Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Disney Marathon

Ever since I started running back in 2006, I had heard from friends about the Disney marathon and how much fun it was. For three years I didn't have the confidence to do a marathon and after break through in 2009 with my first, I knew I could do more. Brittany's birthday was 4 days after the event and I offered to take her to Orlando with me to watch me run the Disney marathon. The trip started out with an adventure of it's own. We flew out of Branson on Saturday and the packet picket up was going to be over before we could get to it. I asked Rob's sister Sarah if she could pick up my packet for me and she agreed. When we got to the airport in Branson, we checked in, got through security then I realized that I only had my military ID with me. Whoops, how was I going to rent a car without my driver's license? I called Susan and as we waited to board our plane, we called everyone from Hotwire, to the rental car counter at Orlando to figure out a way to make it happen. There was no way they would do it. I called my friend and co-worker Chuck and asked him if he was going to be in the Orlando area and by coincidence he was going to be there. I asked him if he could pick us up at the airport and take us to our hotel. He agreed. We arrived in Orlando without a hitch and Chuck picked us up as planned. After a nice dinner at Caraba's Italian, we got to the hotel and settled in for a quick few hours of sleep.

 Rob and Sarah picked us up at 3:15 so we could get to the parking area soon and not get shut out of the parking lot. The lot was well lit up and we saw a lot of Marathon Maniacs as we walked up toward the starting corrals. I was in corral C. I saw Utah Sue and Doug Care Bear and we had a good conversation before the race started. The race started at 5:35 and the corrals were being started in waves. Our wave started at 5:45 and I ran with Sue the first 9 miles using a 5 min run 30 second walk break plan. At about mile 2, Brittany called me and was upset that she hadn't seen me run by. I encouraged her to look for me about mile 10.5. When we approached Magic Kingdom, I got excited because I absolutely love Disney World and was looking forward to getting some good character pics. I had decided to take my time for this one. The miles came by quickly and there were so many characters to take pics with. As we ran through all of the parks it was such a neat experience. At about mile 21, I met another runner (Tim) who was struggling to finish his first marathon. He asked if he could run/walk with me and I gladly accepted. I think that I would be a great Galloway group leader/pacer. Maybe the 5 hour pacer. When we got to the finish line, I did my typical wings out finish. Brittany and I enjoyed the rest of the day hanging out in the hotel room as I recovered. It was really special to have her there with me. Brittany and I chose Epcot as our park of choice the next day with my free ticket. We had a great time checking out our favorite rides as I hobbled throughout the park. As a side note, we got stuck in Orlando for a couple of extra days because of an ice storm that hit Atlanta. On our extra day we went to Sea World and saw Shamu and the gang. We were supposed to fly out on Tuesday, but wound up coming back on Thursday.

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