race, but for all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that went into the past two years of training. We had done it, and it was all worth it. We were now among a special group, we were marathoners.




Yes, it took us well over 6 hours, but I don’t care. We spent more than thirty minutes taking pictures with characters (I stopped my garmin for most character pictures) and we had a BLAST doing it, I don’t regret that at all! One day I would like to run a marathon to see what I can do time wise, but not for this one. This was the most fun race I have ever run!





A HUGE thank you for making it through this whole post! I cried as I wrote it, and I loved writing it! This has been such an emotional journey for me. The love and support from the blogging community has been awesome, so thank YOU for the encouragement to live out my dreams. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. No you don’t have to run a marathon to be a rock star, but it sure does feel great.

If you ever get the chance to run a Disney race, DO IT! I can book your trip for you. Smile 

So, that is it. I have come to the end of this chapter of my journey. But, the great part is, there are MANY more chapters to be written, so join in on the fun! You never know what I might dream up next. After all, it is kind of fun to do the impossible. Right Mr. Disney?

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  1. Ahhh love it! Congrats on your huge accomplishment. This is the most fun race recap I have ever read. Sometimes races are about more than speed 🙂

    Thanks for the Chip and Dale picture! And I have no clue how I missed you guys at “the curve” two years ago!

  2. Congrats on your marathon finish! That so flippin’ awesome! I plan to run the WDW full next year, maybe even the Goofy. 🙂 Will you be running the Princess Half this year?

  3. Runeatrepeat says

    Great job!!! Loved the recap and I’m very proud of you 🙂

  4. Anna @ History Running Girl says

    What a great recap! I teared up reading it.

    Congratulations! I love how you were taking pictures with all the characters. Might as well have fun with a race!

    I’ve done the 5k a few years, but I want to do the half or the full next year (My dad has run the goofy challenge before, and the marathon three other times). It just didn’t work this year.

    Congratulations again!

  5. Great job! You are definitely an inspiration to this “half-er”…I may have to do a full!!

  6. Loved the final recap! :0) We had a LOT of fun…seriously I agree with you…that was the most fun race I’ve ever run! I guess we won’t be able to act up like that for the Mardi Gras half! LOL Or maybe we can and people can think we are nuts…Hehe!

  7. Congrats! This is a great accomplishment! Husband and I are registered for the Princess half in just a few weeks, I walked it last year and was motivated to start running! Love reading your blog it is very encouraging.

  8. Awesome job! I LOVED reading the recap! I’m hoping to run the Disney half next year – which is a huge feat as I haven’t made it past the 3.5 mile mark. I’m slowly working my way back, and seeing stories like yours make me realize that I can!!!

    I also love that you are a Disney travel planner – I think we may be twins 😉

    • you can do it, you have plenty of time! I started out with one mile 🙂
      you are a Disney TA?!

      • Currently a teacher…but would love to be a Disney travel planner 🙂 (Or a Disney wedding planner!)

        Thanks for the encouragement! I’ve started a blog to hold me accountable – and get some encouragement!

        • I used to be a teacher, too. 🙂 I would love to be a disney wedding planner!

          • Why did you leave teaching? I’ve been wrestling with that thought myself. I finish my Masters Degree in Educational Technology in April and am hoping that leads to a new job — maybe teaching educators about technology in the classroom? Just struggling with being in the classroom recently. (I find that I’m stressed out a lot — not ideal!)

          • I left because me moved lol. I found out this summer we were moving 3 hours away in october, so i backed out of my contract in July. Now I am living with my parents while ou house is being built an hour away so I couldnt teach this year anyway. I may go back and sub some when we move, but I love being a Travel agent!

  9. Morgan @ Becoming Rooks says

    Gosh, between you and Karen I am mess crying over your RRs! You two are amazing I am so glad you got to experience the race together. And poor Bobby, you can really see how much pain he was in, what a trooper! See you next year?

