Disney – Sunday Race Day

On Sunday January 9, 2005 was the Disney Half-Marathon. The buses started running at 3:00am to bring folks from their hotels to the Epcot parking lot. Tara, Erik, Beth and Missy and I headed over around 3:30am. I had already decided that I would walk the race route. I figured that since I walked all those training days with Allison over the summer and never had any problems with distance that 13 miles wouldn’t be that bad. Well, when you training consists of long walks with no time limits then you really don’t get a great sense of how fast you can actually walk. I apparently don’t walk as fast as I thought I did.

The race started at 6:00am and I was in Corral M with Uncle Wayne and Aunt Cindy and Aunt Connie and Cousin Erin. The race started and they were off like a shot, weaving through the mass of people with ease. I tried to keep up for the first mile or so, keeping them in my line of vision. Unfortunately I did not hydrate in a proper manner, I overhydrated and stopped at the first mile at a port-a-potty and that was the last I saw of anyone from the family. I headed back out and the route took us through the World Showcase at Epcot. And as you know once you “break the seal” then you will be stopping to pee like crazy. And that is what happened to me. I figured I needed to keep hydrating and my bathroom breaks weren’t really slowing me own too much but I was wrong. By the time I got to mile 8 there was a guy on a bike (an official) yelling that we were 2 minutes behind and that we would be picked up at the next stop. I picked up the pace and began jogging at that time and tried to make up the 2 minutes and figured that I had made them up, but I was wrong. When I got to mile 10 at three hours one minute the gates to the Magic Kingdom were closed. And I was not alone. In fact I was with about three hundred very angry people who were trying to rush the gates.

But I looked at it this way, I didn’t train properly, I was walking to walk and the guys at the gate were doing there job. No sense in making things worse. What was a problem was that there were about 300 angry people who were being shut out of continuing the race and there were no buses or water or anything to take care of 300 people to defuse the situation that was erupting. And after 45 minutes one bus finally did show up with water and medals. Everyone got marathon medals instead of half marathon medals but hey they did take care of us.

The bus took us to the parking lot beyond the finish line so no one on the buses got to cross the finish line and I was disappointed that I never got to go through the Magic Kingdom but what was worse was that we were just dropped in the parking lot and couldn’t participate in any of the finish line activities. I headed towards the finish line and was stopped by an official, I handed her my chip and went to find some transportation back to the hotel.

Meanwhile Allison and Mom and Dad and Shelby and Caitlyn were waiting by the Grand Floridian to see me go by. I had called when I got stopped so I told them I would go back to the hotel and change and take a swim and meet Allison and Mom and Dad in the Magic Kingdom. As I walked around looking for transportation I ran into Tara and Erik, well not really ran since I had super blisters on the balls of my feet, did I mention that I didn’t train properly, well I didn’t rotate to new shoes either.

Tara and Erik and I caught a bus to the Animal Kingdom and then to the Pop Century, I went and took a swim in the Computer themed pool. I was stumbling around on my poor feet and didn’t want to get out of the pool. Eventually I got out of the pool and was walking to my lounge chair and took a digger. Apparently the ground and the step down around the pool were close shades of off white, which show up nice and camouflaged after you’ve been blinded by the sun. Luckily I had good reflexes when I am falling and caught myself and bounced back up before many people noticed. I took a shower and headed to the Magic Kingdom.

At the Magic Kingdom I caught up with Allison and then my Mom and Dad. Dad and I went to Splash Mountain and Mom went on the riverboat ride. Allison was wiped out so she hung out in Frontierland. After the ride Dad and I got one of those pictures that they take of you at the big drop into the briar patch. I knew when the photo was taken so I have a huge grin, for some reason Dad looks like he’s gonna be sick.

We caught up with Mom and Allison and then Mom and Dad went their way and we headed over to one of my favorite attractions in the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Philharmagic, it is a 3-D show where Donald Duck tries to command a magical orchestra and ends up chasing Mickey’s sorcer hat through all of the more recent Disney animated movies. It was the best 3-D show I’ve ever seen. After that we hit the jungle cruise for the most fun and cheeseist ride in the park. And then we spent some time poking in and out of the shops on Main Street U.S.A. I picked up another pin, a pirate Mickey.

Allison and I caught a boat ride over to the Wilderness Lodge because the whole lot of us was having dinner at the Whispering Canyon Cafe. There was 19 of us in all. Allison, Me, Erik, Tara, Mom, Dad, Shelby, Caitlyn, Wayne, Cindy, Murph, Connie, Erin, Danny, Beth, CJ, Matt and Cheryl and their baby Zoe.

The Whispering Canyon Cafe is a great place to eat when you have a large group of people. The waiters and waitresses have alot of fun with the diners. For example if you want ketchup then be prepared for ketchup, about 15 bottles of it. Because when you ask for ketchup a call goes out to the room that “This lady wants some ketchup!” and everyone that has ketchup on their table brings it to that poor person. Well, my sister Shelby looked at this and was like, “I need ketchup, but I don’t want that to happen/” So she got up and grabbed some ketchup from a neighboring table. And she was caught by the waiter who started yelling “Ketchup thief, she’s a ketchup thief!” And then we got a table full of ketchup. It was so much fun. I told the waiters that their were 5 birthdays within the group and so Allison, Caitlyn, Mom, Aunt Cindy and Cousin Erin all had to stand up and lead the restaurant in the Hokey Pokey. That was alot of fun. Don’t worry, I go the whole thing on tape.

After dinner we took the boat back to the Magic Kingdom and headed back to the Pop Century. We hung out at the pool and then crashed in bed. One day left a Disney and no one wanted to go home.