Walt Disney World Marathon Presented by Cigna (Goofy Challenge, Day 2) (January 13, 2013) – Part 4 (Wide World of Sports & Mile 20 Spectacular)

January 20, 2013

Picking up from yesterday

Being halfway through felt great! Only one more half to go!

(Some Goofy Challenges like to think of that as being 2/3 of the way through. I just kept thinking about it a mile (or a few) at a time. Mile 14 seemed to come pretty quickly.

I don’t pay too much attention to the side character stops, but I was found of the “Bad to the Bone” one with a bunch of Disney villains. It looked pretty cool, I thought, with Scar draped over some huge skeleton thing and smoke/fog stuff coming out around it.

From miles 14 – 17ish, I just enjoyed my music and looked forward to getting into Wide World of Sports. I don’t often really look at maps before marathons, but I’d looked at this one, and I knew that once we got there, we’d be going through pretty entertaining scenery changes from there to the finish.

I was very happy to get into Wide World of Sports. They were playing some nice music, it was a great change of running surface. I love the pavement, but sidewalks/walkways were fun too.

I think it was somewhere around here that they gave us cold, wet sponges. (Thanks, Disney!) (I really don’t remember if it was earlier, later, or here. So, don’t take my word on when we got them.)

Again, I took every single opportunity to preemptively get colder (and wetter) throughout the race, before the heat made my cranky. It seemed to be an okay strategy. It never registered to me that it was hot.

When I ran into the stadium, sure enough, my dad was there! He gave me a Gatorade and some Clif Shot Bloks. I ended up not using the Bloks (Earlier in the race, I’d used a pack I’d brought with me.) But that Gatorade was amazing. (Disney uses Powerade. Not to hate on Powerade, but come on. Gatorade.)

Originally, I thought it might be a super bummer that my dad was spectating instead of running, but it worked out well. And I’ll talk more about how great he was later.

I was excited to see what the big “mile 20 spectacular” was (in honor of the 20th anniversary). A lot of people have been saying they were disappointed in it. I don’t know if it’s because I was delirious or just so happy after 20 miles – (how can you not be with all the endorphins flowing?) – but I liked it.

Mile 20 spectacular at the Walt Disney World Marathon 2013(I mean, really. It’s the middle of a marathon and a stream of people will be hitting it for hours. What can you possible have lasting for something like 4 hours that’s going to be over-the-top spectacular? They’re not gonna do that many fireworks. They can’t really give us anything super special (that we’d have to carry to the finish). I don’t know what people were expecting… but I expected nothing and was ready to be surprised with anything.)

It was basically giant puppets of various Disney characters, and instead of a normal mile marker (which is already big and awesome), it was an overhead arch that showed every medal for the last 20 years, including a big ol’ picture of the one we were on our way to receiving. Plus, there was some great Disney music playing.

When I passed “Prince Ali” was playing. Right as I went under the arch, it was the kind of grand part of the song where it slows way down (and I think even has a key change). Oh yeah. My big royal cross into mile 20, baby!

This is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

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