- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Other
- Road Race
- Event Website
Because I had run 22.4 miles in the 3 days prior to this race as part of the Dopey challenge, I had no intention of speeding through this marathon. The intention was to have fun, enjoy the journey, and take a lot of photos with all the different Disney characters. LOL No different than the past three races. :P
I woke up at 3 am and hauled ass to the shuttle at the resort. The best thing about staying at a Disney resort is how convenient it is to get from hotel to the start line. :) I got to the starting area and because I had taken pictures with all of the main characters (Goofy, Donald, Pluto, Mickey, Minnie, and Dopey) the previous days, I just sat on a bench and tried to stay warm. It was still maybe 40F and I was still freezing my butt off. LOL. Remember, if you are going to run a race at DisneyWorld, prepare for any type of weather. :) As the starting time was getting closer, I made my way to the starting corrals and just sat down with my mylar blanket. FYI, mylar blankets are a godsend. I never appreciated them more at that moment. :)
And then, we were off. Mickey came out on stage and released each wave and with each wave release came a flurry of fireworks. :) Also, since it was its 25th anniversary, Disney chose 25 songs, one from each year since its inception. Cool, right?
Magic Kingdom - We ran the back roads of the DisneyWorld resort for a bit and then made our way to Magic Kingdom around mile 6. What a lot of people do not realize is that most of the Disney races do not take place in the parks so make sure to enjoy the moments in the park. We ran up main street and veered right into Tomorrowland where I took my photo with Buzz Lightyear. We then ran behind the castle where I spotted the 2 ugly stepsisters and the stepmother from Cinderella. I obviously had to take a photo with them.
We then ran through the castle, and towards the back lot of Magic Kingdom. I found the Maleficent dragon and these two stilt walkers who were supposed to be thorns and vines. They were creepy and totally photo worthy. And just like that, we were out of Magic Kingdom and back on the roads leading to Animal Kingdom.
From Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom - There was a bit of entertainment here and there, but my favorite part of the trek was seeing the characters from Up! The best part about seeing the Disney characters is that they're always in character so if you like the character in the movie, you'll most certainly love the character in person. All of the Up characters were coming back from their break and first came out Russell. He came out running back towards us and had to stop midway to take a breather. Super adorable. Dug then came out running after him followed by Carl and his tennis ball covered walker. :) I was super sad I did not have my Russell costume on. Russell and I could have bonded for sure. At mile 10 was when the pain started kicking in. I desperately needed another character stop because my feet were hurting. Luckily, I spotted Hades, Pain, and Panic and took a break. :) I was super sad I didn't see Meg though.
Animal Kingdom - A few miles later, we entered Animal Kingdom and I immediately got in line to take photos with Timon and Rafiki. LOL. I got really excited because at 13.1 miles, you get to ride Mt. Everest. However, I didn't know that the ride is only on when the park opens and I think I ran too fast because when I passed the halfway point, there was no ride. :( So if you plan on riding the rollercoaster, make sure to take your time so that when you enter Animal Kingdom, the park will be open and you can ride it!
ESPN Wide World of Sports - After Animal Kingdom, we made our way back onto the highways and into ESPN's Wide World of Sports. It may seem like a quick little detour here, but do not be fooled. You actually spend a good few miles running around the sports complex. At the complex, you get to see the characters dressed up in sports wear. Minnie was wearing her soccer uniform. Goofy was wearing a track suit and Mickey and Donald were wearing their baseball uniforms. We ran around a baseball field and right before we left, I spotted Sadness and Joy from Inside Out!
From ESPN to Hollywood Studios - After we left the ESPN Wide World of Sports, everything else seemed like a blur. There was some more highway running and some overpasses, which were kind of tough, but it was fun because they had green army men yell at you to keep moving. :)
Hollywood Studios - Hollywood Studios is actually a blur. You only get to run through maybe a quarter mile of the park before you leave. It's probably the most disappointing part of the race. The park is open at that point and you do get a lot of crowd support from the people at the park, but it happens so quickly that it's over within a few minutes.
Epcot - After leaving Hollywood Studios, you quickly enter Epcot and make the usual loop around the countries. At this point, there were no lines for any of the princess characters so I quickly stopped to take pictures with Mulan and Jasmine and headed out the park.
Finish line - Soon after you leave Epcot, you turn the corner to a choir and you're at the finish line. It happens pretty quickly, which was a huge relief. I crossed that finish line feeling like a million bucks. I got my medals and in honor of their 25th anniversary, they handed everyone a Disney hat with Mickey ears on it. Score! They also gave us a nice box of food! Loved all the snacks and you can bet I inhaled everything in two seconds.
So there you have it, my race report of the Walt Disney World Marathon. If you're not down to do Dopey, I'd still highly recommend the marathon race. It was fun and requires a 1/4th of the early wake up calls. :P