It's Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World - and so we're back in Florida again! It's the place to be this weekend. :-) This time we are running the new Marathon Relay race on Sunday. It's a new medal, so I HAD to have a new piece of bling for my collection! :-) Lee will run the first half and I will run the second half. So we only have to run 13.1 miles, but between us we'll do 26.2. I'll have lots more on the race after we actually do it and see how it goes. There has not been much information on exactly how the exchange will work, and that's been a bit frustrating.
Anyway...I'm going to give you the weekend so far in just some photos.
We arrived Thursday night, and got in early enough that we had time to visit the Expo and pick up our race packets before it closed at 7:00! I was surprised at how many people were still there that late, but the lines were short to pick everything up. There were a lot of people shopping, though.
There are something like 1200 teams registered for the marathon relay - the numbers started at 70,001. So it's not a huge number, which is good.
They had some new Coast-to-Coast merchandise, and we really liked the t-shirts, so we got them - if all goes according to plan, we will earn our Coast-to-Coast medals when we complete the new Tinker Bell Half Marathon (another new piece of bling!) in three weeks.
I was very disappointed that the only piece of Marathon Relay merchandise they had was this t-shirt - the gray color is just blah.
Here's our Expo loot:
We went to Epcot and had dinner at Tangerine Cafe and wandered around - for dessert we shared another pumpkin spice funnel cake. There was still a little bit of Christmas at Epcot.
Friday morning we went to Animal Kingdom - that's usually the park we visit on our first morning here. We had an interesting safari - saw not just one, but TWO hippos that were out of the water!
This one was sunbathing - and yes it is getting sunburned! (No, the vultures are not moving in for the kill.)
This one was out of the water eating. It was nice to see them doing something a little bit different.
We usually don't find much of interest in the aviaries, but we enjoyed watching this weaver bird work on his nest. He really was weaving it.
Over in the aviary along the Maharajah Jungle Trek we saw the world's largest pigeon - it's called a Southern Crowned Pigeon. Kind of surprising that a bird this size can fly - but we saw him fly.
It's amazing what guest will try to bring into the shops... ;-)
That afternoon we went to a Team AllEars meet - afterwards the Team's Brain Trust took some time to relax (it's a very busy weekend for them!)
After dinner we walked over to the Osborne Lights. It wasn't quite as private a show as we had at the December to Remember event, but it wasn't crowded at all and we really enjoyed wandering around and heard/saw four or five of the choreographed songs. And we found the cat! Or Lee did - he gets credit for spotting it.
In December I'd noticed that the some of the windows occasionally had images from Prep and Landing projected on them - I was able to get a photo this time!
This morning was the half marathon. Lee and I didn't make it to the start, but we joined several members of Team AllEars/Team AllChears to cheer at mile 11.5 - very near the entrance to the Epcot Parking lot. We'd never done that before because we'd been the recipients of the cheers instead, but it was really a lot of fun ringing our cowbells and seeing everyone pass by. We watched a double amputee run by us - wow. That was very inspirational.
We took it easy and relaxed this afternoon before going to the big Team AllEars meet at the Dolphin. Thank you to the Swan and Dolphin Hotels for donating a conference room for our use! We had over 100 people there, so it was really great to have all that space. Deb Wills revealed the amount Team AllEars has raised for the breast cancer fund - $67,050 - and still counting! Thanks to all of you who have contributed to that! As Mike Scopa said in his remarks - we are touching lives, and even saving the lives of people we will never know. This is a really amazing group of people, and I'm very proud to be a part of the team.
Deb had a new piece of bling for us this year - so here is the 2012 Team AllEars medal! Very cool!
We all posed for the team photo - I don't have that, since I was in it, but here's all the people who were taking photos of us! :-)
Lee and I had an early dinner at the Dolphin Fountain. As we walked back to the Boardwalk there was a beautiful sunset on the lake between the Swan and the Dolphin hotels.
It's going to be a VERY early morning for us - getting up at 2:30 so we can catch the bus at 3:00. Lots of waiting with these Disney races. By the time many of you read this Lee will be done with his part, and I will be well on my way.
The previous post in this blog was Season's Greetings! Still!.
The next post in this blog is WDW 2012 Marathon Weekend - Part 2.