Tag Archive for disney world buses

3 of 4 Dopey Challenge races done at this point and I wanted to put up a bit of a quick recap / race report

So the quick race reports below haven’t been edited very much – I just quickly dumped out some thoughts about how the races went and what I enjoyed to get something up on the blog.

I will update and do more thorough race / trip reports later but for now here is how the Dopey Challenge is going so far with only 1 race left to go (of course it is the big one…).

Please click the link for a review of the final race (the Walt Disney World Marathon) with many pictures.

 

5k #wdw5k

Official time: 25:18

I got a great surprise last night before I crashed when I got an encouragement tweet from Stacey J. Aswad (https://twitter.com/staceyjaswad – @staceyjaswad) – as in the lovely and energetic lady who stars in the Must Do Disney shows on the Walt Disney World TV channel in the Disney resorts). Bloody awesome!! One of the highlights of the trip!

https://twitter.com/staceyjaswad/status/553047240177360896

Cold in the morning, bloody cold in fact. The wind was bitter. I am used to running in some pretty cold weather but I walk out of a nice warm house and run immediately and get warmed up. That is not really an issue with a Disney race considering the hour plus wait time from when I got off the bus until Corral A got to start.

I brought thermal gear as I knew there would be at least one cold day based on the forecasts and put on a big black garbage bag to cut the wind and retain some additional heat. Still chilly with some teeth chattering but I was properly equipped once we got moving.

After the long travel day the day before the race I really just wanted to move a bit. I also wanted to burn off some of the cold that was settling into the muscles. So instead of taking it easy I decided to push the 5k a little harder and then back off on the half marathon on Sunday. I figured as long as I didn’t go all out on the 5k I wouldn’t do too much damage, or at least less damage than going harder on the half.

Everything was going great until a little over a mile into the race and I heard a weird noise of something dropping. I realized it was my phone and had to stop, turn around and go back about 15 paces to get it. It had fallen out of the holster I keep it in – I mustn’t have gotten the phone seated properly in the holster. Crud.

Luckily no one stepped on it but it is definitely an interesting experience running backwards against a mass of people. Not something I recommend.

I held up my arms and waved and did some warning yelling as I went to grab it. Luckily I am a pretty big guy so I was a bit more noticeable that some might be.

Grabbed the phone without anyone getting hurt and got back at it. I didn’t realize until after that I had cracked the screen pretty good. Thankfully the phone and touch screen still works, it just looks like hell. (I have order a new screen that should be at home when I get there to get everything all fixed up.)

Right after that we entered Epcot. I had specifically not worn headphones so I could hear the background music of Epcot as we went through. I am glad I made that decision and it really enhanced the experience.

Disney had all of the mood lighting on around World Showcase and also had the big torches lit. Gorgeous!

After following World Showcase around through France we took the detour down through International Gateway (instead of running through the England pavilion), looped around for a water stop and came back out right by Canada. From there we ran over by The Land pavilion and by the Nemo ride before heading back out to go under Spaceship Earth and toward the finish line.

Besides the phone and the cold (neither of which I can blame on Disney) that was a fantastic experience. It is really too bad the new Marathon course doesn’t start you through Epcot anymore.

There was unfortunately a long wait for buses in the cold after the race was done. Corrals were still being started and the course goes along the road the buses need to take…so no buses until the balloon ladies have come through and the last of the runners have cleared the area.

Even after the runners were cleared there was an issue with our stop – there weren’t any showing up for us! Other hotels were getting 2 or 3 and we hadn’t had one yet. In the cold that was a bit rough.

The logistics folks fixed that quickly by pulling up what appeared to be a generic bus (didn’t have any of the hotel specific cards or info on the front that the dedicated buses had). And I think the driver got a bit lost as it was a fairly long drive back to the hotel. A lot longer that it should have been. But at least the bus was warm!

 

10k – #wdw10k

Official Time: 53:59

Not quite as cold as yesterday but still pretty chilly. Onto my backup set of thermal gear and my second garbage bag! My legs were feeling a bit rough after a lot of walking yesterday so I decided to run in my Hoka One One Cliftons – I was going to only use those on the half and the full but figured they were probably a good idea for the 10k at this point as well.

Once I got to the staging area I wandered around for a bit and then headed over to the corrals. There I met up with Bill who blogs over at rillaruns.wordpress.com and on twitter at @rilla6969 and chatted for a while as Corral A was brought up to the start line.

