12 January 2009

Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Back in January 2008, my dad signed up for the Walt Disney World 1/2 marathon. He had the intention of walking it and he actually signed up before my my mom registered for her 2nd Goofy Challenge. Fast forward to last Saturday...the day of the 1/2 marathon arrived and its my job to tell the story of my dad's first 1/2 marathon.

The alarm went off at 4am (have you noticed a trend of waking up WAY too early) and I was the first one up. I got dressed, brushed my teeth and started getting ready for the day. My parents were right behind me. The night before, we got everything ready, so there really wasn't too much thought involved other than getting dressed. My parents had some breakfast (I forgot my poptarts) and then we drove to Epcot. We arrived right around 5am and I dropped off the gear check bag and we went to stand in the porta potty lines. We also bumped into Coach Terry. My dad was completely baffled by the lines and kept shaking his head. He kept asking, "Why don't these people just go at home?" After the pit stop, we started the long walk to the start. We tried to warn my dad, but I guess he wasn't listening (selective deafness), so he kept saying, "Where in the world are we going?" We finally arrived at the corrals, made one more pit stop at the porta potties and then waited for our wave to start.

We were in wave three and started about 20 minutes after the wheelchairs. Since we were walking, we were towards the back which was a good thing. I have absolutely no problem with walkers. I think its fantastic when they're out there doing marathons. But, it drives me crazy when the walkers are in front of the runners. We were in the perfect place. I think my mom was a little worried about the pace because she was totally clipping along. My dad and I were just cruising and enjoying the day. I'll put the mile splits at the end of the report, but I will say that we were very consistent.

The first few miles are pretty boring. You're basically walking along the road to Magic Kingdom. Also, its pretty congested, so it sort of seemed like maybe we weren't moving too well. I was reminding my dad to eat something every 20 minutes and he and my mom were drinking at the water stops. I wasn't too thirsty, so I actually skipped a few spots. Somewhere, before Magic Kingdom, my dad and I had to pee, so we found a clump of trees and headed to opposite ends. I found another woman squatting, asked if I could join her and then declined her very kind offer of sharing some tissue. I would rather drip dry than carry my wiper tissue around with me.

We entered Magic Kingdom on a glorious downhill. I should mention that my dad has a bum ankle and knee. He's actually having knee surgery next week. The downhill incline was pretty painful for him, but he toughed it out, with the help of some Tylenol. The run through Magic Kingdom was quite nice. There was music playing with a great techno beat. We stopped an used the nice flushing toilets and then ran through the castle, which is always cool. I told my parents they should kiss, but they didn't like that idea. Futureland was also fun because the energy was high. While we were running down Main Street, a woman said to my dad, "Well hello there tall dark and handsome." I think that may have been the highlight of his race.

I should probably mention that around mile 3, a hot spot started on the ball of my left foot. I knew it was going to be a problem, but I also knew there wasn't much I could do about it, so I kept going. Around mile 7 or 8, I noticed another hot spot on my right the same place that I got the blister in the St. George marathon. So, my feet felt like they were on fire. No worries though, because we were right on pace and we were just walking. How bad could it be to walk 13.1 miles with blisters?

After Magic Kingdom, we turned around and headed back to Epcot. Around mile 8, my dad started struggling. His legs were killing him, but he's a trooper and her kept going. At mile 9 he got all excited because we were done with the single digit miles. At some point, he got some good turbo rocket power going, which was good for him, but not so good for the people behind us. Miles 11-12 were tough because of the banking on the curves of the overpasses as well as the up and down. We finally arrived at Epcot and the energy levels were high.

The last mile was fun. Once again, there was some good techno music going and the volunteers were awesome. My dad was hanging in there and my mom was totally cruising. My feet felt like raw hamburger and I just wanted to be done. We made it passed the gospel choir behind the big silver ball and then we were in the finishing chute. We all crossed the finish line together and I have to say that it was pretty cool. how many people get the opportunity to do a 1/2 marathon with both of their parents? We made our way through the finishers area and grabbed our medals and snacks and stuff. I considered going to the medical tent, but decided that I didn't want to deal with the hassle. Besides, I'm an athletic trainer...I think I can handle blister care.

So, that was our 1/2 marathon. My dad and I were the walking wounded. Apparently, he had a HUGE blood blister on the ball of his foot. My feet each had blisters on them that were bigger than quarters. My mom was totally good to go. We finished in 3:24:10. We were actually pretty consistent and finished under the 3 1/2 hour cutoff. Here's the best dad said that he would do another race, but only after he get his leg fixed.

Mile 1 - 15:49
Mile 2 - 15:53
Mile 3 - 14:55
Mile 4 - 15:32
Mile 5 - 15:11
Mile 6 - 15:35
Mile 7 - 17:22 (Pit stop in Magic Kingdom)
Mile 8 - 15:01
Mile 9 - 15:08
Mile 10 - 15:29
Mile 11 - 15:36
Mile 12 - 15:50
Mile 13 - 15:10