Monday, January 18, 2010

Goofy Challenge Race Report, Part II

Read Part 1: The Half Marathon HERE.

Believe it or not, Sunday was even colder than Saturday, although at least it was dry. I knew I would need additional layers, so I ended up wearing yoga pants on the bottom (Recovery Socks underneath for extra warmth) and the Marathon and Goofy race shirts on top along with a jacket that wasn't designed for running. It didn't exactly allow for ease of motion, but it kept me mostly comfortable while running. Once again the Bondi Band kept my ears covered.

After being stuck out in the cold for so long the previous morning and having learned that it wasn't necessary to arrive quite so early, we slept in a little longer and caught a later bus on Sunday morning. This time we arrived at about 4:00AM, so we didn't have to struggle to keep warm for quite so long. We kept our warm layers on as long as possible before heading through bag check toward the starting area.

Fortunately I had another throw-away sweater and some extra aluminum blankets.

Once again we snuggled together to protect ourselves from the elements as much as possible while we waited for the fireworks and the word "GO!" We were in the first wave for the marathon, so we started at 5:40AM.

Similar to Saturday, we had no goals except to finish the race (preferably upright and smiling) and have fun. We intended to keep the pace comfortable, walk/stop when we needed to and not worry about anything except counting down the miles. The four of us had tentatively planned to stick together for the start with the guys eventually backing off to walk the majority of the first half, then running the second half (both were recovering from injuries and had not trained to run a marathon). Their plan later changed to running while in each theme park and walking in between. In the end, they ran the entire way with us!

The marathon course would take us through all four theme parks and along long stretches of highway in between.

Once again we took to the streets in the dark. This time we started by running around and through part of Epcot, including half way around World Showcase. It's difficult to see, but this is the "globe" lit up in the lagoon:

We found the course much more crowded than the day before and often had no choice but to settle in with the people around us. We did pass when we had the opportunity, mostly to get ourselves a little space, and we were constantly looking over our shoulders to make sure we have everyone. Ueli? Check! Patricia? Check! Mark? Check! Marlene? Check! It was pretty funny.

After touring Epcot, we had several miles of highway taking us toward Magic Kingdom. We recognized a lot of the scenery and I was grateful that it was the first part of the full marathon that duplicated the half marathon so that we had some new scenery to look forward to in the later miles.

We held a steady (although slow) pace, with the exception of frequent stops for washroom breaks and photo ops, and walking a few steps through most water stations. We were all feeling great as the miles ticked by and the guys were hanging on just fine with no intention of stopping.

Pretty soon we arrived back at the Magic Kingdom and approached the Cinderella Castle once again, this time in daylight.

We paused for a photo before making our way through Tomorrow Land.

Buzz Lightyear greeted us around the next corner.

We made our way all around Magic Kingdom before exiting toward the MK resort area. We bumped into a couple of characters along this stretch:

There were many more spectators out as the morning went on. The parks weren't yet open, but crowds lined the entrances and exits to greet us and Disney employees were cheering like crazy inside the parks. The support really was incredible and we received a ton of extra attention due to our Goofy bibs (identified by their number "5" shape [5th anniversary]). People would often yell "Goofy runners coming through!" and everyone cheered. We felt like rockstars!

We passed the half way point in about 2:32, signifying that we were two-thirds of the way through the Goofy Challenge!

Shortly thereafter we hit the first banana station, where the volunteers were shouting "Frozen bananas!"

The freezing had become somewhat of an issue at the water stations, a thin layer of ice having formed over the water in each cup and Powerade being handed out as "Powerade Slushies!" It was actually quite dangerous as spilled water had turned into a skating rink on the pavement. We had to step very carefully. How crazy to find ice on the course at the Disney Marathon - in Florida!

We had started making our way toward Animal Kingdom when we spotted this guy shaking his bootie in the middle of the road. And YES, I gave it a tap as we ran by. How could I resist?

Running through Animal Kingdom, for me, was a definite highlight of the route.

Next was another long stretch of highway heading to Hollywood Studios. We had been stopping much less throughout the second half of the marathon (our bladders were finally under control!) and many of our splits were much faster than the first half. I think we were all surprised by how strong we felt and I kept wondering to myself when I was going to hit the wall. It didn't happen! I knew my training was paying off as the miles continued to tick by and I felt great through 18, 19, 20, 21.

I'm holding my bib in the above pic because I had just ditched my jacket (it only took 3:45 to warm up...) and hadn't yet re-attached my bib to my shirt.

Just after mile 20, hubs requested a walk break... which lasted all of ten seconds before he said something along the lines of, "Screw this, let's run." So we kept on going!

We finally made it to Hollywood Studios at about mile 22, and the next two miles would take us in and around the park.

We hit the chocolate (and raisin) station on the way in. I wasn't in the mood to bite into anything, but I did fill my pockets for later.

After leaving Hollywood Studios we ran through the Boardwalk area, which was just gorgeous on this sunny (but cold) day.

