WDW Half Race

I was in bed by 9:30PM, but I didn’t feel nearly as rested as I should or could have been. After enjoying the expo not once, but twice, and then sneaking in some gratuitous fun at the House of Mouse, I was naughty and didn’t hydrate or sleep as much as I could or should have. Keeping that in mind, I still dragged my tired bones out of bed at 4AM and costumed up for my debut at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. When I confessed to Kim around Thanksgiving weekend, my intentions of Disney Bounding as the Red Leader X-Wing Pilot from Star Wars, she was over the moon. I couldn’t figure out why (aside from her love of a really good theme).

IMG_2140Winning the Morning!

I’ve pounded this route twice previously with the Princess Half (2011, 2012), but I was excited for a new medal. I promised myself I would go for the PR and not stop for anything. That lasted until mile 4, when I pulled a u-turn when I caught sight of Launch Pad McQuack & Darkwing Duck! Hitting Main Street, USA and seeing my friends gave my a push to power my way through The Castle. Finally, after three years of runDisney races, I stopped for a photo at Cinderella’s Castle! Surprisingly, there wasn’t a line at all.

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I want to thank the runner who offered to take my photo just as the fireworks went off for corral H! It’s the small things like this that make running Disney races fun. People want to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. Well, at least in the later corrals they do. ūüėȬ†Another thing I love is that many of the cast members¬†take a¬†break from getting the parks ready to cheer on¬†the runners. Honestly, I don’t know¬†how many of them realize¬†the impact that has on runners. With the race being enclosed on Disney property, the viewing stations for spectators is limited. Also, those being able to get to the parks that early is equally limited, so I am thankful to all the¬†CMs that come out to support the¬†race, allowing the friends and families of the runners to be in the parks are we trot by. An unofficial photo op is the train engineer and conductor, but honestly, how often can you stand¬†between train tracks with a train at your back and live to tell the tale? ¬†The¬†WDW Railroad is one of¬†my favorite post-race rides! ūüėČ

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I felt a twinge in my calf around mile 8 as I made my way to the Polynesian Resort, but again, my friends cheering me on took my mind off it. When people comet out to support me at a race, I’m not running for myself any more. In Gail Sher’s One Continuous Mistake, she challenges writers to “give away” their writing by dedicating it to someone else. Once doing so, the writer is no longer writing selfishly, but for someone else. I take the same approach with running. Those who come out to cheer, send me messages or call, they are the ones to whom I dedicate my run. I’ve met so many incredible people since I started running, and I can’t possibly begin to express my gratitude. I love the placement of the uniformed Cheerleaders at mile 12 because quite frankly,¬†after shaking my¬†pompoms for twelve¬†miles, I¬†needed a little pep to get me through that last one point one.¬†When you enter Epcot from the back lot and wind up at the foot at Spaceship Earth, the knowledge of the finish being just out of reach hits. Despite my waning momentum, I took a breath and stopped for Phineas and Ferb, two guys I had yet to meet in the parks. They don’t say much, but their hugs were all I needed to power me the rest of the way.

Coming out into the final stretch, I looked for my friends again, knowing they’d be there. I told myself I wouldn’t cry on this race, and I almost made it until I saw Kim’s final sign. Out of all the Star Wars one liners she could have picked, she saved the best for last.¬†Tears welled up when I saw her holding up one of¬†Han Solo’s most infamous lines: “I¬†know.” The lucky photographers I ran past immediately after caught me wiping my tears like a simpering, snot-nosed kid on a playground, but that’s okay. My bestie truly knows how to tap all the right buttons. I¬†powered my way down the¬†final stretch, heard them call my name, but stopped short of the finish line to¬†snag a picture with Ms. Duck herself. The announcer joked that we were ruining our times. Silly Gooses, I run Disney for fun, not the PR. Not yet, at least. After crossing the finish, I zombie shambled through the chutes, getting my bottles of water and PowerAde, my snack box, and¬†two bananas. What I wouldn’t give for all this stuff just to be in a bag with a handle. Didn’t check any gear, so¬†meeting up with Ron, Kim & Jason was quick and we were out of there.

IMG_2186The Don & I are Sole Surfers together!

I cannot begin to thank my friends enough for waking up at the crack of darkness to come out and cheer me on. Kim, the ChEARing mastermind showed up with six Star Wars themed signs, HerUniverse Artoo Dress and Duffy Bear as C3P0! On his ChEAR Squad debut, Ron, rocked out as the communications post and course videographer! He sent me clips from miles 5 (Main Street, U.S.A.,¬† Magic Kingdom), 8 (outside the Polynesian Resort) and 13 (just short of the Finish Line), so naturally, I would need to post it up on my IG page (I haven’t figured out how to transfer the video to YouTube).

IMG_2192Kim is the Ultimate ChEAR Leader!!

{Official runDisney Times}

  • Clock: 3:23:15
  • 5K: 38:11
  • 10K: 1:20:10
  • 15K: 2:04:52
  • Net: 2:56:52

As I some how forgot to sign-up for any of the Star Wars related virtual races, these 13.1 Miles are dedicated to a different space hero; one of time and space, more specifically. Though, the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who has come and gone, The Last of the Time Lords is still one of my favorites (and I really need to cross this race off my list)! So, Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Fun Walk/Run, you’re the big winner! I’ll make it up to you with my cosplay photos of Clara Oswin Oswald from the 50th Anniversary 3D Film Premiere!

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