Archive for the 'Race Report' Category

Superbowl 5K 2009

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

I told myself I wasn’t allowed to get ready for work this morning until I blogged at least one race, so here I am.  First up in the race reports is the Superbowl 5K. 

Dad and I usually wait till race morning to register for this race because you never know what the weather is going to be like.  Race morning we made our way to registration and scored some bright hellow race shirts.  We go there early to ensure that Dad would be able to get the size that he wanted.  This race benefits the local police department memorial fund, so they tend to be well supported.  We walked into the community college gym to find bananas, apples, water and an assortment of donuts, bagels and pastries.  I started eyeing up some of the pastries but decided to sit down and behave myself.

Following my success with the virtual partner feature on my Garmin for the WDW Half marathon I decided to give it another go.  I set it up for a 35 minute 5K as we headed to the start line.  It was cooler that morning, but the race didn’t start till later in the monrning so the sun had a chance to come up and warm the pavement some.  My Tough Girl was plenty warm to get me through the race.

This race is fairly challenging because it is an out and back where the first half is downhill and the second is up.  I felt pretty good after the downhill and tried to dig deap for the uphill return.  I ran the majority of the uphill but as I got towards the steepest section of the course I opted to slow to a walk just until I got over the hump of the hill.  The path in towards the finish line is flat, but unfortunately the walk on the hill ate up a good bit of time and allowed my virtual partner to pass me. 

In the end I did manage to cut a minute off of my finish time from last year.  Still not anywhere near my sub-30 PR, but every little bit counts right?

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – Marathon

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

No, I didn’t run the marathon this year, but I decided I couldn’t just stay in bed that Dad.  Dad headed out early to take Mr. Mike and Mr. Dave to the start of the marathon while Mom and I made plans to meet him later at the volunteer check in.  After signing in, eating our breakfast and adorning our official volunteer windbreakers we boarded a bus.

This year we opted to volunteer at a water stop during the full marathon.  We had tried to sign up for water stop 25, but were moved to water stop 15 instead.  This actually turned out to be a great move.  When we boarded the bus we thought that there were 2-3 water stops on board, but we were all just 1 water stop. 

As we exited the bus we quickly went to work.  Carrying tables, cups, cases of water and boards.  The tables were placed in pairs with 25 feet between each one.  We started setting out cups and filling them with water.  We stacked ours 3 layers high and then stopped and waited.

Our water stop was just outside the Animal Kingdom and was on the “Flashback to the 90s” area of the course.  Unfortunately that meant we were handing out water to the a loop of “That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain and “Living La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin.  Luckily as the crowds grew the music was faded out by the cheers of the folks at the water stop.

Disney prints every participants name on their bibs so that people can easily cheer everyone on as they run by.  I had fun calling people’s names as they passed.  Some of them looked really down, but hearing their name perked them up as they passed by.  It also helped me put names to faces of the DisneyRunning.com folks I had’t met at the Forum Encounter. 

The time flew by as the runners came through.  Before we knew it the crowds started thinning and the runners started looking more and more haggard.  I knew it was even more important to cheer these folks on because their already long race was just a little over half way through.  I noticed as bikes started riding towards us and I knew this wasn’t a good sign.  Two of the bikers hopped off and held up red flags.  They stood with stop watches and started calling times to the people that were still trying to make it to mile 15.  People started pushing to make it past them.  Soon more bikers pulled up and created a barrier at the mile 15 mark.  Anyone that didn’t make it to the barrier were pushed off the ourse towards a bus.  I couldn’t look because it broke my heart to see these people who had faught so hard being swept.  After the bus pulled away we took our tables still covered in water cups and dumped then into the road.  We carried the extra water back to where we got it.  The tables were restacked.  We raked the cups into the street and an army of street sweepers came by and cleaned the cups up in a matter of minutes.

We were on the bus and headed back to the volunteer check in.  I realized that we still had time to make it to the finish before Andi crossed.  We hopped on the monorail and headed toward EPCOT.  We weren’t there more than 10 minutes when Andi crossed by.  I screamed for her as she closed in on the finish and she flashed us a big smile.  We headed to greet her in the reunion area.  She had not wanted to buy any Goofy merchandise for fear of jinxing herself so we had gone to the expo and gotten her a tech shirt with the Goofy logo on it. 

I made my way over to the place where the runners exited after getting their food and drink to congratulate as many DisneyRunning.com people as I could while we waited for Mr. Mike and Mr. Dave.  They came through a half an hour to spare.  We collected Mike and headed back to the house for showers and naps.

Monday we met up with the DisneyRunning.com crew for a celebratory Forum Encounter.  We met at the Biergarten in Germany and had a great time.  I parted ways with the group, but as I made my way around the World Showcase with my own party we continued to see the orange glow as they made their way as well.  Next year I will definitely stick with them around the World Showcase because they looked like they had a GREAT time.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – Half

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

At 2:30 AM the alarm clock went off.  Unfortunately I hadn’t slept much that evening.  I was woken up at 12 AM and just couldn’t get back to sleep.  I actually ended up spending the wee hours of the morning on the DisneyRunning.com website talking to the folks who were still up on the west coast.  Luckily time flew by and it was time to get ready for the race.  One thing about Disney races is that because of Road Closures you need to be there early.  The race doesn’t start till 5:45, but you need to be in the parking lot by 4:00 AM if you want to ensure that you won’t get stuck in traffic.  My father’s best friend Mike had flown in for the Full marathon, so we came with us to spectate the race.  On the way to the parking lot we picked up Mr. Dave. 

At the lot we made our way to the “R” tent to meet up with the folks from DisneyRunning.com.  This day I wore my orange shirt so that I matched the DisneyRunning.com folks.  It was awesome being able to meet up with everyone at the start.  Before we arrived in Disney Andi and I had decided to run together.  As her first Goofy she knew she was going to need to run at a conservative pace.  I had had some strong training and wished to push my pace.   We decided to meet in the middle and run together with a goal pace of 2:45.  Once again the time flew by at the race start.  Before we knew it we were headed towards the corrals.  Andi, Gina, Kelly, Grace and myself decided to stick together.  Unfortunately Mr. Dave was in the corral behind us.  I was unhappy with this, but I think he was afraid to get caught up with us and push his pace too hard in the half, which would jeopardize his full the next day.  I certainly would have done the same in his position.  Before the race started I set up my Virtual Partner (VP) on my Garmin for a 2:45 Half Marathon.

The count down began and the fireworks exploded as the first wave took off.  We were in the front of the second wave so after 10 minutes we got our own fireworks and send off.  We were careful not to get caught up in the excitement of the start and go off too fast and the VP was a great help for that.  We quickly lost Kelly and Grace, but Gina, Andi and I stuck together.  Andi and I both realized we had to pee, but decided to wait until Mr. Dave’s favorite spot in the Magic Kingdom before stopping.  And snapped some shots of Gina and I as we ran through the gate to the Magic Kingdom.  Mom, Dad, and Mr. Mike waited for us at the end of Main Street.  It is always great to see them during my races.  Andi and I didn’t stop long, but kept on running up Main Street because our bathroom break was coming soon.  As we entered Tomorrowland we realized that the bathrooms we had set our sights on were closed, so we ended up having to take our break in Frontiertown instead.

The trip to Magic Kingdom was all too short and before we knew it we were heading back to EPCOT.  I was keeping an eye on the VP and we hadn’t strayed more than 300 feet off our pace.  I stopped at every water stop and took in some Shot Bloks about every 3 miles as I had trained, whether I felt like I needed it or not.  As we neared Mile 11 I started feeling pretty speant.  Andi is a talker and she helped keep me distracted and helped keep me moving towards the finished.  I took more walk breaks than I care to admit in the last two miles, but before we knew it we were heading up the final ramp towards the finish.  We entered EPCOT and made our way down the out and back on the promenade.  I knew the promenade was right around the corner so I started running.  I could hear the gospel choir as we made our way towards the final turn. 

Andi was behind me as we headed toward the finish but pulled in right next to me as we spotted Mr. Mike the Mom and Dad at the top of the bleachers.  We crossed the finish line side by side in just over 2:50.  I was very happy with my race because I knew I gave it my ALL.  Thanks to Andi I stayed on pace and challenged myself.  We both gladly recieved our Donald medals and made our way to congratulate our fellow DisneyRunning.com folks and thank my parents for their support. 

That evening we headed to Ms. Peggy’s to cheer on the Ravens and eat some pizza and pasta before heading to bed to prep for another early day on Sunday.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – Circle of Life 5K

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

The first race of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend this year was the Circle of Life 5K on Friday morning.  When we arrived I scanned the parking lot and rather quickly located a glow of orange.  I made my way over to see several of my DisneyRunning.com friends.  We snapped several pictures as we waited for the race to start.

