WDW Weekend: Spectating the marathon!

Happy Friday everyone! Ah…rest days can be hard, but not when the temperature flips the script on you and it’s cold out of no where! Yes, Floridians are pretty much wusses 😉
Here’s my last Disney weekend recap 😉
After our night of margarita madness, we woke up bright and early Sunday to get to watch the Disney World Marathon! Being that it was the 20th Anniversary weekend, the crowds and traffic were immense! Still, I couldn’t wait to cheer on Kris as she’d worked so hard on this race! Her along with many of my other friends were running this marathon as their first! The training, the jitters, the unknown – I’ve had many a’pep- talk with these guys to calm them down as best I could! And I haven’t even run a marathon yet!We met up with Sunita and Michael along with another friend’s hubby Brian (she was racing) to board the shuttle over to Epcot and see the race. We’d planned on going earlier to see from the Magic Kingson but were unsure how to even navigate there and then back to the finish. I figured the finish line was what mattered the most!
All that bling, the finish line, and food truck (a.k.a. cupcake heaven)
What an experience! Besides a 10k last year and the Brandon Half, I’d not been able to spectate many races. Never a full marathon. So, I was excited to give back and be able to cheer other runners on as they accomplished such a huge goal. Since I’ll be doing Marine Corp in October, I knew this was just the mojo I needed!
We were right outside of the Epcot globe, just steps away from the finish line. We saw so many cool moments! We got to see the fastest woman finish in 2:47! What!? Then the pace groups started to come through starting with the 3-hour pace group. We cheered on loved ones of those standing near us; I met a wife of one husband running who was part of the Disney Perfect 20 (he’d ran all 20 Disney World Marathons!) Some runners had difficulty, but to see fellow runners helping them out – the brotherhood of the marathon – made me tear up at times.
A happy pace group leader, 2 awesome runners helping a woman finish, a mom picked up her son to run into the finish with her – kind of.
I remembered the pace requirements for Boston and realized how many people were trying to qualify and started yelling super loud for them. To see people, making the run look seamless, cruise in and qualify for such a prestigious race was massively inspiring. Others, were just shooting for a PR – you could see it on their faces. I really loved it when I saw someone with their name on their shirt or a dressed as a character. It made it that much easier to give them love!
Then, we started looking for those we knew from the run group. First through the chute was my buddy Caribbean Steve. He’s run many-a-marathon, but seeing a familiar face was just enough to make me scream my head off. He looked over with a big smile and gunned it for the finish. As the 4:00 pace group came through I started to look for Kris. I was getting her text updates but hadn’t had once since mile 20. She was shooting for a finish around 4 hours. We’d talked a lot about it back and forth and I kept reminding her that she was going to be a marathoner no matter what! With the weather being in the 80s, I was more worried she think about being safe. I saw her do that when I’d gotten that last update. She slowed down from a steady (Miles 1-15k) 9:20 pace to right around 9:45. I also had hoped I’d asked her what she was wearing. Whoops. So I had to search for her, knowing she had a hat on, as clusters of runners came through. Around when the clock said 4:30, I saw her and think I may have deafened everyone around me I yelled so loud – “FINISH STRONG KRIS, YOU GOT IT GIRL!!”
A happy finisher, Caribbean Steve cheesin’, Kris finishing strong
As soon as I knew she’d finished I bid our pals “see ya later” and headed over to the finishers’ area. It was chaotic. We were all meeting at the A-B tent so once I got there hubs and I found a few other run group friends who were done. I congratulated them all with a big hug, not caring how sweaty and faint they were. I saw Kris come through the bag check corridor and ran over to give her a big hug. She looked up at me, back hunched and said, “I never want to do that again.” Lols. She thanked me for coming which I shrugged off – that’s just what we do – and we made our way over to her family who found our group too. With a plethora of ice packs and me helping her apply biofreeze, Kris told the tale of what happened. We all reminded her she still had a kick butt race! She finished in 4:12!


I reminded her how much she inspires me every day. Without her and my other buds I’ve befriended and run with quite regularly, I would doubt myself on a daily basis. I’m one lucky girl 😉
We were unable to get a late check out with our room due to the mass amounts of people staying that weekend, so we had to leave sooner than we wanted and head back to pack up. I didn’t get to see a few other friends finish, but made sure to blow up their texts and twitter feeds with love!
The day after, I checked up on Kris to ask her how she felt. I quote: “Like I got hit with a truck multiple times.” Horray for marathons! 😉
You can take a peek at my other WDW Weekend posts here!
Have you ever been able to spectate a marathon/race?

HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 2:08 pm

    Oh yeah! U did it to me! Im sittin here at work tearing up!!! What a journey and experience it was .. so glad to have u there all the way!! Cant wait to be there thru ur marathon experience too!! I must say im past the.. “ill never do that again” to well i just hope the weather is better next time!!! Thanks again for everythin. Esp believig in me 🙂 ( more tears.. ) xoxo

    • Reply
      January 18, 2013, 2:17 pm

      Aw ;)** no worries! If it weren’t for you and seeing you train and focus, I wouldn’t probably even consider MCM…oh god help me 😉

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 2:13 pm

    I love spectating- I find it so inspiring! Last year I did the Houston half and stayed to watch all the full marathoners finish, and loved it. This year, I was thoroughly appreciating all the spectators who braved the weather to cheer for us!

    • Reply
      January 18, 2013, 3:50 pm

      Yea, it gets ya pumped up! And I know as a runner, I need my name yelled out here and there to wake me up!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 2:32 pm

    I have never just watched a race….maybe I should. I feel like I would be an excellent spectator!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 2:34 pm

    Your friend had an awesome race. Thanks for being part of the chEAR squad. The loud cheers of encouragement helped this girl finish her first marathon. Volunteers and cheerleaders are the BEST!

    • Reply
      January 18, 2013, 3:54 pm

      yes she did and so did you ladies! It’s the best feeling…to see people stop and cheer them to get going had be in tears most of the morning!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Glad you enjoyed watching. That’s what made me want to do it; I spectated last year.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 3:12 pm

    This is awesome.

    I watched my boyfriend and his friends do a relay sprint triathlon. It was so fun and inspiring to cheer for everyone as the ran into the chute at the end. It made me want to get up and run or train for something amazing in that moment, but I was able to dial back my eagerness and put it into giving others the cred they deserve for making it to the end.

    I love Disney races. I hope I can do one of their marathons some day (I’ve done three halves there, just the best!)

    • Reply
      January 18, 2013, 3:55 pm

      Yes, it really IS the happiest place on earth! 😉

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 4:13 pm

    I have spectated shorter races and a triathlon before, and the disney marathon which is what got me into distance running!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 4:30 pm

    Spectating races is so much fun! I love finishing the race and then cheering for everyone else–best of both words. 🙂 Happy Friday!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 5:25 pm

    I spectated the Baltimore marathon (hubby was running the half). I’ve also spectated 3 obstacle course races. I really enjoy it, it’s fun to cheer everyone on.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 5:30 pm

    Spectating the marathon was the whole inspriation behind me tackling my own running journey!! I’m so proud of Kristen (and all our other friends that kicked tail at Disney – including you!) I can’t wait for us to train and laugh over gossip runs, cry over hill training, and feel that same accomplishment at MCM! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 6:22 pm

    Wow! How nice that you were able to cheer your friends on. Marathoners amaze me!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 6:38 pm

    Yep! I’ve spectated (is that a word lol) at my friend’s race 🙂 It made me want to race so that’s when I decided that I would start running and do a race of my own!

    BTW…it’s -29 here lol

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 8:55 pm

    I’ve spectated races and absolutely loved it. It’s so fun to cheer for people (and make signs, dress up, have pom-poms). I’ve never been around a marathon, so I can’t imagine the emotion for the runners and spectators — it’s just such an amazing accomplishment. So cool that you were able to be there for your friend!

    • Reply
      January 18, 2013, 10:14 pm

      Yes, it was wonderful! I needed it to even consider 26.2! 😉

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013, 9:39 pm

    You’re so awesome for watching your friend finish! And thanks so much for texting me love! It meant a lot!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 19, 2013, 1:28 am

    Congrats to your friend Kris- what an awesome finishing time to have! I like spectating marathons (I have a couple), but I always get really antsy to run. Last year I missed a couple of halfs, but still went and watched. That is not recommended for an injured runner. It was awful to put a smile on my face and pretend like I was having fun. :/

    • Reply
      January 19, 2013, 4:46 am

      Yea hubs is being a trooper because he’s injured and spectating….he says its motivating him, but I know it’s tough

  • Reply
    January 19, 2013, 3:04 am

    I think I need to make spectating a goal this Spring! I won’t be racing ‘to race” with my belly, so that would be fun! And, that’s how I felt after both my marathons! SO tough!!

    • Reply
      January 19, 2013, 4:46 am

      I loved it, sure motivating! You might want to bring a chair though 😉 and not yell as much as I did 😉

  • Reply
    January 20, 2013, 6:24 am

    Go Kris!

    And I love the fact that you were spectating. It makes me want to go and do that – or even volunteer for a race.

    Glad you had such a great time!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2013, 11:34 am

    Awesome job, Kris! And what a great experience! I’ve spectated a few road races and volunteered at a triathlon, but I haven’t ventured to marathon territory yet. It’s only a matter of time, though, especially since a few of my teammates are doing NYC. Gotta be there to support! 🙂

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