    • Thanks so much Morgan, that is so sweet of you to say. I know, you can really tell in a couple of the pics he is hurting. He was SO frustrated b/c energy wise he felt FINE. not sure about next year, would love to do princess!

  10. How exciting! I got tears in my eyes reading your recap! What an accomplishment! I’ll be walking my 1st half-marathon in February– i’m sure i’ll be emotional as i cross the finish line 🙂

  11. Great recap!! I just love how much you enjoyed your race!! Congrats again Heather!! And as I said before, you’ve definitely inspired me to add a Disney race to my bucket list!!

  12. woah woah woah! you got to see Belle! so jealous! I saw the Beast in Epcot but no Belle. oh well. you guys did great!

  13. How fun! Definitely sold me on Disney 2012 with these photos!

  14. Karin (Maddykins06 on the Dis) says

    I LOVED reading your recap! It was my first marathon too & I relived the whole thing through your words & pictures! My biggest regret is not doing what you did – pictures! I was so worried about time & just finishing that I didn’t stop at all (had serious ITB & knee issues).

    Next year I’m doing The Goofy & I WILL stop for pictures! Thank you for being my inspiration to REALLY enjoy it next year!

    • Congrats on your marathon!!! I had plans for a long time to have fun with it, I didn’t want to put pressue on myself to run a certain time. We were on pace to run 6 hours, even with character pics, until my husbands legs started cramping, so i am glad I didn’t have a time goal bc I would have been disapointed when he got injured, but it was ok! Good luck with Goofy, I plan to do it one day!

  15. hi, i’m a little behind. I haven’t updated your new site yet, i’ve just been typing in the address each time, lol, i’m old school, i need to get with the program.
    i LOVED your recap, i cannot wait to go back! i literally look forawrd to this marathon 364 days a year! well, i guess i could say 365 bc as soon as it’s over i start to look forward til next year. I will def be signing up again on March 15th! and i hope to get downt here for the Wine and Dine half in October too.
    I got a little teary-eyed as you guys were getting to the finish line, lol. you take AWESOME pictures!!! great finish photo of you two holding hands! I bet you are still riding the high from 2 weeks ago! yay, congrats once again!

    • thanks so much! we had a blast, really, it was so fun! Wine and dine sounds fun, I want to do it I just wish it weren’t so late at night!!

  16. Elina (Healthy and Sane) says

    I just found your blog and absolutely loved this recap. I’m fascinated by long distance recaps – something happens when you hit double digit that’s just impossible to explain until you experience (I can’t even fathom when you get to the 20’s and beyond). Congrats on finishing and having such a blast. Is your husband all better?

    • aw thanks so much for commenting, so sweet!
      He is all better now, we aren’t sure what happened in the race, and we are both flu and cold free now!

  17. Melinda Neely says

    Congratulations again on a great accomplishment. I have never seen anyone look that good at the end of a race. Are you sure you were really running?!?!

    • haha thanks! We did stop a lot for pictures, but we definitely were running aside from that! I am so glad we chose to do it this way for my first race and have fun! I can always race for time but how often do you get to take pictures with characters? I can finally feel comfortable calling myself a distance runner and not a sprinter! :0)

  18. I finally got a chance to come back and read the next part! Love it! I got teary eyed just reading it.. It sounds like a fantastic way to start off your “marathon” career Id love to run this race (maybe next year!)

  19. Katy (The Singing Runner) says

    I don’t know why I didn’t see this post sooner, but congratulations again on finishing a marathon! I can’t wait to do the full next year! 😀
    Oh, and that Walt Disney quote was on the back of my t-shirt when I ran the 1/2. Seemed appropriate. 😉

  20. I really enjoy your blog since I am from the Gulf Coast too. I’ve been running now for over 11 years and although I’m glad when I see people becoming active and “running”, I get a little mad when people say they’ve run a marathon and it took them over 6 hours. That’s not running a marathon. That is completing a marathon. Two COMPLETELY different things. I’ve run one marathon. In 3+ hours. I was running. I didn’t stop and smell the roses, I didn’t pose for pictures, I didn’t walk. I ran. I’m tired of seeing all of these blogs with “runs”, “runner”, “running” in the title. Everyone’s a runner now. To me, runners run and joggers jog. And what most people actually do is jog. Or walk fast. This is just one runner’s opinion.

