The first person to run a marathon died. Granted, it was in ancient Greece and most people didn’t live past the age of 30..or run often, but still. Pheidippides delivered his message after running 26 miles and died right there on the spot.
Knowing that fact, marathoners are really badass. And now I am one!
Sunday I ran my first full marathon! That’s 26.2 miles! What?!
After 24 weeks of recaps and training, the big day arrived and the marathon was here…So how did it go??
Saturday started off with spectating to cheer on some friends while they completed the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Lindsay and I arrived, Starbucks in hand, to meet my parents around Mile 12.1 to cheer for our peeps.
After reuniting with some friends at the finish line, we made our way to the Health and Fitness Expo to get in line for the New Balance runDisney edition shoes. After getting stuck in traffic for a short while leaving the race, we arrived to the expo and found no line for the shoes. We walked right up to a NB associate, requested our sizes and were on our way with the Ariel NB runDisney shoes! Painless process, thankfully! After that, we explored the rest of the expo, retrieved our bibs and packets, and did a little shopping.
We stocked up on nutrition for the race, got our 26.2 magnets, and made our way back to Lindsay’s to rest and carb up for Marathon Sunday! We snacked on PB&J sammies for lunch and made pasta and garlic bread for dinner, which was so good! We watched Disney movies all day long and were in bed for 7:30pm for our 2:45am wakeup call!
You’d think 2:45am would come pretty early, but we were both wide awake and ready to go at 11:30pm! After waking up and chatting for a few, we were both off to sleep! Our alarms rang at 2:45 and we were up and at em for marathon day!!
We were dressed and ready for 3:30am and arrived to Epcot by 4am. A quick walk to the pre race area, we dropped our bags off at gear check and were soon in the runner only area in line for the bathrooms. Before we knew it, it was 5am and time to make the mileish walk to the corrals..After another bathroom stop and meeting up with friends, we finally arrived to our corral J by the time the first fireworks went off for the first wave of runners!
The first few corrals go off every 2 minutes and then every 5. We watched all the fireworks signal each corral and soon enough it was our turn!
Corral J ready to partay!
We crossed the start line and were off to run our first marathons!!
Mile 1 came up very quickly. It’s great when that happens! Only 25 to go!
The first three miles we had pretty high humidity. I was dripping sweat already, but we were keeping a great pace.
Soon we were in the Magic Kingdom parking lot, which meant we would soon be in the Magic Kingdom! One of my friends was stationed around Mile 4 at the Ticket and Transportation Center, so after a quick bathroom break, we ran past her screaming and cheering! She stocked up on nutrition for us, so we grabbed Gus, gummy bears, and ditched our outer layers.
Onto Mile 5! We crossed that mile marker somewhere in the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed taking in the sights. Luckily we were able to actually run through Cinderella’s Castle..which if you’ve run a runDisney race you know there is severe bottlenecking there and it comes to a packed standstill. Next thing we knew we crossed the 10k mark and were out of Magic Kingdom and onto one of the more boring portions of the course.
We hit miles 7-10ish on the backroads from Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom. We ran through the backstage area of DAK, so we were able to see all the animal areas and backstage portions you don’t always get to see as a guest..so that was pretty cool! Right before entering the actual park, animals were available for photo ops! I snapped a couple shots of the goats, but there were adorable pigs, snakes, and some birds. Then we turned a corner and had entered DAK right in Africa and ran behind the Tree of Life. We ran through Asia and right by Expedition Everest and out through Dino Land USA. We really wanted to stop to ride Everest, but figured we could use the extra time!
We left Animal Kingdom and hit the half marathon point!! Halfway done!
Right outside the park, my friend Diana again was there ready to hand off nutrition and whatever we needed. Strangly enough, I passed off one of the sports bras I was wearing…I doubled up on medium support bras because my usual Moving Comfort bra chafes so bad and I didn’t want to risk it. Well, the double bras felt too constricting, so I ditched one and passed it off to her. She said it was definitely the strangest thing she’s picked up off the course! 😂
Right after we passed her, we trekked on and I happened to look to my left and noticed our friend Lauren and her fiancee walking past. Lindsay and I started screaming her name and had the funniest reunion ever as we jumped and screamed hugging. It gave us a little energy boost and we continued on to Mile 14!
The next couple miles to ESPN Wide World of Sports seemed to drag on. Finally we were at ESPN for miles 17-20. We definitely hit a pretty huge wall at this point and the pain of running a marathon set in. We kept pushing and trying to motivate each other, but this was the most difficult part of the race.
Thank goodness we were back on the road for Mile 21 and then soon after, in Hollywood Studios for miles 22-23. As we entered Hollywood Studios, we heard a girl say we hit the checkpoint that we wouldn’t be picked up by the infamous ballloon ladies-the runDisney volunteers who pick up runners on the course who won’t finish in the time allowed. This was of course a big concern for us, so we felt a little relief as we entered the park. We were only in Hollywood Studios for a couple short miles and then were on the pathway connecting Boardwalk and HWS.
In the blink of an eye, we were in Epcot, which is where my parents, Brian, and mother in law were cheering us on! We made the turn into the park and they were there screaming for us which made us sprint past! They also had the BEST spectactor signs EVER! Brian somehow made giant signs of our faces…we cracked up about them for at least a mile!
We went once around the World Showcase, taking a quick walk break, before bringing it home coming out of the World Showcase. My group was at the exit of the Showcase so we saw our giant faces cheering us on again! Then as we passed Spaceship Earth, Lindsay’s dad and girl friend were there cheering which gave us the final push to sprint to the finish line!
As we turned the corner for the last .2, Lauren and her fiancee were cheering and got an awesome video of us heading towards the finish! Hand in hand we sprinted to the finish line and we couldn’t help but get a little emotional!
We just ran a MARATHON!
We celebrated with a hug from Mickey and a big hug to each other and then bee lined it to the self treatment medical tent!
I am a marathoner! One of the most difficult, challenging, and rewarding experiences of my life is complete! Running a marathon was one of my biggest goals and I just completed it!
pretty sure we’re saying ‘everything hurts and I’m dying’
How does it feel??
I feel extremely rewarded and accomplished. Proud. Also in a lot of pain. But four days post-marathon, I’m still feeling proud and most of the soreness is gone. I’m pretty sure I sleep for 48 hours straight.
I’ll share more about what comes after you cross the finish line in Part 2 of my recap tomorrow! 🙂