I'm going to do my marathon report in sections so it's not one big boring post.
Saturday, January 10th started out at 1:30am for me. I had the alarm set for 2am but after tossing and turning I decided to get up and get ready. I had laid out everything I needed the night before so I wasn't rushing around to find things, like my shorts and birthday ears. I had planned on leaving the resort by 3 but since it didn't take long to get ready Tracy and I headed out the door around 2:45 or so. And good thing we did because the way I knew how to get to Epcot from the resort was closed. I wasn't really sure which was to go so I started following a car that had a marathon flag on his window. Needless to say, I followed him to the backstage area and was told which was to go from there.
I think Tracy and I were the 5th car in the parking lot that morning and the funny thing was that we ended up parking beside a friend of ours. Since it was early and rather chilly out that morning we should've stayed in the warm car for awhile. But we didn't. We headed to the race area where I think we were the first 3 people there. Or so it seemed since I didn't see another runners around. All the volunteers were still getting things ready for everyone to arrive and the band was warming up. I had boughten Tracy and I the Race Retreat. The Race Retreat was a special tent that had nice comfy couches to sit on; was warmer than outside; had bagels, fruit and drinks; characters to get your picture with; a special baggage check area but most importantly, it had its own restroom area. That alone was worth the money.
Tracy and I relaxed on the couch for some and then started to see a few people we knew. After chatting with them we figured we better get ready to head to the starting line and get in our corral. This is when I made the biggest mistake of the race. I had a sweatshirt on and decided that I better take it off so I didn't have to deal with it and so they could see my bib number. How dumb was I. I pretty much froze for the next hour before the race started. At least I kept my sweatpants on and had a pair of gloves to wear. Now to get to the starting line area from the race retreat was about a 20 minute walk or more. And in the cold it seemed longer. People were huddling by the portable lights because the generators were blowing out hot air. I wasn't convinced that was a good idea since once you were warmed up you were just going to get cold again. We make it to our corral and wait and wait and wait. It seemed like it was taking forever for the race to start but looking back at it time did fly by.
The race starts in 3 different waves. Wave 1 is for the really fast people that make me sick, Wave 2 is where we were but in the last corral of it and then Wave 3 is usually for walkers. They decide what Wave you are in by the finish time you submit when you register. The wheelchair racers start several minutes before the first wave. They sang the National Anthem and set off some fireworks and the first wave went running. After the first wave of people are gone they move up the next wave. This is when it all started to hit me- the nervousness, the excitement, the holy crap I can't believe I'm doing this!! I kept making funny comments that a guy behind me told me he was loving my energy. ENERGY?? I think I'm going to puke!!
They started the countdown for our wave, set off the fireworks again and bang off we go! It take awhile to get across the starting line with that amount of people so it probably took us 10 minutes or so just to cross it. But of course we didn't cross it without saying hi to Mickey, Donald and Goofy first. The first few miles are the craziest. People are trying to get around you and start their pace. I was finding it amusing that not even 1 mile into the race people were heading to the side of the road to "relieve" themselves. I'm sorry, but peeing in Disney's bushes just seems wrong. But I know, when you got to go, you got to go.
The race goes up World Drive at Mile 2 which the monorail track runs parallel to. The monorails would go by and beep their horns. Once in awhile you could tell someone was videotaping because you would see a little red light on in one of the cabs. After about a mile or so I starting singing "Follow the monorail, follow the monorail, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the monorail." I know sounds corny but someone was singing it with us. There's not much to look at along World Drive so we were entertaining ourselves by ready peoples shirts. I think my favorite one said "If you're reading this you were just passed by a fat guy." Of course I had to take a picture of it, which made the guy laugh.
Just before you hit Mile 5 is when you have to go up the hill before the Contemporary. We ran down the hill but walked up it. At the top was a DJ doing the hand jive and so was Tracy and I. Since I was wearing my birthday Mickey ears he yelled out "Happy Birthday". I got a few birthday wishes along the way that day.
This is where I'm going to end for now since the best part is next: going through the Magic Kingdom!!