Something that is still hard for me to believe is that I’ve actually finished not 1, but 2 full marathons! I’m not only one of the few who can say that they finished a marathon, but someone who can say they have finished two. How on earth did that happen?
I have the pictures to prove I did the races. Boy do I have the pictures!
The first one will always be magical. After all, it happened in one of the most magical places on earth…Walt Disney World. I dressed as Buzz Lightyear because I knew the run costume would have a lot of white in it. Since I had no idea how hot it would be, I wanted to dress light. Plus, there’s the whole I’m a huge Buzz Lightyear fan thing.
I was fortunate enough to latch on with a fun group of people to run with! They really helped get me through those first 18-19 miles.
I ran through the Magic Kingdom…
I ran on a NASCAR track…
I ran through the Animal Kingdom…
I ran through the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and through Champion Stadium (Spring Training home to the Atlanta Braves)…
Inspirational signs helped me through the last 10K of the race…
The green army guy helped me climb that last hill
I ran through Disney’s Hollywood Studios (before the hat was taken away)…
All the way through EPCOT, I could feel the end was near. I was about to become one of the few, the proud, the marathoners!
The gospel choir sang as I finished Mile 26!
I saw the wife!
Then, the finish line!
I high-fived Minnie Mouse!
And I was officially a marathon finisher!
Brooke and I celebrated at the Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Creek Lodge!
The celebration continued the nest day at the Magic Kingdom!
After finishing my first marathon, I honestly couldn’t believe it actually happened. Even though I had the pictures, the finishers medal, and the certificate runDisney provided, it didn’t seem real. How on earth did I do it? Was it some sort of fluke that I finished? Is that even possible? By March 2014, a new dream came into view. The 2015 Los Angeles Marathon. This was the race I thought would be my first marathon if I ever did one. Of course, that was before I heard about the Walt Disney World Marathon. So, I decided in March 2014 that I needed to run a second marathon just to prove that I could. To prove to myself that I had indeed finished a marathon. How crazy does that sound? Finish 2 marathons to prove you could finish one? Well, that’s how I was thinking.
So, in March 2015, I drove down to Santa Monica and took a bus to the start line (just like I did at Walt Disney World!). As you can see, Disney follows me wherever I go.
I got to wait for the Los Angeles Marathon to start inside of Dodgers Stadium!
I saw a beautiful sunrise while waiting to start!
Then, it was time to start my second full marathon! Yikes!
I left Dodgers Stadium…
I ran through Chinatown…
I ran up the longest hill of the race in Downtown Los Angeles with all these Korean Drummers beating their drums to get us through…
At the top was the Walt Disney Concert Hall!
I ran by Echo Lake…
I ran by the Griffith Park Observatory…
and the Hollywood Sign!
It was Wicked fun!
I ran by the El Capitan Theatre and the Ghiradelli Disney Studio Store!
At Walt Disney World, I ran by the Great Movie Ride. At the Los Angeles Marathon, I ran by the real Chinese Theatre!
I saw Gail Anderson of the KTLA Morning News!
I passed by the Laugh Factory…
The Comedy Store…
The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip…
The Viper Room…
And the Whisky a Go Go! So many great comedy and music clubs! So many famous people cut their teeth in these places on their way to super stardom.
I chilled out in a cooling bus!
I ran down Rodeo Drive!
I ran by the Fox Studios!
I ran through the VA and…
Up that crazy hill in mile 22!
By the time I got to San Vicente Blvd. in Santa Monica, the temperature was a sizzling 87 degrees!
Then, off in the distance, once I turned onto Ocean Bvld., I saw this….
The finish line for my second full marathon!
I charged to the finish with everything I had…
And then, it happened….
I finished my SECOND full marathon! I cooled off with those magical misting fans and survived a crazy long and slow drive back to Pasadena.
Brooke and I celebrated this marathon at the Saddle Ranch….
at Universal Studios Hollywood!
The next day, Brooke and I continued the celebration at Disney California Adventure….
and at Disneyland. After all, you need to go to a Disney theme park the day after running a marathon. Right?
As much as it might seem like it didn’t happen, these medals say otherwise. As crazy as it may sound, I’m a 2 time marathon finisher! Each race was different. However, both of them have left me wanting more. If I were a person considering entering a full marathon, I would highly recommend both of these fine marathons. The Walt Disney World Marathon will open up for registration on April 28th. I can say that the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is THE largest of the runDisney race weekends. Everything about the weekend is huge! They even have two plus sized challenges available. If running a marathon isn’t enough of a challenge for you, there’s the Goofy’s Race and a half Challenge where you run a half marathon and full marathon on back to back days. If that’s not enough of a challenge, there’s always the Dopey Challenge. You’d have to be Dopey to want to run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon on 4 consecutive days. What I loved about the Walt Disney World Marathon course is that you’re in theme parks and/or resorts for the last 3 miles! It’s a race where they’ve saved the best for last.
The 2016 Los Angeles Marathon opens for registration on September 1st. This is a race you’ll not want to miss. The day before the Los Angeles Marathon, they will be running the United States Olympic Trials for the marathon. So, all of the top USA marathon runners will be there! The Stadium to the Sea course has so much to offer. It’s a great way to see so many of the sights of Los Angeles! The overall decrease in elevation means that there aren’t many hills to climb. Don’t get me wrong. There are hills in the course. The one at mile 22 is killer because of where it’s located. I will be at the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon. Lord willing, it will be my 4th full marathon. Time will tell.
On April 28th, I’ll find out whether or not I’ve been lucky enough to be selected to run in the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I still can’t believe that I’m now chasing down marathons. Life is crazy!