Monday, February 12, 2018

2018 Walt Disney World Marathon

The fourth and final portion of our Dopey Challenge journey was the Walt Disney World Marathon.

Walt Disney World Marathon

Thankfully, due to the bus fiasco the day before, I made it to the bus on Sunday morning with PLENTY of time to spare and was on a bus by 3:30 a.m. sharp! While riding to the race start, I chowed down on the banana and bagel that I purchased from the Riverside food court the previous day.

Walt Disney World Marathon

After meeting up with my race buddy for a quick picture, we started our long walk to the corrals. (Weren't we JUST here?)

We also decided to dress like Vintage Minnie and Steamboat Willie for this race! How fun that it was also the 25th Anniversary of the Marathon! 

Walt Disney World Marathon

All of the guys (Mickey, Donald, and Goofy) were out to wish us a great race!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Walt Disney World Marathon


...and with a fireworks start, we were off!



Walt Disney World Marathon

I don't have any pictures leading up to the Magic Kingdom, but it was basically the same route as the half the day before. Running through the train station and onto Main Street was just as magical on day 2!

Walt Disney World Marathon

We also stopped for several characters while in the Magic Kingdom.


Walt Disney World Marathon

I was super excited to see Sebastian out again - we missed him the day before and that was one stop I regretted missing!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Photo pass photographers were lined up at the front of the castle to take pictures of runners which was really nice!

Walt Disney World Marathon

 After exiting the Magic Kingdom, I could.not.believe.my.eyes.



Walt Disney World Marathon

The Maleficent float along with a couple of parade performers were out for a picture! What the heck?! We HAD to stop and I'm so glad we did!!

After leaving the Magic Kingdom, we looped around the Grand and Poly where we saw Jason and I was able to shed a layer of clothing. With the sun out, it was warming up (but still very chilly), so with one less layer, I was perfectly comfortable the remainder of the race.

Walt Disney World Marathon

Out along Bear Island Road (of nothingness), they had all kinds of fun props to see! This section was old ride vehicles from retired rides! How fun is that?!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Walt Disney World Marathon

I have no clue what these guys were from but they looked cool so I took a picture. Anyone know?

Walt Disney World Marathon

The Adventurers Club guy was even out to cheer runners on! How funny!!

This course took an interesting turn (I'm assuming to make up for all of the lost space in Hollywood Studios) where we ran for literally forever down this random road then turned around and headed back. Seriously, I think it was only a mile or two but it felt like forever.


Walt Disney World Marathon

Mile 12! Almost to Animal Kingdom!



Walt Disney World Marathon



The park was just opening as we arrived which was perfect because I had Everest on my "must-do" list.

Walt Disney World Marathon




Walt Disney World Marathon

The sunrise was beautiful, too! A perfect marathon morning.

In the past, I know they've let runners use the FP line but I guess with the popularity of riding Everest during the race, they can't do that anymore. Anyway, even though this Everest "excursion" added about 15 minutes to our time, it was TOTALLY worth it and I would do it all again! 

Walt Disney World Marathon



I mean, how many chance do you get to ride a roller coaster during a marathon...and at mile 14 at that? Not very many!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Everest! Sadly, on the official ride photo, the hands of the runner that sat in front of me are totally blocking my face. Whomp whomp. Oh well!





Walt Disney World Marathon

After leaving Animal Kingdom, we found Jason and Randy! See me frantically waving off to the right?? Hah!

Walt Disney World Marathon



We love our little cheerleaders!

Walt Disney World Marathon

This is where the fun really began.




Walt Disney World Marathon

The Haunted Mansion grave diggers were situation just outside of Animal Kingdom! I tried but couldn't convince Melissa to lay down on the ground and take a picture with me. Whomp whomp.



Walt Disney World Marathon

I know a lot of people don't enjoy this part but I love running through Wide World of Sports! It definitely gives something else to see besides back roads and highways.

Walt Disney World Marathon



Running where Brayden ran just a few days before was fun, too!

Walt Disney World Marathon

When we saw baseball Mickey and Donald, we HAD to stop. I was beyond thrilled for this picture!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Part of the route took us on the field of Champion Stadium, too!