I didn't realize it at the time, but we (well, I) had picked up the pace quite a bit for the final few miles. As it turns out, the last 5K were our fastest of the entire weekend and the fastest I have ever finished any marathon. I remember hearing Patricia saying that I had "turned on the turbo." We were ready to finish this thing!

From the boardwalk we ran straight into Epcot for the big finish. I had been looking out for a certain someone who I'd expected to find around this point. Sure enough, I spotted Redhead and Spike with their awesome balloons and sign. If you haven't already, make sure you read Redhead's Spectating Report!

All we had to do now was round a few bends, make our way down the finishing chute and collect the bling! The crowds were intense and the adrenaline rush was like nothing I have experienced before. I couldn't stop thinking (and maybe saying aloud?) "We're going to do this!"

And we sure did! We stuck together and I was able to grab hubby's hand before crossing the line.

If you are not prone to motion sickness, check out this video of this last 1:15 of the race from my very bumpy and excited perspective. :)

We received our marathon medals and immediately made our way over to the Goofy tent to collect the real bling. Here we are, Goofy Challengers!

This one was taken back at the hotel, featuring all 3 medals.

The stats:

Start to finish, this was by far one of the best experiences of my life.

Thanks for reading and congrats to all of my fellow Disney runners!

Recovery has been exceptional. We spent Sunday afternoon/evening and all day Monday walking around the parks, which turned out to be the best thing for sore and tired legs. By Tuesday, I could hardly believe I had run 39.3 miles on the weekend. I've been out to run three times (5K/3mi Wednesday, 8K/5mi Thursday and 16K/9mi Sunday) and everything seems to be functioning just fine. It's safe to say I have never felt so good after finishing a marathon.


Jocelyn said...

Wow! What a great race report. I have not wanted to do this but after reading this...doing the goofy challenge sounds AWESOME! How fun! Congrats to you and your husband! So awesome :)

Erika said...

Congratulations! Your race reports make it sound like so much fun!

Can't wait to hear what's on tap for the rest of 2010.

MCM Mama

Jen Feeny said...

Girl you are a machine! Great recap and so impressive you kicked that final 5k like you did! Holy smokes! Great job and high fives to everyone!

I can't believe you continued to walk around the parks for recovery! Craziness! I must remember this after Gasparilla! LOL!

Congrats again girl and it was so friggin awesome meeting you!!!!

J said...

You totally are a MACHINE! Wish it had been at least a little warmer for the races but you never know now with the weather!

Glad recovery is going so well! Great job girl! That is amazing mileage for one weekend!

Unknown said...

you totally rock! well done!!

robinbb said...

Congrats and awesome RR!

Anonymous said...

Great report! What an awesome experience and accomplishment!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

How can you eat a banana mid run?? WOW! OK frozen Powerade on the ground, gulp!

I love all the pictures and that you and hubby did it TOGETHER! Wow.. Congrats on a GOOFY adventure!

Unknown said...

This seems like the best race ever when it comes to fun. I would have been stopping every 20 seconds to take pictures with the characters! I loved it when you crossed with your husband. We grabbed hands too, automatically, you just can't help it, right!? Thanks for sharing the nice pictures and great post! : )

Boris T said...

Great report, sounds like a heck of a race experience. Love the pics.

Marky Mark said...

Apart from all the fun, I think you'll really benefit from experiencing that sort of a strong finsih and learning a bit more about pacing. Also, I'm wondering if another lesson is cold is better than heat and humidity, which could influence race selection.

Badgergirl said...

Sounds like a great experience! Thanks for sharing it with us.

And congrats on finishing the Goofy Challenge!

Anne said...

Congrats on a great race weekend! You have a great running attitude.
Ice in Florida...who'd a thought!

Denise said...

AWESOME Marlene!!! Love the report, the pics and the bling!! Great job!!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I knew you would totaly rock this experince! How great that you and hubbs did it together.

Next time maybe you'll get to race somewhere warm!!

Lindsay said...

so, so, so awesome :) i love the bibs! they are wayy cooler for standing out this year. i bet the 'celebrity' status was just an extra boost. isn't it crazy how "easy" the races went? i know i expected to struggle in the marathon after having run the half... but somehow it just flew by!

congrats, goofy marlene :)

Anonymous said...

I love your race reports!!! Haha, and totally enjoyed watching the video! It made me smile to remember how good it feels to finally BE DONE!

Steel Springs said...

This is such a fun race report. I'm so impressed! It's such an accomplishment to complete the Goofy Challenge and you had so much fun doing it...that's true style.

Laura said...

great report and congrats again. Glad your 'recovery' is going well.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Awesome job to all of you!! Love the video, glad I haven't eaten recently!! hahaha.. I'm even more excited for my trip this weekend now seeing your pictures too!! :D

Runner Leana said...

Congratulations Marlene, you completely rocked the Goofy! Nicely done! The last part of the course through Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk and through Epcot is my absolute favourite part!!

AddictedToEndorphins said...

