Disney 2007 Race Report
Had a great time—got to Orlando on Friday and did the expo and parks for Friday and Saturday; Sunday was race, parks and Pleasure Island day and then today was time to hit the malls and then come back home in time to watch the game.
My plan for the race was to not have any time goals and simply have fun with it. The main reason was because I had just done NYC in November and didn’t want to risk having any overuse injuries. As the day approached it was clear that the heat/humidity alone was another reason to take it easy, even for someone accustomed to it like me. Didn’t hear of any serious reports but do know there were some people who required IV fluids and in the last miles of the course when it was so warm—I passed 4 people on the ground being worked on by paramedics
Race day starting temps alone were higher than the ending temps at Disney last year.
I didn’t even have to wear anything but my shorts/tank for the 2hour wait outside in the Epcot parking lot prior to the race. Last year I had several layers plus was wrapped up in plastic garbage bags until the start and then still had a long sleeve shirt and a throwaway jacket while running until after entering the Magic Kingdom around the 10 mile mark when I shed the jacket (but didn’t take off the long sleeve shirt until around mile 20).
This year it was 66 degrees with a 93% humidity at the 6am start time and was up to 80/65% when I finished. (Last year was 39/93% at start and 59/21% at the end). Disney officials said it was the hottest race to date. I always though my first Disney race in 2005 was quite hot and actually doubted that remark’s accuracy—but in checking the weather history, they were correct but it was close, esp at the end.
I really thought my over pace was slower on purpose (we’ll get to the “thought” part later). I had no problems at all until after entering Animal Kingdom—that is when I noticed a little IT pain on the left. Probably 3 reasons for that pain—1) overuse injury due to training for two marathons 2) With Disney, while you get to run through the parks, most of Disney is on the roads, so you have that uneven level to run on which we all know can cause problems, plus there are quite a few exit ramps too and that makes it more uneven than the regular roads. 3) The heat is tiring and that probably caused more gait issues and compounds #2 even more. I was still able to run but did slow down and changed my walking breaks ratio. I remember my first Disney marathon where my IT caused me not to be able to run at all after mile 23 except at the finish line and then even unable to walk for two hours after the race and took me another 2-3 months to fully recover and I wasn’t going to repeat that again.
As a result of slowing down, the IT discomfort diminished and I finished strong. I passed unaccountable people the last mile and dozens of people in that last 0.2—I can’t remember anyone passing me during that time. I remember at one point coming up that last part to the finish line in front of all the spectator benches….I zoomed past two women and heard one of them yell to the other---“pick up the speed we can’t let her do that to us”---they never caught me!!!
My time was 5:30:05. It was no surprise—I planned on taking it easy and didn’t think I’d do better than New York which was so much colder. But what did surprise me was looking back at Disney last year, where I did 5:24. I just assumed I was slower throughout the entire course this year---after all that was my plan----but what I found was that I was faster yesterday from the 10mile split all the way thru the mile 20split!!!! (mile 20 last year was 4:15 and it was 4:12 this year). That amazes me because I thought I was taking it easier—so maybe I actually have improved if doing it easier was actually slightly faster???? So if I had not slowed down more at mile 17, and if you take into consideration my very strong ending, I might have even done better than the cooler temp marathon. But I don’t regret slowing down at mile 17-----I felt great afterwards and after a brief swim was in the parks and having fun (saw lots of people hobbling around who couldn’t say that). As funny story-----I planned on having some wine with dinner so instead of driving, decided to take a Disney bus over to Epcot later in the afternoon and as I was walking towards it, he started pulling away---I took off running to make it. The bus driver laughed at me when I got on. He said “Look at you—you have not stopped running yet and most of the others can’t even walk!”
Other stats from the marathon:
Overall Placement—6630; Gender—2615; Division—247.
Highlights---1) that group in the grass skirts was there again this year---saw them at three different locations. 2) One of my favorite speakers at Disneyland in Sept was Danny Dreyer (“Chi-running”)---I got to meet him and talk to him for a little bit this year.
Disappointments---I wanted a Johnny Depp Captain Jack character to be in the Magic Kingdom! LOL!
But I have made a decision on next year—despite doing the MCM in October----I am going to do the full Disney again. I know I said I was just going to do the half but dang---they are teasing us with this special 15th anniversary for the full marathon and a “top secret medal” that they are keeping hidden until next year!!!