Just the facts now as my legs hurt with the pain of too many miles and the bags under my eyes indicate it’s been four straight days of 2:47 AM wakeups.
Parking row: Discover 14
Wait times for photos: high before the race so I skipped them.
Time to walk from the holding pen to the starting corrals – 17 minutes.
It was much windier today than yesterday. Warmer air temperatures but windier. I wore shorts and though chilly was glad I did as the sun rose and the mercury *almost* broke 50 degrees. FIFTY DEGREES, people! That’s like a heatwave!
Truth in banter: Mickey added in a fascinating “statistic” before starting the race. This was the 25th anniversary WDW Marathon… and 25 is almost as many miles as we were about to run. Not even Donald Trump could argue with that math/fact. Although I suppose it depends on what your definition of “almost” is.
And now, photographic evidence that I traversed 26.2 miles on Disney Property:
I was wearing a throwaway paper-jacket from Portland, OR, to add a thin layer in the opening miles.
The Queen of Hearts was NOT happy that I sat down. In this game of thrones, there was only one rule: the Queen makes the rules.
In (the) Magic Kingdom, I met some old friends… and was reminded that there’s something rotten in the Hall of Presidents.
The road out of MK is a sort of Island of Misfit Toys, with old props/rides relegated to abandoned looky-loo opportunities. There weren’t even PhotoPass or Cast Members at some of these stops…
I cried tears of pure joy when I came across the Adventurers’ Club President and a Member. They gabbed with runners and I geeked out and told them how much I missed them at Downtown Disney… er, Hyperion Wharf… um, I mean Disney Springs.
There’s an animated GIF I tried to do of my hair on fire but since that’s photographic trickery, well, I’m not posting it here. Nothing but fair, balanced, and true photos today.
Clarabelle Cow has a very important CheerSquad accoutrement. She has a cowbell.
Somewhere around the midpoint of the race runners find themselves in Animal Kingdom… but NOT anywhere near Pandora. I guess the wait times were too long even for us to run by.
Cast members told me I was the FIRST person to take a selfie at these two DAK landmarks. I told them at least I was first in something today….
It’s a bit of a hike from Animal Kingdom to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports… fortunately I filled in all available space and moved to the dead center of the roadway.
Once we hit Wide World of Sports, The Fab Four (sans Mickey) cheered us on…
And as we left, Joy and Sadness were there because, well, I guess they personify how runners feel in the late teens, early 20s of the race distances. There’s both joy at having come so far… and sadness that there’s still quite a way to go… despite cheering spectators saying we’re “almost there.” Come to think of it, I suppose again it depends on what your definition of “almost” is.
The distance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is almost none at all, due in large part to the construction on Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (sigh… it’s just gonna be called Star Wars Land, Disney. Stop trying to make “Galaxy’s Edge” happen). But even so, I got to say hello to that Lucky Rabbit and my 2018 WDW 5K costume inspiration, Oswald.
Skirting the Boardwalk that connects MGM… I mean, Hollywood Studios… with Epcot, I headed into the home stretch with a race around the world… the world showcase that is. And along the way, my heart raced thanks to some Disney Princesses:
The final two tenths of a mile takes one past the faux-Gospel choir… a sea of folks dressed in Candlelight Processional gowns while canned singers praise the lord… or sing Queen’s “We Will Rock You” depending on the time of day.
According to the runDisney tracker text messages, my unofficial time was 3:27:28.
I earned my ears at the end of the race as they gave all the finishers a “surprise” gift of 25th Anniversary Mouse Ears. A nice touch; wish they’d done a little something extra for the Dopey runners. But whatever. In the interest of fair factual reporting, the 76 perfect marathoners, the folks who have run the race every year since its inception, were “gifted” guaranteed FREE entry into the event going forward. So we should never say Disney isn’t generous….
Because I was lucky enough to start in the “A” Corral, and because I (mostly) ignored the throbbing pain in my leg through 25.7+ miles of the race, I finished early enough to have minimal wait times for finish line photos.
Here then are the medal finale shots with the World Famous Disney Friends:
A small bit of analysis of the facts: this marks my fifth year as a Dopey Challenge runner. I swore to myself and my Mastercard that this would be the last time. And even though I’m hurting, and I’m tired, and I’ve sorta “done” the race with photos and experiences, there’s a part of me that wonders if I shouldn’t try and maintain “perfection.”
Fact: Registration for the 2019 WDW Marathon Weekend opens April 17, 2018… one day after the Boston Marathon.