You are my freaking hero.
I'm so inspired.

Anonymous said...

It looks so cold in that first picture that I actually shivered. Outstanding racing and picture taking at the same time- that is quite an accomplishment! You took that Goofy Challenge and superceeded it! Yay!

Meg Kathleen said...

Reading this has really inspired me to run a marathon one day. I've always said I'd never do more than a half, but it sounds like you had so much fun! Congrats!

Unknown said...

Awesome race report, love all the pictures. I know I already said this but now I want to run this even more than before. Way to go!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome race report! It sounds and looks like you really got out there and enjoyed the whole experience. You ran well to, bonus.

Felice Devine said...

I am just getting caught up -- great reports! I love that your recovery has been going well :-)

Kelly said...

Wow, I think I said this on the last report but you truly amaze me! It looks like such a fun marathon to run and I'm glad you had a great experience!

ShirleyPerly said...

Congratulations on your Goofy achievement!!

I am still in shock over how cold it was that weekend. Yet you guys seemed to have an answer for everything and were able to get through the race with no real problems. Excellent race report and thanks for all the fun photos!

Heather said...

I love the picture of you with all your medals - that is so awesome! You got some great pics, what an amazing time. Now I REALLY want to do goofy someday. :)

Emily said...

Congrats! This looks like SO MUCH FUN! I love the frozen bananas! I see on Tall Mom's blog that you'll be in Seattle- I am ready to Rock n Roll it as well and am looking forward to meeting the crew of bloggers!

Toni said...

Congrats! You did awesome! Love the race report.

Marci said...

Awesome report, loved the video, you were so pumped!! Congrats!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

oh man comment 34, just missed it!!

I am going through the Tall Mom 1,000+++ club and realized I don't have your info. Please go to the link below and email me your info so I can add you to the club:

Stephanie Estridge said...

Hi Marlene! I saw Mel (Tall Moms) note on you'll running Seattle and I mentioned that I was planning on running that race in June as well. Well... I signed up today! Can't wait to meet you'll!!! I heard it was an awesome race last year and it's always fun to have some bloggy friends to meet up with. See you then!!


Anonymous said...

wow! unreal report, Marlene!
I am so happy that all of your training paid off- to say that you've never felt so good after a full is HUGE! Definitely need a 30k redemption now!
Your photos are the best I've seen from Disney... the course looked so awesome that I now i have crazy notions of putting it on my bucket list!

Unknown said...

Congratulations! What an awesome experience. Thanks for sharing it with all of us. Really inspiring!

Winks & Smiles,

Aron said...

you are soooo awesome!!! sounds like SUCH a blast :) i love the pic of you with ALLLL those medals on! congrats girl :)

Patrick said...

Marlene-- You rock!!! I am soo bummed we did not meet up when I was down there too. Next time we have to plan it out better!

I LOVE your pics. I did not take nearly enough on the route. My pacer did but only with those cameras given to all of us in the bags so I am waiting for them to develop!

Anonymous said...

omg that is amazing! and u guys made really good time!
congrats, congrats, congrats! u r a champion! a really (goofy???) champion. lol

u rock!!! and very nice bling.

sneakersister said...

Banana and chocolate stops!??! Sounds like my kind of marathon! I was trying to figure out how I could take a banana with me during my marathon last November, I so wish they had been handing those out. It totally hits the spot.

I'm totally in awe of everyone who can complete the Goofy Challenge, simply amazing.

Congratulations again!!

Anonymous said...

First of all, CONGRATS Marlene (and crew!)!!!! This was so fun to read, because I could tell how much you enjoyed your race(s) and how well you all did!!

I LOVE All your pictures!!! Banana *and* chocolate stations? Yah, somebody knew what they were doin' with those ;) haha. I'm amazed by your accomplishments - I love that you did this and crossed the finish line smiling and strong! :)

EndorphinBuzz said...

What an awesome race. You make me want to do it next year!

I'm glad your recovery is going so well.

Unknown said...

Congrats on finishing the Goofy challenge! If you are interested, the results are compiled at . Good luck with your next marathon!

RoadBunner said...

Congratulations!! Great job!! Wish I had thought ahead to try to arrange a meet-up.

I am thinking of going back in 2011 for my third Goofy. I am a sucker for the Disney marathon :)

Chic Runner said...

Great race report! It seems like you had a great race despite the elements. I totally know what your talking about with the ice on the streets, that happened to me at CIM too! Love all the pictures and congrats on completing the challenge! You are a rock star

Lisa said...

What a great race report. I am sorry it was so cold, but it sounds like you got past it just fine.


I wish Disney out here would do a Goofy Challenge. Unfortunately, the city of Anaheim would make it pretty tough. The Disneyland Half is already over $100. A double like that would be ridiculous.

Sorry for the late comment. I am trying to catch up on my reader.

Kerrie said...

Too cool! What a great report!

Sarah K said...

That's an awesome race report. I just got back from Disney on Monday and your report really makes me want to go back!!! Congratulations!