Katherine was planning to run a slightly slower pace than I would if I ran on my own, but I decided I would stick with her and run her pace. This race was never going to be about time and knew it would be a lot more fun if we made all the stops together instead of alone.
Somewhere in the stretch between the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom they were handing out bananas. Best idea ever. My stomach was so happy. They handed them out again sometime later too, maybe around 18-19. Disney, I applaud you. Every race should do this.
Between miles 16 and 17, the course in Animal Kingdom took us right by the Expedition Everest roller coaster. We saw two people ahead of us go in and when we saw that there was almost no wait (5 minutes), we headed in as well. Because when else are you going to have the chance to ride a roller coaster in the middle of a marathon?
After finishing the ride and tweeting about it (of course!) we were back to running.
Hey, see that mountain? We just rode that roller coaster!
The stretch of highway between Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios was the longest part of the race for me. There was minimal entertainment and the temperature was starting to rise. This was where the race started to get a little weird for me. My legs (particularly my quads) were sore, but because I was running a slower pace than I normally would, the rest of me felt pretty good. I don't think that my heart rate ever got all that high and felt like I could go faster. I definitely never entered that pain zone/mental fog that normally shows up in the last few miles of a marathon. I certainly was looking forward to finishing but I never NEEDED to be done.
Finally we passed mile 21 and made the turn into Hollywood Studios. They were handing out fruit snacks (and chocolate - which I missed) at the first water stop in the park. Again, I have to hand it to Disney on the food and water stations. There were some Clif Shots stations, bananas, oranges, fruit snacks and chocolates. And it seemed like we were getting water almost every mile. Very well done and organized.
Really sad these guys weren't out the day before when I was in costume
We followed some kind of boardwalk to get from Hollywood Studios to Epcot and then we just had to run "around the world" before finishing. I'm not sure if it hurt or helped that we have spent the previous afternoon at Epcot and I knew exactly how far we had to go.
This was probably at mile 25.9. What's one more stop?
This was my fifth marathon, but the first time I have actually run the whole race with someone else. So we had to finish hand in hand!
By far the most fun I have ever had running a marathon. Also the most time I have ever spent running a marathon, but I suppose that was to be expected.