The Disney Marathon – race recap

09 Jan

Holy schmoly! Where do I even begin? This weekend has been a whirlwind of excitement.  From our luggage not making it to Orlando with us, but thankfully showing up Saturday afternoon.  Getting to meet Brooke and Audrey and see ChristieO again has been fabulous.  Despite our cozy quarters in the hotel room, Brooke, her husband, T and I seem to be getting along quite nicely. 🙂  Well aside from the couple on the floor above us having a little too much “fun” (if you know what I mean) while we were trying to fall asleep last night.

So, on to the race.  It was a bit nippy this morning as we headed out.  Cooler than I expecting, but I knew it was supposed to warm up, so I dressed lightly in shorts, a running tank w/a tech tee over it, my running sleeves, and a hat with a my new 26.2 Disney BondiBand.  Disney really had their stuff together.  ChristieO had heard some people had trouble getting on the buses to the start line for the half marathon because the lines were so long, so we planned to meet at 3:15 in the hotel lobby.  The buses were running between 3 and 4 a.m.  And if you remember 3 a.m. EST is midnight for me.

The bag check area was easy to find.  We all had time to visit the port-a-potties on more than one occasion.  ChristieO and her tri-buddy, Nicole wore pink tutus and pink fairy wings.  They were pretty cute together.  Once we got to the corrals my fingers were numb and my teeth were chattering.  Like I said, it was a bit nippy.  I was impressed with Disney’s wave starts.  After San Diego, I’ve been leery of wave starts.  Granted there were only 17,000 people here and 30,000 in San Diego, but it moved so quickly.  T and I crossed the start line together at about 10 minutes after the gun first went off.  There were fireworks with the gun and then with each subsequent wave.  That was pretty cool.

In the beginning I kept reminding myself that this truly was a marathon and to just take it easy so I didn’t wear myself out.  I did *not* want to hit the wall.  My hip was amazing.  No pain or twinges at all.  The ankle? Well, it held up.  One of the highlights of the race was the aid stations.  They had huge containers with pumps of BioFreeze.  I made it a point to stop at every aid station and rub BioFreeze on my ankle.  As the race went on, I started rubbing it on my knees, and at the last aid station around mile 23, I just rubbed it all over my legs.  The funny thing is that in the beginning of the race when my fingers were so cold, I couldn’t figure why they weren’t warming up.  *smacks head* Uhm, duh, BioFreeze all over them.  Obviously my brain was preoccupied.

I *loved*, absolutely *loved* running through the parks.  The in between times on the highways and back roads of Disney was a bit slow.  The volunteers were fabulous.  There was always someone there cheering you on.  Our names were printed on our bibs, so I had a ton of “Great job, Kristen!”, but I didn’t care.  Someone was making an effort.  I made a point to stop at various places along the course to have my picture taken with some of the characters.  I can’t name them all now, but I know I met Sleeping Beauty, Chip & Dale, King Louie and Balou, Rafiki, Jasmine, Rapunzal & her beau.  I refused to stop for more than 4 people in a line.  I didn’t want to lose that much momentum.

There points in the race where had I been running at home alone or on my treadmill, I would have just called it quits.  There was no way I was doing that today.  But I remember hitting mile 16 and thinking, wow, only 10 more miles. That’s funny right?  Because I thought it was funny.  Then I hit 18 and remember thinking that I was more tired at the end of this 18 than I was at the end of my two 18-mile training runs, but that might have something to do with the lack of sleep.  Anyway.  When I hit mile 20 I took a picture of myself with the sign behind me.  This was a milestone.  I had never really gone more than 20 miles.  I was headed into unchartered territory.  The next two miles were good though.  By the time I hit mile 23 I told myself that I had a 5k left.  That was it.  Just a measly 5k.  Easy peasy.  Yeah, not so much.  That 5k felt like the longest 3 miles I have ever run.  At this point I was chanting in my head “right foot left foot right foot left foot” and remembering to stay in form and not slap my shoes on the ground out of exhaustion.  I knew I’d hurt myself if I didn’t pay attention to my stride.  Because I was so focused on my stride, I was sure I had to be getting close to mile 25.  But nope, there up ahead was the mile 24 marker.  Ugh! And then I did it again.  I was *positive* I had missed the mile 25 sign and I had to be getting close.  But nope, look up there! Mile 25.  It didn’t help that a ton of people along the course kept saying “you’re almost there! You’re so close!”  It seemed like I would just keep running forever and never hit the finish line.  But finally (phew) I saw looked up and saw the finish line.  I had just enough gumption to sprint, as only one can sprint after running 26 miles for the first time, but sprint nonetheless the last 100 m or so.  And then I prompted began crying.  And not the pretty tears streaming down your face, but full on sobbing.  I couldn’t believe I had actually accomplished this.  I mean I knew I would, but those last three miles were soooo hard.

After I collected my space blanket and my medal, I picked up all my snacks.  Hey race coordinators! Take a note from the Nike Women’s Marathon.  Provide bags at the finish line.  I took all the snacks they had which included: a soda, bottle of water, orange, muffin, Lara bar, and Powerade.  Have you tried carrying all of those things while trying to manage a space blanket in the wind? It’s tough.  So just get someone to donate in the future m’kay?

I met up with T and ChristieO’s friend and we waited for Brooke and ChristieO to finish.  It took me probably 30 minutes to not feel like sobbing.  This was such an emotional experience for me.  The training was so hard and long.  The culmination of knowing I had completed this race and had my friends here with me was amazing.  I can’t even describe it.

