2001 Walt Disney World Marathon: Mark Chickering
Well, I did it!! I finsihed my first marathon at Disney on Sunday in
4:29:01. What a great time it was too!!
I awoke at 3am Sunday morning and made for the buses to carry us off
to the start line at 3:30. It was very dark and cold and I did not
have my glasses on, but I was able to spot the pink hats huddled
around trying to stay warm. I guess cold weather is the natural
habitat of penguins, but, I about froze my butt off standing in that
Finally at about 4:50, they gave the signal for all "red" starters to
enter the holding area. I quickly dumped my jacket, camera and
various other items off at the baggage claim and entered the holding
area. Once again I met up with my penguin pals and tried to stay
warm. It was 36 degrees and all I had to protect me was my running
shorts, singlet and gloves.
They kept us in the holding area for almost an hour. Finally at about
5:30, we began the long march to the starting gate. It was about 1/2
mile to the staring gate. By this time, I had been on my feet for
about 2 1/2 hours and was already feeling tired.
At about 6:15, the loudspeakers played the theme from 2001, then
Mickey came out and fired the gun for the start of the race. Amid all
the fireworks and explosions, it took me about 1 minute to get to the
start line. The rest was history.
There were plenty of fans cheering us on the whole way. The course
took us through all of the theme parks on the Disney complex. What a
thrill it was to slap high fives with Mickey as you run therough the
Magic Kingdom. The fan support was truly great and there was music at
I felt great til about mile 22. Then my knee started bothering me
pretty bad. Since I have had three operations on that knee, so I was
concerned a great deal. But, I figured, if I have gone this far, I'm
not stopping now!! Luckily I was able to make it through the pain.
As we journeyed back through the last mile of the race at Epcot,
every emotion went through my head. All those days of running in the
summer heat and winter cold, all the times I ran when I really did
not feel like it, pushing myself harder and harder, all paid off on
Sunday. I got my medal. That's what really counts.
It was really great meeting everyone this weekend. It was great to be
able to put a face to the posts. I stayed around for about an hour
after I finsihed trying to see some of my penguin friends come in,
but, my knee was just too uncomfortable. Needless to say, I spent the
rest of the day with my knee iced watching football in the room. I
guess that is not too bad considering the prices of everything at
Disney!! But, my knee is much better today even with the nine hour
car trip back.
Oh well, look forward to seeing y'all in Myrtle Beach!!
Mark in Myrtle Beach
Copyright © Ultrarunner.net, LLC, All Rights Reserved, 2006
As to Disney artwork/properties: ©Disney
DisneyRunning.com and any other properties owned by
are not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially
The Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates.
For official Disney information, visit http://www.disneyworld.com