    On a side note, I also thinks it’s really dumb when bloggers use a $20 product giveaway to MAKE people follow their blog. Really? Are you that desperate for people to follow your blog? I already know the answer to that. And are people really that desperate to get something worth $20? I already know the answer to that too.

    Again, I really do like your blog. But let’s RUN if we’re going to talk about running.

    • hm. How to respond, how to respond. So, just because I am slower than you, that means I didn’t run 26.2 miles? That I didn’t train for 6 months? I wanted to enjoy my first marathon experience, and that’s exactly what I did. Not to mention the fact that my husband almost had to drop out so I walked the last several miles with him to encourage him and help hi finish. What about my half marathon time, would you like me to tell you about limping through my 2:21 finish on an injured IT band so you can bash that too?
      I am not “desperate” for people to follow my blog, but I do like to get more readers because I enjoy sharing my life, stories, and tips with people. I think it’s quite rude of you to make such a blanket statement on what is considering running and what is not. But, regardless, thanks for the comment and have a nice day. 🙂

      • It is my opinion that you can ABSOLUTELY say that you ran the marathon. You did run it and it doesn’t matter how long it took you to do it; even if you stopped a few times to take pictures or whatever. People who state anything else really just suck the fun out of the sport. You did a fantastic job and ‘GO YOU’ for actually doing a marathon in the first place!!!!

        PS, I don’t follow your blog because of your giveaways, but it sure keeps things interesting! It’s great to hear reviews on products that I may not know about.

        Keep doing what you’re doing 😉

      • Wow. How desperate are you for attention and validation that you had to bash someone who worked hard to achieve her goal. I am more impessed by Heather’s accomplishment in “completing” her marathon than I EVER will be by you “running” yours. Wow. Apparently you RUNNERS are beyond rude and us JOGGERS are friendly, fun, supportive people. If that’s the case, then I’d rather be a jogger than a runner any day.

        • disney_casey says

          also, this wasn’t any ordinary marathon. It was a Disney race and you stopped at the characters. You are a runner and you are inspiring. Ignore that rude person. By the way I also didn’t follow your blog for the giveaways

        • big hugs.

          • Wow. Holy rudeness! This is the first rude ‘runner’ that I’ve come across. I guess I’m considered a ‘jogger’ too then…b/c, hell, I’m slow. And I’m okay with that. I’ve lost 28 pounds since I started ‘jogging’ and am much healthier now, than before. No, I probably won’t ever have an awesome finish time or whatever, but I FINISH.

            Girl, don’t listen to them. You keep on posing for your pictures! I LOVE your recaps…and I do the same thing. You probably could have shaved a few minutes off of your time had you not posed for pictures…but do you really care??? It’s all about the FUN.

            Keep on sharing. I don’t follow you for the giveaways either…I’m jus’ sayin’.

          • sometime over 45 minutes probably. we used one of our garmins to stop time when we stopped for characters and we forgot to do it several times, but it was at least that much lol!

          • mary (sisters running the kitchen) says

            Running is not about how fast one goes, it’s about the journey and enjoying it. I do not quite understand why Connor thinks that runner’s should be exclusive to those who run fast only. Running is very inclusive and for everyone and the majority of runners that I know are very encouraging and welcoming of new runners to the sport (both slow and fast runners). Heather does not need to defend herself as to why she ran the marathon in the time she did. She RAN it and she had fun doing it! By the way, the marathon looks like a blast….sounds so much fun with all of the characters!!!

