Day 4 and another 3am wakeup call.
Although I had been disappointed with the previous 3 races (crowded courses & not many characters) I was still looking forward to the full marathon. This would be my fourth full marathon (Disney 2012 & 2013 and Marine Corps 2013) and I’m starting to really think it’s my favorite distance.
I boarded the bus and met Daniel and Pat at the starting area and had them snap this photo that I immediately posted to Instagram:
Yes, the day of the full marathon was Jason, my husband’s, birthday and since he wasn’t with me on this trip I thought this would be a fun surprise for him when he woke up!
Now before you think I’m the worst wife EVER for taking off on a race trip (to Disney none the less!) without him over his birthday, he had to work. And not just 9am-5pm where we still could have had dinner together, he had to work 7am-midnight basically so it really wouldn’t have made much of a difference if I was home – he had given me his blessing to go on the trip. In fact, with his birthday being in January and working in professional hockey he’s either been traveling for work or had a game on his birthday just about every year. We now celebrate his birthday in July!
So, back to the marathon…as we made our way to the corrals Dan and I expected Pat to split off and head up to his “fast” corral, but much to our surprise he said that he was joining us back in corral “I” and thought it would be fun to stick with us for the race – yay!
As the corrals ahead of us took off we moved up closer and closer to the starting line and finally we were on our way!
**Fair warning – get ready for a lot of pictures! Having only taken 1 character photo in each of the previous 3 races I think we definitely made up for it during the full marathon!**
The race began following the same path as the half marathon the day before and around mile 5 we entered the Magic Kingdom – today the castle lights were on! I stopped for a quick photo to wish Jason a Happy Birthday again…
…and we continued on through the park and towards the Walt Disney World Speedway. Other than the big dip and hill at the entrance, I really liked running around the speedway last year, especially because the Cars characters (McQueen, Mater, etc.) were out! This year…nothing. Well not nothing, there were classic cars and their owners around the track cheering us on and some of the race cars were out, but no “Cars” cars…definitely disappointing.
We continued out of the speedway and towards Animal Kingdom. We found several character stops with short lines along the way!
I love this villains photo, but it got even better when I went to crop it and realized the Evil Queen was off to the side! I hadn’t even noticed her there when we took it!
We also found Dug, Bolt and Pluto and Smee and Captain Hook!
We said our hellos and picked up our pretzels and potato chips and we were on our way again!
Our next stop was for one of my favorite photos of the race! As we ran over I yelled, “lie down and pretend you’re dead!”
Obviously my instructions weren’t clear enough.
We weaved our way around the ESPN Wide World of Sports for about 3 miles and exited back onto the highway right past mile 20 and at mile 21 I found my green army man!
After my pushups we took a short run through Hollywood Studios where we stopped for a quick picture with Wreck-It Ralph…
…before we exited the park and headed towards the Boardwalk for the final stretch!
Just past the Beach Club we saw Jenn, Christina and Roy again. We gave them a quick wave and kept going – a lap around World Showcase was all that was left between us and our Dopey Challenge medals!
So, imagine our surprise when we turned the corner to head into Epcot and we saw DOPEY just standing there with barely any line – YES PLEASE!
Getting a picture with Dopey as we headed towards the finish line of the Dopey Challenge was definitely the icing on the cake of this race!
I love the run around World Showcase to the finish, it always feels like a victory lap to me. You just know you’re going to make it!
One of the best things about World Showcase though is that there are usually a few characters out and at this point everyone just wants to get to the finish line, so no one stops for pictures with them! We literally ran up to Belle, Jasmine, Mulan and Duffy for pictures with NO wait at all! They were just standing along the course cheering!
Out of World Showcase we floored it heading towards Spaceship Earth and the finish line – nothing was going to stop us!
Nothing except a daring duck of mystery!
Yes, when we saw Darkwing Duck and Launchpad McQuack all three of us threw on the brakes for this epic race picture any child of the 80’s would be jealous of!
Awesome last minute, but totally necessary character photo and we were back on track and headed to the finish line!
We passed the gospel choir at mile 26 and .2 miles later the 3 of us crossed the finish line together!
(**I have to admit I actually TRIED to cross ahead of Dan since I’m still a little bitter about our half marathon PR race back in March when he “beat” me by 1 SECOND!!! Well somehow it didn’t work because his official finish time was again ONE SECOND ahead of mine! In fact after checking the race results for all 4 races his finish time was ONE SECOND ahead of mine for 3 of the 4 races! Is it me, or is there something suspicious about this??!**)
Past the finish line I took one last Happy Birthday photo for Jason…
…and headed through the finishers chute to collect my medals!
48.6 miles complete.
I finished the marathon in 4:39:52, less than 5 minutes away from my PR time of 4:35.
Considering we made 13 character stops, I did 5 pushups, we stopped twice to see Jenn and Christina, made 1 quick bathroom trip, oh, and ran a 5k, 10k and half marathon the 3 days before, I’d say I’m pretty darn happy with my time!
Thoughts on some pros, cons and if I’d do the Dopey Challenge again coming soon!