Race Results: Time 4:48:27

Overall: 5790 out of 13,522

Age Group (30-34) 1961 out of 6267

Brooke, ChristieO and I pre race.

Some of my biggest supporters were on my wrist.

The fireworks after the gun went off.

The picture I took at the mile Karena said she wanted me to earmark as “hers”.

Mile 20.  Entered unchartered territory.

The medal!!

T and I with our medals

Me, ChristieO, and Brooke with our medals



Posted by on January 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

24 responses to “The Disney Marathon – race recap

  1. Lisa

    January 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    You forgot MY name on your wrist, hooker!

    I am so proud of this HUGE accomplishment- you truly are a rock star!!!!

    • girlsworld

      January 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Lisa. Yes. I did. But you don’t live on twitter as much as those other hookers. And you were in my ears as I have many of your songs from hr2010 on my running list. :). Smooches girl!!

      • growingupmo

        January 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

        You’re right, I’m not on twitter as much as the others but I was on this morning, following your run every step of the way. Love you!!!!!

      • girlsworld

        January 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

        I know you were. And it was so awesome to feel the love. That list was made at 2:45 this morning. Know that I still love you, you SAH, with all my heart.

  2. Bari

    January 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I’m so honored I got to run “with” you on your wrist. When I saw that picture so very early this morning I got all teary. It’s funny, because I was wide awake around 3:00 this morning because I was thinking of you, Christie and Brooke. Then K woke up at 3:30 yelling for me and I figured it was because I needed to get on Twitter and send you all some love. I was literally glued to my phone all morning (even during church-but shhh, don’t tell!). You truly inspire me with your accomplishments, your ability to work thru injuries and pain, and your awesome hooker-ness 🙂

    I am so stinking proud of you. You owned this race and to come in WELL under 5 hours is simply amazing. I know this experience will be with you forever. You ARE a MARATHONER!!!

  3. Beku

    January 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    First I want to say – you seriously rawk! I’m so proud of you!!

    Second, I woke up at 4:45am. Wide awake. Of course I hopped on twitter. I cried when I saw my name on your wrist (& again when I read this). I was glued to my phone until you crossed the finish line!

    I’m so happy for you! Happy your hip & ankle didn’t give you grief. Happy you had this amazing experience that’s forever yours! You did it! You’re a marathoner!!

    Love you!

  4. Barb @ Jiggles

    January 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    You big jerk – I cried, too, when I saw the pick with my name on your wrist — I was heading off to bike 26.2 in your honor on my stationary. I can’t possibly express how proud and amazed I am by you. Love the pic, and can hardly wait to see the pics of you with the characters! Love you, date!

  5. jaimemckee

    January 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I am SO SO proud of you!! I love the pictures….now get some rest!

    (And, are you ready to sign up for another marathon yet?) 😉

  6. Elaine

    January 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I’m so very proud and happy for you. You’re amazing to me and such an inspiration! Congratulations!! Hope you’re relaxing and having fun now! Love ya!

  7. Tirah

    January 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I am so proud of you. You are amazing and you are now a marathoner. You deserve it! You rock and you are such an inspiration.

  8. Thea @ Im A Drama Mama

    January 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I cannot express to you how proud I am of you. You are amazing, AMAZING! You know that, right??

  9. Jade @ Tasting Grace

    January 10, 2011 at 2:11 am

    What an awesome race report and what AN AMAZING RACE!!! I’m so happy for you!! That’s such an accomplishment! Love the pic of you at mile 20. Just awesome.

  10. Nancy

    January 10, 2011 at 4:11 am

    You are a rockstar Kirsten. What an amazing accomplishment and to do it with your husband and friends had to make it extra special. You are a marathoner my friend and I am so proud of you!

  11. Christy Mensi

    January 10, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I am SOOOOOOOOOOO proud of you. So proud. Reading this made me get all teary and wish that I had been there with you girl. You are a marathoner now. WOW.

    I love you, SAH. So much!

  12. April

    January 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I am so proud of you.

  13. Brooke

    January 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    so glad to have experienced this with you!

    it really made a difference having hookers to share this moment with, especially the pre-race stuff i know without yall my nerves would have gotten the best of me.

  14. Karena

    January 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    So proud of you and brought to tears yet again as I read your race report. You were amazing and so strong! Thanks for mile 12-13 — that made me cry as well! Love you girl!

  15. christieo

    January 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Oh i cried reading this! I loved reading your race report so much!! It filled me with joy reading it (heck every bit of it was how I pictured my race going!) You are amazing and I love you so much. Thank you for running with me, I was so honored.

  16. colormeroo

    January 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I’m *finally* reading this. Great recap. So, so glad I was able to be there for your first ever, totally amazing finish, full marathon! Love you!

  17. Tiffany

    January 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I read this the other day and burst into tears. So, so, so happy for you and so proud of you… It *almost* makes me want to do it 🙂 I, too, was glued to twitter and so excited to get the play by plays and to be able to cheer you on. I am so, so glad that it exceeded your expectations. You rock, SAH!

  18. AnnG

    January 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Whooohooo!! You did awesome!! Amazing job!! So proud of you!!

  19. chocolate girl

    January 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm


  20. Melissa Anderson

    January 21, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Yeah, I am a lot behind on blogs. But I am so, so proud of you. You know that, right? 🙂

    • girlsworld

      January 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      Yep. And thanks for the love, hooker b


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