It’s Race Day!!! I set my alarm for 1:15 a.m. Yes, I was that nervous. The shuttle didn’t start running until 3:15 a.m., but there was no way I was going to oversleep. I couldn’t believe it was here! The weather was perfect compared to the morning before. Not too cold, not too warm with a side of breeze. We made it down to the shuttle bus by 3:40 a.m. The line was already super long, so we ended up boarding the 4th one. We arrived to the holding area in time for me to shake my nerves and take care of last minute things. Me and my HB hugged then I headed for my almost mile walk to my corral. Thanks to the DJ, who had the crowd rockin’, I was now feeling more excited than nervous!
I had such an incredible time! If you know me then you know I took lots of pictures to share the journey. Hang on for a Magical Ride!
In my corral counting down the minutes!
It’s showtime!!! Fireworks at the start line…what an amazing send off!
About one mile into the race I saw the Pirate Ship! I wanted to meet Jack Sparrow, but the line was way too long.
MAGIC KINGDOM BOUND!
Main Street U.S.A. is so magical! I actually shed a few tears! The stop right before the castle even more magical which = being more emotional! This is a great place to capture memories! The crowd support is absolutely AMAZING! I tear up every single time. They smile and cheer you on and it makes you feel so warm, fuzzy, and grateful for that moment. It’s truly a magical experience that goes by so fast!
Look how gorgeous the view of Cinderella’s castle is!
I ran into Run All The Races, on my way to the castle! #CignaRunTogether Team Turkey Stir Fry Foreva and eva eva! *in my Outkast voice*
Princess Anna and Princess Elsa!
Look who I ran into down in Frontierland (or what I call Nawlins/New Orleans)…it’s Louis! Seeing Louis made me really miss NOLA!
On the road again…
As the sun was coming up I saw them….the Wedding Singers at the “wedding chapel”! (Not pictured) Oh my word…they were just too handsome! How could I not get a selfie with all of this gorgeousness? Just sayin’! I got word that a couple got engaged at the chapel shortly after I left!
Passing by the golf course I saw Donald and Goofy! Hi guyyys!
It was my first time at the home of the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway.
Uh oh! Cruella De Vil’s stop was also very popular. I had to photo-bomb and keep it moving!
Next up—ANIMAL KINGDOM!
As we were approaching Animal Kingdom, there were animals lined up along the side of road for their close-up with us. They even had on race bibs! I never thought I’d see it, but…it’s a RUNNING Turtle! Slow and steady wins the race! #mymantra
Me and BALOO!!!
I just adore Minnie and Daisy! Three is a charm! :)
I ran into my friend Matthew (Sparkly Runner‘s beau) and we took a selfie!
I absolutely loved the crowd support and the signs were HILARIOUS! BYE FELICIA!
…annnnd ACTION! I love how runners got into character.
Next, we ran through the stadium at the ESPN World Wide of Sports. After we left there, it started rain. It was actually quite refreshing given the temps were high and the sun was playing peek-a-boo. We were also approaching mile 20.
I felt like I was running in a scene of a movie!
Mickey’s Sorcerer hat was in the final stages of coming down. Sad to see it go.
When I saw this sign I got emotional. It was a reminder that no matter what…NEVER STOP BELIEVING! I needed this as I was approaching mile 25.
I was so excited that I got a chance to see Princess Jasmine with her beautiful self! She was so sweet! After parting ways, my dream was becoming a reality!
Nothing like a parade as you’re completing the last stretch of a marathon!
I was almost home when I saw/heard the Gospel Choir. As they were singing Israel & New Breed’s “(Lord) You are Good!”, I shed a few tears! I seriously couldn’t believe I was about to cross the finish line of my FIRST MARATHON at the place where dreams come true! All I could do is say, Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus I’m almost there!!! Even the guy in front of me was feeling the spirit of the finish line! I literally cut the corner and brought it on home!
I DID IT!!! I’M A MARATHONER!!!!!!!!!
I was hot, sweaty, and about 50 shades of brown—but I DID IT!!! I completed my first FULL MARATHON!!!
I was happy to see these sweet ladies, Jen (Pink Cupcake Girl) and Erin, after literally crossing the finish line!
I was also beyond happy to see my sweet husband/cheerleader at the family and friends holding area. Grateful!
Another thing I love about Disney races is you meet new friends along the course. This gentleman not only kept us laughing, but he was also a joy to share the course with! He finished Dopey! For those who don’t know…that’s Dopey Challenge: 5K, 10K, Half, and Full Marathon!
DOWNTOWN DISNEY CELEBRATION!
We’re celebrating my marathon and my HB’s half marathon (recap here) at Downtown Disney! I’m so proud of him! It was also his first Disney race!
The foodie in me had to share my Celebration Eats. We dined at a restaurant called, Cookes of Dublin! It was the first time I ever had a Hand Battered (deep-fried) Burger: topped with garlic mayo, tomato chutney and mixed greens (served with beer battered fries)—yumtastic and EARNED! What a fun night!
The Walt Disney World Marathon was the most AMAZING race experience ever! I could not have asked for a better “first”. Every mile was truly magic! I met Disney characters along the course, toured four Disney Parks, I never hit the infamous “wall”, and I finished injury free. I’m so grateful that I NEVER gave up and I thank God for seeing me through this process. Let this be a testament to anyone out there reading this that ANYTHING is possible to those who believe! I can’t begin to describe how amazing it feels to be a marathoner. I’m truly a walking (well…running testimony). My Testimony Post…Coming soon!
Happy Running and See You Real Soon!—Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare 2015!
2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Recaps:
Part I: Party at the Pop + Expo
Part II: Cigna Blogger Cook-Off and Meet-up
Part III: WDW Marathon Weekend—It’s A Family Reunion