Friday, January 16, 2009
The 2009 Disney World Goofy Race and a Half Challenge
The weekend of Jan 10-11, 2009 represented a double three-peat for me. I ran my third Disney Half Marathon (2004, 2005, 2009) and my third Disney Full Marathon (2007, 2008, 2009). It was my best half marathon time and my second best marathon time. And if three times wasn't enough, I signed up for next year the minute they opened up registration - the day after the marathon.
But I digress...this is the story of this year, 2009, the year of the Goofy!
Last year, the day after the 2008 Disney Marathon, my husband and I signed up to run the 2009 Goofy. In case you don't know, the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge is when you run the Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, the return on Sunday to run the Full Marathon. Two days of running through the most magical place on earth. Our primary goal was to finish both races and earn our Goofy medal. Our secondary goals were successfully met:
Goal: 2:30 - 2:45
Goal: 5:30 - 5:45
On marathon day, we got up (again) at 2 am to prepare for our race. Unlike the previous night, it was much easier to fall asleep early (around 7 pm) with a half marathon and little sleep behind you. I felt like I really slept well. After a good breakfast we headed out to Disney World's Epcot center, about a 45 min drive from our house.
We arrived around 3:45 am with a strange feeling of deja vu....it was much the same scene as the day before, except the crowd was a bit bigger. We set up over by the A-C bag check area and were able to hook up with Maddy and her friends Cheryl and Leana.
Missing our other blogging / Twitter friends, we all headed to the starting area. We were quite excited as we waited in our corral - this time in the same corral!
The start was classic Disney - I posted a video on RuncastTV at this link.
We decided to try to keep up with / or ahead of the 5:30 pace group and we did a great job keeping that pace. Our first park was Epcot. Around mile 3 of the race, you run around a portion of the World Showcase.
After exiting Epcot, we merged with the other starting group (the race starts on two sides of the road) and pass by the starting area again at mile 4. Then we begin the trek toward the Magic Kingdom - the same way we did just the previous morning. With 4 miles already behind us, we arrive at the Magic Kingdom between miles 10 and 11 (verse mile 5 the previous day). Just before entering the Magic Kingdom, Maddy and Cheryl come running up from behind. We run with them for a bit, but lost them on our walking break, wishing them luck. I loved Maddy's BGOR shirt.
Our run down mainstreet was magical! Check out the short video of that run down Main Street and the run up to the back side of the castle.
We then came through the castle for the all familiar castle shot:
Then proceeded on toward Animal Kingdom - encountering the usual "smells" and sights along the way. It is there we passed the halfway mark. We crossed the half marathon mat within 1 min of our finishing time for the half marathon on Sat! Just over 2:39. We were on track for a great finish time.
Somewhere between the halfway point and Animal Kingdom we passed Maddy and Cheryl, although I didn't see them. We did see them later...
Just after mile 16 we made our way through Animal Kingdom and we were still moving along at a good clip. I felt incredible! I could hardly believe we had run an entire half marathon the day before.
As we came through Animal Kingdom and started to look for a pit stop for my husband. We ended up stopping at the water stop at mile 19 where there were a number of porta potties. After our stop, we continued on. Just past mile 20, there is an out and back area - a portion of the race I never liked because I usually was pretty out of it by then, and it is pretty boring. This year, however, was different. I still felt great and the out and back seemed to go much faster this year.
As we were making our way back and about to head on down the road, we heard our names....Maddy and Cheryl were just starting to head down the out and back! It was cool to see them again.
It was shortly after this point that my husband started to struggle with his breathing. We think it was asthma - but he kept complaining that he was having trouble breathing - so we slowed our pace and finally ended up walking. We walked most of the way through Disney Hollywood Studios and into the Board Walk area. Then about 2 miles out, he was able to walk fast, which ends up being a slow jog for me.
We pressed on and headed back into Epcot for our last lap around the World Showcase. Then we both started running - with just one short walking break, we ran all the way through Epcot, toward the big ball and past the choir - and triumphantly to the finish line.
Right after crossing the finish line we stopped and gave each other a big kiss! Then headed off to get our Mickey and Goofy medals.
It was a magical day, a magical weekend. And next year we are doing it again.
Except we are also going to do the 5K on Friday....the "Dopey."