My girlfriend Leslie was also running the half but she does a straight run and I do a run walk combo so although we would be together in our start corral we were each going to be running our own individual races that day.
We gathered our gear, headed out to her car and made our way over to the Epcot parking lot. We scuttled through security, walked past bag check and the porta potties and headed towards our corral.
Check out this guy with his tuba which he carried for the entire half marathon. He played Disney tunes for us as the large group of runners made their way to the starting line.
The weather that morning was not as humid as it was the day before for the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K which was a blessing. Each corral started with fireworks and Disney fanfare with Donald Duck counting down to “Go”.
I didn’t have a time goal really. It was just going to be me, my music and the open road.
The fireworks for our corral sounded and I was on my way to the Magic Kingdom. I was really looking forward to seeing my friends on Main Street, so I pushed through and jammed out with my YurBuds in the entire way. I felt good. The training was paying off.
This is my very own heartbreak hill. Right in front of the Contemporary Resort.
The stream of runners hooked a left by Space Mountain and headed into the backstage area of Magic Kingdom. I weaseled my way over to the left-hand side of the pack because I knew that the WDW Radio cheer team, and a lot of my friends, would be there at the corner of Main Street near the Confectionary.
I tell ya… seeing a group of familiar faces like this when you’re in the middle of a race is like a drug.
and hugs…and kept on trucking.
Love this lady’s camo get up.
And then for the best part. Running through Cinderella Castle.
I knew that my run through Magic Kingdom would be ending soon so I tried to take it all in. Down the middle of Liberty Square and then straight through Frontierland…. which put me at around the 6 mile mark.
Time to go backstage one more time before making our way past the Magic Kingdom Resorts. Mile seven was just outside the Grand Floridian.
Here’s a look at what one of the water stops looks like. The only place on Walt Disney World property where you’ll see trash.
I blew past the Polynesian Resort and then past the Magic Kingdom parking lot.
I was still feeling really good at this point. But it was time to run the long stretch on World Drive back to Epcot.
I started my half marathon doing 30/30′s. 30 seconds of running followed by 30 seconds of walking. By the time I got to the Magic Kingdom, about halfway through, I realized that I had built up enough of a buffer so that I could take my time and do what I wanted for the second half of the race.
Yep. Lots of folks still back there behind me.
Almost time to make the gnarly loop up onto that overpass.
Hey look it’s Disney Cruise Line. This is the first time they’ve been out to support the race.
Made it around the loop and to the top of the overpass.
I paced these two ladies pretty much the entire race. Thanks Pumbaa and Timon!
You can see the course is still pretty congested. This was another race I ended up running a lot on the grass.
Mile 11 y’all.
Poor Lumiere… I know he must’ve been sweating in that costume.
Here’s my friend Deb from All Ears. She’s got a great Disney fan site. One of the original Disney websites. She’s also amazing when it comes to philanthropy and has raised big bucks for cancer research.
A few more overpasses and I was making my way back into Epcot. But not before fist bumping my friend Zannaland!
Best half marathon race sign.
Gospel choir for the win!
Finishline selfie with Mr. runDisney Faron Kelley.
And the Donald Duck bling for my victory. Dopey Challenge Day Three and the 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon in the bag!
I also got another piece of runDisney arm candy added to my collection.
Breakfast for the third day in a row was at Kouzzina. Carb it up baby!
We headed over to the expo after breakfast to pick up my pal Marc’s marathon bib.
And then for the third day in a row hit up Splitsville for an early 3pm supper. I devoured half of this baby. It was delicious!
I was in bed by 8:30pm. One more early wake up call awaited! It was time for me to tackle the longest leg of my Dopey Challenge…26.2 miles in the Walt Disney World Marathon!
Here are my race recaps from Part 1 & 2 of my four-part Dopey Challenge:
Inaugural 2014 Dopey Challenge Part 1 – Disney Family Fun Run 5K Race Recap
Inaugural 2014 Dopey Challenge Part 2 – 2014 Walt Disney World 10K Race Recap