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.
No lie, I do NOT remember taking this picture!
more silliness ensued…
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!
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!
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!
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.
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?