21 March, 2012

The Dopey/Goofy Recap - The Half Marathon

OK now let's see if I can remember the major details of the next two race days!  There will be a slight rant leading up to the race but promise the race itself was enjoyable and fun.

Like the 5k, a chunk of these pics came from Daniel! Go stalk him on twitter @DanielWanderman ....Oh..and he must have heard my complaining in the 5k recap.  He finally posted the full marathon pics so I've already started writing that recap too! hehehehe

Our alarms started going off I think at 2:30am and we all started getting ready.  Had some breakfast, bundled up and headed towards the buses around 3:30.  The line for the buses was long but we didn't think anything of it.  Usually the buses have been crazy efficient....but not today.  :(  We waited...and waited...and waited.  People in line started getting antsy and impatient.  One bus finally came but could only take 20 or 40 people since there were already runners on it.  And so we continued waiting and waiting.

Still waiting.... Pic thanks to Daniel

Race time was at 5:30, not to mention a 20 minute walk to the corrals, so when there was STILL no bus by 4:50am (yes, I checked my tweets...) I swear there was going to be a riot at the Boardwalk.  The poor Mears employee had NO walkie and was getting bombarded by angry runners.

Finally at 4:55 a Disney bus came.  We got on and honestly had the most entertaining bus driver in the world.  I wish I remembered his name so I can send a letter to Disney.  He told us along the way that he had just punched out from the late shift and transport called and said they were desperate for someone to get to the Boardwalk for runners.  He was awesome and knew everyone was antsy.  Also, since he was an official Disney bus and not a Mears bus, he knew all the back roads and shortcuts. 

This driver sped through Disney property joking the whole time.  He kept yelling at other cars and honking his horn to move out of the way because he had runners on the bus.  It was a nice laugh even though we were all freaking the hell out. 

Everyone leaped off the bus at 5:08 and started hoofing it towards the runners area.  We quickly met up with our cheering squad from my gym back home (there were a TON of us that flew down for the race!) and handed over our friend Courtney, who was also there to just cheer us on.  :) Ran through bag check, and then started on our cattle herd crawl to the corrals. 

We look so happy for being late!

The whole time leading up to the start was just stressful!  We didn't have any time to stretch, to compose, to get ready in any way.  But whatever...we were at Disney, attempting Goofy, and were going to make the best of this!

We realized there was NO way we were going to make it to Corral B in time for the start.  I started shedding my clothes as we were walking.  When we got to the corral area, we knew that Corral B was completely on the other side of the chaos.  And just at that moment, the fireworks went off and Corral A was off! Damn it! 

Still by the portapotties! (Pic thanks to Dan)

Dan and I realized the only way to get to our area semi quickly was to start hurdling through the higher corrals. We jumped the fence of Corral E and sprinted across. When we got to the first few corrals, we realized we'd never get to Corral B on time either. Decided to jump into Corral C and hung over there.

Pic thanks to Daniel
From here on out lets see if I can remember everything!  Things happened so fast!  We jumped into Corral C and were off.  The first few miles are pretty boring, so not much to report.  Running on highway roads when it's still dark out is only so fun.  :)

As for our strategy for the race, we decided to do the Run 1 Mile, Walk 1 Minute routine.  It's worked for me in my past full marathons, and we wanted to save our legs for the full marathon the next day.  We also agreed to take it slow.  Completely prepared to make this our slowest half marathon ever...which it was!

Around mile 3 or 4 we passed under the Magic Kingdom toll booths and I started getting excited.  I knew my dad and stepmom, as well as my gym cheering crew, were right by the Transportation Ticket Center.  Using my new best friend on my iPhone, Siri, I texted my dad and Courtney to tell both groups that I was getting close.  Plus to ask my dad for tissues because apparently Dan and I forgot them in our mad dash to the start line.  Snorting snot was not fun! 

When we got near the Walt Disney World Speedway, we saw some awesome characters that I haven't seen in years! Launchpad McQuack and Darkwing Duck! Yes, my 80's childhood upbringing and love of Disney cartoons is showing.  I SOOOO wanted photos with them but the lines were already long so we just snapped photos as we ran by. 

Looking for pops! Pic thanks to Daniel
As we got closer to where our cheering squads were, Dan quickly shouted out that he spotted my dad...but we had already ran by!  I swear I didn't see them but I am oblivious at times so we quickly turned around and ran upstream to try to find them again.  When we reached my 'dad'.... it wasn't my dad! We both got a good laugh out of it, as well as the people around us when I shouted that it totally was the wrong dad!