DisneyRunning.com Folks

DisneyRunning.com Folks

We even had members there that weren’t there to run the race but instead just wanted to cheer us on including Andi.  As you can see from the photo the Skirt Nation was well represented at the 5K. 

The 5K race took us through the same Animal Kingdom route that we ran last year.  Dad and I put ourselves between the 12:00 and 13:00 mile pace groups.  We were sent off by fireworks and quickly spotted Mom, Andi and Dad’s best friend Mike on the sidelines cheering us on.  We screamed and waved, but they never saw us, lol.   As we neared the first water stop I told Dad I was stopping for a drink since I was running the half the next day and Dad kept on going.  Rebecca, a fellow Team DR member, was working the water stop.  It was great to see her smiling face.  Soon I heard Erica coming up behind me and saw many familiar faces on the out and back. 

I never did catch up with Dad.  As he kicked it in to head to the finish I stayed consistent with my pace and let him cruise on into the finish.  We got our medals and snapped a few photos then said goodbye to our friends till the Forum Encounter(FE)/Carb Load dinner that evening. 

The Forum Encounter at the Pop Century food court that evening was a lot of fun.  I got to see some old friends and meet some new ones.  It was a great chance to put names with faces and relax before the upcoming races. 

DisneyRunning.com FE

DisneyRunning.com FE

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – Expo

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

As usual this year Walt Disney World Marathon weekend started with the race expo.  This year Disney opened the new Josten’s Center at Wide World of Sports, so the race expo had more room and was more spread out than year’s past.  I had three goals this year at the expo. 

Goal #1 To get my hand on the coveted limited edition pins.  This year they made pins that were replicas of the new race medals.  As soon as I saw the pictures online I knew I had to have these.  I had originally planned to show up at the expo at 9 to get in line.  This would have been 3 hours early.  I made a compromise with Dad and instead we arrived around 11 AM.  It took us a few minutes to get a place in line, but eventually we did.  We were actually the first ones in and line and were eventually joined by others from DisneyRunning.com and a minister and his wife.  A cast member posted at the front of the line said that they would let us in at 12 o’clock and give us a ticket that we could exchange for pins at 1 o’clock when they officially went on sale.  About 30 minutes later a manager walked up and said they would not be handing out tickets and that we needed to stay where we were till 1 o’clock.  At 12 o’clock we saw the packet pick-up lines begin feeding into the Milk House.  About 20 minutes later a friend of mine from DR came to the head of the line and informed up that they were handing out tickets for the pins around the corner.  We gave the cast member a quick glance and pushed our way into the building where we each got tickets for the pin and went about getting our packets.  We returned to the pin area later and stood in line for another hour and a half to get our pins, but at least I did get them.  They are now proudly hanging in my shadow box of race pins. 

Goal #2 Use my Race Ready gift certificate I recieved for my birthday.  One problem with this goal.  I forgot to take the gift certificate with me.  I did however go to the Race Ready booth and decide what I wanted to spend the GC on.  It wasn’t hard once I noticed that they do in fact make a skirt!  I will be ordering my new skirt soon.

Goal #3 Hear Team Hoyt Speak.  A few months ago it was announced that Team Hoyt would be running the WDW Half Marathon this year because Team Spira was their sponsor (they also sponsor the WDW Marathon Weekend) and it was also Rick’s birthday.  When the expo speaker schedule came out I saw that they were speaking twice during the expo.  The first time was during the pin sale time, so I thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to hear them.  We got lucky when they handed us the tickets to allow us to reserve our pins and we were able to move about the expo.  When we came up from picking up my packet Rick and Dick were already on stage.  We found front row seats and listened to Dick talk about his and Rick’s amazing story.  After they spoke the Disney spokesman invited folks up on stage for pictures.  Dad and I were second in line.  

Rick and Dick Hoyt

Rick and Dick Hoyt

After they snapped our picture they announced that the gentleman needed to be elsewhere for a committment with Spira.  We were able to see them again at the expo where I was able to get a book signed by Dick that I am now working on reading.  It was an experience I will never forget. 

In the past I have never spent more than an hour at the expo.  This year I was there for nearly 5 hours.  This was definitely the best expo yet!