      • Tara Burner says

        Of course you ran a marathon…anyone who would think otherwise may be suffering from dehydration or over training and not able to think properly!
        oh and I follow your blog and didnt even know anything about any ‘give away’ or prize or anything else.
        I follow because I want to run…again…
        and run the disney princess or any marathon
        and danged straight I’d be stopping to get my pics taken w/characters…I just spent 3 days in Disney w/my teen and hardly got any pics w/characters so I surely would take advantage of it…during a run!
        totally enjoyed all your pics and the blog! 🙂

        • sorry you didn’t get a lot of good pictures! I am running princess this year. You should, too!

          • Holy Moly….wow. Saying she didn’t run the Marathon means that you are saying that I didn’t run the Marathon either – since we “finished” or “completed” the Marathon together!

            I do remember reading in a Runners World book about when it’s “ok” to “call” yourself a runner. I specifically remember it saying that even if you only run/jog 5 minutes at a time, you are running – therefore, you are a runner.

            I “ran” this Marathon. I finished this Marathon – no matter what the time. I had a BLAST running the Disney World Marathon (no matter how many stops) and I literally had one of the best times of my life!

            Unless I had Boston goals in mind, it made no sense to me to train for 8 months out of the year for my very first Marathon and not have fun with it! So, that’s what I did. I ran it and I had fun while doing it.

            That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! :0)

          • thats right we did it together and it was SO FUN! I look back on my photobook all the time! You know more than anyone that when we were not in line we sure were running!

          • Tara Burner says

            I’m contemplating running Princess…I just started running again…and screwed up my ankle being impatient over weekend for it to heal, apparently it wasn’t healed because now it’s totally swollen/bruised so wrapped again…not helping me get ready! lol Princess sign up starts in July…I need to get moving so I’m ready for Feb! I’m hoping to do it! 🙂

    • Okay…rude. Unneccessary. Really not any other way to describe it. We’re all in this together right? Why make other runners feel bad about themselves and judge them based on their performances. I actually feel sorry for Connor: must be hard living your life that way.

    • This is sad. Would you say that you ran 12 miles and then 14 miles if you had to stop to use a porta potty mid race? Because technically by your standards you didn’t run the whole way without stopping either. In my opinion your comment screams insecurity. There is no fancy way for me to say it. Unlike your passive aggressive aproach I am just going to come out and say that you have no business qualifying what makes a true “runner”. Because honestly while your 3+ marathon impresses you, the Ryan Halls of the world might look at you as “jogging” when they finish up a full 60+ minutes ahead of you! Think about it, race times are all relative. Worry about your own training and let other runners enjoy the accomplishments that they worked damn hard for.
      Oh, and since you want to talk desperation, I think your need to be so blatantly condescending suggests you’re a little desperate for attention or praise (or something) yourself!

  21. Everyone has different ability and fitness levels, but isn’t the point that we try? And that we enjoy trying? Even walking 26.2 miles is A LOT of work and committment, let alone running it injured and with an injured husband. You totally ran a marathon, to the absolute best of your ability at that time, and you had a really good time. That’s all that matters. I would rather read the blog of someone who was honest about her injury, and the fact that she stopped a lot because she LOVES Disney, than read the blog of someone who doesn’t seem real or approachable and someone who doesn’t truly enjoy what they are doing. You are lovely and helpful and doing a great job coming back from a disappointing injury. There are lots of silly people running around in the world 🙂

    • Thank you so much 🙂 I had an AMAZING time and wouldn’t trade it. Of course I have plans to run a marathon without stopping to hang out with mickey and the gang, but I still ran a marthon and am so glad that was my first one/experience.

  22. And I’m a healthy eater because I eat a salad every once in a while. Again, I told you that I like your blog, but walking is walking. I walk a 15 minute mile. A 6+ hour marathon is walking. You completed a marathon. I think that’s great! Congratulations! Like I said, I think it’s great when people complete races. I really do. But running i running and jogging is jogging. That’s all. I’m sorry that you think I’m being rude. But what have I said that’s not true?

    • when we were NOT in line for pictures we were running. We walked the last 3 miles due to an injury. we were in line for about an hour probably. so I still ran 26.2 miles, except for the last 3, but also stood still for some time as well. but the actual mileage was running.
      What else you said that isnt true is that I am desperate for followers and that people who do enter my giveaway by following my blog are desperate. I do not wish to give away a 34 dollar product to someone who could care less about my blog or may not even be an athlete, so yes I do require you to be a follower.
      Also saying that something I choose to do on my blog is “dumb” IS in fact rude.
      It is hurtful to take a major accomplishment in someones eyes and make it seem like no big deal or try to lessen their feeling of accomplishment. Another side note, not that I am agreeing with what you call “true”, BUT, just because something is true does that mean we should say it? I don’t walk up to an overweight person and say “hey your fat” or an ugly person and say “guess what? your very unfortunate looking”. Saying you are just being truthful doesn’t justify being hurtful IMO. Constructive criticism is one thing, but that’s not what your comment was.

    • Just out of curiosity – when does it switch from jogging to running then? Is there a special pace when you then are ‘promoted’ to a runner? I just ran my longest distance of 6.2 miles in an hour and four minutes. Am I not a runner? I think I ran them and had the sweat and sore muscles to prove it!

      I’ve followed this blog for awhile and completely agree with her RUNNING the marathon. She also ran multiple half marathons. I’m proud of her and she inspires me in my running in many ways – and it has nothing to do with her pace or giveaways!

  23. Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep says

    Before I ever make a critical or negative comment on a blog, I ask myself “what am I getting out of this?” and “what will the author get out of m comment?” Connor, I don’t see your point in coming in here to completely diminish her accomplishments at finishing a marathon. I walked a good portion of the WDW Marathon, but I still call myself a runner. I’m constantly improving, and I plan on running the entire marathon next January.

    How would you like it if we told you that you aren’t a runner because you aren’t as fast as Ryan Hall? We all have different abilities.

    And no one runs Disney to set any world records. It’s a fun race.

    Move along.

  24. “You completed a marathon. I think that’s great! Congratulations!” Those were my words. Andrea, is that diminishing her accomplishments? I think runners run. Is that hard to figure out? If I pass you and I’m walking, you’re not running. Sorry. If that hurts someone’s feelings then again, I’m sorry.

    Megan, not sure when it changes from jogging to running. The obese biggest loser folks “ran” a marathon. Are they runners? A couple of them are since they actually RAN the marathon. Crazy, huh? But I don’t run 200 miles a month to be put in the same category as the biggest loser people who complete a marathon in 6, 7, or 8 hours. Sorry. A runner to me runs 75-100 miles plus a month. Every real runner I know does that. Just because you “run” every once in a while for exercise, doesn’t mean you are a runner. If you want to think that in your mind, then feel free.

    It’s just really funny everyone with blogs these days. You’ve got bloggers with running in their titles who are hardly runners and you’ve got bloggers with travel in their titles who don’t travel anywhere. It’s really nice that in cyber space, people can be whatever they want to be.

    I stumbled on this blog looking up info on the WDW Marathon.

    • when I was training for the marathon I often ran 75 miles a month. Do I get to be a runner now? So….I run 75 a month but ran the marathon too slow, so a strike against me? Seems like a complicated formula……
      But my half marathon times are decent in my opinion, so I RAN the half marathons, but not the full, do I still get to be a runner? Or does one bad race take me off the cool people list?

      • You know what, you’re a runner. I’ve decided. You have been put into the running category. Congratulations!!!! Although the one bad race could easily have taken you off the cool people list, I’m letting you back on.

        • SWEET! thanks. I appreciate it. :oP
          I am totally ok with you having your own opinion of me, totally fine, you are entitled to not agree with me even if I don’t like it, but….just maybe keep it to yourself if all it’s going to do is tear someone down. It didn’t add to anyone’s life in a positive way. Sad times.

        • Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep says

          I just don’t get your whole running=running formula. To me, my running is running, even though it’s done at an 11:30 pace. I really thought the running community was more welcoming than this. Connor, you’re the first runner I’ve ever met who has ever been so unwelcoming to the community.

