2007 Walt Disney World Marathon Report: Andy Rosebrook
Well I wouldn't try and copy this routine. The family and I flew down to Orlando on Wendesday morning. Got in the rental car and boom got snared in a speed trap doing 9 MPH over (OOHH!!). Tell me you aren't trying to hit up tourists when you set a speedtrap on a 45 MPH strech of a divided, multi-lane Parkway..but I digress. Spent Wen at the pool in the resort, Thrus at the Magic Kingdom, Fri at MGM, an Saturday at the Animal Kingdom. All three days on my feet, eating poorly, and walking everywhere. Then I stayed up till after 11:00 watching football. The alarm went off at 3:30am and I drove to EPCOT. After a couple of loops to find the parking lot, I parked and liberally applied body glide to anything that would rub and my feet and went to the paddock. First the hurded us inside, then while I was waiting in line for the bathrooms they hurded us to the start. Then we walked for 15 or so minutes to the starting corrals(Split start merging after 3 miles). I sat down and waited and stretched for the remaining hour waiting for the start. They did the split interestingly alternating groups, so even though I was in the 2nd group we were right behind the elites and the main starting line. It was a warm muggy morning so no issues staying warm.
The walk to the start and the first mile are plenty.
Going down for a family vacation this was vacation first and a race second, so it was far from an A race. Spending the previous 3 days on my feet and eating junk isn't great, but I felt after IMFL I should be able to run a decent race or at least an even paced one and at least break 4 hours. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. Started out in the closest corral to the start, so got an up close look at the fireworks, Very cool. Got going and kept it easy for the first few miles and had room to run. First couple miles were 8:45s or so and I tried settle into a nice pace. But it was really sticky and humid. The sun was still down for the first hour but I was still coated in sweat right away. It was so hot and humid that my glasses fogged up from miles 4-8. Never had that happen before. I drank powerade/water each aid station (22 of them on the course) had a Cliff bar at mile 5, a bannana at mile 14 and Cliff shot at mile 18. Nutrionally I was fine, and I drank a ton, but I just didn't have it today. Met up with the 3:50 pace group at mile 8 and stayed with them abit, but lost them during the twists and turns and waters stops before the Magic Kingdom. At that point I started fading. Only 9+ miles in and my legs felt dead. From that point on, I just tried to keep running and finish as painless as possible. It got very hot as the miles ticked off. At mile 15 you pass by the Disney Recycle facility which stinks to high heaven. Not what you want to smell when you already feel like garbage. I kept going and tried to stay upbeat. It helps that your name is on your bib number so people can call out your name and give you some much need encouragement. Through Animal Kingdown to MGM, I shuffled on and the run around the boardwalk and back into EPCOT was very cool. Even when you feel like trash and have a bad day, there is still an electric feeling when you approach the finish line. The gospil choir just lifts you up that much more and then its over. I managed to run the whole way and felt proud to tough it out and now I have one very large, heavy and cool medal to show for it. The ability to see a challenge through to its completion is what its all about.
What would you do differently?:
There are lots of things I would have done differently, if this had been a higher priority race, (visit the parks afterwards, not run an Ironman 2 month prior, actually do a long run the last 7 weeks, eat better, and focus on the race.) but this was a fun race to experience. So many first timers, walkers, Team-in-Training folks, the characters, and the course make it a rewarding race, even if I did suck. It also made me realize just how good of a race I had at IMFL. I ran a faster marathon there than at Disney and my 2nd half was 20 minutes faster at IMFL.
Got through the chute, got my blanket and medal, got some water and powerade, some fruit, and there wandered aound for about 30 minute trying to find the car. Went to the resort, used the hottub liberally and sat on the couch the rest of the afternoon. Did do Chevy's that night. Spent two more days at the parks and noticed alot of folks walking around very gingerly.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Heat, Hunidity, focus. Once I let the negative thoughts into my head they cascaded and dragged my down like an anchor. So much of any endurance event is your mental outlook. At IMFL, I was so positive it wasn't funny, Disney was the polar opposite.
Disney was a well supported, well organized, and very fun event. Running through the parks, the fireworks at the start, running through Epcot with everything lit up was very cool. I even understand asking everyone to get to the race by 4:00am (2 hours early) as the amount of roads you had to close to support this race really force then to do it. Everyone should try this race once, its quite an experience!