Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Walt Disney World Marathon 2013

Posted Jan 17 2013 8:25pm

In 1994 (when I was in 4th grade) the first Disney World Marathon took off.  There were less than 7500 runners and the folks at Disney weren’t sure if this “experiment” was going to work.

Fast-forward 20 years and there were 67,000 runners in Orlando for the marathon weekend.  25,000 embarked on Sunday’s marathon course and according to Bart Yasso from Runner’s World magazine it was the first major marathon in which the women outnumbered the men.  Go ladies!

In my 9 years announcing the marathon I’ve seen the race grow from having the half and full start on the same day ,but on opposite sides of the street, to the Goofy Challenge, and finally to the celebration we have today.  I’m in love with my job….and no you can’t have it!
For both the half and full marathons the announcer’s call time is 2am.  Look how excited I am.
Luckily there is breakfast and COFFEE at the start.  This is actually the first of 2 breakfast buffets I enjoy on marathon day.  Instead of the buffet I usually have a bagel with peanut butter for energy.  
Then we go through our scripts, interviews, and rehearse any audio/video cues on stage.
Before the half and the full I had the chance to interview Joey Fatone from N’SYNC who was running the Goofy Challenge in place of his injured wife.  I asked him the best N’SYNC song to run to and he said, “Pop”.  Do you agree?  I’m more of a “digitial, digital get down girl” personally, but who am I to disagree with his expertise.  I did catch up with Joey after the full and he had a beer…before he finished.
If you have not had the chance to see the start of the Disney marathon it’s something to behold.  Check out my video and kudos to Rudy, John, and Mickey for their amazing timing and announcing talent.
There were 7 waves of runners this year and we allow 5-7 minutes between waves.  That means that the excitement of the start went on for close to 50 minutes.  Due to that, I’m sent to the start line early to welcome in our fast chair athletes and insure someone is there for the winners.  So if you didn’t see me at the start…that’s why!
I had some time to kill before the marathon finish, so I snapped some pics.  An empty finish line was a rare site.
I excitedly welcomed in 8-time WDW Marathon winner Adriano Bastos who edged out 2 time winner (and 2010 & 2011) winner Fredison Costa at the 25.5 mile mark.  Talk about a close finish! Both runners are Brazilian, friends, and train together.  They also both really wanted to win the race.  
This was Bastos first time in 4 years that he won and his excitement was amazing.  According to his interpreter, who I spoke to after the race, his goal is to win 10 Disney marathons, however it gets harder each year.  He gets a new Disney tattoo to commemorate each win and he has a tiny Mickey Mouse on his forearm for each won. Brazil took 2 of the top spots in the men’s and women’s races.
Bastos is in the glasses closest to Micky.
Waiting for the winner.
After the excitement of the first finishers all of my attention turned to my sister-in-law Kelsey who was running her first marathon.  She’s a beast and a 1:31 half marathoner.  Her pre-race goal was to run under 4 hours, but I knew she had faster in her.  My in-laws and her fiancé were in the VIP area to cheer her in.
She ended up running a negative split and finished in 3:29.  ARE YOU SERIOUS?
That’s insane fast and I know she has faster in her.  She hardly does speed work, so I know with the right plan she can run, dare I say, 3:10.  Way to go Kelsey.  After watching her finish I surely have the “full marathon bug” again and have already been eyeing races I could do. Hmmm….
After Kelsey finished I headed into the VIP tent to get breakfast.  Marathon day is long and I’ve found that if I eat a good meal then my grumpies are less noticeable.  Hey, I’m human and 2am wake-ups are NOT normal!  The make your own omelet station is great and I loaded my eggs with spinach, peppers, and ham.
Once the awards are complete the 4 announcers bring in all the runners across the finish line. 
Your WDW announcer.
Our awesome PA Frank.
Best marathon finish ever?  Goes to Corral G for their Conga Line!

The finish line duties take until about 1030am on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday.  We try to be interesting and energetic and we sincerely thank those spectators who had to listen to us for hours!
Messy announcer table.
Announcer's table.
We always celebrate in every finisher and by 245pm I was snuggled into my bed for a much needed nap.
I cannot say what an amazing weekend it was enough!  The energy and the joy felt was unparalled.  I have so many runners that I need to congratulate, so here goes…
Way to go: -       Kelsey -       Cindy (Goofy Challenge – Evolution Fitness Orlando client) -       Brad (Goofy Challenge – Evolution Fitness Orlando client) -       Jordan (1st marathon)
H  Heather  - Running with Sass -       Alec (from PopFitLife – 1st marathon) -       Kat (from Sneakers and Finger Paint) -       Kelly (Goofy Challenge – Team Sparkle, from According 2 Kelly ) -       Marcia (from Travel, Run, Eat – of corral G fame) -       Darcy -       Hallie -       Aaron -       Ryan (Reach higher!) -       Dani -       Megan -       Kathy -       Ken

I had so much fun that I think I’ll do this RunDisney thing again! Say…this weekend?  See you at Tinker Bell!

What do you like most about “race day”?

Love and sleepless nights,
Carissa & Kyle

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches