Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon Report

Trip to Orlando
My wife and I left for Florida on Tuesday afternoon, January 8th. We drove to Cordele, GA and spent the night, then drove the rest of the way to Orlando on the morning of January 9th. We had reservations at the Marriott Residence Inn near International Drive which is outside of Orlando near Disney. We relaxed and enjoyed ourselves for the next two days. Did a little geocaching and found 4 caches. One of the caches we found was located in "Celebration" which is the town that Disney built just outside of Disney World. Celebration is a neat little town, wouldn't mind living there. Of course the houses are just a little pricy.

Disney's Beach Club Resort
On Friday we moved from the Residence Inn to Disney's Beach Club Resort. The Beach Club is my favorite hotel at Disney. It is located just outside of Epcot, you can walk out of the Beach Club, go about 400 meters and you are at Epcot.

The Runner's Retreat
I got up at about 3 a.m. and got ready for the race and went to catch the bus to the Start line. The first bus left the hotel at 4 a.m., sure was early. I had signed up for the Runner's Retreat and I was glad I did. The Runner's Retreat was in a huge tent, carpeted and with tables and chairs. TV monitors were on the walls so you could watch the entertainment that was going on out in the parking lot. There was coffee, fruit, yogurt, and bottled water available prior to the race. There were portable toilets just for the Runner's Retreat, room to stretch on the carpet and storage for your gear.
After the race breakfast was served, eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast, coffee and juice. Massage therapy was available for $10.00 for 10 minutes. It was great to have the Runner's Retreat before and after the race. I will sign up for the retreat every time I do the race from now on.

The 1/2 Marathon
Now the bad news, I have been injured since about the end of October. My lower back has been hurting and I guess that I compensated for that and pulled my hamstrings. So I have been hurting from my lower back down to the back of my knees. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I will talk about the race.
Knowing that I was injured I decided that I would run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute for the whole race. I decided not to be concerned about my finish time, and just be focused on finishing.
The runners were herded to the start line area at about 5:30 a.m. then we stood in the time corrals until the race started at about 6:30 a.m. After standing around between a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes I was really tight when the race started. After about a mile I finally warmed up and felt better. My stride was very short due to my hamstrings being sore, but with my run/walk routine I was ok. Not fast but ok.
It was a beautiful day so I just tried to enjoy the weather and have a good time. We started in front of Epcot and ran up to and through the Magic Kingdom. We then ran back to Epcot, by Space Ship Earth then back out into the parking lot to the finish line. I had originally wanted to break 2 hours, but my finish time was 2:30, so I missed it by 1/2 hour.