I Finished the Walt Disney World Marathon!
This morning I ran and completed my first marathon (and second runDisney event, with the Tower of Terror 10-Miler in 2012 being the first), finishing with a time of 5:14:31.
Prior to the event, I was apprehensive about whether I’d even finish it, as I hadn’t really trained for it. This wasn’t my intent when I signed up for the race months ago–the plan was that it would be the carrot that got me running regularly, but traveling, work, and just life, generally, got in the way. I ran once for ~4 miles on a treadmill a couple of weeks ago, and stopped after getting blisters on my feet and feeling pain in my knees.
After that, I wasn’t really sure if further training would do more harm than good, and I figured I was screwed either way, so I stopped, and went about life as normal. (I did buy new shoes the day before leaving for Walt Disney World, which I think made a huge difference–seriously.)
I found myself really unprepared and concerned that I wouldn’t finish. Not so much because I wouldn’t have the stamina (even though I hadn’t trained, I am in fairly good shape and the pace Disney requires is basically power-walking), but because I was concerned my body would give out.
I’ve heard of other people getting in the zone (or whatever you want to call it) and powering through a marathon. I suppose that’s sort of what happened with me. Being a crazy photographer, I wanted to get photos of the sunrise in the Magic Kingdom this morning, and the sky was starting to show some serious promise right as the race started. To get there in time for the good light, this meant running non-stop at a fairly brisk pace to the Magic Kingdom through about Mile 5 (I started in the last corral, which was probably a blessing in disguise), where I took the above photo.
The desire to get photos got me that far, and I think the cheering of random strangers got me the rest of the way. I didn’t know those people and they didn’t know me, but there was certainly something empowering about hearing people shout your name and words of encouragement. Plus, I’m a bit stubborn and competitive, and I didn’t want anyone to see me walking…so there was that. If you were out there this morning cheering, a very sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart. Seriously, it made all the difference.
All in all, a pretty fun morning, and I’m really proud of finishing (hence the hastily written post from my hotel room instead of heading out to the park!). RunDisney put on an amazing event, and I will definitely be back for another Walt Disney World Marathon. Hopefully next year, I can do the Dopey. This time, I will properly train!
I’ll have a full report/review up from the Marathon with a lot more photos sometime later in the week, but I just wanted to share this quickly now!
I’m late to the game, but CONGRATULATIONS!
It was my first marathon too. It was VERY hard, especially the Epcot portion (it just didn’t-seem-to-end!!!), but it definitely is one of my prouder accomplishments. I mean, how many people out there can say they’ve run 26.2 miles? 🙂
Congrats Tom! I have done the 1/2 Marathon in WDW and the Tower of Terror 10 Miler and loved them both. Planning on running the Marathon in the next few years!
Congratulations! I’d love to do one of the running events at Disney World someday 🙂 – Amy
Congratulations!! I did almost the exact same thing last year. Did the Tower of Terror ten miler prior but had a knee issues from hiking season. I ‘trained’ but for the most part lied to myself that I was ready (though since I was doing the Goofy had to make sure I wouldn’t break from the day before). I’m glad I’m not the only person who decides to run these things curmudgeonly with a disregard of prior preparation :D.
Next year will hopefully be the Dopey for myself as well. This is the first year in 3 years I haven’t been there during marathon weekend and it feels quite weird.
Congratulations on finishing. Marathons are extremely tough. Get yourself a Dole Whip.
Congrats again, Tom! (And it was great to meet you in person yesterday)
I will say in defense of the run/walk plan that I’d been running for 10+ years before I tried it and it was the first method that allowed me to really pass 10 miles. And it’s possible to do the breaks without it really feeling like a burden or like you’re “not running” (e.g. walking the steeper inclines, walking at the water stops, walking when you need to fuel, etc.).
In my completely unscientific and totally anecdotal experience, with it I’ve been able to shave about 1 minute per mile off of my average because of the intervals. Not that I ever PR at a Disney race – I take WAAAAY too many pics and character stops (and running with props usually doesn’t help with speed…), but for me at least, that’s my mission at these races versus other ones.
Great meeting you, too!
Interesting comment about the run/walk method. I have absolutely nothing against it. Like I said, Galloway knows better than me, but I just think that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ plan. Even after training for next year, I imagine I will be doing run/walk. I just can’t envision myself training enough that I’d never have to walk during a 26.2 mile event. I don’t have the free time to train *that* much.
Well done! My husband trained for the Pittsburgh marathon a few years ago. He worked hard all winter, doing up to 20-whatever mile runs in his training plan. Pretty sure your time was still a little faster than his ;).
I used to be a competitive runner in high school. Maybe I should get back with it. Would love to run in Disney. Bonus, more stamina in the parks? I guess.
I’ve responded to several comments, and will respond to the rest once this trip is over, but thanks for all the comments! 🙂