Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - Jan, 2012
One gorgeous Sunday morning, my wife Vickie and I drove to the BoardWalk area to join Deb Wills and other All Ears folks to encourage the Disney marathoners as they struggled toward the finish line. We staked out a spot near the bridge from the Swan and Dolphin Resorts to the Yacht Club promenade. This spot was just past the 24-mile marker, so the finish line was not far away! The runners had already jogged through the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Yellow cones marked the walkways for nonrunning observers like us.
I walked through the rear entrance to Epcot at 9:00 A.M. to make my way to the marathon finish line, which was in the Epcot main parking lot. The runners entered World Showcase through a gate between the United Kingdom and Canada pavilions and then turned right to circle World Showcase lagoon. I don't think most runners were enjoying the Disney details after laboring for almost 26 miles, although many could manage a smile as we cheered them on.
The runners passed through Future World to the right of Spaceship Earth
on their final leg to the Finish Line, shown here on a large screen.
A friend and neighbor of mine was running this day to qualify for the Goofy medal (completing the half-marathon and then the marathon the next day). Sounds Goofy, right? I had this crazy idea that I would congratulate him as he crossed the Finish Line. That idea didn't work. Thousands of people lined the fences and crowded the bleachers at the Finish Line area; I couldn't get anywhere near the 26.2 mile completion point! So later I let him know that I'd celebrate with him back in our neighborhood.
On my way back home, I spotted a classic Mickey Mouse image on a bell at the Valet Stand outside the entrance to the Beach Club Resort.
I hope this Mickey sticks around a while!