Great Run! I didn't have high hopes of running a PB as I was told this is a "fun run" where runners like to stop and have their pictures taken with Disney characters. "How stupid," I thought.
By Providence I suspect, the Disney Marathon and I met through kids suffering from a deadly disease and and I chose to run for the A-T Children's Project
I haven't been to Disney World in about 40 years and I'm not a big fan of Florida but the Cause was a good one and I always need a reason that's bigger than my own ego to get me to the starting line of a race. Besides, I wanted to meet Ultra-Marathoner, Time Borland who ran 63 marathons in 63 consecutive days.
The Disney people put together a great race (except having to catch a bus from my hotel at 4 a.m.) and the route was fantastic with more fans cheering for more people that they don't know than any race I've ever run in the past. Yes, there are plenty of opportunities to have your picture taken with Daffy, Donald, Mickey and the like. Runners were actually queued up 10 - 25 deep during the run to have their sweaty images digitally captured!
There's a great send-off with fireworks and great music and because it was pitch dark until around 7:15 a.m. a true sense of camaraderie was in the air. I usually run alone and went to the marathon alone so when I lined up at the end of the corrals (my choice) there standing amid a sea of runners was Tim Borland. "Hi Bruce! Come on, we'll run together." I told him that I would not be able to keep his pace and he assured me that his days of running for time were over and that we would be running together along with a parent of one of the A-T afflicted children. "What, no iTunes to listen too while I run?!"
It turned out to be the best run I ever had. The three of us ran as a team. Time didn't matter although, I did shave 25 minutes off my last marathon time. The fans along the route were so gracious and warm. Countless times I heard "Brrrruce" shouted to me from total strangers. The characters were cute, the music great and the support and volunteers before, during and after the run were spectacular.
Here's my suggestions:
~Stay at the hotel closest to the starting line
~They tell you 4 a.m. is the last bus to the starting line but I got on one a 4:25 a.m.
~There are supermarkets to get your favorite pre-race food off of I-4 from Orlando's International Airport
~Plan your pees and wees as the baggage claim toilets were a 20 minute wait. If your a guy, there's a thick forrest adjacent to baggage claim. Bring some t.p. just in case. (I'll deny I wrote this if you report me to the authorities.)
~Bring hat, gloves and a disposable jacket - it was cold!
~If you want your time limited to families and their children, rent a car from the airport - it's cheap, quiet and your in control.
As they say when you enter your hotel, "Welcome home" you won't want to leave after running with the wonderful people who run Disney.