This past weekend, I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon. It was my first marathon and first run Disney race. I cannot begin to describe how I feel about this past weekend. If I had to put my feelings into one word it would be… incredible. °o° I accomplished a huge goal of running a marathon. A goal that I have had ever since I started running when I was first at BYU in fall of 2008. It’s been a long journey since I have begun running. I was supposed to run this race in 2015, but I had to defer to this year. At the end of 2013 I was having knee issues. It wasn’t until it got worse in February 2014 that I finally made an appointment and saw a doctor. I started Physical Therapy in Corpus Christi, but once I finished the allotted appointments from our insurance. After a few months I didn’t feel they helped at all. So I saw the doctor again and was told to get an MRI. I got the MRI and then a new physical therapist for more therapy, which helped a lot more. Anyways, I started training for the marathon around October of 2015. I definitely needed more time in order to get a better time, but I finished the marathon and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Disney puts on a great race! I’ve ran a few races and this one was by far the most packed, but the most organized. The only thing you need to worry about is carb loading the day before, waking up on time, and getting your clothes on. Everything else is a walk in the park. 😀 About a month before the race, Disney will send you an event guide. I recommend you read it and get familiar with expo, bus, and race times, etc so you can plan your run-cation accordingly.
Another is getting a run in with your costume, if you plan on wearing one. So you can make adjustments necessary so you’re more comfortable. I’d also recommend having a CamelBak or fuel belt. You’ll want your phone and definitely fuel. I know Disney provides you with fuel on the course, but if that’s not what you’ve been training with, I would not introduce it to your body while running. I use a CamelBak, I can’t wear running belts.
After getting my costume ready, I was in bed the night before pretty early. I was actually interrupted from a flying tablet hitting my lip causing me to wake up with a bloody lip, but I survived. Haha. I was up around 0230, so I could get on the bus around 0300 to get to Epcot. I wanted to get to my corral a bit early so I could be in front so I didn’t have to be crowded and try to weave too much. That was wishful thinking, I did get in the front, but I started catching up to the other corrals and some spots on the course are very narrow. I weaved a lot, but still enjoyed it.
They had plenty of water/Powerade stops and a quite a few medial tent stops with Biofreeze. I slathered that stuff on my quads a couple of times during the race. The medical stops also had Tylenol, but they only let you have one dose and they write down your race bib so you cannot get more. They also had bananas during mile 11.4 and 18.3. Then at mile 15.4 and 19.4 they had Clif bar products. My favorite was at mile 17.1 when we got nice cold wet sponges. Those really felt amazing on my face. The last goody stop was at mile 22.5, where they had Dove chocolates. I picked a couple up and gave to Travis, my husband, at the end of the race. I didn’t stop and eat any bananas or Clif bar shots, I brought my own fuel in my CamelBak. I only stopped for Powerade. I’m glad I brought my CamelBak with water. That gave me more time to stop with characters since I didn’t need to stop for water. In my CamelBak, I had my phone, chapstick, body glide, and fuel. Very handy during the race!
At the end of the race, you’re going to want to take your running shoes off – at least I wanted to. So I had my husband put some things in his backpack. Since he had a backpack, I didn’t need to do any gear check before the race, which was nice. He had Cetaphil face wipes, Oofos flip flops, small blanket, and my compression socks. It felt good to wipe my legs and face after the race and put on my Oofos. Those things are amazing! They definitely deserve all the hype. I have plantar fasciitis and those make my feet feel great. After I wiped my face and took most of my costume off, we headed to the bus to get back to our resort where I took an epsom salt bath, drank some Powerade, and ate some of the snacks from the run Disney snack box we were handed at the finish line.
I’ll do another post of things I packed that might be helpful. If you have any questions or other tips, feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading.