2012 Disney World 1/2 Marathon and
January 5-9, 2012
Way back in the spring of 2011, Keely asked if I wanted to run
the Disney World 1/2 again. She loves Disney, so I said "Sure."
Then she said they had a new race, a Marathon Relay, in which one
runner runs the first half of the marathon and the second runner
takes the second half. Because I am an idiot, I said I'd do that
two: (2) 1/2 marathons in 2 days. That's not something someone of
my BMI typically does.
To get things off right, I opted for the Molestation Search rather
than the Nudie Scanner at the airport.
We were staying at the Polynesian (a GREAT place - very easy access
to the monorail) and met with Keely's friends at the Kona Cafe,
where she had Tonga Toast. Starting on the left: Rosemary, Peggy,
Kelly, Tara, Chris, and, of course, Keely.
Then it was off to the nuthouse that is any race expo.
After the expo it was off to the Magic Kingdom, where we immediately
ran into the mayor.
We did the Jungle Cruise first, then Haunted Mansion. Disney World
has a lot more room than Disney Land, so they have additions to
the attractions, like this interactive cemetery outside the mansion.
That evening, it was off to the Grand Floridian for a VERY nice
meal at the Citricos. Jan 6 is close enough to my birthday that
I called it and got a nice little treat from the chef.
The next morning, we were up at 3am and in place to start the Disney
World 1/2 at 5:30.
Off went the fireworks and we slowly trotted out onto the course.
Our first character was Prof. Ludwig von Duck.
Just some random volunteer - this doesn't happen without them.
Darkwing Duck! Let's get dangerous!
It was the mayor of Main Street again.
Buzz was looking good.
Alice and the Queen were getting along.
Rapunzel and Ryder (Rapunzel has crazy eyes, don't she?)
Donald and Daisy do the U of O "O" Donald though this
was great and gave Keely an extra hug.
Tiana and Naveen were lookin' fine.
There was no love for the Country Bears - we typically had to wait
in line to get a pic with a character, but no line for the bears.
Long line for Captains Barbosa and Sparrow.
Mary Poppins still brings 'em in.
We were in line for Chip and Dale when the handler stuck her hand
out and said "Last pictures. We'll be back in a few minutes."
The army guy was at an overpass, the Heartbreak Hill in the flat
wilderness of Disney World.
Stilt walkers from the Circ program they have.
There were several bands along the way to keep us motivated.
Duffy is a new Disney character used to promote their cruise line.
Somehow, Keely has become enamored with Duffy.
Yay! It was about frigging time to get to the finish line. A personal
worst time for me: 3 hours and 10 minutes. Even worse than the Helvetia
Half, where I walked the final 6.6 miles. I blame it on waiting
in line to get our picture taken with the characters.
After that, it was back to the Grand Floridian for a character
breakfast in the 1900 Park Fare.
Tigger had a good time with us: he'd mime running and being exhausted
and just generally seemed impressed that we had run.
The Mad Hatter was having a blast that morning, really getting
into his role.
Alice has dead eyes.
Run 13 miles, stuff yourself at an all-you-can-eat breakfast, then
Off to Animal Kingdom to ride Expedition Everest (this is a damn
The Dinosaur ride was pretty cool. It broke down about halfway
through and I tortured the poor girls in the seats in front of me.
"Get out and see what's wrong." and "I bet you could
get out and climb that ladder over there before anyone noticed you."
PS: This is the best ride picture ever taken of me.
Another 3am start while Keely and I went to the start of the Disney
Marathon Relay. I dropped Keely so she could run the first half
off and went back to bed.
She really is a Duffy fan. I think it's the sailor suit.
The parrot from 3 Amigos. You really get to see some of the obscure
characters at the running events.
There Keely got a picture with Chip and Dale.
Even Scrooge is struggling in this economy - he had to go back
to work at Disney.
As Keely went through the Magic Kingdom, she ran into some of her
friends, Rosemary and Chris. "More Cowbell!"
