taken a little while, but I’ve finally gotten around to finishing up my race
report over the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. There’s a lot to write!
I had run
the WDW Marathon the previous year (my first marathon ever, actually), but this
year was to be my first year doing the Goofy Challenge. This weekend had firsts
for my wife as she was running
marathon, so there was a lot of anticipation.
Prep Before the Trip
any runner, the anticipation for a race is not unlike a child asking if it’s
Christmas yet on December 1st.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into training and when it’s time to
pack, things get very real very fast. I
felt like I had a good amount of training going in, but life, as it does, had
gotten in the way. Here’s the part in every running blog where people say, “I
should have done more training, but yada yada yada, blah blah blah…” At any
rate, it was time to head down to Florida and I was feeling good.
particularly felt like a good husband as this being my wife’s first marathon, I
thought I would surprise her by getting her friends and family to record
messages of encouragement for her and then secretly putting them on her
marathon playlist. That way, when she ran she would hear loved ones telling her
what an awesome job she was doing. Needless to say it worked like a charm and
she was completely surprised on her run. Success!
leaving a few days early as I was selected to participate in the WDW Marathon
Meetup on Friday morning at Disney/MGM (I’m old school) Studios and couldn’t
wait for the experience.
morning came and I headed out to the Studios. Going there is always a little
bittersweet for me since I spent the majority of my Disney tenure at the Great
Movie Ride, so it’s always nice to come home.
my second meetup, the first being the Wine & Dine Half Meetup in November,
so I saw some familiar faces and friends like Jenn (eatsleeprundisney.com) and
Stephanie (fundulidae.blogspot.com) as well as some of the ROTE gang
(runningoftheears.com). It was early, but more unsetting-ly, it was warm (a
precursor to the weekend).
around, instead of nice RunDisney tech shirts, we received white cotton
(cotton?) 20th Anniversary tees. I guess it makes sense since there
were about 80 participants this time (more than usual).
As we got
settled, RunDisney’s Bob Hitchcock told us there were going to be some
surprises in store during the morning (and they were awesome), but first we
were going to go on a quick 2.5 mile run around the park. We could go with 7-time
Marathon winner, Adriano Bastos and Bob, or opt for the run/walk with Jeff
Galloway. I opted to run with Adriano
and Bob as I wanted to get a good run in my new custom made Adidas Adios,
labeled with “Goofy ‘13” and in the
Goofy Challenge colors. Yes, they are quite badass.
|That blur of awesome on the right of Adriano is me.|
|Quick stop to meet Buzz & Woody.|
of us ran at a pretty good clip (Steph and I hung in there with Adriano), but
still at a conversational pace. We ran all through the Studios, which made it
feel like I was back in my Production Coordinator days racing around the park
during SuperSoap weekend. We ended up in the Lights, Motor, Action Theatre
where they had breakfast for us which was a nice touch.
I took my
seat in the stands and started a conversation with the folks next to me who
turned out to be the sisters from TwinsRun on Twitter, which was funny since we
all followed each other on Twitter (small world!).
Galloway team arrived, we all took our seats and Bob introduced us to a
treasure trove of running legends, and if you are any bit of a runner, you knew
this was running nirvana. Of course, we all knew runDisney ambassador, Jeff
Galloway, but then Disney took it up a notch:
The first women’s Olympic marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit-Samuelson,
New York and Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, Dick Beardsley, Runner’s
World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso and Olympian Desi Davila. Wow, what a
group! We had a great Q&A with me asking Bart Yasso about Yasso 800’s. His
reply, “Don’t ever have a workout named after you.”
|Quite a group|
session was rounded out by Joey Fatone from N’SNYC, which wasn’t really a big
deal (since we were in performing arts together in high school); football MVP Eddie Mason; and actor/comedian Drew Carey. Drew
was pretty inspirational about how he chose running to lose weight (as well as
some tricks if we ever make it on the The Price is Right).
|If you play Plinko start in the middle|
heard from the marketing folks at New Balance as this year announced their
strategic partnership with Disney and they had developed runDisney-specific 890
series shoes. They sold 1,000 pairs in 4 hours so there’s
something to be said about that.
|RunDisney New Balance|
few pictures with the running legends, characters and friends I headed out to
the airport to pick up my wife and check into our favorite resort, Disney’s
Wilderness Lodge and then head out to the expo.
|Bart Yasso and Dick Beardsley|
|You seen my shoes, man?|
the Wilderness Lodge! Wilderness Lodge is our go-to when not staying with
family in Orlando.
how it’s so close to the Magic Kingdom, but really tucked away making you feel
like you are out in the wilderness. We were upgraded to a Courtyard view (I
usually pick the Woods view as it’s quieter, but it was pretty quiet in our
room so no worries.) But, the one caveat to the upgrade, we had bunk beds! Granted,
there was also a queen-sized bed, I did
take a nap in the top bunk and it was surprisingly comfortable. My wife’s folks
set up their 5th wheel at Fort Wilderness for the week, so we were
just a quick boat ride away, which was nice.
|Bunk Beds? Cool!|
|Can't go wrong with this place|
all family members together we ate a hearty dinner and I slipped away to get to
bed as tomorrow would start my agonizing 39.3 mile weekend.
End of Part 1