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My 2019 Disney Marathon Recap

A week has passed since I crossed the finish line of the Disney Marathon and I sit cooped up in my house after a snow storm reflecting on details of the race.

First things first, and how quick I forgot running a marathon is fricken HARD! Discussing it with my friend Jennalyn we compare to childbirth. It’s hard but worth it and shortly after we forget and sign up again. So while it’s fresh in my memory I want to point out it was really a tough race.

But it was also so magical. Race morning we decided to allow ourselves the time to sleep in a little extra. Who are we?!! Why do we keep going against our own advice? And it seems weird to be scrolling through my pics with no prerace character photos but I’ll also admit I’m happy with this decision. A little less time on my feet helped. However we felt rushed as our bus from Port Orleans French Quarter decided to go to Riverside and all FOUR of its bus stops. Amp up the blood pressure just a bit, we rushed through security to try and get our prerace photo with Joyfulmiles. Thankfully our friend Chris let everyone know we were running a bit late. Grabbed a quick photo and headed to corrals. It felt so nice to have a warm morning wearing just our tank and skirts! But we knew the heat would be an issue later.

We started in corral D and had a plan to beeline to the Magic Kingdom for a castle photo in the dark. We skipped characters before then and despite the fact I typically run intervals I pushed to run nonstop.

I was so happy we decided to do this because we 1.) got beautiful castle photos and 2.) got some cushion ahead of balloon ladies we’d need later.

After our castle photos we did stop a bit for some characters and finally hit the bathroom in Frontierland which worked perfect for trading off while someone waited in line.

On off I ran majority of the race with Laura, Jennalyn, Nikki and Chris, but also joined up with John and Derek. Everyone was wonderful throughout. I will admit I was worried about being the weak link. It’s a bit scary knowing I’m the slowest one going into this event and not knowing if people would get annoyed or impatient or ditch me was a fear. I’m so grateful I never felt that.

After the Magic Kingdom we continued to run a nonstop pace heading toward Animal Kingdom. I was proud I could do this but could tell my body was getting sore and in my head was thinking I may die if I try and continue this pace. But our wish to make Everest as it opened came true and we timed it perfect. And had the absolute best time.

After Everest our next goal was to find Stephen who was cheering with Leslie and James just past mile 15. Stephen would have grape Gatorade and bagels for us. And they sounded heavenly as we cruised along the hot highway toward them. The sun was fully out at this point and not a cloud in the sky. Thankfully they also brought sunscreen. Which was needed!

After this our friend Chris who is a seasoned and very fast runner suffered a knee injury. He ended up hobbling the last 8-10 miles which I admit worked out for me a bit as I was losing steam fast!I do find fascinating observing the mental state of us runners throughout. There was a point where Jennalyn was hurting and it’s really interesting to see her get quiet and start digging deep. I know for me there were moments where I actually ran ahead a bit just to mentally give me a little cushion and get in the zone in my own head. Laura really seemed to be holding up well throughout and while she seemed worried prior about lack of long runs her cross training really proved beneficial. As for Chris he truly proved how strong and determined he was never quitting despite being in some serious pain. He told us to go ahead and never once did we consider. As for Nikki, she’s just a beast, strong and solid and a force needed within our group.

I typically love running through wide world of sports but as we made our way toward the baseball diamond we realized we can see the end of the runners near the track. The balloon ladies were closing in! I wasn’t worried we’d get swept but the others seemed to be a bit scared. This added a little stress to our next couple miles.

Once we get to Hollywood studios I’m usually feeling so excited and happy and I know the end is getting close but I started feeling nauseous and dizzy. It made me nervous. I didn’t want to get sick. I let the others know I wasn’t feeling well. Chris was good about finding some ice for me, and pouring water down my back. Something I should’ve done sooner. I completely felt hydrated and fueled but I think the sun and heat were just a bit too much for me.

But we made our way toward Epcot and got to see Chris’s wife Kim cheering from Beach Club and see Stephen and Stefan cheering at Spaceship earth, and seeing Heather and Gerald at the end. It made for a great feeling as we approached and crossed the finish.

  • We finally made it and we were all so happy to have done this together. It was tough but we prevailed and it’s such an amazing feeling! This is my 4th Disney Marathon and will say my toughest. But I can honestly say I loved it and can’t wait to do again. It’s such a test on so many levels. And the reward is so worth it. Not just that medal either.
  • One think I noticed crossing the finish was the many many piles of sawdust covering vomit puddles. Ewww gross but I’ll admit it made me feel a little better I wasn’t going crazy or the only one struggling that day.

I didn’t eat after the race as I wasn’t feeling up to it. Never had my plastic cheese in the snack box but by our celebration dinner that night I enjoyed that pizza at Via Napoli more than you can imagine.

Congrats to all the runners at marathon weekend. No matter what your distance. We all have a run story to tell. I walked away from this one feeling love and support from my friends. We stuck together and others waited for us at the finish and it means the world to me. So thank you!!

About the author: Jackey is a 39 (omg almost 40) year old mom of three boys from Buffalo, NY. She loves anything 80’s and believes she was born ten years later than her soul. She love to sing, dance and make music videos and she’s a huge Buffalo Bills fan! After being a stay at home mom for 10 years, Jackey has recently re-entered the work force as a customer service agent for Southwest Airlines, which is perfect for her love of traveling (free flights) and traveling to run races.

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