Race Report by Statesboro Pacers, Michele Taylor & Don Borowski, both running their first Half Marathon here!!!
1/7/06, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Orlando, FL
Well, we lived! Arrived Friday afternoon and made our way to the Expo. Race numbers were easy enough to get, and scanning chips was a breeze, but the shirts and goody bags were well behind a crowd of vendors.
After getting the goody bags, we perused the offerings. Don got a visor and mug; I got a coffee mug T-shirt that said "I did it!" even though I hadn't yet.
Race morning was COLD. We were up at 3 a.m. and had been bused to the site at 3:30. A band was playing, a video big screen was showing pictures made by well wishers, and we were freezing. Around 4:15 or so, everyone was told to turn in their gear bags and proceed to the next staging area. Well, after standing around in the cold a while, we made our way into what would later be set up as the hospital tent. Stayed warm until 5. Made our way to the corrals. The walk wasn't so bad because everyone was in a pile, and the body heat was working for us. However, the corrals were cold. That's the coldest I have been in a while. We listened to the music and motivators; helped countdown the wheelchair race start, and watched the fireworks. Finally, it was time to go!
Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald were waving from the starting line. It took me 10 minutes to get up there; Don was in the corral ahead of her. The first two miles were pretty crowded--and the race did have some bottlenecked spots off and on--but later things spread out. Running through Disney was neat. Saw Chip and Dale, Pluto and Goofy, the bears, the mice, the Incredibles--it was all something to see. I wanted to have my picture made, but I really didn't want to lose the time. I took pictures as I ran. I am such a tourist!
At mile 4, I started shedding the face mask and gloves. I also realized I'd lost my room key. I shed my jacket later, but I could have kept it on. At mile 6, I felt I could really do it. At mile 10, I gleefully realized it was then just a 5K. After the first two miles of the race when we weren't as crowded, I had run 4 and walked 1. I tried to do without walking a time or two, but that caught up with me. I should have stuck to my training from the first step, but I was excited and wanted to finish with a 2:30. With a mile or so to go at 2:19, I told myself 2:35 would be just fine. I came through the finish, held up my arms in victory, and couldn't believe I had just run a half marathon.
We were given the giant sheet of tin foil in which to wrap up and then herded to get our medals and have our pictures made. I knew Don had finished before me. He ran the whole time, and finished in 2:04. We missed each other, but we ended up at the hotel desk within five minutes of each other. Big hugs and high fives all around.
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