And by done, I mean done in the snow, sleet and rain. Yep, snow in Florida. Who knew? It was mostly in the sky but hell, I did not come to FL to run in the snow! :)
Up at 3am to make it to the bus by 4am, which *they* said you had to do. No problem, as I would have been up anyways. When I left my room I was thinking..."20's...not bad for a run!" as I am used to much colder. Oh, how silly I was...:) I had my pilfered trash bag for extra warmpth, and my coffee, bananas and on the bus I went. We had to sit in traffic...to be expected for a race with over 20,000 people running in it.Got to te start, stood in an INCREDIBLY long porta-john line and huddled next to a spot light that was giving off minimal heat. The crowd was unbelievable. I have never been at a race this huge in my life. I think the biggest race I have ever done was a thousand or 2...MAYBE. This was just...unbelievable. The constant wave of people EVERYWHERE was mind-blowing!
Sometime around 5am they had us walking like a herd of cattle over to the starting line, which took 15 minutes, I bet. Then you had to get into your corral (I was in the LAST one as I didn't give them a time I'd finish in, ugh) and we waited there for a good half an hour until it was time for my 'wave' to start. They had these HUGE tv screens on the bridges over us so you could watch the start of the waves before you, which was awesome. I think my wave went off at 6:10, but I walked a while before I actually crossed the timing pad so I don't know when I officially started, but it was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:20am.
The race itself. Well, for the first 3 or 4 miles I basically ran on the grass to avoid all the walkers, and slower runners. I don't know what was going on but there were a rediculous amount of people walking at mile 2-4. I know some people do the run/walk thing even on roads, and I hit every one :) It was hard to find my pace with all the stopping and starting everyone did, plus the random stopping for pics in the middle of the road. The snow turned to sleet, and it started to get light out. Running though the Magic Kingdom was the BEST! Man, what a blast that was! Everything was lit up and they even had some rides running!
After the Kingdom, it was back out on the roads. I will say, the support and aid stations were fantastic, the crowd was amazing, and I continued to be super impressed. The weather ALONE would have kept people away, you would think. But not here :)
At about mile 10 you head up over a bridge and you can see the THOUSANDS of runners behind you...seriously, for as far as you can see, it is just a wall of people. It was very emotional and overwhelming for me at that point, and races usually don't do that to me. I know there were A LOT of people out there running for Team in Training, and other charities and for other people and it was powerful. Coming down and back into Epcot, knowing there is less than 3 miles to go is a rush. The crowds were crazy, there is music, and you pass around this one loop that lets you look at the other runners...another emotional moment knowing so many have a story about why they are here. The looks on people's faces was so great. On to the finish...WOOT! :)
I think I finished in about 2:20 or 2:30 depending on how they time it. I tried to run in the grass anywhere i could to preserve my legs and feet as the pavement down here is not what my body is used to( I am always sore when I run in FL...their asphalt is very rocky...) but I'd be lyin' if I said my legs felt good. I got my medal and my mylar blanket and we headed straight for the bus. We had to wait for a bus for a good half an hour (not fun with 3 VERY cold and wet kids!) and a hot shower NEVER felt as good as it did when I came back! :)
Inhaled some salad and fruit, and slept for an hour and now I am waiting for the family to come back from who-knows-where :) so we can hit Downtown Disney.
Tomorrow...the MARATHON! It will be slightly warmer and SUNNY!!! WOOHOO!