We headed off to run and I intended to go fairly slow and finish at about the hour mark…but the highway boredom got to me so I pushed it a bit more for the first half of the race until we entered Epcot. At that point I slowed down.

I wanted to relax some more and enjoy the atmosphere even more than I did the day before on the 5k so I slowed down and took some video while I ran. I had also did a quick walk break right by the China pavilion while I had some water.

The course then headed International Gateway as the 5k did but instead of cutting back around to go back into Epcot right away, runners head up the ramp and across the bridge to go toward the Boardwalk Inn. A great place to run although you do have to be careful on the actual boardwalk.

From there we were sent back over the bridge toward the Yacht Club Resort and the Beach Club Resort.

Now I have mentioned in the past that the Beach Club resort is a place I really love and enjoy. So while running by the Yacht and Beach Club hotels I took video while running and stopped to do a quick scan of the Stormalong Bay pool area before continuing on.

I then put the camera away and pushed the speed back up as we headed back into Epcot and by The Land pavilion and back by Spaceship Earth.

From there a quick push to the finish where Bill tapped me on the shoulder. I had lost track of Bill 10 seconds into the run and he did his own race and we ended up finishing within seconds of each other.

Medal #2 received and Bill and I had another short chat before I headed over to the buses to go get warmed up.

All in all a good run – 5-6 minutes faster than I wanted to go since I wanted to save my legs a bit but as long as I don’t do anything crazy on the half it shouldn’t be a big problem.

Buses were fairly smooth today – I got on a bus very quickly after I headed to the bus stops and back at the hotel not long after that.

2 of 4 races done for the Dopey Challenge! At this point the realization started to set in that there was a full Goofy Challenge left to do this weekend…ouch!

 

Half – #wdwhalf

Official time: 1:58:52

Third cold day in a row…I brought 2 sets of cold weather gear. One set for the day that was actually forecasted to be cold and a spare – both sets were used so I had had to wash a bit of stuff yesterday to be ready for today.

My brother is doing the Goofy this weekend (his 3rd one) and we went down to the race together and hung out in the staging area for a while and wandered around.

We weren’t near the stage and didn’t hear any announcement to go to the corrals but we noticed people streaming that direction so we wandered that way as well figuring it was getting close to time.

I don’t know if Disney has done anything specifically to make the walk to the corrals less crowded but this was the first year that I could walk and talk with someone without constantly watching my feet so I didn’t run into someone. It was significantly less crowded on that walk and it was appreciated!

Along the walk we saw what could have been a bright red meteorite in the sky that faded after a while. I could have been a fireworks test or something but didn’t look like any fireworks I had seen but it was cool to see either way. If it was a meteor … was it a bad omen? Made for some good chuckles along the long walk.

We were in separate corrals so we split up and went to our own spots to get ready.

I wandered into Corral D and started getting ready mentally.

After what seemed like a very short wait the wheelchair folks were off and then Corral A shortly after. Things move quickly from there and Corral D was off and moving pretty soon after that.

Because I wanted to take it easy today (with a goal pace of around 2 hours to finish) I had decided to wear an old running jacket the whole race, I have done it before with that jacket in temperatures near where they were forecast so I figured it would be ok. About 2 miles in though it was too hot and I had to abandon it. But with how I had planned to run it took a bit of time to get it off and reseat my hydration belt, etc – that cost some time.

That also meant, that in some areas it was cooler than I would have liked and I pushed the speed up to warm up a bit. I was in danger of doing something dumb there and pushing too fast which would cost me on the full tomorrow.

Then I look down around mile 3 and realize that my bib is only hanging by one of the two cords from my bib belt. The top left hole had ripped out and my bib was just dangling there. Losing the bib would have royally buggered the weekend, so I started running holding up the torn corner in my left hand. This would ensure I didn’t lose it and that it was visible for any photographers.

It was obviously kind of awkward to run that way but it did have the bonus of slowing me down a bit. But perhaps too much as I could tell from my mile times I was in danger of being slower than my goal pace. With the lost time for the jacket it was beginning to look like I would not get my 2 hour time.

I needed to get the bib fixed!

I realized that the medical tents might have something to help out but I had already passed one a while so it was going to be a while until I got to the next one just on the back end of the course through the Magic Kingdom.

