15 February, 2011

Marathon Week Day 3 Recap: Spectating at the Half Marathon!

I really hope I'm able to start getting these recaps out sooner. Like Melie said, I'll be finishing Goofy next year and still typing 2011's recaps up! Yikes!!

So anyways! Let's get on with the show!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This morning was the day of the half marathon!  Christina was running so we set our alrams for 2:10am the night before and tried to get some sleep.  I, unfortunately, hardly got any and kept on waking up every few hours for some reason.  Pre-race jitters maybe?  Even though my race was still 24 hours away? Who knows!

We groggily woke up and stumbled to get ready.  Headed into the food court so Stina can have some breakfast and were soon on the bus heading to the family reunion tents.  I noticed this year though that there were hardly ANY people at Pop Century for the race.  Last year the food court was jam packed with people and the lines for the buses were obscene.  This year though you could pretty much hear a pin drop in the food court.  There were a handful of people eating and when we got outside to the buses, there was no one there!  The one or two lone buses waiting for us looked lonely. 

Arrived at the starting area without any problems and made our way to the 'H' tent where the rest of the Running of the Ears gang was meeting up.  Got to catch up with a few familiar faces and meet a bunch more.  One of the ROTErs is an army chaplain so he lead the group in a prayer and then all of the runners started getting ready to head over to the start line.  Luckily I got a chance to run into my friend Sarah too, who was also running her first half marathon!  I wished her and Christina good luck and the two of them headed out. 

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Before the trip, Karen (who was running her first full too!) and I planned to cheer on our friends together since they were both running roughly the same pace.  Problem was, I couldn't find Karen!  After a few text messages back and forth, it turns out that she was stuck on a bus trying to get to the reunion tents.  Since they closed off all the streets already, the bus was on a wild goose chase trying to figure out where to drop everyone off.  A few of us started heading over to the monorail to head to the TTC (roughly Mile 4) and luckily Karen was dropped off only a few minutes before we got there.  Perfect timing!

A little before the race started, Karen and I saw a girl with a race bib wandering around trying to figure out how to get to the start line.  I'm not sure if she woke up late or got on a late bus or something but I felt so bad for her.  It was already almost 5:15 or so and the race started at 5:30!! We also saw another guy a few minutes later running around trying to find the start line as well.  That's one of my BIGGEST fears on race day.  I can't even imagine how stressed out they were!  I'd probably just sit and cry.  

As the start of the race came and went, we knew that the first runners would be flying by any minute.  Sure enough we heard the faint cheers and cowbells and as they got louder, we saw the first wheelchair athletes zoom by.  These guys were amazing!  Definitely got a little teary eyed and joked that we're going to be a MESS the next day for our race!


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Karen and I were trying to find the best settings to take pictures with both our cameras.  We kept joking that we had these huge professional looking cameras but were having problems figuring out how to take pics in this lighting.  Wasn't so easy when it was pitch black outside and we only had a few florescent light bulbs overhead.  Eventually we both got the hang of it and I think our pics came out pretty decent!  Until it started getting light out...then it was back to the drawing board!

A few minutes after the wheelchair athletes came the elite runners.  These runners were BOOKING!  It was near impossible to get any decent photos of them. 

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After all of the elites, it was then time for some of the entertaining costumes along the course.  Loved seeing what everyone decided to dress up as.  Also wondered how half of these people can run in these HUGE costumes.  Very impressed!  (Yes, many of my costumed pics are of guys.  There's only so many girls in traditional princess outfits that you can take photos of.  haha!)

even Stitch ran the half marathon
Can't imagine how hot it got in this outfit when the sun came up!


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Is this the runner who runs all his races as Minnie?


Tinkerbell
Tinkerbell like you've never seen her before!


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I found Waldo!!

I got the text message that Christina had reached the 5k mark so I tried to pay closer attention to the oncoming runners.  I had told her that I'd be on the left side of the course so was hoping that she remembered so we can see each other.  Also didn't realize how dizzy and disoriented it makes you trying to focus on so many moving people at once, yikes!   Luckily I didn't have to struggle too long and Stina came running by looking great!!


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After Stina ran by, we waited for Karen's friend, Alexis, to come through.  Alexis found us and ran over to say hello.  Stupid cameras were distracting us again! :)

After Alexis passed by, the two of us headed over to the Polynesian Resort where Mile 8 of the course ran through.  I hadn't really eaten at 3:30am at Pop so I was starving.  We made our way upstairs to the coffee stand next to Kona Cafe and was so excited to finally get my Kona coffee and a blueberry muffin.  Sadly the coffee was slightly watered down for some reason so I wasn't a huge fan.  Still drank every last drop though!

