WDW Marathon 2018 – Saturday

I signed up for this race once Nicki convinced me to run the full for our last Space Coast in the series. I figured if I was trained up for Thanksgiving, I could keep it for a little over a month. Turns out, I didn’t run much between the races with the holidays and everything. I was hoping my corral placement would give me a cushion in case I needed it. Well, when corrals came out, I was actually one corral back with my 2:44 half proof of time than the people with no proof of time who picked the lowest time where proof wasn’t needed. It was a little disappointing, but I still had a one corral cushion. This was meant to be a quick trip with no vacation days needed. So, after watching Jamie during her first couple runs of the weekend (she was doing the Dopey Challenge), I got to the airport early Saturday morning for my 7 am flight. Nicki, Robert, and Robert’s mom, Kathleen, were all on the flight with me.

As we were waiting to board, we were watching our friends on the tracking map who were running the half marathon. Eventually, it was boarding time. Robert and I had waited until check in to get our seat assignments thanks to the cheaper main cabin ticket. I got a seat more towards the front whereas he was in the back. The beauty of it is since I had the credit card, I still got my earlier boarding and overhead space (which I didn’t use). The flight was uneventful. Soon we were arriving in Orlando and getting our bags. I had checked a bag. Ours were some of the first bags out. Then we made our way to the Magical Express. The desks did have a line. Once we made it to the front, we had short work getting in the line for Pop. I should mention, this was my first time staying at a value resort. After waiting a short time, we were boarding the bus.

The bus ride takes about 30 minutes. I believe we dropped off at the All Star resorts first. The we made it to Pop.

Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we dropped our bags at the Bell Desk and then got a Lyft over to the Boardwalk. We had a late breakfast reservation for the Bon Voyage character breakfast at the Trattoria.

We made our way through the Boardwalk hotel and down to the restaurant.

We only had to wait about 15 minutes until we were seated. I had been to this breakfast before with my kids and really loved it. I will say, I think our experience this time was clouded by sub-par service. Eventually, we were able to put in our drink order. The pastries arrived for the table.

This is the menu from our trip.

Robert ordered some alcohol since he wasn’t running the next day. I believe this was the Peach Bellini.

It was a little chilly, so I ordered hot chocolate. I also got the fruit. I remember this being in a parfait last time. I guess they got rid of the yogurt and granola.

At this point, Flynn Rider had made his way to our table.

Followed shortly by Rapunzel.

Eventually, everyone got their main courses. I got the Shipwreck (calzone).

Robert got the Tangled Eggs with Sausage

Kathleen and Nicki both got the pancakes.

At this point, Eric joined us.

Close on his heels was Ariel.

Both Nicki and Kathleen were unhappy with the pancakes. They seemed more like biscuits than pancakes. So, they each got a different entree. I think Nicki got the Tangled Eggs with bacon.

And Kathleen got the frittata.

Both were much happier with the new dish. After waiting for a long time for refills and checks, we finally got out of there. The character interactions are great. I just wish the service would have been better so their first experience wasn’t jaded. After breakfast, Nicki and I had to get our bibs before the Expo ended. So, we went to the Expo bus at the Boardwalk.

There was a bus waiting as we walked up. The ride was not too long. Soon, we were arriving at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Since the new arena is complete, the buses pulled up in front of it for a much shorter walk this time.

The official and pre-order merchandise were in the Field House.

A nice welcome banner in the entrance.

The entrance to the area was lit up.

I tried to get my picture with the sign.

There were no lines for pre-sale merchandise since it was the last few hours of the Expo.

Once I got my things, we headed over to the bib pickup and Expo area.

There was a wall that you could sign.

This is the view from the top of the steps.

I went to this nice lady to get my bib.

Then I got my shirt.

Jeff Galloway was here meeting people.

In the room on the way out, we found all the medals for the year that had been released.

The had a nice sign on the reverse of the welcome banner.

From the Expo, we got a bus to the Poly for a meetup. We met a few people from an online running group at the deck.