So I had to run like that for a while – around 3.5 miles actually and you can see in my split times that I was doing ok at keeping my pace steady but I couldn’t go like that for the rest of the race.

Finally I hit the medical tent hoping they would have a safety pin or something to help out. In the end they didn’t have a safety pin but some medical tape helped out and I was able to get moving again.

At this point my toque / knitted hat was fairly saturated so I abandoned it and the old beat up running gloves I was using today expecting to have to get rid of them.

And then I got to work at getting some time back. I had missed my scheduled fuel break so I took that around mile 7 and another at mile 10. But I steadily made back time.

I was glad I made that time up when I did because that was when we hit the overpass followed by the long bridge. Some long steady inclines that required some effort to push through.

But by then the sun was coming up with a blue sky – perfect time to enter Epcot for the last mile! At this point I knew I had made up enough time to make the 2 hour arbitrary goal pace with about a minute to spare. So I just focused on a slightly slower but solid and steady pace that would let me finish with that spare minute in reserve incase anything came up like an emergency walk break or something like that.

In the end I didn’t need the emergency minute and I finished strong.

If I hadn’t had the gear issues I probably would have ended up closer to the 1:50 mark…which would probably have cost me big time tomorrow on the full marathon but as it is I feel pretty good with my only issue being a slight ache in my right ankle that I should be able to walk out today.

After the run I quickly checked to see where my brother was on Disney’s new live tracking tools and saw that he was still quite a way out. With the cold sinking into to my now damp clothes I decided to hit the buses and get warm. Walked on a bus and it took off back to the hotel very shortly after that. Barely any wait at all. Nice!

Plan for today is to not do too much walking and get my head focused for the full marathon tomorrow.

The plan for tomorrow is to take it easy and survive! I will be doing photo stops along the course and just trying to keep a steady running pace with probably some walk breaks thrown in. I don’t have a specific goal pace but under 5 hours would be great and under 4:30 would be fantastic. But I will take finishing in one piece as a major victory as well.

My rough game plan for the Dopey Challenge…

Alrighty – so I took today off work so I could sleep in and then get my final organization done for the Dopey Challenge before I leave tomorrow morning. And of course I end up waking up an hour before my alarm would normally go off on a work day…and I couldn’t get back to sleep.

I kept running through my head what my game plan was for each day of the challenge and finally I decided I might as well get up and put it down in writing so I could think about something else for a while!

 

Wednesday the 7th:

First flight is at 5:15 am – so not really just doing 4 early mornings, I am doing 5! Will probably have to get up around the same time I will for the 10k, half and full days so that I can get to the airport and check in on time. Flying through Toronto which can be fun but I have plenty of time to clear US customs and make the connecting flight without rushing, but not so much time that it will feel like I am stuck in the airport forever. I will be meeting up with my brother at the Toronto airport and we will be traveling together from there.

We should get into Orlando at around 1:30 pm – grab the Magical Express and off to the hotel from there. Hopefully should then be at the hotel and checked in well before 3:30 pm (would prefer a bit earlier but this still gives plenty of time).

From the hotel, we will hit the shuttle bus to the Expo (with photo ID and race waivers in hand) and grab the race kits…and buy lots of stuff. I am hoping we will be at the Expo before 4:00 pm, this would give lots of time to do the Expo thoroughly in one go.

Then off to find supper…not sure where this will take us yet, potentially Epcot unless we are just too tired.

 

Thursday the 8th:

5k! Strangely this will be my first ever timed 5k run…I have done 14 halfs and 9 fulls at this point but have not run a timed race shorter than that. So I guess a guaranteed PR there?

I’m not sure what corral I will be in for this one but based on my corral placement of D for the other races it should be A or B for the 5k.

Plan for this one is just to take it easy – I just want to wander around Epcot in the dark. I love the atmosphere of Epcot and I want to enjoy every second of it. That being said I also don’t want to walk the race – so I will go for sub 30 minutes, maybe 27 minutes? That should be a relatively easy leg stretch to work out some of the kinks.

After the race, back to the hotel, grab my brother (who is doing Goofy) and off to a park. Perhaps Magic Kingdom? I have set up some fastpasses there for Thursday but may change them based on our moods that day.

Early to bed after Skyping my wife and kids!

 

Friday the 9th:

10k…same as the 5k here, I have never done a timed 10k. A double PR weekend!

