Race Recap: The Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2015

I am an emotional runner. Here I am, near tears as I approach the finish of my first marathon.

This has never been uncommon for me. The above picture was just the first time my emotions were caught. Yet,the Walt Disney World Half Marathon defined a new form of emotional running for me. In fact, I think there were moments that as I choked back my emotions, I laughed at the same time.

So, without further ado, ere is my recap of one of the best/emotional races for me, The Walt Disney World Half Marathon!

Friday, January 9th.

Due to time constraints and my work schedule, Peter and I hopped on our flight on Florida around 10am on Friday morning. Upon arriving in Florida in the afternoon, we went straight to the expo without skipping a beat. The expo was held at ESPN's World Wide Sports Arena, right near all the Disney Parks.

It was mandatory that I got my picture with Donald.

I immediately obtained my bib and shirt from some very helpful volunteers. They answered questions for me that I hadn't even asked. I was already impressed!

Once I obtained my packet, we went to the expo itself. This place was PACKED with people.

We didn't stick around because we almost literally just stepped off the plane. We also hadn't had lunch just yet and had to hit the sheets early since I had an early wake up call.

Side note, our hotel had a SWEET view...and the bathroom wasn't too shabby either.

The following morning, my alarm went off at 2:30 am. I think the last time I saw 2:30am was when I was going to bed, not waking up!

Because I was not sure what the weather looked like for the day and we had already experienced chilly temps the day before, I settled on this outfit for the run.

Not gonna lie, the shorts didn't seem like enough once we got outside because it was FREEZING. Though my phone said it was in the 40s, the "real feel" was in the 30s. Not the Florida weather I was expecting at all.

Once we arrived to Epcot, Peter and I huddled in a merchandise tent with other cold runners. We stood by the pins that you could buy for the distance you ran. It's what I looked at for nearly an hour as I tried to ignore how cold I was. Once 5am rolled around, I had to journey back out, exposed to the cold once more.

The journey to the start line was much longer than I thought it would be. I imagined we would walk several yards and find our corrals. No, it was not that simple. It felt like a half mile, at least! In the freezing cold at that! It must have been some time walking because as soon as I got to where the corral were located, that's when the National Anthem began. That was my queue to run to my corral.

 It was crazy being that close to the front.

You were in the midst of all the firework action, which I was NOT expecting at all.

Anyway, when the fireworks went off for corral B runners, I instantly choked up. "Fireworks?! For me!? This...is...AMAZING!!!!" Though, I must say, that was the most action you got in the first leg of the race. There were some guys dancing on stilts, but I had my sights set on running through the Disney parks.

Enter the Magic Kingdom.

After passing various stops to get your picture taken, I had arrived at the center of all that is Disney. As Cinderella's castle came into view and I saw all the twinkling Christmas lights still decked on its towers, my heart leaped into my throat. I had not seen this castle in almost 10 years and never in my life had I seen it decorated like this. This is where "emotional runner Lindsey" comes in. Queue the quick tears and the biggest smile I think I have ever had.

Just above the entrance, there was Elisa and Anna. I wanted to shout to them the lyrics to "Let It Go" but ultimately, I held it in.

Really bad picture of me near the castle!
As I ran through the Magic Kingdom, the memories of previous visits flooded back. I found Splash Mountain (which was CLOSED for renovations on our trip! Whaa!?) and the Dwarf's Mine Cart Coaster. Unfortunately, I didn't pick out too much because it was still dark and also, I was just REALLY over-stimulated.

Through out the race, they had frequent water stops, which I actually avoided. I have been taught that it is OKAY to walk at a water stop. I would grab my drink and typically get as far off to the side as possible. In this race, I couldn't do that. I had one runner hit me and another yell at me for stopping. It was the only bad thing I could mention from this race. I have never been able to drink out of a swishing cup of water while running. I normally choke or end up pouring water all over myself. So after two failed water stops, I didn't use them.

Epcot was the last leg of the race. At this point, I really started to feel pooped. I know I wasn't performing my best, even without having my Garmin (which I forgot that morning). I started feeling really sluggish and hills were killing me. I think it boiled down to lack of sleep, the fact that I had only been in Florida for less than like...17 hours, and that I didn't have breakfast that morning.

I almost wished I had stopped at various picture points to catch my breath, but at this point, I had run past the majority. I did manage to get one in though...

And despite my sluggishness, I managed to keep a smile on until the end...

The medal was pretty awesome...

Second to my first marathon medal, this one follows as being one of my favorites.

So my stats...

Overall Place: 1309/22081
Division Place:  59/1697
Gender Place: 275/12379
Chip Time: 1:52:25

I will, without a doubt, be doing this race again. Maybe not next year, but I intend on going back 3 years from now. By then, I want to do the Dopey or the Goofy Challenge and I will have Peter do it with me!

Definitely a 10 and fully recommended by Freckles :)

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