Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday's Memory: WDW Half Marathon 2008

On a comfortable Saturday morning on January 12, 2008 my husband and I woke up way to early to head to Epcot for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.  We were staying at the All Star Music Resort and took a bus at 4:00am to the Epcot parking lot.  We were both wearing our running gear and had our required documents to enter the race.  We had on sweats over our running clothes to help keep us warm.  While it wasn't cold, it was quite chilly at 4:00am!  We walked at least a half a mile to the race tents to store our belongings.  Then it was time for the next hike to the race corrals.  I believe this was another mile and a half, but I could be wrong!

Once we made it to the corrals, we stood around talking for a while and taking it all in.  When you register for the race you have to include your estimated finish time.  Because Jonathan is a faster runner than I am he started in coral c and I started in f.  (I didn't want him to be held back because of me.)  So as the race approached, we parted ways.

Once the race officially started, I think I had about a 25 minute walk to the starting line.  I could hear the countdown to the gun shot and could see the fireworks in the sky, but I was too far back to see the actual start.

If you have never experienced a WDW marathon or half marathon, it's quite a production!  Disney doesn't do anything without a production and the races are no exception!  There were fireworks, characters, live video feed of the runners and music blaring.  I still get teary eyed thinking about the emotions I had as I crossed the starting line.  Because of this race and the full marathon I ran in 2003, I can't watch or participate in any race (1 mile fun run to a full blown marathon) without tearing up.  The adrenalin that pumps through your body is infectious.  It makes me feel like I can do anything.  But obviously, at mile 8, I realized I couldn't do anything!

This was when the injury occurred.  I was doing just fine and making pretty decent time for me.  Then it hit me.  I thought my knee was going to explode.  I walked a bit and tried to run again.  Not a good decision.  The pain shot up the outside of my thigh from my knee to my hip.  I hobbled along until I saw a Team in Training coach on the sidelines.  I told her I had run the full marathon in 2003 with TNT and needed help.  I explained my situation and she said it sounded like an IT band issue.  She showed me a stretch to do and it helped for about 1/4 of a mile.  But no longer.  So, from mile 8-13.1 I hobbled along. Run.  Walk.  Stretch.  Run.  Walk.  Stretch.  It wasn't fun.  I was in pain.  I was so sad because once again, I was not going to be able to run the race.  I had to hobble/ walk/ run it.  

Here is part of my "official" info from the race.


My goal is to one day finish a Walt Disney World race without having to walk and without being injured.  Sure, I have the medals to prove I did the full and half marathons, but I know in my heart I didn't really run them.  Maybe one day I'll be able to finish strong!

One funny part of the half marathon was around mile 11. I was hobbling along trying to run without crying and an older lady passed me.  She was probably 65+ and she was eating a banana.  Yep, I was passed at age 33 by a 65 year old woman eating a banana.  I started running through the pain at that point!


  1. IT band issues are terrible! I was lucky enough not to hurt myself doing the half, but I hurt myself doing my first 10 miler last October and thought I was out of the game.. after a month off (docs orders), I was back to running, but even now I have an insane knee brace on.. I hope you can find a way to run again! Maybe we'll see you at a race!

  2. My daughter ran her first Marathon at WDW. I don't have such aspirations, but I do want to run a 5K there some day. Hopefully this year!!!

  3. I would LOVE to see you at a race at WDW!! :) what fun.

    Lucinda- I did the Animal Kingdom 5K the day before the half marathon and it was great! I could actually run those 3 miles without hurting myself! :)

  4. Wow, what an experience. I'm so glad you made it to the end but that sounds excruciating. You're one tough cookie!

  5. I love the races at WDW. My mother has done both the half and the full. I have only been in the cheer squad, but this next January I will be running the half. I'm pretty excited!