  25. I know there are people who think they are “real” runners and other people are not, and they do have this weird hositlity towards people who run slower than they do, or take walk breaks, or whatever. (And don’t even bring up The Biggest Loser contestants to them!) I can understand being annoyed if your favorite marathon fills up with people who you think don’t deserve a spot as much as you do, but that is up to the race organizers – they can always set qualifying times–and that wouldn’t explain leaving a comment here. Disney events are designed to be fun and are not for hardcore runners looking to set a record in Boston (unless they decide to do a marathon for fun, for their own good or to encourage a friend or family member).

    Heather, I admire you for enjoying the “Disney” of this Disney Marathon. I don’t know if I would be able to let go of my race time demons enough to pose for pictures, hug friends, etc., but I think you did it your way, and that certianly was right for you, and gives me something to think about as I set race goals.

    • you SO need to do Disney for fun one day. With it being my first full i just wanted to finish with a smile on my face, and have fun and I accomplished both goals. NEVER laughed so much during a race. Totally worth it. There will always be other races to “race” in!

  26. Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep says

    By the way, Jay Kruger from Biggest Loser completed the Boston Marathon in 4:10 yesterday.

  27. No hostility here at all. Just a realist. If I throw the baseball in the front yard, it doesn’t mean I’m a baseball player. Even if I have the best glove, shoes, etc. And I guess I could think in my mind that I was, but it wouldn’t change the fact that I wasn’t a baseball player.

    When I go to races, I love seeing everyone out there. I love seeing people finish the race that I would never think could. It doesn’t mean that they are all runners though. I’ve had many discussions with friends of mine who are runners and friends of mine who run occasionally but aren’t runners. They feel the same way.

    Andrea, how am I not being welcoming by giving my opinion? Give me break. Life isn’t all rainbows and I’m sorry if you’ve never met someone with a different opinion than your own. You’re telling me that if I jog from my front door to my mailbox, I can consider myself a runner just like you? Okay. I can also make a jump shot which makes me a basketball player. And I even caught a fish one time so I’m a fisherman too. Wow.

    • disney_casey says

      Did she run in the race, does she run and train for races the answer is yes so she is a runner. I think you need to get off your high horse.

    • I can’t believe I’m joining in this non-sense but here it goes.
      Definition of “runner” per google search from dictionary.com, answers.com, merriam-webster, ETC
      1. A person who runs, esp. in a specified way: “a fast runner”.
      2. A person who runs competitively as a sport or hobby: “a marathon runner”
      Definition of jogger per same source:
      Definition for jogger’s:
      jogger – someone who runs a steady slow pace (usually for exercise)

      The best thing, IMHO, about running is the fact that it is individualized. I’m going to assume Heather knew she wasn’t going to win 1st place. She set her own goals(whatever they may be: sub 3, sub 4, sub 5, ETC), trained, and achieved them.

      “I get a little mad when people say they’ve run a marathon and it took them over 6 hours” -Conner
      WHY? If that was someone’s goal and they achieved it then CONGRATS to them. I’m glad you’re getting mad over someone’s accomplishments.

      Not everyone is a Kara Goucher or Ryan Hall; hell, MOST people aren’t. If my “running pace” is 10min/mile then maybe I’m jogging at 11-12min/mi. It may be completely different for you, which I’m sure it is.

      People are different; it’s what makes the world go round. Runners come in all shapes, sizes, and speeds. Live with it.

  28. Allison @ Food For Healing says

    those comments kind of annoyed me! what makes him the best of the best? what makes his little “list” saying who is a runner so important?
    BAH forget him!
    You are a runner, and you are amazing! You are entitled to stop and enjoy the disney characters if you want, I’d do the same! Doesn’t mean you didnt run a marathon.
    Have a fabulous day beautiful!

  29. Connor,

    What kind of man comes to a young woman’s blog, reads about one of her greatest accomplishments, and then tries to take that away from her? Don’t forget there is a person- a person with feelings- behind the blog your commenting on.

    Runners come in all shapes and sizes, and ability levels. Why hate on people?