We found my dad and stepmom, snapped a few photos, got some hugs, and continued down a few yards until we found our other cheering crew!  Got a few more waves and hellos in and chugged along. 

Yay for the cheering squad! Pic thanks to Dan

We rounded the corner to enter Magic Kingdom and I realized the race was already almost half over! We were both completely taking our time and trying to save our legs but it felt like time was flying by. 

Now, not sure if any of you remember past trip reports, tweets, or have seen other photos I've posted from Main Street, but I love the Mayor.  He's the nicest guy and I think I fell for him when he serenaded me in front of everyone around us on my birthday a few years back.  Yup, I'm smitten for the Mayor!  So as we ran down Main Street, I saw him standing on the corner all by his lonesome!!  That's just WRONG!  He was standing there cheering everyone on and welcoming them to the Magic Kingdom.  I quickly yelled to Dan that we needed to go say hi and sprinted across the course to get to him...unfortunately I think I cut someone off, so I apologize!

My day was complete after I got my photo taken with him.... :)

With the Mayor! Pic thanks to Daniel

We made our way to the end of Main Street and turned towards Tomorrowland. Rounded our way through Fantasyland and headed towards the castle....

I think Dan is getting quite talented at taking action shots, no?

Behind the castle... Pic thanks to Daniel

After making our way out of the castle, stopping for the professional photo, and heading backstage by Adventureland, we said our goodbyes to the Magic Kingdom and jumped back on the road to make our way back to World Drive and Epcot.  As we were on Floridian Way (I think) runDisney had put up some cute signs giving facts about Donald Duck.  It was the 15th anniversary of the race so they went Donald extreme.  I think we learned the entire Duck Family tree!  Definitely cute and helped pass the time away while chugging along.

The sun finally started to come up as we were heading down the road and it made for some pretty photos and sight seeing.  As we made our way past the Grand Floridian, I knew my dad, stepmom, and Courtney were around by the Polynesian.  Another quick text thanks to Siri and I started keeping an eye out for them.  Luckily my dad is almost as crazy about Disney as I am, and knows the property like the back of his hand too, so they were exactly where we agreed on.  A quick hug, hello, and good luck and then we were on our way again.  The next time I'd see them was at the family reunion tent at the end.

The rest of the way to Epcot was also slightly uneventful.  We ran into a few ROTErs and said hi but kept on chugging along. 

Say Cheese!! Pic thanks to Daniel
Finally Spaceship Earth came into view and you can see everyone slowly picking up the pace and getting excited.  When we made the turn to head into Epcot, the excitement grew a little more.  I always love running through Epcot since all of the cast members are so enthusiastic...plus we're almost done!!

Pic thanks to Daniel
Home stretch! Pic thanks to Daniel

If only I didn't look so weird....

We rounded the corner heading out of Epcot, were greeted with the usual gospel choir, and then turned one last corner to make the home stretch to the finish line.  I FINALLY was able to get a photo of me high fiving a character at the end (yay Goofy!) without someone sprinting in front of me.  

After we crossed the finish line, we quickly congratulated each other but knew we still had more than half the adventure to go!  We made our way through the finish chute, collecting our medals and mylar sheets.  After getting our race photos we grabbed some food and tried making our way to the family reunion area.  The food was the normal bananas, Powerade, water, oranges, bagels, muffins, etc. 

Done for the day! Pic thanks to Daniel
Right before the family reunion area I spotted the medical/ice tent and suggested we head over there to get bags of ice on our knees.  It would definitely help to prepare for the full the next day!  We got in line and it was a serious production over there.  There were medical volunteers sitting next to buckets of bags of ice quickly and efficiently wrapping ice on runners body parts.  After getting iced we hobbled our way like old people over to the reunion area to find all of our friends.

It was awesome waiting for everyone at the reunion area.  Like I mentioned earlier, there were about 7 members of my gym that all came down to run the race...plus their family & friends.  For most of them, it was their first half marathon and it was great sharing that with them!  After all of us finished and met up, we took the group photos and everyone went on their way to relax and enjoy the parks.

