Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 WDW Marathon Week - Full Marathon

Here's Holly's recap of the WDW Full Marathon:

The last day of the Dopey Challenge! The day before, my throat was starting to feel scratchy. I hoped it was just from talking too much and that I wasn’t getting sick. Unfortunately when I woke up Sunday morning, I had a full on chest cold. I had a killer sore throat and my chest was really tight and congested. This was going to be fun!! Dave got up early even though he was done with the Grumpy Challenge and we drove over to Epcot so he could spectate. Before meeting the team we made a pit stop at the merchandise tent as I had heard they sometimes sell the banners from the Expo there. Dave scored the last Dopey banner (the huge one). I was extremely happy!!

We had another long walk to the corrals and an even longer wait in the corrals for the start. I was tired, no adrenaline like a normal prerace. I knew I would have fun today, but I also knew this was going to be a challenge. I had no voice really but I still needed to talk to everyone of course.

The fireworks were much better today and we were finally off. The first mile was hard, and everyone’s legs were heavy, but thankfully they loosened up and we were back on Main Street again. That never gets old!! Saw our great cheering section by the Hub and we were back out on cone alley. Thankfully Brad Garfinkel noticed my scratchy voice and he offered me some cough drops. I’m not sure why he had cough drops, but they were a lifesaver! Thanks Brad!! We headed through the Speedway, which I’m not really fond of, and then over to Animal Kingdom. We decided against riding Expedition Everest and kept on going. Tara Miller saved the day again with pre-peeled Clementines and icy cold towels. She completely rocks!!

10 Team AllEars Members and family!

Next up is Osceola Parkway. Team AllEears comes through again with some icy Coke! Soon we were entering Wide World of Sports and I was starting to hurt. The cold was kicking my butt, plus the culmination of all those miles. I was thrilled to hit mile 20 and got a second wind when we saw Laura and crew at Mile 20.5! She also came through with delicious orange slices! Next up was the Studios and then the narrow walkway to the Boardwalk. More Saviors! Deb and crew and of course the Troosts with beer!!!

Finally reached Epcot and we were thrilled. We had people come and go with us during the day, but Stan Harris, Joe Weeks and my running twin Jessica Awotona were with me all day and I know I wouldn’t have made it without them. We had a great moment in the World Showcase and then met up with some of our group for a picture taken by specatators extradonnaire Dave and Pam! They also had beer!! Finally we leave Epcot and get across that finish line hand in hand. What a day! What a weekend! I was done and ready for a beer, a shower and food. In that order!! Team AllEars rocks and I know this weekend wouldn’t have been half as fun without all of you!!

Dave's Comments: One of the most relaxing days spectating ever! Once I took the team photo I headed off to the car to drop off the huge banner and set out to the Magic Kingdom via monorail. Usually I head to the Contemporary first for coffee, but I heard a rumor the park was opening at 5am for spectators so I got off at Magic Kingdom and sacrificed the coffee (I had a Coke in my bag so I was good). There were about 200 people ahead of me, but I knew most of those suckers would line up along the shops of Main Street and not go to my preferred spot. With that in mind, I immediately hit the restroom before making my way to the hub and ultimately Tomorrowland Bridge. As usual, our teammate Christine beat me there. By the time Pam and the Torok family showed up we had a nice little area carved out for ourselves.

This was the first year our teammates ran in wolf packs. Usually two or three might come through together, but not 10-12 at a clip. It made picture taking hard, especially when the groups were blocking solo teammates passing by. We managed to see most of our friends on the course. Once we were sure everyone went through, Pam and I headed to Epcot. Our goal was to spectate in Germany. Usually I go to the United Kingdom, but I've done that so many years I needed a change.

I stocked up on snacks at the new Starbucks in Epcot. Very nice location and I had my first ever multi-grain croissant. Tasty! Pam and I made our way upstream to Germany, going the opposite direction of the marathoners. Once we got to Germany we made camp! I admit I was not on the best side of the course for pictures, but I had a bench and World Showcase Lagoon at my back. This would be the place to take "the picture" when the group finally reached us.

We didn't use runner tracking because we had a much better system. Mike Scopa was outside the Studios and texted when someone approached him. Kim was at the Beach Club and texted when people passed her. So we had good early waring systems.

A text came in telling us that Barb, whom was running her first marathon, was approaching. I promised to get her a beer but the German beer kiosk was closed. So I had to cross-course and head over to the Outpost kiosk for a beer. Once we got her beer-ed up we got notice the others were coming through and needed 3-4 beers. You can only buy two beers per person, so that meant two more trips......

I was able to get some good shots of friends going by until the craziness began. Group one came in with ten folks. I had beers to hand off and photos to shoot. Then right on their heels was group two - Holly's crew. It was just manic and some of them are ready to finish so take the darn picture all ready!!!! I had no real time to check my shots and "the photo" was a bust in my opinion.

we don't know the people in costume

Then it was over. I was left with one full untouched Landshark Lager and a Yuengling that was maybe 2/3s full. No idea whom, or how many, drank from it but the rest of it was mine. The Landshark went to a passing runner. Pam and I rallied our way back to the finish area as best as we could given the spectator congestion. Our runners were through the finish chute and waiting for us.


I got Holly to the room and marshalled her as quick as I could so we could celebrate the day away in World Showcase. We met up with some friends for beer, margaritas, more beer, dinner at Via Napoli, and the final team meet watching Illuminations. Pretty fun day.

Attached are two versions of our video. The first one is the director's-cut. The second is the same film, but I had to replace the songs I used in the first video with generic ones because it is blocked from mobile viewing due to copyright violations. When I have more time I can go in and tweak the director's-cut and repost. Enjoy!



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