    If you want to be an elitist, you better walk the walk. I’d work on getting your 3+ hour marathon time down…

  30. Hi, I’m Bryan and I’m from the Internet. I declare you to be……a runner! I first came across you and your blog because we both ran the WDW Marathon in 2011 and we both tweeted about it. It was my first marathon, too, and even though my time wasn’t spectacularby some standards (4:41), I finished ahead of most of the field. I also stopped for a couple of photos and took 4 scheduled walk breaks of about 60 seconds (per Jeff Galloway…also a runner) to ensure I finished well. So am I a runner? I think so.

    I’ve learned, especially in the last year, that there are lots of running paces due to genetics, body size, and training levels. But if you prepare for months and finish a marathon you are a runner. There’s no way a troll can take that away from you.

    I wish I was like Ryan Hall or one of the Kenyan superstars, but it was never in the genetic cards for me. But I let those guys inspire me rather than make me think I’m somehow less because I’m not as fast.

    Congrats on your marathon and keep running. It’s great to see you inspiring so many others to get off the couch.

    • def not in my genetic cards either! I wish! I think you did a great job in the WDW marathon!
      thanks for the encouragement, it is greatly appreciated!

  31. These photos are awesome! I particularly love the ‘arms up big smile’ finish line pics. I did the Disney Princess Half in February, but it looks like I’m adding the WDW marathon to the list. It looks like you had such an great time – thanks for sharing!

  32. Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep says

    Connor, I don’t suppose you just got out of bed one day and ran a sub-4 marathon. Didn’t you have to train for months on end? Didn’t some of those months include mileage under 75 miles?

    By the way, I walk faster than 15:00. So, by my definition, you aren’t even a real walker.

  33. Like I said previously, I’ve been running for about 11 years now. I didn’t consider myself to be a runner until about 6 years ago when I became extremely passionate about it. When you are passionate about something, it becomes a part of you. Because of this passion, I started running more. I ran more races, I ran faster, and I even decided to quit running in my old athletic shoes and buy real running shoes. And about two years ago, I broke down and started buying real running gear. I consider myself a runner not only because of miles, but because I’m almost addicted to it. I can hardly go a day without running. The way it makes me feel when I’m done with a long hard run, can’t be duplicated by anything. I need to run for my sanity. If I don’t have time in my day to run, I get up even earlier to get in a run. So to say it bothers me when people label me as a runner and someone who walks a marathon as a runner, is an understatement. Was my approach wrong in my first comment? Definitely. I apologize completely for that.

    There are absolutely different levels of runners. Trust me, I don’t have a runners body. I’m 6’3 190 lbs. I get passed by 5’8 140 lb guys all the time. And I’ll never beat them. It’s just the way it is.

    Here’s what I believe the other commenters aren’t understanding, to complete a marathon, doesn’t mean the same thing as running a marathon. While completing a marathon, no matter how slow, is hard, there’s a major difference between someone running a marathon and someone just out there to finish it. Running and jogging or walking are two different things.

    In the grand scheme of things, if someone wants to call themselves a runner, fine, do it. I just don’t like throwing everyone into the same group.

    Heather, I apologize for commenting the way I did. And the fact that I diminished your accomplishment was wrong and I’m sorry for that.

    • I agree with you. ut next time try to use better words 🙂

    • Amanda@RunningOnCoffee says

      “I didn’t consider myself to be a runner until about 6 years ago when I became extremely passionate about it. When you are passionate about something, it becomes a part of you.” “I consider myself a runner not only because of miles, but because I’m almost addicted to it. I can hardly go a day without running. The way it makes me feel when I’m done with a long hard run, can’t be duplicated by anything. I need to run for my sanity.” By this definition, I too am a runner, as are many of the people reading this blog – I am sure (even though I am much slower than yourself). I don’t understand the point of trying to knock the accomplishments of others. The numbers speak for themselves, people will understand you are a “fast” runner when you tell them your marathon time. There’s no reason to go out of your way to tell someone they only “completed” a marathon. Just remember, those slower people are what allow your performance to look as impressive as it may when you compare to overall performance as well as age & gender groups. I think what’s important is that people ARE running…or jogging…or “completing” – regardless of what you want to call it, it’s exercise and it’s good for us!

