Walt Disney World Half Marathon: The Marathon

Previously

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Day 1

Walt Disney World Half Marathon The Expo

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Princess Shoes

Walt Disney World Half Marathon The Race

There are two non-running experiences that every serious runner, in my humble opinion, must have:  volunteering and spectating the marathon.  MB and I volunteered at this year’s Marine Corps Marathon {Gooooooo Little A!!! Go Kate!!} but we had yet to do the full on make the signs, stand outside for hours clapping for people we don’t even know in the hopes of seeing a few people that we do.  This was our chance!  So, the morning after my 3 AM wake up call, I hopped out of bed at 6:40 and I was off!

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I had tweeted my peeps to let them know I’d be at mile 7 {conveniently located right outside the Grand Floridian!} and mile 25.  Armed with all my signs {I had about 8.  Necessary} I took off into the beautiful, crisp morning so thankful that my marathoning friends would have it easier.  I got down to the end of the driveway and Corral D and E were already rolling past us.  I checked everyone’s Twitter statuses to estimate where they were {the text alert system wasn’t overly reliable that weekend} and it was just a few short minutes before I saw Stef!!  I was so excited and proud of her {Dopey Challenger, just had some sad, personal drams} that I started screaming my head off.  I {think} I gave her a huge hug and told her she looked awesome {she did}.  If I didn’t actually hug her, I hugged her in my mind.

After Stef passed by, it was just general cheeering for general awesomeness.  There is seriously nothing more exciting and inpsiring than seeing people executing a race plan that they had meticiulously trained for for months and dreamed about for maybe years.  I did a lot of “You look amazing!”  “You make this marathon look easy!”  “You eat miles for Breakfast!” and the like.  I was holding my little pink “Wave if you’re Dopey” sign so I got a lot of great waves.  THEN — Coach Jeff appears out of nowhere!  I start screaming and high fiving!  He says he feels great and he’ll see me again soon!  WIN!

Then, as I was checking my phone to see where she is — I hear Alex shout “Lauren!!”  I was so excited to see her.  She was running marathon number two only 6 weeks after crossing the first 26.2 line.  I’ve been online friends with Alex for a while and I’m so so proud of everything that she’s accomplished.

After Alex ran by I had one more tweep to watch for — Brandi!!  Her BRF sent me a Donald Duck clip-on plush.  Together they are Team Duck so it was perfect.   And there was Brandi!  I was so excited to see her.  She looked awesome and was doing so great despite the temp rising.  With the Duck handed off, I went to grab MB and head to Epcot!

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MB and I rolled up to the ‘Cot with enough time to ride Test Track — with only a five minute standby wait!  This never happens!

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After we got off the newly imagined Test Track, which is so awesome, we headed over to spectate the fasties coming in for the last .5 of the marathon.  That’s where I saw my new friend Nathan!  He was so in the zone he didn’t even hear me but he finished the Dopey Challenge super strong.  So proud!

Then we headed around the World Showcase to cheer on our friends at the end!  I busted out my signs for Alex and Coach Jeff and I was so happy to run into both of them.  They both looked so amazing so close the finish.  We cheered and clapped and yelled.  It was great.

Then we walked around the World Showcase to soak up the sun — since the air was so cool — and enjoy the marathon.

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The saddest thing about the marathon was that we MISSED BRANDI at the end.  We waited and scoured but we missed her.  We had to high tail it back to the Grand to catch the saddest ride in the Kingdom — the Magical Express back to the airport.  But of course, Brandi finished an amazing race, even without our last claps and yells.

We had the greatest trip to Disney World.  MB is the greatest sport.  I know he’s not as jazzed about the races and running..but that may have changed.  We have a trip planned this summer over the fourth with no races, no cheering, no Tweet Ups.  Just me and MB and the pool.  Oh and the Mouse.

Just a few more Disney posts coming up — all fun!  How was your WDW Marathon weekend?

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