View From the Finish Line
We did it. Together. And separately. We did it!About 1/2 mile from marathon glory The Victors. Barely worse for wear
My second Disney race experience. Familiarity with the routine and the layout helps a lot.
This is mostly about the marathon. The temperature finally rose to ‘normal Florida’ (65+ degrees and 81% humidity). Old home week for me, not so much for the non-floridians
Klys and I did not plan to run the first three races together. She brought her whole family for that so mom did the 5k, dad the 10k, two sisters the half marathon. Mr. Klys also succumbed to the flu, so didn’t run and was there for the cheering.
Klys did really well. I am so totally proud of her. She had two training setbacks - a shin injury a few months back (time off and rehab) and the flu the saturday before the races. I was lucky except for mashing two toes about two weeks before.
So doing the full Dopey with all that load, while completing her first marathon, and with pacing three races, she came in around 50% of all the Dopey runners. The same with all women and her age/division. Of the Dopey marathoners, the top third, and 20% gender and division. Of all marathoners (around 12,000), the top 40% and 30% gender and division. This is outstanding!
And everything went right. Her physical therapy, urgent care for the flu. And everything we planned, trained, gear, techniques. Even our on the fly strategy changes.
EXCEPT the marathon meet up - that was an epic fail turned into lemonade. I don’t carry a phone when i run. She does. And I didn’t think to carry her number. So I stood and waited…watched… and we missed each other in that sea of 15,000+ people. I even got stopped by plainclothes security wondering why i was loitering for so long. Then it turns out we were probably within 50 feet of each other in our separate corrals.
So we actually didn’t run any races together. Instead it gave us each a chance to individually shine even though that wasn’t the plan and strategies had to change at the last minute. (I was burning 3 races hoping for an easy marathon, and when the time came, well, i was thankfully able to and i burned it too.)
About 12,000 people ran the 5k and the 10k, 18,000 the half, and 12,000 the marathon. 5200 people ran all 4 (the full dopey) 1,000 people ran both the half and full marathon (that’s called the Goofy Challenge). Dopey runners are automatically Goofy runners.
So we ran the marathon separately. Once it was clear i was running alone, my goal was no stops, no tanking (ie run the whole way) and anything less that 4:26; my last and most miserable of marathon experiences..
As I started running, the effects of the first three races faded away and 13 miles into the 26 it became just a sunday training run. I knew i had it. I could still talk to people and sing (to myself). So i risked speed and it paid off. Yes i’ve run marathons before. And I’ve tanked somewhere after 17 every time. This time was different. Way way way better trained and better condition. Way more knowledgeable. And so i ran it all and well.
The race gun goes off at 5:30AM. You have to be on buses by like 3 so it’s some early dinners and early nights pretending to get some sleep. Once again i proved that lack of sleep the night before a race (or 4) doesn’t have all that much impact. You can make it up later in the day.
So the gun goes off and, not an hour like the 5k but a mere 8 minutes later, my wave of humanity is released through the starting gate. 12k people, they have to stagger the starts.
I did well. Look for a separate post soon.
This whole year, Klys inspired(s) me with her enthusiasm and fresh outlook toward running. (Wrench and a bunch of you others have as well.) It has helped me to push myself to stay with it and finally, finally be much stronger, farther along, and a happier runner than i ever have been.
We planned this race last April. Always looking for the next big thing to do, she hit me with it as we were standing around freezing before the 5k. Wait till you hear.
As I said, around 5,200 people finished the entire 4 race Dopey. Breaking it down, it’s a lot of running and yet it’s not a lot. Certainly not for an effortless everyday runner, I can now say with confidence.
I expected that for 1) her first, 2) not my first rodeo, 3) as part of the Dopey, we would do respectably well over the 4 days and finish with grace and style.
We did better. Both of us.
After we got cleaned up Mrs DM and I met the Klys clan for a kickass lunch. Yeah everyone looked on as we talked about all things running and smiled/gloated a bit too.
Shoutout to all the support and organization, volunteers, sponsors. It is a monumental feat to move and manage 80,000 runners and spectators over 4 days.Had fun storming the castle Nailing the finish!