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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

#49- Running the "Happiest Place on Earth!"

I have never run a Disney race. I LOVE Disney, but they only do half marathons on the west coast. Not to mention I could do two races for the cost of one Disney race (when you race as much as I do, cost is always an issue).

2013 was the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon. If I was going to ever run this race, this was the year! I bit the bullet and signed up not only for the marathon, but for the half marathon the day before. Yes, I (and 4 of my good friends) signed up for the Goofy Challenge!

What goes into a normal person's head when taking on such an endeavor? Well making sure your training is up to par. Since, I am apparently not normal, my first thought went to what I would wear!

I knew that Donald Duck represented the half marathon, so I decided on making a cute Donald Duck outfit that was runner friendly (i.e. tech fabrics that are easy to run in). Here was the result:

Donald Duck Himself
My Donald Duck Interpretation
Mickey Mouse represents the full marathon, so I went with a Minnie Mouse out fit for the 26.2:
Minnie Mouse in all her Glory!
My Minnie Mouse
My Minnie Mouse was a little less dramatic than my Donald Duck, but running 26.2 miles is hard enough. Add a costume and is tough. I just wanted my outfits to be running clothes first, costumes second and I could not have been more pleased.  
Now on to the running! On Friday my girls (Teresa, Teota, Liz, Marsha and Kentucky Karen) and I hit the expo. There were lots of booths, but little to no Goofy Merchandise! I ordered my Goofy jacket about 4 months before the race and I was so glad I did. They had hardly anything (and nothing I wanted)!

 Maniacs at the Expo
After the expo we went headed over to the Three Little Pigs meet & greet to pick up our swag! I saw a post on the Marathon Maniacs Facebook page advertising the "Three Little Pigs Challenge". It was the brainchild of Linda Bachand and "I Run Disney So I Can Eat Disney". To participate, you had to pay $10 and eat 3 pieces of bacon at mile 24 of the Marathon. In return you got anything you wanted to eat or drink from the VIP tent (we sent our requests in before the race), and the coolest Three Little Pigs bling ever!
Three Little Pigs Bling!
After the meet & greet, we walked over to Epcot for the Disney Pasta in the Park. The food was pretty good and there were lots of characters there to take pre-race photos with.
Our crew with Mary Poppins!
Inside Disney's Pasta in the Park.
Minnie Mouse and I
I LOVE Donald!
I am goofy for Goofy!
Since we had a 3:00am wake-up call, after dinner we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the half marathon and then hit the hay!

Half Marathon
At 4:00am we were on the bus and ready for the start! The race started at 5:30am and we were all pretty excited to get started on this crazy adventure named Goofy!
Marsha and I at the Start. I can always count on Marsha to have a cute outfit!
I was so excited to see Richard and his wife Simone! I met Richard during my 2nd marathon in San Diego when we were both running Elvi!
Once you get off the bus you have a good 30 minute walk to the start. We found our corral and with lots of Disney Magic (i.e fireworks), Donald Duck started the race!
Fireworks at the start!
Teota and I in front of the pirate ship!
Entering the Magic Kingdom!!!!
Tiana and the alligator from the "Princess and the Frog"!
Cinderella's Castle!!
I LOVE "Lilo & Stitch"
The Green Army Man!!
I ran my slowest half marathon ever and was totally OK with it! It was just so much fun to run and take in the Disney atmosphere. If I would have waited in line for all the characters, I would have taken four hours!
Half Marathon Bling!
Full Marathon
The next day was kind of like deja vu. We got up at the same time and caught the bus at the same time. The only difference was we were running 26.2 miles and I had on different clothes!
We did get to run through all the parks for the marathon which was AWESOME! We also got to run with our good friend Patrick Finney!
My girls and I at the start.
Maniacs in front of Cinderella's castle!
Maniacs in the Animal Kingdom!
Animal Kingdom

There were alligators on the course!!
Running on the Speedway with Herbie the Love Bug!
Teresa, Ruth Ann, Patrick and I on the course!
Patrick and I with Mike from "Monster's Inc."
Back to Epcot!
I fit right in!
Once again, I ran my slowest marathon ever, but had a blast doing it! It was really hot and humid and taking it easy made the race really long, but fun!
20th Anniversary Marathon Medal. Mickey today...
...Mickey 20 years ago!
We did it!! All of us finished the Goofy Challenge!!!
The Goofy Bling!
My thoughts on these races? Disney does a great job! Great shirts (though a little big), great medals, well run and fun. They are very expensive, but they are an experience.
Me and my bling!
My only real complaint is that with all the walkers and first timers that participate, I would love to see better education on race etiquette. I love the walkers, but when I would ask nicely to pass or nicely ask walkers to move to the side on crowded section , you would have think I shot Bambi! What attitude people gave me! I was only asking people to do what is general course etiquette. Sheesh! I got the nickname "Course Marshall" after a while.
Maniacs at our post race dinner and celebration!
Chalk art at Downtown Disney! The atrist had just started it when we went into dinner and it was completed when we came out!
I said before the the weekend that due to the high cost of the WDW Marathon it would be a one and done weekend, but I don't know now. It was pretty fun!