The 10k runs through Epcot and the Boardwalk / Yacht Club / Beach Club areas and those all fall in my list of happy places (especially the Beach Club area) – so I will be taking it easy here as well. I want to just absorb the atmosphere and the vibe.

I assume I will be shooting for under an hour but might walk a bit to take pictures and absorb.

Once the race is done then it will be park time again! Still not sure which park – maybe Epcot but perhaps Animal Kingdom. Just staying flexible there.

Then again off to bed early after Skyping the family back home.

 

Saturday the 10th:

Half marathon! I think this is the race I am most looking forward to out of all 4 in the challenge. This is the one race that I expect to try to achieve some speed on. Basically the fastest I have done the half course at the Disney World Marathon weekend is about 2:20. I did a few Goofy Challenges when I really wasn’t ready and took the halfs slow to save myself for the fulls, so my times have never been up there as being that quick. I have also gotten trapped in slow corrals before and also run with others giving me a slower time than I would like to put up.

Now, I’m not going to shoot for my half PR of 1:46:00 but I would like to push a bit. I’m not planning on taking pictures or just wandering around on this one – I want to run strong without hurting myself for the full. That means sub 2 hours but if I am really feeling it sub 1:50. But that will really depend on how beat up my legs feel. So not a PR but a personal course record is the goal.

I will be strapping on my Hoka’s for this race, so that should help protect my legs a bit for the full.

After the race the plan will be to avoid further damage! Ice bath once back at the hotel and compression gear for the rest of the day.

I will probably also hit a park but one without a lot of walking. I will want a bit of walking to help stretch out the legs and work the lactic acid through the system but also don’t want to feel like my legs are wood the next day.

Early, early, early to bed! After a quick Skype to the family.

 

Sunday the 11th:

The full! It all comes down to this race in the end! My stated goal for this one was that I want to enjoy it – that means I will be doing picture stops and taking it easy. Weather forecast for Sunday (so far) is hot and extremely humid right from the beginning so I will definitely be trying to not push too hard.

So yeah, character picture stops – I have never done that before on a Disney race (which seems odd now that I think about it) so it will be something new to me and the lower corral placement should mean shorter wait times for the characters.

I’m not sure I really have a goal time on this one but I think a personal course record should be quite achievable even with character photo stops, if I am focused. The fastest I have done the full course at Disney World is about 4:40 which I did during last year’s Goofy Challenge (marathon PR of 4:09:44 with a bad knee and in a downpour). I am in better shape for the Dopey Challenge this year and have been training for these back to back to back to back scenarios so hopefully my legs should be good when I toe the start line! If the legs are feeling strong then a personal course record should be more than possible even with the character photo stops.

I will also be using the Hokas for this race and that should help. I ran my Hokas on the 12 hour race (49.2785 miles) I did back in early October (the Lemming Loop) and when I finished I was still able to climb stairs and was quite functional the next day. Since I trained to do a 50k and did damned near 50 miles, the condition I was in after had a lot to do with the Hoka cushioning and I will be looking to use that to my advantage during the Dopey Challenge!

I have a history with the portapotties during the full marathon at Disney World that I am trying to avoid on this trip. The biggest downfall for me seems to be Poweraid on course – my system can’t seem to handle it. To combat that issue then I will be bringing my hydration backpack (which carries 2 liters of liquid) onto the course with my fuel of choice (flat Coke). With the heat and humidity forecast I will supplement on course with water but not Poweraid.

After the race is done and I have purchased and drank the obligatory finish line beer (hopefully Disney does that again this year), I will head back to the hotel. How long I hang out at the finish line will depend on where my brother is on the race and who I run into from the Twittersphere!

Then an ice bath and more compression gear. What happens next depends on how my brother is doing and what he is up for. I am hoping that I am solid and functional because I would love to hit a park (or 2) after the race is done.

Today I go as long as my body and mind will let me!

 

Monday the 12th:

Returning home today – at least I got a direct flight back to Winnipeg – it isn’t until late evening and the Magical Express probably won’t take me to the airport until sometime around supper so I am hoping to spend some time at Downtown Disney but again that will depend on how my legs are doing!

 

Tuesday the 13th:

Home…sleep. If I wake up…do laundry.

Boardwalk Inn hotel review on Tripadvisor

I just got around to posting my review of the hotel we stayed at for the Disney World Marathon weekend on tripadvisor.  We stayed at the Boardwalk Inn.

