So, at 3:30am on thur jan. 5th we all get up to get ready for our 4:30 van pickup to take us to Newark airport. The van shows up right on time, we begin to load up and I go back in the house for one last looksie. By the time I come back out were all packed up ready to go. I hop in and were off to Newark. Smooth sailing doesn't cover how well this is going we get to the airport minutes after 5:00am our flight isn't until 6:50 so were doing amazing. Van unloads, driver gets tipped me begin to check in and my computer bag is missing............PANIC, HORROR, unbelievable. I did the same thing last year. I left all of my electronics on the couch and had them sent fedex over night. This year I didn't know if someone stole my laptop, if its still in the van, was left on the sidewalk, or the best scenario is it still inside. I frantically texted Mike my brother in law and begged him to go over and see where it is. Thankfully he took pity on me and drove over while it was still dark to find my laptop in its black case on my sidewalk begging to be stolen. Major crisis averted by the kindness of Mike Bonanno.
In one text I went from panic to elation. The laptop stayed at home which was fine by me, now we can sit back wait to be called to our flight and head to WDW. Boom, insanity number 2, the second half of our party is stuck at baggage and will not make our flight! There was still 40 minutes until take off yet they were told they will be placed on a later flight. Only 35 minutes behind us so no biggie.
Were on the plane, we take off, we land, it was that simple. On to the resort, its nice. Off to the expo, I like expo's, lots of fun stuff to look at and buy. You get your bib, race shirt(s) swag etc... I bought a 39.3 window cling, an $8.00 item thats all I wanted besides I can't squeeze another t-shirt in my drawer so I was able to pass on the very nice but pricey running gear.
Let's get to it shall we, race day #1.
Friday night we all go to the pasta party held by Run For Our Sons the charity that I raised money for and ran in honor of. I got Danielle a surprise birthday cake so after dinner we went back to the hotel had some cake and I retired to prepare for the half. I laid out all of my gear, food, water, camera you name it I was ready.
3:00am and my wake up call does the job. I spring up relatively easily start my breakfast and begin getting dressed. By 3:35 i'm out the door headed to the monorail. There is a noticeable buzz as I walk to the main building where the monorail passes through. You would think that at 3:45 in the morning it would be me and the night time sky all alone, nope there were tons of runners getting ready. eating, pacing, relaxing. It depended on who they were and how many big races they have done before. I was getting excited but overall still very relaxed. I hopped on the fairly full monorail and away we went to race #1.
You get dropped off where the races end and you get to walk a mile to where they begin. As we began our journey I struck up a conversation with a fellow runner. It turns out he is also from Staten Island and a fellow S.I.A.C. member I know his first name is Rob but I cannot remember his last name, hopefully I will see him at one of the meetings.
I slid into my corral and waited. Its a little after 5:00 and the race starts at 5:30 but i'm in the 4th corral so I had to wait an additional 15 minutes before we were set free. FINALLY were off, its dark, but not really that cold and a half mile in I was warm enough. I gotta say that the half was a very relaxed event. They sent us out on the highway and we were on our way to the Magic Kingdom. The park wasn't around the corner it was about 5 miles away but along the way Disney lines the road with local high school bands, performers, and Disney characters that you can stop and get a picture with. I didn't stop at all during the half I just kept to my relaxed pace and kept chugging along. I stop a lot during the full as you will later read.
We passed the Contemporary resort where the rest of my party was all tucked in their beds as I cruised on by. On to the Magic kingdom, they circle us around to a side entrance and guide us right on to Main Street U.S.A. where the crowd was aligned with spectators and cast members. To say this is a thrill is an understatement. It's amazing, the energy you get from the crowd is so overwhelming. We head through World of Tomorrow and are running right through the back of castle. I felt like a fancy little princess as I passed through Cinderella's castle into another swarm of adoring spectators. From here the road goes through Frontier town and out the back gate as we head on back to Epcot.
and with that part 3 will finish up the half and lead us to the full.