2006 Walt Disney World Half Marathon Report: David Traynor
This is my 3rd Disney. I ran the full in 2004 and the half last year. As an added bonus my wife decided to walk the half this year, since Disney is walker friendly.
We arrived early Friday and went straight to the expo to pick up our race numbers and goodie bag. Not too much in the goodie bag other than the race shirt (coolmax long sleeve), a small cliff bar, some tylenol and lots of race brochures.
Race day...up around 3:00 a.m. and on our way to Epcot at 3:45. It's early and cold! At least it didn't get as cold as they predicted and I guess the temp was 38 and the wind chill in the low 30s. We waited in our car until a little after 5:00 and then went to the staging area to get warmed up. With this being the first year of the half being on a different day and the start at a new place I wasn't sure how long the walk would take. Well...it took longer than I anticipated and I hugged my wife good-bye at corral F and then hurried to corral A. I got in the corral as they were moving runners up so I was in the back of A in mixed with many B runners. We were packed so no way to move up.
Race time...the fireworks the countdown...the Disney characters, but we aren't moving. It takes me almost 3 minutes to get to the start line. My first mile is terrible with a time in the high 9's. I'm squeezing through runners and running on the grass to find some room to run and it takes until almost mile 3 before I feel like I can settle into my pace. I'm running my miles right at an 8 minute pace as we head towards the Magic Kingdom. It is exciting as you pass the mega-resorts on the way to the Magic Kingdom. The crowds are loud and enthusiastic and you can see Cinderella's castle lit up in the distance. We zig-zag through the Magic Kingdom and the Disney cast members are out in force cheering for us. Around mile 6 we leave all of the excitement behind and start working our way back to Epcot. At mile 8 my right forefoot starts hurting and I can feel a blister building. With the slow start and the blister there won't be a very good time for me. At mile 10 we climb the overpass that takes us back to Epcot and there is only a 5K left to go. A couple of short climbs and tight turns and we enter Epcot at mile 12 and it is quick tour of Epcot and back to the parking lot. I finished with a chip time of 1:48, so it wasn't my best half, but it was an enjoyable race.
I waited for my wife at mile 12 and walked with her until they entered Epcot. She did a great job and finished her first (and as she informed me her last) half marathon in 3:13.
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