The review is still pending tripadvisor moderation but you will able to see the review plus my older hotel reviews at Disney World by clicking on the link below:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/members-reviews/biggoofyrunner

 

Mickey Mouse Full Marathon Day

Sunday January 13th – full marathon day

I had a Pokemon card with me that my son had given me as a present a few months back that I brought along with me on the half the day before and I had realized that I didn’t bring anything for my daughter that I could take along.  So we had found these little tokens that Disney calls “pieces of magic” that you can pick up for 6 for $10 (or something like that) and I put those in my little camera bag to take with me.  I had one for my daughter that was in the shape of Tinkerbell and had the caption on the back of “believe”.  The one for my son was a little envelope that said “thinking of you”.  And the one for my wife was a little Cinderella carriage that said “happily ever after”.  Strong words and good sentiments to take with me to help give strength when it is needed so I made sure I had these packed and ready to go with me in my gear.

Woke up before my alarm again – up and moving by about 2:20am.  Had a shower and got dressed and my brother and I headed out for the buses.  Probably got on the bus around 3:15am or so with a quick and easy ride to the drop off.

I had decided due to the amount of running around people I had to do the day before I was going to make sure I got into the staging area past the bag drop area early so that I could be near the start of my cue.  My brother had decided that in order to cut some of the heat issues he figured he would have he was going to take advantage of the Race Retreat and join the others Runners World Challenge folks in corral B.  He figured the earlier he started the less direct sunlight he was going to have to endure.  So we separated relatively early and went to work through our own plans.

I got near the gate to the corrals pretty early and amazingly Disney opened up the gate at around 4:10 – at least 20-25 minutes earlier than Saturday – I’m guessing they realized their mistake and were making sure not to repeat it (whoohoo!).  You could hear the relief in the voices of some of the runners when they saw gate opening earlier.  This all made for a nice leisurely walk to the corrals.

Once at the corral there was still an hour until the official start and probably 1.5 hours before I would get to start so I took the cue from several others and had a seat to rest my legs.  I had brought a thermal blanket with me so I wrapped myself in it to cut the slightly cool breeze and sat there munching on a few snacks I had brought and sipped at a Powerade.

A 5 hour marathon pace bunny lined up near me in the same corral so I knew who to watch for after I got going if I wanted to shoot for 5 hours.  I came down trained to shoot for 4:30 but kind of expecting that not to happen but with 4:45 being possible.  With the heat I figured I would be more realistic and shoot for 5 hours instead so seeing the 5 hour pace bunny was good.

Prior to the official start many luminaries were quickly brought out to talk about the race and the universal message was “take it easy and hydrate” – words to live by today with temps expected to be around 28C and real high humidity (say a “feels like” temp of around 33-35C when I was set to finish – majorly different from the -15C / -25C with the windchill that I had on my last outdoor training run).

I started off pretty solid as things got going but was still holding things back since I knew I would need energy in reserve for later.

I was pleasantly surprised that the bottle necks from the previous day seemed to have cleared – running was pretty smooth with only the normal expected dodging that you would see in any race.  I only spent a bit of time out on the grass passing and then only on some tighter choke points.

Even in Magic Kingdom things went much smoother even with the tighter confines – one guy did start to walk right at the entrance to Cinderella’s Castle right in front of me but his running partner gave him a tug on the shoulder to nudge him along at least until they were in a less confined space.  Awesome team work there.

After Magic Kingdom the Richard Petty area was fun – most people knew the course changes for the anniversary run and weren’t surprised to see the change but I think almost everyone was surprised at the sudden steep ramp down and then back up to enter the track.  I heard a collective “ooohhhh” as people got close enough to see the ramp.

Running on the race track was fun as was seeing the vintage, classic cars and the some of the modern super cars you wouldn’t normally get to see.  Yay Aston Martin – gorgeous car!

Richard Petty - track full of a different kind of racer

Richard Petty – track full of a different kind of racer

dawn over Richard Petty - between mile 8 and 9

dawn over Richard Petty – between mile 8 and 9

The change in the course was also a welcome addition to add some more flavor on the run between Magic and Animal Kingdoms.  The addition of the run past the solid waste station could be considered added flavor as well but was not quite as welcome.  That being said I like seeing behind the curtain and getting a view of the logistics of Disney World is one of the reasons I do this race.

