Race Recap: 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon (Part 1)

11 Jan

On Sunday, I did something that up until last year I thought I could never do: I ran my first full marathon! And while these were some of the hardest miles I’ve run to date, they were also the most rewarding. But let’s start at the beginning.

I chose the Walt Disney World Marathon because I live in Orlando and it’s a local race, but also a big race. Although many runners I talked to suggested staying on Disney property for less stress on race day morning, I was trying to minimize costs and decided to make the commute instead.

Along for the adventure was one of my best friends, Roxy. Roxy’s fast. And when she runs it’s beautiful and graceful. I don’t hold this against her though. It just means she’s always at the finish line waiting for me at the end.

Rox and I left my house downtown at 3 AM. We made good time and were on Disney property by 3:40 AM and parked in the Epcot parking lot by 3:50. Since we were meeting my running group at 4 AM this gave us 10 minutes to get our stuff sorted and write our names on our arms:

Since my name is a little hard to pronounce if you’ve never seen it (it’s pronounced “Hey-marie”), writing “Go Hey” on my arms gets people to yell just that. And usually my closest friends call me that, so every time a stranger yells it it makes me smile. I added mouse ears on Roxy’s arm. Perfect!

The rest of my supplies were:

  • Arm warmers
  • My iPod Shuffle loaded with the most awesome playlist ever
  • Running belt (I use the iFitness neoprene double pouch belt and love it!)
  • iPhone (I wanted to take more pictures, but ended up having to focus on running)
  • Chocolate #9 Agave Gel (I didn’t want to try new gels on race day)
  • Clif Shot Bloks

When I got out of the car I didn’t think it was that cold (it was in the 50’s) so I left my throwaway towel in the car. This ended up being a mistake because it got cooler as we walked out to the corrals. Lucky for me, Roxy shares and she had a nice warm blanket.

At 4 AM we met our group in front of the information tent in the start zone.

Christina, me, Molly, Emily and Roxy

Around 4:40 AM we set off on our walk to the start corrals. Take thousands of runners and have them walk approximately 20 minutes on a path. Have fun not losing part of your group several times (as we did).

The walk from the start zone to the corrals

Roxy sharing her blanket with me during our walk

There were port-o-potties set up along the entire walk. The ones smack in the middle of the walk seemed to have the shortest lines. However, this caught my eye:

Some runners just can't wait

Behind the port-o-potties were runners lined up peeing in the woods, and they weren’t always boys. Girls did it too. I suppose some people just don’t wait in lines, no matter how short they might be.

By the time we got to the start corrals, it was pretty close to the race start. We stretched near corral G then joined in the excitement. All around us people were laying down or sitting and I just remember thinking that if I did either of those I might fall back asleep.

In corral G (clockwise starting at the top): Sue (group leader), Christina, Roxy, me and Emily (group leader)

A view in corral G towards the start line

The bright light was where the giant screen was. Though I liked to think it was an angel watching over us.

Our National Anthem was sung by the Beast from Beauty and the Beast! Okay, that’s not true. But the male singer’s voice soared through the sky and surrounded us in its beauty. It was incredible. And in my head, it was totally the Beast singing. 🙂

Corrals were released in waves, with Mickey Mouse counting down each wave. With every wave there were fireworks, which I failed miserably at capturing on my iPhone. However, this was hands down the most exciting start line I’ve been witness to.

After about thirty minutes of shuffling, we finally reached the start line. I crossed the start line at 6:01 AM.

To be continued


5 Responses to “Race Recap: 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon (Part 1)”


  1. Race Recap: 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon (Part 2) « I Sweat Pretty - January 12, 2012

    […] … Continued from Part 1 […]

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    […] of us decided to run the Flying Pig Marathon and Half in Cincinnati, OH. I was just coming out of my first marathon, and determined to get right back on that […]

  3. Race Recap: Orlando Half Marathon 2012 « I Sweat Pretty - December 7, 2012

    […] I heat up pretty easily and rarely ever wear long sleeves to a race. The closest I came was at the Disney Marathon when I had to wear arm warmers at the start (and later […]

  4. 2012 in My Rearview « I Sweat Pretty - January 14, 2013

    […] ran my first marathon, the Walt Disney World […]

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    […] I ran my first two marathons last year only four months apart and running them only went from bad to worse. I think there were several factors mistakes that contributed to how horrible I felt for […]

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