  34. hey, just stumbled upon your blog after meg at my marathon diaries was about to kick a brother in the face for leaving such snide remarks on your post. looks like you’ve brushed your shoulders off so keep on trucking! i like what you’ve got to say.

  35. Hi Heather, I follow your blog after finding Travel With The Magic’s website.

    Please don’t give “Connor the Runner” another thought. People like him find secret pleasure in making people feel bad. You don’t owe him anything nor do you have to defend yourself.

    I was talking to my husband about “you” the other day and it was like I knew you lol. I told him what a fantastic RUNNER you had become and how much I am inspired by your blog.

    You have loyal, encouraging followers and just one bad apple isn’t worth the second thought. The fact that he keeps coming back to comment or futher bash others comments is even more disturbing.

    Keep on running/jogging/walking and enjoy the fabulous new house and wonderful husband and cute doggies!! We’ll be with you all the way!

    • SO sweet! I have the best readers ever, don’t I? Thank you so much for the encouragement! I feel that way about other bloggers too, like I “know” them HAha! Thank you for reading!

      • Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep says

        I always talk to my in-real-life friends about blogs I read, and I always call you guys my “blog friends” because I feel like we’re all part of one big gigantic group of friends.

  36. Hmm…I will just say that I followed your blog because of your content, not because of a giveaway. If we’re going to get to a nitty, gritty definition, then I have no comment. But I think it’s fabulous that you were able to run so many miles, even if you had to stand in line for bit and walk a bit. The fact that you were able to run as much as you did, and have such a high mileage count, is absolutely amazing:)

    • thanks so much! yeah it was a bummer having to stand in line…not all characters had lines, but most did. we stood in line for mickey and minnie the longest (about 15-20 people back maybe?) but got an awesome photo!

  37. To Conor:
    When you enter a road race what are the categories? From what I remember there are only two… Runner and walker. So if you like it or not, jogger is not an option in a race. I have grown up in the running community going to races and running 5ks and 10ks. Never once did I hear that because of my times, which weren’t very fast, that I was a jogger not a runner. While you may have the years, you do not have the credentials to make such a decision. Are you on the deciding boards for the Port City Pacers or the Mississippi Track Club to weed out the joggers? If not, kindly stop trolling blogs to find times you think are unacceptable.
    Thank you!

    Heather- Keep up the good work. Maybe one day I’ll get back into running. 🙂

  38. I’m new to your blog, and have just spent the past 45 minutes perusing your FAQ and some of your older posts. I love what I’m seeing and will be back for inspiration for sure. Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment, and don’t let one negative commenter detract from the awesome fact that you achieved something incredible – something that most people won’t ever attempt.

  39. Love your blog! It’s great to read about a real runner’s journey! Your pictures are so inspiring! I love to read runners’ blogs with pictures of them running! Keep up the posts! Yea!- I found another new blogger friend. One of these days I want to start my own blog!

  40. The best response I have ever heard to the suggestion that people who don’t run hard enough, fast enough, or well enough to be a “true” runner comes from none other than Jeff Galloway himself in a recent Disunplugged podcast – (link here: http://www.wdwinfo.com/podcast/roundtable215-011911-jeffgalloway.mp3 )

    When asked to respond to the criticism that we have made the Marathon “too easy”, and that now “everyone” and “anyone” can run a marathon, Galloway answers such ridiculous statements swiftly and effectively. He says that there are always going to be “elite snobs” who don’t think that others are good enough or fast enough to be deserving of the title of “runner” unless they can run at a certain time (which happens to be their time or faster). The overall effect of training for and then running a full marathon changes peoples’ lives for the better. And, If we have made it easier for people to do that, then according to Galloway…..hallelujah!

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