Hands down, this marathon was the most fun. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll have more fun running another race unless I run this marathon again. We always enjoy visiting Disney World and admiring the attention to detail — and the marathon is no exception. From registration all the way through the post race, every detail was covered.
This race marked my second attempt at running a 3:15 marathon. Despite the early 5:30 a.m. race start time, the start was nothing short of spectacular. My 3:15 pace group was able to line up close to the elite runners — close enough to hear the start and see the fireworks. One of the best parts of this race is getting caught up in all of the characters and support along the way which helped take my mind off the matter, especially at the beginning of the race.
The marathon runs through all four parks at Disney World. One of my favorite memories was taking over for the pacesetter while he took a bathroom break. He handed me the 3:15 pennant shortly before we arrived at the Magic Kingdom. I cannot describe how cool it was to lead our pace group up Main Street USA. It simply does not get much more fun than that.
I was able to hold onto the 3:15 pace until mile 20. My splits were: 5 miles-37:38 (7:32 pace); 10 miles-1:14:54 (7:29 pace); 13.1 miles-1:38:20 (7:30 pace); and 20 miles-2:29:33 (7:29 pace). And even though I knew I was falling off pace, I tried with all of my might not to fall too far behind. Looking over my mile splits from the race, I am proud that my pace never fell below an 8:28/mile pace. I finished in 3:19:40 (7:37 pace), good enough for 296th overall out of 13,478 finishers.
What made this race even better was that I was able to enjoy it with my wife. I felt a little bounce in my step every time I saw her cheering me on in the crowd. And after crossing the finish line, she was right there to congratulate me.