I think that in a full marathon this is really where the race begins.  Especially with this particular race where the sun was now up and the temperatures were climbing.  The next 11.2 miles are where you need to dig deep and find out what you really have.  It was definitely getting hot, despite being really good about dumping water on my head at each water stop.  I had kept up with my fueling and I was feeling pretty good.

The stretch between Animal Kingdom and Wide World of Sports was another stretch on the highway.  As we approached WWoS there were cones dividing us from those who were exiting WWoS.  I didn’t understand at the time that we had several miles in the Sports Complex before we reached their point of the race.  And apparently there were several reports of people skipping the entire WWoS part of the race (I think it was about 3.5 miles or so) and jumping the cones.  I personally didn’t witness this and there was a timing strip on the ground at Mile 20 to “prevent this.”

I will take a moment to comment on this type of “cheating.”  I really, truly don’t understand it.  I’m never going to be an elite runner.  I will probably never even be a fast runner.  And I’m ok with that.  Given that I’m not running for any prize other than a finisher’s medal and the pride of knowing that I accomplished something that about 1% of the population does, why cheat? I don’t understand the benefits of cheating.  Skipping WWoS might have changed my finish time from a “just sub-6 hours” to a “just over 5 hours” but who cares? I’m not comparing my finish time to other people.  I’m comparing my finish time to myself.  Did I live up to my own expectations? Was I really able to run 39.3 miles in 2 days? Did I really finish my 2nd marathon?  I can’t even judge people who would cheat at a Disney race.  There are many, many reports that Disney gives medals to people who get swept (if you can’t keep the 16 min/mile pace you are at risk for being driven to the finish area on a bus).  So you don’t even need to cross the finish line at a Disney race to get a medal.  What benefit is there to cheating???

Mile 17 is an awesome place for one simple reason.  They hand out wet sponges at mile 17.  These are like Manna from Heaven.  Especially  on a hot marathon day.  Trust me.

And then we entered a long stretch of Hell known as Disney’s Wide World of Sports.  This was a much anticipated part of the race for several reasons.  First, Disney had promised a “Spectacular” at mile 20.  With all the hype it would be hard for the Spectacular to truly seem spectacular.  And second this whole part of the course was new.  We had run various parts of the course during the Tower of Terror 10 miler and the course had not been particularly popular.

The Sports Complex.

Once again the course was a bit narrow and crowded.

Did I mention it was getting HOT?

We did run around the track at the Complex.

There was a lack of entertainment during this part of the race.

The beginning of the Mile 20 spectacular.  Genie.

From Monsters, Inc.

Sebastien.

Donald, Mickey, Goofy.  Just like the medals.

The Mile 20 archway

The Mickey Medal is on the archway.

The Mile 20 bit wasn’t very spectacular in my opinion.  I think Disney made a mistake by hyping it up.  Nobody was terribly impressed.  It was fine but not exciting.  Nevertheless getting to mile 20 is a huge accomplishment and a big milestone in the race.  It has been said that the marathon can be divided in 2 parts.  The first 20 miles and then the final 10k.  So the 2nd “half” of the race was just beginning!

4:30:36 at the 20 mile mark.  13:32 min/mile.

 

 

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