2001 WDW Marathon/a participant's experience


DIS Veteran
Jun 3, 2000
Report from my DH -- the runner in the family. (We stayed at CSR, Casitas 4) It was a cold, dark January morning. DH rose at 3:30 am (2:30 OUR TIME :rolleyes: ), showered and took the bus to the race start.....

"The marathon, WOW, what an awesome event!

I went into this marathon injured, but continually thinking that I wasn't giving up. I went to the expo Saturday limping even after taking antiinflamitories and 800 mg ibuprofen. My plan was just to go easy and try to survive.

Race morning I arrived at the staging area and ran into a friend from Omaha. While talking to him it occurred to me that I had left my race chip at the hotel room. What a great start!
I decided to get back on the bus and just forget about running. After thinking about this for about 30 second I happened to see the Help booth. I told a gentleman there my problem and he pointed to a line with 2 other people. I wasn't the only idiot. Within 2 minutes I was back in business with a new bib number and chip. This made me realize what a fabulously organized event this was.

After freezing to death for over 2 hours I was finally at the start line, but still debating about being able to make it though this. I have never before questioned being able to finish a marathon, so this was serious. Until this race, I also have never run in a garbage bag, but kept it on for 7 miles.
The start was great and going through Epcot in the dark was breathtaking, but I was still fighting the idea of dropping out. It was somewhere about 2 1/2 - 3 miles I was making the plan that as I got closer to the staging area again I was going to quit.
About then a lady came along side of me and just started talking. It was her first marathon and she was just exuberant. She talked non stop. It made me forget about pain and the idea of quitting. Her name is Lynn Maloney from Clearwater Beach, FL. Without her I am sure I would not have continued.
We ran together until just after the 1/2 marker. It was refreshing to be able to run with someone who had the 'first marathon aura' as well as knowing the first 1/2 of the course.
She had done the 1/2 in 2000. I remember telling her as we past the 1/2 point at 2:04, that it was my slowest 1/2 ever. Just before 14 miles Lynn stopped for a break and I continued. She had been looking for her husband and kids but they must have missed her. Later she passed me and finished a good 30 minutes before me.

There isn't a 1/2 mile on this course that there isn't some distraction to help occupy your mind. My first stop at the first aid stations was in the Magic Kingdom. I had them put Bio Freeze on my ankle. I think I stopped at every one after that and had more applied. Most of the volunteers really didn't want to put it on me. They just wanted to squirt some in my hand. I knew better than that because somehow it would end up in my eyes. Sure enough eventually it did get in my eyes anyway. Wow was that a shock. Trying to keep moving with both eyes shut doesn't work real well.

All the characters along the course were great. Cruilla greeted me and commented she liked my Dalmatian tie. I wish I stopped and had pictures taken with more of them like Buzz Lightyear, and the Green Army men. I was
snapping pictures while moving but most of them didn't even come out. It was on the Boardwalk or Epcot that I saw Pluto and Goofy together, so I stopped and had a CM take my picture with them, COOL. It was just shortly after that that I did the same with Mickey and Minnie.
While my finish time was the slowest ever, 4:49:12, in many ways this was the most entertaining marathon I have every done. For me Chicago has always rated very high and Rock N Roll Marathon (San Diego) was great, including meeting Elton John. But WDWM is in a class by itself.

So guess what? It only took me 3 days after registration opened to sign up for the 2002 WDW Marathon. I can't resist. I have to admit this became the most expensive marathon I have ever done. My wife and I stayed at Coronado Springs until the following Saturday. It was a great time we never left WDW the entire time and
had no car to worry about.

I am already anxiously awaiting to ride the RNR Coaster again. I even have my 'gold ears' Marathon medal at work so I never go a day without thinking WDWM.

As for my injuries? I survived WDWM without crutches or a wheelchair." :cool:

Questions anyone?
You're such a trooper! It's great that you finished the race even though you were injured. I've always wondered what it was like to run in the marathon, so thanks for sharing your experience with us! :)
I admire anyone who can run that far, especially injured!

We went home the day of the marathon. I felt really sorry for all of the runners since it was freezing and smokey, but it sounds like you had a great time!
I've been slowly increasing my running time in hopes of one day doing this. But I am just so chicken to do it! I'm not very fast. I really enjoyed hearing about your experience. I'm thinking of 2003 for my 35th birthday!!
Thanks for the report. It was so fun to read. It made me think of how much I enjoyed that day. I did the half, my first half ever. I've already signed up for the half next year. Not brave enough for the full yet. Hopefully next year you won't have any injuries to worry about and can really enjoy it.

Pnelson, I just started running last June and did the half in 2:33. So I have to recommend doing the half. It will make you feel so good! Running through MK is something you'll never forget.


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