I did not sleep well at all on saturday night, which had me a little concerned but I figured adrenalin and the crowd would get me going...but dayum, it was hard to get up when my alarm went off! It was actually COLDER for the start of the marathon, if you can believe it! It was 26.2 degrees at the start of the marathon. Funny stuff! We did the same early morning shiver and huddle to stay warm while we waited for the start. People were bundled up in blankets, trash bags, and parkas! Instead of seeing alot of costumes, it was more how creatively you could wear your trash bag and mylar from the day before, lol. I think the marathon was a much bigger deal than the half, as there were more fireworks at the start ;)
I got to chat with a few people around me, and met a couple great people. One guy was doing this marathon as his first, and on his year anniversary of starting his weight loss journey. He lost 65 lbs (and looked great!) Another girl (with whom I ran for about 7 or 8 miles) was an adventure racer and I coninced her to come to the dark side and try ultras ;) She and I ran together for the first 7 miles or so, and I am sure the fact I was careful of my pace because of her being with me, helped me do well overall.
The sun came out which helped tremendously. There was a 'breeze' but the sun made me think I was warmer, lol. I felt great at the half marathon mark, and was picking up the pace by mile 18. I really went out looking at this race as a training run and I just wanted to have fun. I ended up feeling really good and as soon as I left my running partner I had to hold myself back a bit, as to not crash later in the race. There was definitely more entertainment since it wasn't raining/sleeting which was awesome, and we go to run through ALL the parks which was really cool. They had a bunch of DJ's out on the course being goofballs which was also a bast.
Had a few emo moments again, just the magnatude of the race was again, overwhelming...and passing many people who I knew would not finish...but had the courage to start. The military people who were on the course, (I stopped to thank them) and a few families running together for another family member than had died...wow.
The finish line was very cool, and unfortunately the family did not see me finish. I was early so I don't think they were looking for me yet. I gave them a time to meet me at the family reunion tent, so we hooked up there. It was an amazing time and I am glad I was part of it. Don't know if I would do it again...but I might! I really had a good time and Disney does a pretty good job at organizing these races.
So, these are my official stats:
I was 6520 out of 17,099 finishers
2689 out of 9673 women
563 out of 1789 35-39yo women
6593 out of 16,883 finishers
2320 out of 8182 women
469 out of 1516 35-39yo women
There were over 25,000 runners at the full marathon start and only 16,883 finished. That's alot of DNF's! I think there are alot of people who enter who really probably shouldn't. With other options like the half and 5k one doen't HAVE to do the marathon. That just seems like a high DNF rate to me. There were ALOT of walkers, and Team in Training coaches on the course(who have to pay for an entry even though many of them will not, nor do they plan to, finish) Walkers were definitely an obstacle, and I'd much rather run 26 miles than walk so I give them alot of credit but I don't know how many of them were ale to walk 26 miles in less than 7 hours. Lots of run/walkers too, who I am sure made it.
Oh, and a WooHoo for my kiddos too...My oldest did the 5k, and Lilly and Max ran the Mickey Mile (together, as she would not leave him...it was SO cute I cried) I am so proud of them! They got medals too :)
The other very cool thing is everyone wears their medals after the race as they go around the parks and so there is a whole lot of congratulating, etc going on. THAT was really cool. I have never experienced that in the road running community, but the genuine support and happiness surrounding this event was really fantastic. I would honestly recommend that if road running is your thing, and even if it isn't and you can run this distance, you come down and do this once. It is and was definitely worth it. :)