I got the notice that our room was ready. I think we got a Lyft back to Pop. Robert and Kathleen stopped in the gift shop. We got a renovated room on the second floor in the 70’s building.

This is the room with one bed up in the table position.

I like the see through door in the fridge.

Since we were running in the morning, we hung out at the resort. My friend, Greg met me after his shift training to be a Disney bus driver. We caught up over dinner at the food court. I can’t even remember what I got to eat. I also met my mom and sister to return something that was left at my house during their last visit over Christmas. Eventually, I went back up to the room to get ready for an early night.

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Reindeer Romp 5k 2017

I signed up for this one last minute. To be honest, being the week after my full marathon, I probably would have skipped this. My daughter had been talking for months about running the kids race again, though. I didn’t feel right bringing her for the free kids race without running the 5k myself. Carl and Eric were both registered. I knew Eric’s daughter normally ran the kids race, too. A few days before the race, my husband decided not to go fishing so he could come with and watch the kids. I’m glad he did. Carl graciously picked up my bib the Friday before since I forgot. Once we got to the parking lot, I met up with him to get it. Then I proceeded to the table to get my hoodie. That is one of the best things about this race. Instead of a t-shirt, you get a nice, thick hoodie. This year it was green. I went back to the car with the hoodie and to let my family know Carl was there with his youngest son. His older son who is friends with my son decided to stay at home. We all went back over to the gathering area. Soon after, Eric and his family arrived. My kids began playing with Carl’s son. I had my husband get a before picture with my kids.

Then Carl, Eric, and I headed for the staging area. They did some warm ups and announcements. Then they sang the National anthem.

The start was once again out on the street. We stayed towards the back. I planned to walk the entire race since my toe was still sore from the marathon. I believe I still had it wrapped in a bandaid to keep it on at this point. So, we hung out towards the back.

We kind of missed the official start from back there. We did notice people starting to move, though. The race starts to the left on the road ahead. It winds through neighborhoods. First we turned right onto Chenoworth.

Then it was a right onto Rhodes.

I think we turned left onto Sulkirk and I almost missed taking a picture of the sign.

Next was a right onto Long Meadow.

Here’s where we found the Mile 1 marker.

We did encounter a few people out spectating. That is a big change from last year where it was so cold that my iPhone died mid-race.

We turned right on Stokes.

In this area was the water stop.

The next turn was onto this road.

We turned left onto Sulkirk again.

Then right on Severn.

I had to stop briefly to get a good picture of the Mile 2 marker.

At this point I was still feeling good. So I jogged to catch up to the guys. That proved why I was walking the whole thing. I don’t think I could have jogged anymore unless I absolutely had to.

We turned left onto Tyndale.

Then left onto the next street that had a dip.

We turned right on Brookfield.

Then we turned right for the last road part of the course onto Sharon. If you’re not local, Sharon is a pretty main road. Luckily it isn’t heavily traveled this early on the weekend.

We turned right into the parking lot of the Harris YMCA. We continued to this area. Yes, those are people that have already finished and are leaving.

There were lot of people lined up and cheering at the finish. I found out after the fact that the reason was the kids race had already started and some even finished with us.

I got a bottle of water and the medal meant to hang on the Christmas tree. Then I took my post-race selfie.

My kids finished their race shortly after this picture. They were almost right behind one another. They both had a great time and will likely want to do this again next year. They did give the kids the extra medals from last year. So, their medals said 2016 instead of 2017 on them. I know it’s because there were still people out on the 5k course and they didn’t want to run out of medals. My kids didn’t care as long as they got a medal.

Overall, this is a very well run race. The hoodies make it worth running without anything else. On top of that, they always have s’mores and coffee/cocoa in the gathering area. They also have bananas and a few other normal race things. The course is pretty flat and easily walk-able. Assuming the weather cooperates, this is a great first timer course. My sons says he wants to do the 5k with me next year.

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