2018 WDW Marathon Weekend: Full Marathon Recap

Hello friends! Welcome to my fourth recap of the 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend. Check out parts one, two and three here,  here and here. As you may know, I participated in my second Dopey Challenge, which includes running a 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, half marathon on Saturday and full marathon on Sunday for a total of 48.6 miles. Without further ado…here is my Full Marathon Recap.

After three early mornings/races…I was finally at the big one. Fortunately, the weather was going to be absolutely perfect with cooler temperatures, but nothing like the first few days.

My plan for the race was to take it easy for the first half and then see what I had left in the tank. I knew I needed to be smart as I had already run 22 miles over the first 3 days and my left elbow was still technically on the mend. 

As the race got started, I found a nice groove and began the journey to 26.2 miles. As I got to miles 3-5, I found my friends AJ, Ivie, Dani and Jen. I ended up running with them for a little bit.

Once I got to Magic Kingdom, I stopped for a few pictures (and the bathroom) before continuing onward. At this point, I was feeling really good and enjoying the course and crowd support.

As I got to the Animal Kingdom, I knew I was getting to the halfway point and I was very pleased with my overall race so far. I knew I needed to stay smart and not push myself too much. I even found myself stopping a few times to take pictures with characters and random spectators.

As I got to mile 18, I knew my least favorite part of the race was near…ESPN World Wide of Sports.

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This part of the course is most Disney marathon runners’ dreaded spot. I think it’s because the next 3 miles are all in the ESPN area and it feels like you aren’t really going anywhere. Plus, miles 18-20 are typically around the time a runner hits the dreaded “runner’s wall.” I was definitely starting to feel it for sure.

As I finally got through the ESPN area, I felt like I could see a light at the end of a tunnel. And once I got Hollywood Studios, I knew I was going to make it! If I had to walk the rest of the way…I was going to cross that finish line!

The next 3 miles felt like a blur to me. One foot in front of the other. And once I crossed into Epcot, I knew I had roughly a mile to go. As I ran around the World Showcase, stopping for a few more characters, I texted Rachel to find out where she was going to be. 

I found her (and Nick who was so gracious to drive her) right near Spaceship Earth. I was so happy to see both of them and more importantly, I knew I was less than half a mile to the finish line.

Once I crossed the finish line, so many emotions came over me. Every marathon is a challenge and this was no different. From breaking my elbow just 3 weeks earlier to running 4 very early and very cold mornings, I was very very happy!

After grabbing all 3 of my medals (Marathon, Goofy and Dopey), I headed over to the character spots to get my finisher picture with Dopey. Rachel and Nick found me a few minutes later waiting in line. And while it took almost 45 minutes to get the picture…it was totally worth it!

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Later that day (after getting a shower, some food and resting), we headed over to the Wilderness Lodge to see our friends, Justin and Devin, and their new baby, Dash. It’s always so good to see them!

Then we made our way over to Nick and Ciara’s house, where Nick grilled his “world famous” pizza. It was the perfect dinner to celebrate running all 48.6 miles! They are indeed some of our closest friends and we are so grateful for them!

After a while, I was ready to finally get a good night’s sleep after 4 early mornings. Plus, I was very happy to have 2 more days to spend time in the parks with friends.

Stay tuned for the fifth recap…Post Dopey Days.

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