We made our way outside and walked down the road until the crowds thinned out a bit.  Perfect area to cheer on some runners and look for our friends!  Throughout the whole course I kept seeing ROTE runners fly by.  Tried to cheer on every last one but it was hard to do!  Many of them saw me first and gave a loud hello as they ran by.  


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Yay Tricia!! :) (We ran the Jeff Galloway run together in October)

And now time for some more fun costumes!

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Cruella and a pup!


All of the running 'pairs' were great and we had a fun time trying to decipher what some of them were trying to be.  I think the one that was most memorable for Karen and I was a father/daughter combo.  The father had a shirt that said "Proud Dad" and the daughter had a shirt that said "Daddy's Little Girl".  Tears instantly welled up in both of us and we started to cry.  It's such an awesome experience to share with your parents!  I wish I could do something like this with my dad but he still thinks I'm insane for running down the block let alone half marathons.  *sigh*

Christina ran by at some point in between all of the fun costumes and was still chugging along like a champ.  It had definitely gotten much warmer since the start so when she saw me she threw all of her extra clothing at me, complained that it was hot, and kept on running, haha!  Both of us don't do great in warm weather runs so I could feel her pain but she sill looked good!  She was almost done!

Fabulous cheerleaders! (Stole the picture from Karen's facebook!)

Alexis ran by a few minutes later and she looked great as well.  After we were done cheering, I'm pretty sure this is where Karen and I headed our separate ways.  Hopped back on the monorail and took it ALL the way around to the TTC.  I figured I had time to waste and really just wanted to stay off my feet as much as possible before my race.  Major snag in the plans though when I got to the TTC.  I tried getting on line for the monorail to Epcot and it was complete CHAOS.  Not sure if the monorail was down or what but there were easily a hundred, if not more, people trying to get on the Epcot line.  Three or four Cast Members had NO clue what to do and were telling people to go in every direction, which only irritated the guests even more.  Cast Members weren't talking to each other, they weren't helping to form a structured line, nothing.  I was trying not to get irritated but my nerves were wearing thin.  A good 20 minutes later, I was FINALLY on my way to Epcot.  Unfortunately, I got the text message that Christina finished just as I was walking off the monorail.  Fabulous.  :(

I knew it would take a little while for Christina to make her way back to the reunion tents so I tried to get there as fast as I could without running.  By the time I got there, there was already a ton of ROTE members there congratulating everyone as they walked over.  Christina made her way over a few minutes later and I got to finally officially congratulate her on Half Marathon #2!!!  We hung around for a bit but Christina just really wanted to go back and shower so we said our byes to the gang and headed back to Pop.  Luckily the lines for the buses weren't bad at ALL and we were on the first bus back.  

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Lots of red and black at the 'H' tent!


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With my crazy running friend Jeff from Hawaii (he's ran Goofy every single year)

I had a great time cheering on people during the whole entire race.  Chasing after Christina and Alexis definitely helped pass the time away and it didn't seem like we were running around for 3 hours at all.  Having a fabulous cheering partner helped too (thanks Karen!!)!   Congrats to all of the half marathon runners!!! :)

Next up on the trip recap agenda is the remainder of our day at Epcot and dinner at Le Cellier!

9 comments

  1. The costumes are awesome! Seriously, the Disney marathons are the best and the medals look so cool! I should do one of those too...

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  2. I love that Tricia is in her black RunDisney shirt!

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  3. That sounds like a lot of fun! I think if I run the full next year, I would enjoy cheering at the half! :)

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  4. Those are some really special runners in there. LOL! :)

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  5. You're obviously an awesome cheerleader - and with such great photos! Those people with the costumes ... MAJOR kudos to them! I don't know how they do it!

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  6. @melie...their races are usually SO much fun! You know they have a half marathon in Disneyland...right? ;) I'm debating doing it this year. I need to make up my mind soon though, it's starting to fill up.

    @Jen...right? :) haha! I brought mine with me and never even took it out of my suitcase :(

    @Niffercoo...cheering was so much fun! You get sucked into all the excitement and it's awesome seeing the happiness on people's faces when you cheer them on.

    @Days In the Park...haha, they're awesome! :)

    @Ronda...I've been trying to think of a costume that I'd be willing to wear for that long and I can't think of anything. I'd get annoyed with it and want to rip it off!

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  7. I had so much fun cheering on our friends! :0) I'm glad I was able to hang with you, too...that would not have been as much fun alone!

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  8. The dude dressed as Tinkerbell cracks me up, by the way!!! :0)

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  9. @Karen...So glad we got to cheer together! :) And I still laugh every time I see dude-Tinkerbell!

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