Animal Kingdom was good to run through a little earlier in the course when I had more energy to enjoy it – some folks might have been disappointed they couldn’t get on Expedition Everest part way through their race though.

But for those of you who were concerned about the course changes – don’t be!  THE RUN PAST THE SEWER TREATMENT PLANT IS STILL THERE!!

The 5 hour pace bunny caught me just before Animal Kingdom and lost me around mile 15.  At around mile 14/15 I had to do a bit of gut check – up to that point I was on track to hit 5 hours but I could feel the energy falling off as the temperature kept rising.  Up until then I had only been doing a bit of walking at water stops but at this point I decided I needed to trigger run/walk cycles to maintain my energy.  I wasn’t falling apart yet but could feel things slipping.  So I fired up a run/walk cycle app on my Android media player and set it for 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking.  I followed that pattern for the rest of the race – a couple places I had to partially skip a run cycle to match up with a water stop or just to take an extra breather but in a few others I skipped the walk cycle.  This definitely kept me push through the heat even if it meant I had to toss out the 5 hour hopes.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Center – this was an interesting addition – breaking up those there and back again miles out on the highway near the end is a very welcome addition without a doubt.  I think some might not have liked all the short stretches and multiple turns which would have made it harder to maintain a faster pace but as I was already into a run-walk (5 min – 1 min) cycle I enjoyed how the miles slipped by in this area.  Plus the shaded areas were nice.

The scenery is definitely more distracting there than along the highway stretches so it helped keep the mind occupied as did the constantly changing venues.  The running track was a favorite for me and I did enjoy running through the stadium as well.  I had a few minor complaints on the stadium run though – one being the little stones that got in my shoes while running through it (around mile 19 bending over to take stones out of the shoes was not a pleasant experience) and number two was the video camera putting everyone up on the jumbo-tron (you didn’t know it was there until it was too late to see yourself on the big screen – it would have been nice to have some warning so I could have seen it) – minor complaints really.

The Mile 20 spectacular was pretty cool with the big puppets / marionettes of the various Disney characters but it seemed a bit of a letdown after how the ESPN section felt.  Maybe the ESPN section was supposed to be part of the whole Mile 20 spectacular too and the puppets were just the end of it?  Not sure.  Either way back to the highway after that.

The previous times I have done the Disney World Marathon and the Goofy I have ended up walking by now and these few miles before entering Hollywood Studios always seemed awful but they felt pretty good this time.

Hollywood Studios – I have done 1 Disney World Marathon and 2 Goofys before and this was the first time I actually still had energy to keep running when I hit the park so I skipped a walking cycle or 2 at this stage to enjoy that victory.

After Hollywood Studios the run out to the path to the Boardwalk and the boardwalk along by the Yacht and Beach Clubs was great.  The area by the Yacht and the Beach is one my favorites at Disney World and I really enjoyed the run through there.

Met my wife (according to plan) up by the bridge that leads to the Boardwalk from Epcot and stopped to chat for a minute before continuing on into Epcot.  She walked into Epcot from there as well and I saw her again by the England Pavilion and again (after my trip around the lagoon) near the fountain.  From there it was it was just a short run to 26 miles and then that extra 0.2 to go.  I had a walk cycle come up just past the 26 mile point and was going to skip it but figured a short walk would make the final run happen with much more energy.  It felt good to finish in the end but I also felt good in general which is a nice change.

me just before entering Epcot with about 1.5 miles to go

me just before entering Epcot with about 1.5 miles to go

So my time? 5:25:54 – much slower than I wanted but 45 minutes faster than last year and a full hour faster than my first Goofy.  So a solid time all things considered – it this case Disney had everything laid out to let me have a good race and maybe get that time I was looking for – unfortunately I got spanked by the heat.

Again on this race Disney had more than enough water and Powerade along the course and after the race was done (no Coke again dammit) – they also had some health officials making sure people were drinking something as soon as they got off the course.

I have to give credit to all the volunteers out there – it was bad enough running in that heat but just standing out there for hours on end would have been a rough go.  Thanks to any volunteers who might someday read this!

Grabbed my bling and wandered out to the family meet up area and caught up with my wife – just in time for my back to spasm again.  Yay!  Obviously held myself too rigid for most of the race again – this is definitely something I will need to work on further.

