(#52) Walt Disney World Half Marathon (Goofy Challenge, Day 1) (January 12, 2013) – Part 3 (Finishing & Being Greeted By The Media!)

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Aurora De Lucia with her medal from the Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013 - Her 52 half marathon of 52 half marathons in 52 weeksPicking up from yesterday

I was talking about how Disney running events are sort of like Disney events that happen to involve running.

I still tried to have runner etiquette as much as I could – walk on the right, always use hand signals when slowing down, just generally stay to stay out of everyone’s way and be as safe as possible, basically.

I did a pretty okay job for the most part, I think. It can be a little hard sometimes ’cause Disney races are just so crowded. So, if I accidentally got in anyone’s way in a narrow place, I’m sorry and I hope we’re still friends. (But I assume we are ’cause that just comes with the territory of Disney racing.)

I saw a few Princess Leias out on the course. I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of that. Someone even had earmuffs shaped like the side buns. Nice, right? Perhaps next year… If I’m gonna be a Disney Princess, she’s the one I want to be!

And I forgot to saw (way back from the beginning), I thought the fireworks at the top of the race started by the start line. Well, I was in the front of my corral, and I don’t know if I was hallucinating, but it looked like some fireworks also went off past the start line ’cause even after I ran through the start line arch, I still saw fireworks in front of me – unless they were reflections (or my imagination).

As the race went on, I slowed to a comfortable walk. “Save yourself for tomorrow. Save yourself for tomorrow,” was my mantra.

I met a guy named Brad who was out there for his mom’s 50th birthday! The whole family went down to do the half marathon – and his mom and passed him. So, we walked and talked for a while.

I fell behind to announce my twitter handle over the mic at the turnaround point when he was asking us where we all were from. Yes, that’s right. I am from twitter. It wasn’t all for naught, though! I got a new follower out of that. What, what?

As I went through the course it all seemed incredibly familiar. It felt as though I had just run the Princess half yesterday even though it was back in February. I couldn’t believe how much turns and entertainment stops and things came flooding back. I was often able to guess what was coming next before I came upon it, which flabbergasted me.

Aurora De Lucia hamming it up for David Baumann's cameras for Disney Sports at the end of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013

My dad (in the stands) caught me hamming it up at the end.

Things were the same down to the stranger who had the “Hello, complete stranger. I’m proud of you too!” sign. I even ran up to her and said, “I saw you last year at Princess!” And she smiled. (She was out again at the marathon the next day. I don’t know who she is, but she seems pretty awesome in my book.)

At the 5k I’d done with my dad the day before, as we turned to leave Epcot I said something about thinking I’d remembered a gospel choir from the last race… but they weren’t there. Well, that’s because they were for the half, not the 5k! Sure enough, as I turned the corner, a gospel choir was rocking out!

As I ran through the finish line, I saw David Baumann and his team waiting for me at the finish line! Aw, how nice to be welcomed in by a camera crew. You can see me being a dork here. (But don’t get too excited. I think I’ve already linked to this earlier, so you may have seen it before.)

What was really nice about ending my big 52nd half in the midst of the Goofy Challenge was that I didn’t go nuts or feel empty. I just thought, “Eat. Rest. Sleep. Focus. (dum, dum, dum) You have a marathon tomorrow, baby!”

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