Event date, 8th -11th Jan 2015
Our first race report for 2015 comes from Orlando, Florida. George and I had the magical experience of running the Run Disney marathon, held on 8th – the 11th Jan. The event is divided to a 4 day event, where you can sign up for 5Km, 10Km, 21Km (13.1 miles) , 42Km (26.2 miles), Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge. Now, you may ask, why is this event so special? Well, apart from the fact that you get to run in the four parks of Disneyland in Orlando, Florida. During the race, you will get to see and have many photo opportunities with your favorite Disney characters.
After a long 37 hours of flight and 4 airplanes from Kuching, we finally arrive Orlando Florida. The fun was just starting. We pick up our rental, we headed to our accommodation. We stayed in Kissimmee area, which was very close to the Disney Maingate (5 mins drive).
The next day, we woke up and collected our race pack from the ESPN wide world of sports. The race pack collected was well structured, similar to the Gold coast and Osaka Marathon. The expo had many retailers with familiar brands, such as Nike, Brooks, Zoot, Sacouny, 2Xu, Cliff, adidas, CWX, 2nd skins and Garmin. I would say that it was any runners haven. Prices of some items where reasonable, while some where not due to the exchange rates. Nevertheless, we manage to get what we needed there.
I signed up for the Goofy Challenge (21Km on 10th Jan and 42Km on 11th Jan). You can sign up for the Dopey challenge, which was 5Km on 8th Jan, 10Km on 9th Jan, 21Km on 10th Jan and 42Km on 11th Jan. At the end of each race, you get one medal each, and a special Goofy Medal or Dopey Medal to mark the milestone.
Here are the photos of the medals.
Both 21Km and 42Km, starts and ends at the same location at Epcot center. We start at 5:30am. On the 10th Jan, the weather was about 9degC, while on 11th Jan was better at 14degC. You can see the race courses in the map attached. We started from Epcot and headed to Magic kingdom. Soon after that, we proceeded to the Disney motor speedway where you can experience how it feels to be a nascar driver around the track. Then, we ran past the fantasyland, frontierland, Disney animal kingdom, Disney hollywood studios and back to epcot center.
The water stations where evenly distributed at every 2miles (3.2Km). We were served water and powerade (similar to Gatorade energy drink). The bananas where given at 18Km, 25km and 32km mark. Cliff gels, where distributed at both 11 miles and 21 miles mark. This was my first ever run, without my hydration pack for a full marathon. It definitely felt lighter. The weather was nice and actually perfect for a marathon (14-21degC). However, due to running back to back, I did not manage to recover in time for the full marathon. Would have been happier with a better timing, but it was an experience worth learning and understanding.
We manage to meet many marathon maniacs from all over US. Most of them where running either the Goofy or Dopey run. You could see that they really enjoyed themselves. There were many runners who ran in costumes, similar to Osaka Marathon, except they were in Disney Characters dress up.
Overall, I would say this marathon event was well organized with a total of 26,000 participating in the full marathon (with only 19922 completing the race within 7 hours). Hence, that is why they split the events into 4 days. The route was nice and scenic, the people where friendly and weather perfect. In one word MAGICAL. We also had the opportunity to run along some actors such as Sean Austin (Sam Gangee of lord of the rings) and many more.This race was also a marathon first blood for Shaun Tay, a member of the O-run Utans running club, who is currently studying in Florida. He joined us in this marathon event and did pretty well for his first. Well done.
Hope you all enjoyed this short report of the event. Thanks
Report by:- Shannon Francis Lee