Walt Disney World Half to Full Marathon: Part 1
This is not a story of sadness or anger of when races go wrong. This is a story of when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I hope you enjoy 😀
I registered for the half marathon months ago, and my friend Jen was joining me. The Walt Disney Half Marathon in 2017, is on its 20th anniversary, so it’s a really exciting year. In 2016, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon was my very first half marathon so it holds near and dear to my heart. Jen and I designed Donald Duck and Daisy Duck running costumes for the race a few weeks ago. In a previous post, I shared the progress of making the white tutu.
On Thursday, I drove down with my sister and mother to Orlando from North Carolina. We planned to do a whole Disney weekend including: expo, race, Disney Springs, and the parks. On Friday we made it to the Health expo right when it opened. I have quickly come to learn that there are some many lines for the expo in the morning, more so than the afternoon. I know this, only because I had to go with my friend again in the afternoon. I was so excited when I finally got my race bib, race shirt, and RunDisney official merchandise feeling all ready for the half marathon the next morning.
8pm on Friday rolls around, and everyone got alerts that the half marathon was cancelled due to inclement weather. I guess there was an extremely high chance of lightning and thunderstorms early Saturday morning. Jen and I took the news and were sad, but planned on going to Magic Kingdom on Saturday anyway. Then around 11:30pm-12:00amish, Disney posted 4 different options that Half marathoners could chose from. 1) Full refund in gift cards 2) Defer to another race within 24 months 3) 2 Day Hopper Park Pass 4) Switch to Full Marathon on Sunday. Honestly, I think it was very generous of RunDisney to give us anything! I remember registering for the race and there was a waiver I had to electronically sign that said Disney is not in charge if they have to cancel or shorten a race due to inclement weather.
I traveled 100s of miles to get to Walt Disney World, and after the race cancellation I had one thought: go big, or go home. It took some persuading on my end to talk my friend into registering for the Full marathon on Sunday since we weren’t trained for it or prepared in any way. She ended up agreeing with me that we had nothing to lose. So here we are in our hotel at 12:30am, registering for our very FIRST marathon with only training for a half marathon to get us by. Jen and I in union said that we need to complete 13.1 miles of the marathon and anything more than that is bonus. After registering in the wee hours, we slowly went back to sleep with anxiety running high. We had to prepare for battle soon. Lol.
The next morning, Jen and I woke up around 9am and got some break into the hotel room. The expo was opening an hour later than usual which was 11am. This was all due to the thunderstorms. Once we were driving to the expo the traffic was just unbelievable getting to the ESPN Wide World of Sports. If you think about it, it makes sense because all the half marathoners had to be there to get their medal, their hopper pass/gift cards/marathon sign up/etc.
As were we’re turning into the road to get to the expo, this one car had such a fit of us squeezing in (as everyone had to do and we had our blinker on in ample time), the driver blew its horn for a good 30 seconds. I kid you not. We kept driving closer to the ESPN Wide World of Sports and everyone starts getting out of their cars, not in the parking lot, but on the roads. I had my window down, and I saw this one man walking with the same Brooks running shoes my dad owns. I said out the window very friendly “my dad has those sneakers and he loves them. They are a great pair of shoes!’ The man turns around and says ‘Excuse me?’ So I repeat myself, and he agrees with me. Jen starts busting out laughing as she puts up our car windows. ‘Do you know who that was?’ she asks. I told her no, then she said ‘It’s the car behind us that blew his horn forever at us’. Well, that was surprising that transpired, but Im glad I was nice to that guy. I feel like the story came full circle. He probably thought when I went to talk to him, I was going to yell.
Okay, moving back onto the expo. Here is a summary of it: lines, lines, lines. Lol. Honestly, the lines really weren’t that bad though. We were at the expo for 4 hours getting our half marathon medals, KT Tape professionally on, buying fuel belts, more energy gels, pretzels, etc. We met some great people while enduring the expo that Saturday.