Walt Disney World Half Marathon … featuring me as “generic runner guy.”

I don’t know if it’s the years, the mileage, the injuries, the cold, or a combination of all of the above. But I’m hurting. I woke up this morning hurting and then I perhaps foolishly tried to gut out and push through the 13.1 miles today. At some stage I ran into Nick Tarvin and mentioned I was struggling and might try and ease off the pace; we wound up pushing the pace I think because I was so cold and hurting and just wanted to finish.

Quick aside: Donald doesn’t wear pants in everyday life, but he does don shorts for running.  He also apparently wears a swimsuit, which when you think about it, is super weird.  I mean, he’s a DUCK.  He’s a BORN swimmer.

But I digress…

“Unofficially,” according to my official runDisney tracking signup, I ran a 1:41:51. That’s a pretty swift half for me even when feeling good so, “yay?” As I hobbled into the house and my Mom mentioned I looked like I was hurting I think maybe I’m seriously going to regret today’s push, especially considering tomorrow I’ll be running 26.2 miles.

In the meantime, as I engage in a heating pad and ice pack rotation, I post a series of animated GIFs to try and add some smoke and mirrors to distract from the pain. A bit of razzle dazzle doesn’t hurt, right? And all that jazz…

The pre-race corral.


Running with character…


The Post-Race Medal Shots (note: I really loved Goofy shooting the gun at the medal).


A few of the Apple iPhone “Live” shots that I use for the animated GIFs either didn’t come out or were super snoozers (e.g. me just standing there, waiting for the photo to click).  As a result, here are some relatively staid, still shots to document the day:

The pre-race arrival: There were A LOT more folks here for race day.  I didn’t even bother trying to get pre-race character shots as by the time I walked from Discover 12 the wait times were already 30+ minutes.

Unlike the 5K and 10K, the start line for the half and full is a fair hike from this holding pen.  They say it’s a 10-15 minute walk; I never remember to time it but that’s probably about right.  If you imagine cattle being herded through a stockyard on their way to the slaughterhouse, it’s kinda like that.

There was an inexplicable dip in the temperatures from the time I got up until the sun rose.  On the plus side, the wind was way down today so it was mostly bearable.  Much like Donald though, I didn’t want to wear pants — I prefer running in shorts even in cold weather.  The pant legs feel like they mess up my stride.  Can’t quite explain it but there ya go.  In the photo below, you can see the flag isn’t waving because the air was dead calm.

Every year it’s the same banter.  Almost as if it’s prerecorded.

Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are such pros though they make it sound like it’s off the cuff but I’ve been Dopey for 5 years and ran a few times before that.  And I’m here to tell ya – they need to get Bruce Vilanch to punch up/update the jokes.


Thirteen point one miles.  Are they all magical?  No comment.

I know it’s cold and the poor cast members and volunteers are stuck standing around while we at least get to move and warm up.  And I know iPhone camera are kinda crappy, especially in low-light situations.  But I wish sometimes they had taken two or three shots at a time in the hopes of maybe getting ONE halfway decent one.  It’s digital, people.  Shoot away!  We can always delete the worse ones in the quest for a least bad one, ya know?


In the next shot, I was trying to belly laugh because, well, I was outside the Laugh Floor.  Two unfortunate things happened — 1) the helpful cast member took the photo at an inopportune moment as the PhotoPass photog was “flashing” her shot and 2) I’m looking particularly plump these days.  Facebook this morning “shared a memory” from two years ago when I met Ms. Chiquita Banana and I was svelter and leaner and, well, this shot with Mike and Sully has me feeling like Forrest Plump.  Run, Forrest, run, yeah?

I had never seen Goofy in this flying ace attire.  I guess it’s themed to his ride over in Fantasyland.  But I was super psyched… until I saw what the CM shot.  I get what he was going for – framing the Storybook Circus marquee and all.  But, dude, frame down.  Goofy and me.  That’s the quality.


In the next shot, it was one of many times I accidentally bonked the person next to me.  My effort to show my puny “guns” in comparison to Mr. Incredible meant I bumped Mrs. I in the head.  Good thing I’m such a weakling — she just shook it off and absorbed it like it was nothing.  Absorbed it… ‘cuz she’s ElastiGirl.

Heading back into Epcot for the closing mile or so of the race, I once again inadvertently bumped my neighbor posing.  I hit this fairy’s wing (to which Tink told me that’s okay — I just stung like a bee and needed to float like a butterfly… which was an A+ ad lib).  Then I was so excited that Stitch had a cowbell, that I clocked his ear.  But he didn’t even say anything about it.  Class act, that Stitch.

Parting shots:

So as the sun continues to rise and the day warms up… at least a little… I’m trying to quickly recover for tomorrow’s Dopey finale.

I’ll conclude with this “erroneous” photo taken as I tried to put my phone away during the run.  As an animated GIF it provides a pretty good approximation of the running experience.  Would that all mistakes could prove so illuminating and instructive.