Because of the spasm and not really knowing where my brother was on the course I decided to skip the plan of heading back along the course to try to cheer him on and instead we got on a bus and headed to the hotel.

So after a quick warm shower I had a good cold one (although it wouldn’t get too cold) to help reduce any swelling and took a couple Tylenol.  My wife had gone to get us a couple bagels as a quick snack and after those were done and I had put a few things in the sink to soak for while we lay down for a nap.

After the nap we got dressed and hunted down some Advil to help further reduce any swelling (my travel bottle ran out so we grabbed another).  We talked to my brother to see how things had finished up for him – I had caught up with him on the Richard Petty race track and he had settled into a walk/run cycle that was working for him and his injury and he was able to push out the race in a solid time all things considered – fantastic job dude!!

My wife and I went for a bit of a walk around the Boardwalk and once my brother caught up to us we headed into the Yacht Club for a celebratory supper of meat at the Yachtsman Steakhouse.  Great food, good service, good beer.  Awesome.

After a leisurely 2 hour supper and chat we headed back to the hotel and my brother decided to do his own thing while my wife and I headed into Epcot, wandered around, did Spaceship Earth and then headed off to the monorails to Magic Kingdom.

We did a few hours in Magic Kingdom – we did the new Under the Sea ride, wandered around the new Fantasyland before wandering over to do Small World, the Tiki Room, and Pirates of the Caribbean.  At this point they were closing down the Magic Kingdom and we headed out to the buses to go back to the hotel.

Amazingly my legs felt fantastic – better than after the half – I was awake, had energy and was ready to move.  Apparently I was training properly!

I crashed pretty hard at around 12:30 and got a good 8 hour sleep.  We check out of the hotel in the morning but our flight isn’t until the evening with a Magical Express pickup in the late afternoon.

Race Day minus 1

Friday January 11th, 2013 – more of a rest day

We were up relatively early – my brother hadn’t managed to get to package pick on Thursday after he got in so he was heading there this morning to get his stuff.  He had missed the regular Goofy sign up so he had signed up for the Runners World Challenge so he had a different pick up location which went smoothly.  The Runners World folks didn’t have to get their shirts at the expo so he didn’t have to go in – he had thought about it but the line was apparently out the door so he passed.

While he was doing that my wife and I went to Animal Kingdom to do the Kilimanjaro Safari ride.  It was a good day for it – weather is nice and the animals were very active.  We saw an elephant playing in one of the pools – running around with only its trunk and tusks up.  We also saw a pretty young white rhino running around and playing.  One of the better runs I have had on the ride – very cool.

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view of Everest

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tiger on Maharaja trek

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same tiger

very colourful pigeon

elephant having fun

rhino family

After we were done there we had a text from my brother and headed out to meet him at Downtown Disney.  We got a bit of a surprise – I knew that they run buses to other parks from Animal Kingdom and had assumed they ran a bus to Downtown Disney as well…but they don’t.  I can understand why as they wouldn’t want someone parking for free at Downtown Disney and riding the bus over to Animal Kingdom from there.

So we ended up taking a bus to Port Orleans: French Quarter and then riding the boat from there to Downtown Disney – a nice ride and good weather for it.  The extra time it took though without having a direct bus meant my brother had already eaten but he joined us as we had Earl of Sandwich and wandered around shopping.

We stayed at Downtown for supper – T-Rex – we had a bit of a mix up as the hostess sat us in a closed serving location and we didn’t realize until people around us were getting served that had been seated after us.  That was all resolved and we headed out to the buses to get back to the hotel.

Ended up having some fun on the buses though – one of a group of 4 teenage boys was taking a bunch of flash pics of the bus which ended up in a bit of confrontation.  I assume the boys were there as part of one of the high school bands playing along the course or something over the weekend as they didn’t seem related.  His friends gave him crap and they ditched off the bus at the next stop – while he did try to get chirpy again as he got off the bus it was pretty obvious he just blustering and trying to get attention – pretty sad really.  The worst part of that would be that if he was part of one of the bands or something it takes away a bit from the great thing that the bands and volunteers are doing on race day.  You don’t often run into jerks at Disney World but when you do they really stand out.

Got back to the hotel – laid out my stuff for the morning and sacked out.

So – being amped up on adrenaline from the pissing contest and worry about the heat on the race the next day it took quite some time to fall asleep.  Probably got 2 hours sleep – yay!