No Category selected Halfway done with two thirds to go

    Halfway done with two thirds to go

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    That’s Goofy math for you.

    Up at 2:00 am for the second day in a row, with one third of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge behind me – I will fully admit that I was tired and my legs were a little sore.  Of course, when you get yourself into something like this, it isn’t a question of “Will I finish?” Of course you’ll finish – the question is more “How will I feel?”

    Since I managed to bore even myself with yesterday’s race report, I am going to stick to the highlights today:

    Magic Kingdom – I was actually glad to repeat the first part of the course to help cement it in my memory – it was every bit as magical the second time through.

    The Speedway – another confession: when I saw this part of the course on the map, I was completely unimpressed. But when I got there – all I can say is, boy was it cool! There were classic cars up on the actual track (mercifully, we did not run the track itself, which is severely banked, but rather ran on the inside flat part) with their owners, as well as some celebrity cars like Herbie,  Lightning McQueen and Mater.

    Animal Kingdom – As we entered the park through a back gate, they had some animals beside the course; a woman looked at me and said, “Excuse me, but did you see goats back there?” When I confirmed that I had, she was relieved, saying “Oh thank goodness. I was thinking it was a little soon to be hallucinating!” Animal Kingdom has shade – glorious shade! – along with wonderful scenery including the Tree of Life, Mount Everest, and piles of jungle-themed spaces.

    ESPN World of Sports – running here was like running through a park. We got to hit the track, shaded sidewalks, and finally the baseball stadium where the Atlanta Braves do their spring training. I’ll admit I found the stadium hard as they had us running on the gravel around the outside, and so many people had trampled around it ahead of us that it was very loose and difficult to run on. But the fans here were terrific!

    Hollywood Studios – the parks were open by the time we got here, so there were even bigger crowds. I got a huge kick out of the fact that at every water station here, there were staff with bags and discarded cups wouldn’t even hit the ground before they were snatched up and hidden from view.

    Epcot – we got to run all the way around the World Showcase that day, which was pretty cool. But the most awesome sight was a guy we approached from behind – he had a funny t-shirt, I can’t recall exactly what it said, but it indicated that it was his eighth Goofy Challenge. We went up to tell him we liked his shirt, and as we passed him, we realized he had a beer. The guy clearly knew what he was doing – it was 30 degrees with 100% humidity, he had plenty of time before the cut off, so he bought himself a beer at mile 25.

    The finish – well, I don’t need to tell you about that – you all know how awesome it is to see the finish.

    The spectators – Talk about a terrific crowd! There were way too many to mention, but the ones I got the biggest kick out of:

    The guy holding a sign that said “Course Liar” while saying things like, “You’re almost there!”The family handing out hash browns on an overpass. The woman wearing a shirt that said “I want to punch running in the face” around mile 20. The many, many people holding signs, cheering, high-fiving – they were truly incredible, and three or four people deep in some places.

    Overall the Walt Disney World Marathon was an absolutely awesome experience, even after running the half the day before. This takes me back to the original question of: how would I feel? To be honest, before I sat down I didn’t think I felt any more tired than at the end of any hot marathon. After I stood back up again, I wasn’t so sure. But like any time you sit down and seize up, it only took a few minutes to shake off the stiffness. The key was to take it slow and enjoy every step – I ran my slowest half marathon time ever, and my third slowest marathon (behind only the one that I walked, and the one that I had an asthma attack in the middle of), and that was totally fine with me.

    There were several times during the weekend that I thought to myself: okay, Goofy has been checked off my list, I do not feel the need to do this ever again…but as usual, it only took until the next morning to think thoughts beginning with, “Next time….”

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    A runner for just over four years, Karen has already completed a marathon, two half marathons and a variety of 5k and 10k races. She describes her first marathon - the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last September - as "a nightmare." However, she met a very interesting person in the process - a man named Sydney who was running his 152nd marathon! Although the race didn't go as well as planned for Karen or Sydney, he showed her that no matter how experienced a runner you are, you can still have a bad day. "Does that mean we shouldn't bother to prepare, or maybe just shouldn't bother at all? Of course not!" says Karen. "In the end, it is what we make it." We like her optimism!