Ok, here we goooooo....
After going past the Contemporary Resort we headed into the Magic Kingdom via backstage. It was so cool being backstage before coming out onto Main Street. You come out beside Tony's Town Square and what a site it is to see City Hall there and everyone cheering you on. Music is blasting on Main Street, people are cheering and you couldn't help but get excited to be there. As Tracy and I are heading up Main Street we see our friends (Pat, Lou, Val and Virginia) standing there holding signs, whooping/hollering and taking pictures. What a great feeling it was to have friends there cheering us on.
After you go up Main Street you cross into Tomorrowland. By now I was needing to find a restroom. Not so much to go to the bathroom but rather than to take off my sweatpants. I knew there was a restroom by Mickey's Star Traders BUT it was closed!! We continue on the way to the next restroom. It was great getting my sweats off. I was starting to get hot. After going through Tomorrowland you run through Fantasyland. We saw Piglet as we went by and Cinderella's stepsisters. One of the highlights of going through the Magic Kingdom is running through Cinderella Castle. It's not the same as walking through it when the park is open. After going through the castle you head towards Liberty Square and Frontierland. Some of the Country Bears were out to greet the runners. But the best; the coolest part was yet to come. After coming out of Frontierland you head backstage again and as Tracy and I rounded a corner we saw HIM---JACK!!!! We both yelled JACK at the same time and bolted down the hill to him. He was on a pirate ship float with some other scallywags. We got in line to get our picture taken with him. I asked him where the rum was and he told me at the finish line. I found out later there was no rum there.
Now here comes, what I think, is the hardest part of the 1/2 marathon. From the time you leave Magic Kingdom until you see Spaceship Earth is the longest part. You come out of all the excitement of the Magic Kingdom into nothing! You're going along Floridian Way with not much to look at but the resorts and some trees. Granted we saw Mary Poppins and Bert outside the Grand Floridian and a few local bands along the way but it just wasn't exciting. Although one funny thing did happen along this route. I think around mile 8 or so they give you Clif Shots to get a burst of energy. I've had these before and absolutely hate them. But Tracy had never had one before. All I can say is I wish I would've had the camera ready. She put some in her mouth and before I knew it she was spitting it out. The worst part was that there was no water there to drink or rinse your mouth out with. So we had to go another mile to get something to drink.
If any of you listened to the 100th episode of the WDWRadio Show you heard Lou make a comment about how he figured I'd be calling him at Mile 10 swearing at him for him getting me into all of this. I guess I should say that Lou inspired me to do the 1/2 marathon last year. I figured if he could do it then so could I. ( lol, you know I love ya Lou). Anyways, we get to Mile 10 and I call Lou. He's laughing at me because I'm calling him and asks where we are at. I told him it was his Mile 10 you suck, what did you get me into call. He's cracking up laughing at me. I ask where they are at and he said right outside of Epcot. Great- we'll see you there. Around Mile 11 is when Tracy's ankle really started to hurt and my blisters weren't making me happy, but we both refuse to stop at the medical tent. I figured if I took my shoe off, I wouldn't want to put it back on.
As we are crossing the overpass into Epcot my Ipod is playing "I Can Go The Distance". What a perfect song to hear at that moment, especially as I look over at Spaceship Earth. We see the Mile 12 marker and not far past that there are our friends again yelling and cheering. At this point it all hit me. I'm hugging them; I'm crying and I'm telling them I don't want to go on anymore. They were so supportive and were telling me that I was there all I had to do was go through Epcot and I'd be done. Ok! Off we go. Entering Epcot must've given me some energy because before I knew it we were on the way out of Epcot going through a backstage area. Once you are in this area you can hear singing. There is, what I would call, a gospel choir singing. It was beautiful.
We come from backstage by the back end of the kennel club. We're almost there. I'm looking for another friend of mine which I knew was along the way there. I see him and all our other friends cheering us on again and suddenly I look and there beside me is Andy, a great friend of mine. I was so excited to see him that I started screaming and hugging him. I bet it looks great on video. We head towards the finish line. We see the finish line. We run to the finish line- hand in hand- and cross together. Emotions pour out of me as Tracy and I are hugging. We're both crying. We head over to get our medals. What an amazing feeling as they placed it around my neck. And of course the next stop was the medical tent to have Tracy's ankle looked at. As she is sitting there getting some ice put on it I send out text messages that we finished.
We then headed back over to the Race Retreat for some food and refreshments. When we arrived they had a towel and flip flops for us. After some nourishment, we got massages and then headed back to the resort for some much needed showers. Boy, did I stink!
Up next, things I learned from the marathon.