Walt Disney World Marathon 2007
What was I thinking!
When I took a simple jog at age 48, there's no way I could've guessed I'd run the Disney marathon seven months later. Training mainly took place on the back roads of MacDill Air Force Base. One road, I call raccoon run, is notorious for making you run faster. At anytime a raccoon will dart out of the woods and scare you out of the long run mode. One crazy instance happened on my last long run before the marathon. I was passing a stand of trees and heard the sound and felt the concussive wave of wind. Looking to the left, i saw the biggest, ugliest turkey vultures ever. Were they waiting for me? I wasn't waiting around to find out. Afterburners!
Heaven! I settled in at the Dolphin Resort feeling like a pampered superstar. That monstrous plush bed sucked me in and held me captive for a few moments. then it was off to the fitness expo and check-in.
Check-in took all of five minutes. Unfortunately I gave the lovely volunteer a half marathon time verification sheet that convinced her and me that I could run a four hour race. Consequently she placed me in corral D, the FIRST corral. Now I was pumped because I'd be starting with the elite athletes. hahahahaaaa whew wee! How wrong was I... later :o)
Purgatory! According to fright induced sweat trickling down my back and later news flashes; it was the hottest Disney marathon in 14 years. Being a retired Air Force Master Sergeant, I don't sweat and my @#&$ don't stink. 4:30 am, the cattle drivers rounded the masses up and we walked for 20 minutes to the corrals.
With "pump you up" music in the air, we rounded the last bend in the road...and there they were...(whispered reverence) port-a-potties! Oh ya, the corrals too. But being a retired Air Force Master Sergeant, whose +&$# is smooth as silk; I headed to the bushes and joined the ladies and gentlemen communing with nature.
4...3...2...1 JUMBO TRON ROLLING, DISNEY CHARECTERS WAVING, FIREWORKS AND MUSIC BLARIN... we are off! Handy dandy Garmin showed 17 min pace as I crossed the mat. That pace quickly dropped to 8 and I new I was in trouble. Mile five, the hoopla was wearing off and the pace was 9:15. Lesson learned, never hand carry a 24 oz squeeze bottle of Gatorade. Mile 14, due to circumstances beyond my control, the squeeze bottle took a proper burial in a port-a-potty. Somewhere around 18, right after the PowerAde and water tables, "beer". Mile 20, smelled hot scrambled eggs with mango salsa, home fries and crisp bacon.
Hell! Kind of? Being a retired Air Force Master Sergeant, rule #2, never quit. Never quit because Mickey, Mini, Donald, are watching. Never quit because Bio-Freeze and Monistat are my best friends. Never quit because hundreds of spectators, volunteers and fellow athletes are madly yelling. Yea I cried crossing the finish line.