Plus, this was also the first time my dad and stepmom made it out for a race and I loved having them there.  Daniel kept joking all weekend that every time I knew they were ahead cheering, I would pick up the pace a little bit.  Too bad I can't figure out how to have them move up a few miles every time so I keep up that pace!  :)

So other than our little transportation mishap in the morning, we had a great race!  It was a beautiful day and we couldn't have asked for better weather (although I wouldn't have minded it like 5 degrees cooler).  We slowly hobbled from the reunion area through Epcot and out to the Boardwalk.  After quick showers and a little relaxing, we headed back out into Epcot to get through a few rides and then dinner in Japan at Teppan Edo.  Pretty sure we were back in the room by 7:15pm.  Got all of our things together for the next day and attempted to get to bed early.

Two of the three races are officially done! 16.2 miles done... 26.2 more to go! Next up...the full marathon!


  1. Great recap! :-)
    You've inspired me to write my half marathon recap! :-)

  2. Great race recap Jenn. I am looking forward to the full recap.

  3. @Twins... thanks! Can't wait to read it!

    @bill...thanks Bill! :)

  4. Nice photos! I kind of hate people who look nice in race photos. How do you do it?

  5. Thanks so much. Looking forward to reading the full! :)

  6. Oh my gosh! I would have been so stressed out waiting for the bus. Great recap! Darkwing Duck! And Launchpad? Awesome!! I think I can still remember the words to both theme songs. Ha! I keep saying Disney needs an old school cartoon channel for those shows.

  7. Since it was my first ever event, I was out in line at Pop Century for the first buses. It was a LONG wait before the race, but after hearing many stories like this one, I'm glad I got on the first bus over!

    As I read other peoples re-caps, I remember things along the way that I forgot to post in my re-cap. I think that just goes out to the fact I was so focused on finishing that I think I kinda forgot some of the other details.

  8. Oh wow, I've never run in to that horrible transportation system. I would have been a total stress ball getting there that late.

    So glad that the rest of the race went well for you. It sure looks like you were having a good time.

  9. YAY! You have me so excited for Goofy next year!!! Eek!

  10. Great Posts Jenn ! I am excited to see what you have to say about the Full Marathon. Bring on Goofy 2013 !

    Mark S ( Facebook friend )

  11. I think all the running backwards to take photos helped out a lot!

  12. Fun recap... I can't wait for the full marathon recap. My recap for the Half (my first ever runDisney event) is at http://therunningdaddy.blogspot.com/2012/01/2012-walt-disney-world-half-marathon.html

  13. Very fun recap! I stayed at Pop Century and we had no problems with finding a bus. This was my first Disney race weekend (and my first Half Marathon) so the whole experience was amazing to me. My race report is posted at rickpeete.squarespace.com if you are interested. I enjoyed your recap. It brought back a lot of good memories. :)

  14. Love this honest recap! Thanks Jenn! I'll be doing my first Disney full in January 2013. Would love to be strong enough - or crazy enough- to one day do Goofy! I want the extra bling!

  15. Boom boom boom ... this was an action packed report!! I think I was pretty much tense from the get go when you talked about waiting for the buses!

    Loved the report - and as usual you looked super pretty and put together in all of your action shots!

  16. Congrats on completing the Goofy/Dopey!! It was a great recap and I really enjoyed reading it.

  17. That was me who said hello after the race! It's Erin! Funny I was so done after Goofy myself that I didn't remember till you blogged about it. I think all Goofy runners have an obligatary bling shot and ice bath shot. Great recap and welcome back to blogging, we missed you.

    1. P.S. I originally posted on the "calling all Disney runners" post by accident. That's what I get for trying to post through my phone! Can you delete that comment,lol?

  18. @Melie... haha, I use a crazy amazing eyelid primer and only put eyeshadow on. No foundation. It stays amazingly! :)

    @Emily..omg and old school cartoon channel would be amazing!

    @Kipp...I can NEVER remember all of the details on any of my races. It always takes other recaps or photos to trigger the memories. It's bad! Congrats on the race!

    @Amanda...I was totally surprised by the transportation hiccup. Never happened to us before!

    @Karen...can't wait for Goofy next year too!

    @Mark...bring on Goofy!

    @Daniel...serious skills there!

    @Mike...thanks! Great recap!

    @Rick...great recap, congrats!

    @Marcia...I was surprised at how Goofy wasn't horrendous. You can def do it!

    @FF...thank ya :)

    @Jen...thanks Jen!

    @Erin... Will go and delete the other comment. :) And thanks for coming to say hi! I'm so sorry my brain is complete mush. Promise I won't forget again, haha!

    1. Ahh the bus situation! Hopefully that's rectified in 2013.