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WDW Marathon Weekend 2015 – Marathon and Dopey Finish

Day 4, here we go!

Woke up feeling tired but had taken it super easy the day before so my legs felt tired but not worn out and I was ready to run this marathon. I had already decided that if my body felt good in the first 5 miles then I would take it up a notch and really try to race this bad boy. It had been awhile since I had set a course PR here and I wanted to see what I could do.

This was my 5th time running this marathon and my experience and increased endurance showed this time around. But I’ll get to all that.

Woke up, threw on my clothes and was on a bus just after 4am. Met up with my Australian friends and we made our way to the corrals. It was chilly but a good running temp (~50) and I was excited to run. We got into corral E and chatted and stretched until it was time to go. Carissa and Rudy were great announcers as always as we impatiently waited for our turn. We were in corral E again and they efficiently moved through the corrals and we were sent off about 10 minutes after the official clock time.

The beginning of the course is the same as the half
marathon and the characters in this part were identical to the day before. I
decided I was feeling good so I said goodbye to my friends around mile 2 and
kept going. Made it up to the castle and it was just as beautiful, really it
never gets old.

We then wound around seeing similar characters out as the
half and then were back out on the roads. We made our loop around the race
track (which is super cool) and then started the journey to Animal Kingdom. It
was around here that my legs started feeling sore but not sore enough to slow
me down, so I grabbed some Tylenol to help my . We looped through that park and
then started the slightly longer journey to Wild World of Sports (WWoS) where
it is endless looping. They fit about 2.5 miles into WWoS and you just… keep…
running around. It’s a bit nutty. During this part I got some pics with characters I’d never gotten before.

We finally broke free of WWoS and made our way to
Hollywood Studios and the final stretch of the race. I LOVE the final miles of
the WDW Marathon. I would go as far as to say it’s the BEST last 5k of any
marathon I’ve ever run. You run through the studios, then the
Boardwalk/Beach/Yacht area, and then through Epcot. People are cheering the
whole way and there are so many distractions and it’s just great and gives you
a nice burst of adrenaline to kick it up for the last stretch.

My legs were tired but not completely gone so I just kept
pushing, I was on pace to come well under 4 hours and I was thrilled about
that. I was about to SMASH my previous course PR of 4:11. The final mile turned into my victory lap. Picked up some magic from the Fairy Godmother just before mile marker 25, waved to the crowed, waved to the pricesses, grabbed a hug from Duffy, and then set off on the last .25 mile or so to the finish!

We wove through the
final turns and there it was, the finish line. I was ecstatic. I ran across
with a goofy looking grin with an official time of 3:48:22.  I had not only set a new PR but done so by 23
minutes and beaten my previous Dopey marathon time by a little over a half
hour. Crazy!

I had a blast at the marathon this year. Not only did a
set a course PR but stopped for pictures and really just had a blast out there. I really
fell in love with the WDW Marathon course all over again and also felt invigorated by
completing the Dopey Challenge on such a strong note. I really proved to myself
how far I’ve come this year and a little bling never hurt either.

The Dopey Challenge is a uniquely challenging experience
and, I think I’m hooked. Last year’s Dopey Challenge left me drained but this
year I faced the challenge as a stronger more confident runner and LOVED it. I
cannot wait to push myself further next year and do it again!

Cheers until next time runners!

0 thoughts on “WDW Marathon Weekend 2015 – Marathon and Dopey Finish”

  1. Thx for the updates. I was waiting to hear how it went for you. I'm amazed at your times. You must have really trained hard this year. Congrats!!!

  2. Thanks Mark! It was all about training smarter leading up to the race. I think I fit too many races in this year and it was starting to show as I started focusing on this race weekend. Hope you are having a great new year!

  3. Thx. The year is off to a great start. Planning on the Tink Half and the Wine and Dine but DW and I also committed to the WDW Marathon. Since it's run on our anniversary next year, it seemed like a natural fit for our first full. We aren't gonna tell any friends or family – just post an FB shot with the finisher's medals.

  4. Running the marathon on your anniversary would be so special. Tink and Wine and Dine are also awesome. I hope to make it back for Wine and Dine one of these days, such a fun race! Hopefully we'll cross paths soon!

    Happy running!

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