Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – Marathon

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.

3 Responses to “Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – Marathon”

  1. ArizonaPat Says:

    even volunteering sounds like fun at Disney. I’m sure those runners appreciated you efforts.

  2. groppigirl Says:

    Thank you for volunteering Katie. You know we appreciate it. 🙂

  3. EatDrinkRunWoman Says:

    It was great to meet you Katie! And thank you so much for volunteering.

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