Walt Disney World Marathon

So fun!

Walt Disney World Marathon

By Mile 21, I was ready for this marathon to be over and done. My knee and hamstring miraculously held up the entire 48.6 miles, but I was so ready to be finished running.

Walt Disney World Marathon

Seeing construction behind Hollywood Studios was pretty neat!

Walt Disney World Marathon

By the time we reached the chocolate, I knew it was almost over! They had various M&M's and some kind of Malted Milk Ball type candy. It was delicious regardless!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Another super fun character opportunity was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit! We were dressed vintage too, which was perfect for him!
 
Walt Disney World Marathon

After taking the turn down Hollywood Boulevard, we were out of Hollywood Studios and at my favorite "inspiration point".

Walt Disney World Marathon

This is the spot where my friend Heather and I stood oh so many years ago (2009 to be exact) while we cheered friends on during the Marathon and decided we could do that too!

Walt Disney World Marathon



Our reflections were fun! :)

Walt Disney World Marathon

Around the Boardwalk, Yacht, and Beach Club and on to Epcot!

Walt Disney World Marathon



runDisney released a fun "mile 25 surprise" a few days before the race - basically, it was a fancy mile marker sign!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Fun times!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Almost there!

Walt Disney World Marathon

I was SO excited to see the actual Gospel Choir out there!




Walt Disney World Marathon



YAY!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Chip (or Dale...I can't remember) was at the finish line again so I gave him another high five!

Walt Disney World Marathon

...and that's it! Our 48.6 journey had come to an end! What a ride!!

Walt Disney World Marathon

Walt Disney World Marathon

We were VERY delirious and goofy by the end of it all!

Walt Disney World Marathon

DONE!

Walt Disney World Marathon



Walt Disney World Marathon

There were two fun surprises waiting at the finish line - we were all given a fun pair of Marathon Mickey ears...

Walt Disney World Marathon

...and the boys had roses just for us! So special!

Walt Disney World Marathon

We enjoyed a much deserved dinner at Trails End that evening to cap off the night!

Walt Disney World Marathon



You can check here to read my final thoughts on Dopey Challenge. Now that I've had a month to reflect on the process, I still feel exactly the same - it was fun and a great experience, but I don't plan on running it again. All 48.6 miles were definitely magical and I had a super amazing time running my first (and last) Dopey Challenge. Thanks for another amazing race weekend, runDisney! I can't wait to return to run another!

11 comments:

  1. I love that you rode a rollercoaster during your marathon - way to make that race memorable! What an adventure this was; I'm so glad you guys had such a great time doing it.

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    1. I know, right?! I could NOT pass up the Everest opportunity again! Thank you!

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  2. Looks like a great race! I really enjoyed reading your recap as I'm pretty sure I blacked out the last 10K of the marathon!

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    1. I can't imagine why?! Haha! You totally rocked that race!!!

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  3. I love the Adventurers Club, and I really wish Disney would bring it back. I see Prof. Otis T Wren and Hathaway Browne in your picture :)

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    1. I know!! I never had a chance to go but my friend Randy really loves it too and talks about it all the time! Sounds like it would be fun to see!

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  4. You looked SO happy through all those miles! Congrats to you. That is awesome that you were all given the 25th anniversary ears!

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    1. Thanks! I loved the anniversary ears too! Super fun!

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  5. It's so fun to read other's report on the Marathon (and Dopey). They changed the course in 2016 too add the long road in place of the mileage on the race track. I also think that riding Everest is worth it and maybe the most fun part. A perfect time for an adrenaline pick me up. I love the Mickey Ears too! Thanks for sharing your races with us!

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    Replies
    1. Aaaaah ok that makes sense I totally forgot about the race track part of the course! Thanks!

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  6. I was finally able to sit down and read your recap, yay! Its clear that you had a blast out there. I love that you took full advantage of all the fun things to do along the course, especially ridiing Everest. Whenever I get the chance to run the Disney marathon (hopefully sooner than later), riding Everest during the race will definitely be on my to do list.

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