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Name: merrymishaps (Lauren)
Home: Annapolis, MD, United States
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

race report: goofy challenge, part 1

Our final few weeks of training were a bit rough, as we had a lot of cold, windy, rainy and snowy conditions to deal with. Little did we know we were actually preparing ourselves for race day!

Saturday, January 9: Donald Duck Half Marathon

My alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. I consulted my phone for the weather (it was cold, in the 30s, but above freezing), and made a final decision on my layers. I packed a lot of options for myself, and I was glad to have choices! With predicted rainy conditions and chilly temperatures, I knew I wouldn't be shedding layers, but I didn't want to wear too much, either. I tend to overdress in the cold. I went with a long-sleeve tech shirt and waterproof jacket. Since it wasn't that cold, I decided I didn't need to wear the thin tights under my running pants.

I also wore a short-sleeve tech shirt over the long-sleeve shirt with a Disney decal on the back. My friends made up custom shirts for all of our group (16 runners, 14 doing Goofy!). I wanted to wear it, even though I knew wouldn't be seen. Plus it was an extra core layer!

We boarded the bus just before 4 a.m. and were on our way to the staging area. There was a lot of traffic, and we were grateful. The more time on the bus, the better! I think it was around 4:30 when we got there.

I donned a garbage bag in a feeble attempt to block the wind, but was still chilly as we waited in the staging area, visited the port-o-pots, and began our journey to the start line.

Having done a Disney race before, I knew to expect a long walk to the starting corrals. Along the way, it started raining. And SNOWING. Which is nothing new to us, fortunately, but there were a lot of unprepared runners out there. 

Because I was doing both races, I seeded myself in the back with a slow predicted time. I put down three hours for the half, even though my average time is 2:15. I usually run half marathons straight, not the run-walk we were doing for both Goofy races. But I don't usually run a full marathon the next day!

It sure was dark back there in the last corral. We were standing in the grass, and the speaker near us wasn't working. No music, and we couldn't hear the announcers. It seemed like forever as we waited for each of the waves to go off. According to my Garmin, we were finally on our way at 6:18 a.m.

Yes, I wanted to keep it slow, and I expected it to take about 2:45 for the half based on our training runs ... but it turns out that last corral is full of walkers! Right from the start we had a hard time navigating, and it didn't get any better for the entire 13.1 miles. It wasn't a problem when we were on a walk, but often we went off-road and ran in the grass to get around the crowd!

At the end, there was a bit of a line getting to the food, and an even longer line to get to the resort buses. Though once we actually found the correct line, it wasn't quite as bad. But by then we were cooling down. Brrr! It was a little breezy, tough to keep our mylar blankets in place!

We still had a great time. How can you not have fun running through the Magic Kingdom? My friend/training partner and I were both feeling good and stuck together the whole time. We managed to actually get a little more room to run for the last five miles and sped up a little bit. It felt great!

I ended up finishing in 2:48:53. Not too far off our training runs, and it included a five-minute potty break!


At 1:43 PM, January 20, 2010, Blogger The Happy Runner said...

Great job!

That's tough about the walkers. It can be so hard when you have to dodge people!

At 3:05 PM, January 21, 2010, OpenID trialsoftraining said...

Out of all the race reports I've read from Disney this year, you are the *only* one who was prepared for the wather! ha! Good ol' MD/DC :)

I love that you took this race with such a relaxed attitude and had fun!! That seems to be the case with most Disney-racers - like you said, how can you Not enjoy running through Magic Kingdom, etc? :) Congrats on race #1!


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