OK – day 3 of the Dopey Challenge / Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. Up at about 2 am and on the first bus heading out of BoardWalk Resort for the race staging area. It looks like we were one of the first buses at the staging area as there weren’t any lined up letting people off when we got there.
Still lots of people there but the lines were super short for the characters – so I did something I hadn’t done before…I got character pics before the race!
There were 6 characters for runners to get pictures with and I got through 4 lines before it was time to head out to the race corrals. I picked Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Dopey and Donald Duck for pictures leaving Pluto and Minnie Mouse to hopefully get the next morning before the full marathon.
I also decided to try something else new. I received a camera gimbal for Christmas and I decided to run the race with it and my smartphone.
For those that don’t know a gimbal is a device that you attach a camera to that helps to reduce jittery camera movement on videos. I have seen videos from several runners do this on various YouTube videos and I thought it would be good to give it a try myself.
I didn’t get a chance to use the gimbal on a run between Christmas and the marathon weekend so I was definitely going into the race green and without a plan on how exactly I planned to use the device. But I also knew I wasn’t going to be particularly quick so spending a bit of time to learn on course was not that big a deal.
I mounted my Galaxy S7 in the gimbal and set it to record in 4k. I have edited a bunch of video together and also loaded the raw video of the full run through Magic Kingdom. The nice thing about this phone is that it can record in 4k and still take high resolution images at the same time.
So with that all out of the way more about the race…
It was another cold morning so I was bundled up pretty well and had both a Mylar blanket and a big black garbage on to try to hold off the cold during the wait in the corral. I was in corral C, so at least the wait wasn’t going to be extremely long.
It was fun taking off the Mylar and garbage bag for the character photos before the race – but it was worth it.
I made my way with the crowds out to the corrals and found a spot to hang out and play with the camera and gimbal while I waited for the start.
Before too long we were on our way.
I decided on the fly to take a picture of every mile marker through the race – I had thought about doing that a few times before but always gave up during the race but decided to make sure to do this as well as yet another new thing to do on this race.
Here is the gallery of the mile markers for the 2018 Disney World Half Marathon:
Having both the gimbal and a plan for taking pictures in mind helped passed the time on the race.
One thing I did learn about holding the gimbal is that my running style changed significantly and I was a good mile per hour slower running when I was recording than I was when I ran normally. I also found that I was holding very stiff and that I was out of breath more requiring more walk breaks. This is going to take much more practice to get used to running with the device.
Around mile 4 (just past the Ticket and Transportation Center) I had to take a porta-pottie break and take off my running jacket as I was starting to overheat. It was an expensive jacket so I spent the rest of the race with the jacket tied around my waist. Unfortunately that took more time that I would have liked to get things adjusted (about 10 minutes or so).
As we approached the Magic Kingdom we ran into a course change from previous years – instead of going past the bus area and entering Magic Kingdom through a backstage area we went through the bus area and entered the park through the front entrance. It was a cool change that I think added an extra element to the run – I liked that change.
I was happy I got into Magic Kingdom before the sun was really up so I got some great video of the park all lit up.
After the run through the park it was time to head back toward Epcot. I have to be honest this part of the race is a bit of a blur – no drama or big changes to the course – just the usual fun.
And then well before I expected, I was at mile 12 and heading into Epcot.
It was cool to see Tinker Bell and some of the fairy friends out in the backstage area as you enter Epcot!
The last mile of this race is always great – it is fun to run through Future World toward World Showcase before turning around and running back toward Spaceship Earth before heading out to the finish line.
And then across the line and got the awesome medal – and another Mylar blanket to replace the one I had to give up at the start line.
I had some of the runner’s snack box, headed out to the buses and got on the bus back the hotel.
Another great race!
One thing that was re-enforced for me is that I cannot run using Gatorade or Powerade (which is used during runDisney races) – I had stomach issues through the race that started shortly after I hit the first aid station – I had Powerade at every aid station since I didn’t bring any of my own liquid on this race. This was a mistake that I was not going to make on the full the next day!