2007 Walt Disney World Marathon Report: Erica Kirgan
Anne thank you for the WISH shirt and the very warm welcome at the Friday meet. I don't remember everybody's name... sorry! It was fun meeting so many of you!
Windwalker (Dave) and I went to the expo on Thursday to pick up our packets for the marathon. Last year there was hardly a soul when we got there around 2:30pm, but this year there already was quite a line formed. Thankfully this line moved rather quickly at the 3:00 pm opening time. Got our chips and verified that they were activated and then down to the expo. Dave and I went our separate ways for a little bit and met at the front of the expo to purchase marathon goodies. We were able to see John "the Penquin" Bingham and his lovely Coach Jenny speak. I even had them sign my bib!
On Saturday we went to a spot near the clock before the last turn into the finish line to cheer on our WISH teammates. After standing for almost 3 hrs (3:30-40ish) on the clock we decided to start walking around as we didn't want our legs to cramp up.
After a day at Epcot and an early dinner it was back to the hotel for bed. We went to bed about 8:00 pm. Dave set the clock, his watch and had the hotel call us for a 2:30 am wake-up. I woke up about 10 something and looked over Dave at the clock and managed to read it wrong. I woke him up and asked him to fix the time. OOPS. He managed to go back to sleep pretty easily, but I tossed and turned for quite awhile. The last time I looked at the clock was about 12:30 am. I started to doze off and on until somewhere close to 2:30 when I finally fell into a deep sleep only to be wakened by Dave. I ate a half a slice of banana nut bread and had a cup of coffee with an electrolyte tablet, then it was time to get dressed. Luckily I had my clothes ready to put on with bib pinned to my shirt and chip attached to my shoe. We boarded the bus from our hotel at 3:30 for the trip to Epcot.
Met several WISH members prior to going through the bag check area to congregate in the holding area with mega portapotties. Met Christina who was in the same corral as us. Christina, Dave, Dave and I all walked to our assigned corrals together. We got to watch the elite runners warm up. I even saw the guy who would end up winning his 3rd WDW marathon and tried to point him out to Dave. My nerves were really cranking hard. Found out that both Christina and I were doing our very first marathon! We tried to stay together, but that didn't happen, but Dave and I started and finished together.
I knew that the heat and humidity were going to be a problem as I am not used to them. My game plan for this race was to have as much fun as I could, try to keep hydrated, and finish under 7 hours. Dave's plan was for us to finish under 6 hrs. Hmmmmmmmm
It was really surreal seeing the Epcot ball and the Contemporary Hotel bathed in the fog as we came up to them. Saw lots of characters in MK. Dave even took my picture with Minnie! I was sure to smile and wave at the photographer coming out of Cinderella's castle! In fact, everytime I saw a photographer I would smile and wave. Dave and I would cheer all the WISH people we saw both spectators and racers. In fact, for quite awhile we played leap frog with a lady (sorry I can't remember your name) in a WISH shirt. I didn't wear mine as I had had it on all the previous day. We met and passed Cam and crew at around the merge at mile 3+.
The first half passed pretty quickly for me. We passed and got passed as the long miles between MK and AK passed by. Got to pet a sheep and bunny that the AK handlers had out. Dave could not believe that I would stop in the middle of a race to pet animals. During mile 16 in the AK I started having some really ugly thoughts go through my mind at the various people saying that mile 17 was just around the corner, just over the bridge, and you are almost at the 17 mile marker. Thankfully those thoughts didn't last too long.
It was then on the road again to WWoS. A little past the mile 18 marker I started to feel a little dizzy. Luckily there was a shaded area on the side of the road. I sat on the guardrail while eating a Cliff Shot block and drank some water. In a couple of minutes my head cleared and I was off again with Dave. I had been drinking water and Powerade at every water station, though we had passed a couple that were completely out and had been closed down! I did bring a bottle of water with me and it sure came in handy.
From exiting AK to entering MGM was a very long time on the road. I was so glad to enter MGM as I knew that my feet knew the way to the finish line. It was prior to entering MGM that I noticed Dave limping. I kept a slow pace as I didn't know what was wrong and he wouldn't tel me. I was just afraid that he had reinjured his achilles tendon! I was really greatful for all the cheering as we passed our new found friends in front of the Yacht Club. You guys are great!!
We entered Epcot again and I told Dave one more hill then around the back of the lake to the Christmas tree and then less than a 1/2 mile to the finish. He was limping pretty bad and I knew he wouldn't quit so I kept the pace really slow. I wasn't afraid of getting swept as we still had plenty of time to finish. We crossed the finish line holding hands with our arms in the air, and me with the biggest smile on my face. We had our chip removed, got our mylar blankets and medals, had our pics taken and wandered over to the W tent. We didn't stay long as Dave was in pain and I was starting to feel dizzy again.
Got on the bus to the hotel changed and went to the pool to cool down. After shivering for awhile we hit the hot tub. Outside of my feet throbbing I felt pretty good. We had an early supper and were asleep before 8:00pm.
Would I do this again....you bet as we are already signed up to do Goofy in 08!
Sorry for being long winded and thanks for your support!!
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