Peggy was there. Peggy played a big part in our plans. She was
supposed to be running the relay, but her partner dropped out. Since
Peggy wasn't running, she gave Keely her bib. (more later)
Keely said Stitch bit her right after giving her a hug. Bad Stitch!
This was a new Alice and Hatter.
A new Rapunzel, too, but you can tell her smiling muscles are getting
tired. Ryder is Ryder, he always looks like that.
Cinderella and her step-family.
Tiana, Naveen, and even Louis came out today.
I don't mean to spoil it for anyone, but that's actually a real
person inside a Woody suit. His name is Matt. We met his cousin
while waiting in one of the lines and she told us about him.
Mary and the Chimney Sweeps. Keely was doing the Step in Time dance
while waiting in line and they really enjoyed it.
Pooh and Tigger again (they didn't remember Keely from breakfast
the day before.)
Mickey and Minnie. Take particular notice of Keely's bib - white
on blue, indicating she was to run the first half of the Marathon
She met up with me at the exchange and I slipped her Peggy's bib
(Peggy if you remember, Peggy was to run the second half but her
partner dropped out.) We craftily evaded Disney Security and got
Keely back on the course, where we continued together.
I told Hook he was robbed by that snot-nosed little brat and he
became my best friend.
Pocahantas, it's cold out, but not nearly that cold. (she looked
more Italian than Potawatame to me, anyhow.)
At the back entrance to Animal Kingdom, they had animals instead
of characters. This is a New
Zealand Kunekune pig.
Keely got to pose with a curiously silent screech owl.
I'd been calling Rafiki "Musafa" all day. Boy, did I
feel silly when I figured it out. (he couldn't be Musafa - Musafa's
I've been to Disney properties a half a dozen times and never saw
King Louie before.
Minnie was out and about,all over the place.
One of the neat things about doing the runs is that you get to
see parts of Disney no one but employees see - like the backside
There's Mickey as we got ready to leave the Animal Kingdom.
For some reason, there was a graveyard out here. I tried to get
the Thriller going, but no one followed along.
Army guy at the overpass again.
Random youth band.
Poor Frozone, everybody does the same pose with him.
Dug and Russell. You might be able to tell my ass has started to
One of the backlots you run through is where they make the character
costumes. Keely wanted her picture taken with Aurora.
Mike and Sully had *just* walked out to pose for pics. We timed
This was just some random guy who had dressed up and come out to
cheer on the runners. He was delighted when people stopped for pictures.
Not movie characters, but extras on the Hollywood lot.
Max Goofy - when to do you get to get your picture took with Max?
After Mile 20 (mile 7 for me) I was struggling. At mile 23, we
took a short break on the swingset along the boardwalk.
There is a Lulu store in Orlando and and they came out to cheer
everyone on. I told them Keely is the Store Ambassador for the Tualitin
location, and they got all excited.
Finally, we were getting close. The end was at the Epcot parking
lot. Is this an Aristocat? How long has it been since anyone has
seen an Aristocat?
Belle looked just a tad uncomfortable with my sweatiness.
Aladdin and I hit it off. I confessed I kinda liked have a thing
for Jasmine and he said "Me, too!"
Duffy again. I could see the end from here, so I was quite happy.
Goofy and Donald, but this Donald wasn't up on the whole O for
Keely getting her medal.
A quick shower and change and it was back to Epcot, where we foind
I don't think Brice gets enough love in the Disney pantheon.
We had dinner at Le Cellier and I got a triple taste of Canadian
beers. The food there is effing FANTASTIC. Among the best I have
Nice panda hat. We were hoping to find a Chip hat, but there were
none to be had. :(
Illumination and time for bed.
Up in the morning for our final day.
Yes, my darling love Disney.
Teacups is, hands down, the best ride in the park. If you are gonna
puke, it'll be on Teacups.
I tried to get in there, but I couldn't fit.
Keely took this shot as we were getting ready to leave the park
and go home - it is a fantastic pic.
That's it, that's out Disney Adventure for 2012. After running
back-to-back half marathons, I think it's time for me to hang up
my shoes and take my place on the couch. Keely can run all she wants.
Go, Baby, go!