I wanted to wrap up my story on the Disney Marathon weekend with my final thoughts on the race weekend. However you can catch up on my 5K, half marathon and full marathon race reports too if you haven’t had a chance yet!
The Course Changes
There were things that I like about the course this year in comparison to before and things that I didn’t. Gone was an extra loop through Epcot early on in the course before running through Cinderella’s castle in the daylight and putting the halfway point on the road exiting Magic Kingdom. In was a loop around the Richard Petty Speedway. The long out and back from Animal Kingdom and past Wide World of Sports was shortened as we ran through WWOS instead.
I liked the loop around the Richard Petty Speedway. Who gets to run a lap around the speedway? It was neat to do something special like that and there was music blaring as you ran along. It also broke up the somewhat boring back road stretch between Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. I really disliked running through WWOS though. I would take an extra loop through EPCOT any day. When you’d get that extra loop through EPCOT before there would be bright lights flashing, fun music, and characters out for pictures as you ran around World Showcase. Running through WWOS was so quiet and the mile 20 spectacular was kind of a let down (sorry Run Disney).
The Number of Runners
I ran the full in 2009, sat out 2010, ran the half in 2011 and 2012.
The thing that shocked me about the race was just how busy it was out there! Line ups for character photos were longer than I remembered. The crowds never thinned out on the half. This year I was in Corral D as opposed to B which may have made some difference since the number of runners in the half have been fairly steady for the last three years. We did thin out along the full, but with the change up of the course we were hitting the narrow sections approaching the Magic Kingdom and just leaving it in one huge pack. I heard about people being pushed off the road, resulting in injuries and DNFs. I honestly think the number of participants need to be scaled back.
That being said they were ready for the huge number of runners out on the course in the high heat and humidity. Water stops were well stocked for us!
The Race Photos
I thought Marathon Foto did a great job capturing images at the race this year! There were photographers milling around the start and finish areas, ready to take your photo. You could capture pictures with your friends as you nervously await the start of the race or maybe they caught you right after you got your medals.
I thought that was a pretty neat addition that I hadn’t seen at races before. There were also plenty of photographers along the race course to capture images.
They were also super fast identifying images. In the evening after the marathon my first few photos had already been posted online.
Also, I really appreciated that they had a Goofy download package that made it a bit cheaper to get all of your photos instead of having to buy your half and full marathon photos separately. Hats off to Marathon Foto. I thought they were awesome.
Absolutely amazing. I loved the spinner medal for the marathon!
I love the designs and colours of the shirts from this year – yellow for the half, blue for the full and orange for the Goofy. It is always nice to have something other than white!
One things about the shirts though, they are huge! I’ve been ordering medium size shirts for most of my races and it looks like they have been getting larger and larger.
On the bottom is the 2013 half marathon shirt, the blue shirt is from the 2012 half marathon and on top is the 2008 marathon shirt. I’m hoping my mom might be able to alter my shirts from this year so they aren’t quite so massive.
By the time I got to the expo on Friday afternoon there wasn’t too much Goofy swag left to buy but I did manage to get a pretty neat “I Did It” shirt with a map on the back. Many thanks to the folks handing the shirts out for the warning that the shirt would shrink a full size in the wash.
The line up to get into the expo was crazy! I didn’t get a great panorama of it, but the line looked like it would take you hours to get in.
It wound up moving pretty quickly though! I found a few things to purchase including the CW-X capris I wanted to wear for the race. I picked up some Balega socks (my go to summer running socks) and a pair of yurbuds. While I don’t run with headphones outside, I do on the treadmill and they are continuously falling out of my ears. I’m looking forward to trying these out on a run soon!
I love the Disney Marathon weekend. However having done some part of the race every year since 2008 (with the exception of 2010) I think I’m ready to take a break though. I was able to have the Goofy Challenge race I really wanted so what more can I ask for? It really was a magical weekend!
Ever the engineer, this is by far the most comprehensive “final thoughts” post I’ve seen so far. Hee hee. I love the comparisons from year to year – it gives perspective for those of us first timers who wondered how it compared to previous years!
Nice post – since I had been running some part of the race every year since 2004 (except 2006 and this year) I was interested in hearing what was different. I totally agree that they should limit the number of runners to make it a bit more enjoyable for all. I would miss the early run through Epcot – I always liked how they lit it all up and had the music playing (and having a real bathroom for a pit stop if you didn’t get one at the start). Also on the shirts – they have traditionally run large – then last year they were a bit smaller in the sleeves…with the “unisex” approach, women have to get a size smaller than usual.
Since this was my first year doing it, I didn’t have your perspective on the course from past experiences. I too could have done without WWOS. I wouldn’t have had to clear awful rocks from my shoes not once but twice. The shirts were ridiculously big. So much so that we waited at the expo for like 30-35 minutes to see if we could swap out. I got two in small and the Goofy in x-small and that fits well on me. The others are nice for comfy days! You have a great perspective!
I’d love to do a Disney race some year, but the crowded course definitely turns me off a little bit. I hate crowded places.
This is a great recap of the event changes. I agree that combining the photos for Goofy was a huge plus and I *almost* bought my digital images. Maybe next time 🙂 I’m curious if they will keep this new course. I am neutral on the car track but hated WWOS. With all the twists and turns I clocked my longest Garmin distance for a marathon (26.9!).
Suz and Allan says
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on everything. It’s nice to hear someone being really honest about each and every aspect of the weekend that I might not have thought about. Congratulations on Goofy!