WOW. All I can really say is wow.
Lets see, let us take 10,500 runners and make them run, at night, on Osceola parkway, in the 90 degree humidity. Talk about pushing some of our own limits. it wasn’t mile 2 before the ambulances were out picking people off the pavement. Lets start at the beginning…
We show up around 8pm to the Disney Hollywood Studios parking lot via bus. You enter a huge parking lot full of bodies stretching, eating, drinking and looking overall excited! Many people dressed up as part of the experience, including myself. yes, I attempted to pull of the Dark lord himself, Hades from Disney’s Hercules. Actually, if I really needed to explain who Hades is, you should not be reading this post. :o)
So, I had a dark blue toga made, complete with my skull lapel with LED eyes, and of course, frosted bright blue hair. What do you think?
The event would not begin for nearly 2 more hours, so now what? Well, they had tents and food trucks set up for getting fried foods and things like lobster rolls… yep, lobster rolls and fried foods before a running event? I’m not sure who put that together but that is a usual #FAIL. I would have though some healthy choices, perhaps some fruit and or carb supplies? Actually, one runner ate the lobster roll like a champion, washed it down with a cold Coke and still pulled off an impressive time, but we’ll get into that a little later.
So, I sat on the tar ground of the parking lot an waited. And waited. Disney does provide bathrooms in the form of 100+ porto-potties, however, the lines are so long you will wait a good 20-30 minutes to get into one. So, you may just want to hold it until your in the course running as they have more along the tracks.
So, now it’s about 9:30 and they begin to announce that we can take place in the corrals. The crowds begin to rush in with anticipation and you soon realize that you are really not as prepared as you thought…
The race began with the usual runDisney DJ’s playing music, some Tower Of Terror Twilight Zone mixes and of course, fireworks. I was in Corral C, which meant that A and B had to start before us, as those are the serious runners. We also had a few wheelchair racers that went first. Hats off to those racers, I thought this was hard enough, but that is just amazing to me! GREAT JOB!
So, as I started, the fireworks boom, and it still takes maybe a minute before I am able to begin jogging as the crowds are so high. once we started, Jessica Clawson (@Lady_Aurora) and I stayed together for the first few miles. This girl is in shape and it was hard to keep up, but she did really well at paying attention to me for fear i’d be dead on the road behind her.
We were able to stay together for the first 4 miles, then the chest cramps started in… I waived her to go ahead as I knew it was now my time to walk for a bit. I felt no shame, I knew it was going to happen and frankly I’m glad it did after mile 4! I walked until i saw the mile 5 sign, then I began my job again as mile 5 brought you close to the ESPN Sports Center. Mile 5 into mile 6 was quite rewarding, you began to run into the EPSN tracks and fields and there were plenty of folks cheering you on. Most had beers showcased, and were drinking, so I “may” have tried to grab one, but of course it did not work… :o)
I continued onto the last track from ESPN, the one with the American Flag hung high and you got to run on a real race track in lanes. it gave me a feeling of pride, especially after watching the Olympics this year and seeing what is involved with long distance running. Suddenly my meager 10 miles didnt seem to bad.
I continued onward until mile 7 approached and this is where I hit my wall. Legs were sore, feet hurt, I was more winded and had to walk again. The volunteers on the sidelines are amazing and they push you with support, but once you reach a certain level, it doesnt matter, it’s over. Mile 7 was it for me.
I walked straight to mile 8 and then mile 9. I could barely jog little bits, maybe a quarter mile at best, then i had to walk again. It was still incredibly humid, even for being close to midnight. As we raced on, lots of joggers passed me… and passed me…. I really felt that it was just too hard for me to go on, but honestly after 9 miles behind me, I had to finish this.
Once I passed the mile 9 sign, looked to my right and there was Amanda (@DisneyGoToGirl) and Ashley (@MamaOfAllTrades) and they both started the race after I did. They did an amazing job and kept a constant stride to keep the pace. i could see both were running, like me, on pure adrenaline since it was the last mile. I think we laughed for about 3 seconds before we all yelped and thought again (what the hell are we doing here) and continued on. Luckily we found each other, we helped each other with some jokes, commentary and finally – a BURST of Energy as we made the last dash. Yup, once we saw the light, and heard the music, we knew we were close to the finish line!
You never saw three people run as quickly to get this race over, but we finished together! The race was over and I thought I was dead.
I will say this one went down in the history books. My first and LAST long race. I think i’ll stick to the 5k and perhaps even a 10k, but 10 miles? no thank you. It took me about 7 full days to recover from this one. The medal sure looks nice though!