Tuesday, January 24, 2023

2023 WDW Marathon Weekend Bucket List Results

How has it already been three weeks since I was preparing for the 2023 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend by posting about my race weekend bucket list?

Time certainly flies.  Now that we're settled back in at home, I thought it was time to recap some of my bucket lists.  I figure since this is the first one that I posted, it should be the first one that I review!  So let's see how our marathon weekend turned out!

Melissa's 2023 WDW Marathon Weekend Bucket List

1.) Go to the Race Expo

We went to the race expo... I mean, you kind of have to in order to get your race packet and bibs.  The expo is always a lot of fun and we enjoy going.  Everyone is really excited for the weekend ahead.  It was pretty busy but organized this year.

2.) Buy Some Race Merchandise

Eliot and I had both seen a preview of some of the race merchandise on the Disney Parks blog.  I went to the expo knowing that I wanted the pink race weekend jacket and the Loungefly backpack.  Thankfully, Eliot was able to get into the virtual queue at a good time so everything we wanted was still there by the time we entered.  

Eliot decided to get the men's version of the jacket.  He got a Dopey shirt and I got a 10K Finisher shirt.  He picked up a few other smaller items.  We caved and bought matching 2023 Marathon Weekend Spirit Jerseys... and the general RunDisney Spirit Jerseys.  We broke the bank a bit, but Sara ended up buying both of our race jackets as our birthday and Christmas presents, so that definitely helped!  (Thanks Sara!!!)

3.) Take Advantage of the Photo Ops

I love all of the photo spots that they set up at the race expo.  We always stop to take pictures at the medal banners outside at the entrances to the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  There were also fun places to take photos inside of the different expo halls.

4.) Finish the Walt Disney World 10K

This was my biggest goal of marathon weekend.  I really wanted to finish my race.  It was an emotional few days for me with finding out that Nana had passed away the night before the races were supposed to begin.  I slept in the following morning since it was only the 5K and I didn't sleep well since I spent part of it crying myself to sleep.

Getting myself to the 10K start line the next day was already a huge accomplishment, and everyone told me that they'd be proud of me no matter what happened.  Eliot was extra attuned to me while we stood in the corrals.  I won't lie, it was weighing heavily on me, but I wanted to try my best.  I thought of Nana a lot during the actual race, and I wanted to finish it for her.  I just kept pushing ahead and I didn't want to stop other than to force myself to use the bathroom halfway through the race.

I tried to soak in the experience since I'm not sure when my next RunDisney event will be.  When Eliot and I passed the marker at mile 6, I felt a little bit of the pressure lift off of my shoulders.  Crossing the finish line was emotional.  I knew I would be in tears after everything that had transpired leading up to the race, but somehow I finished it.

5.) Take a Photo with a Character

Eliot and I didn't stop to take photos during the 10K because I was super paranoid about finishing and not getting pulled.  However, I was a little disappointed in our decision since Darkwing Duck was the last photo op.  His line was so long though... there must have been about 100 people in it when we passed.  

The universe was looking out for me though.  The following morning, I was excited to find that Darkwing Duck was one of the characters the start line photo spots before the half marathon.  While all of the runners were walking to the start line, I got in line to take a few photos.  And since I was second to last before he was leaving, I asked if I could take a photo of him by himself to send to my brother.  (I told Darkwing how much Jeremy loves him and he even posed for me!)  It was pretty magical.

6.) Watch Eliot in the Half Marathon

I was at the finish line waiting for Eliot to cross during the half.  He was texting me his location so I had an idea of when he'd be coming.  He doesn't look happy in the photos I took... but I'll give him a break; he was sore and tired after going over 13 miles!

7.) Watch Eliot in the Marathon

I missed Eliot at the finish line since he ended up getting pulled around mile 19, but I was able to see him along the way... more about that below on goal #9.

8.) Watch Runners from the Monorail

This was something that I discovered back in 2015 when Mom and I were watching Dad, Jeremy and Eliot do the half marathon.  It was so much run to watch thousands of half marathon runners from the monorail tracks.  I did it again this year and I really enjoyed it.  I even had a whole car of Monorail Lime to myself a few times!

9.) Meet Eliot in the Magic Kingdom

I had originally planned to meet up with Eliot in the Magic Kingdom for both the half marathon and marathon.  Unfortunately, I had a bit of bad timing and I just missed Eliot during the half marathon.  He was passing through the castle as I was making my way to Main Street.  However, I still thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Magic Kingdom.  

I soaked in a bit of magic while it was more quiet.  The Emporium was open so I went in there to warm up (it was freezing that morning) and I bought a Bruni magnet plush and a Rice Krispie treat while it was quiet.  I also got a ton of great photos without people in them.  I took full advantage of my time there, and it felt very therapeutic.

Obviously, since I missed Eliot at the Magic Kingdom for the half, I was determined to meet up with him on Main Street during the marathon.  Thankfully, we got there with plenty of time to spare.  Nori, Rick and I saw Sara run right by us, but she had her headphones on and didn't see us.  I texted Eliot to tell him where I was standing (right after the mile marker) so he came over to say hi.  I got a quick sweaty hug and kiss before he kept moving forward towards the castle.

10.) Take Photos of Medals in Parks Afterwards

This is one of my favorite parts of race weekend!  It's so fun to see everyone sporting their hard earned medals in the theme parks.  I didn't wear mine the entire time like I usually would have because the enamel was scratching and chipping too easily.  But I did take it out a few times for photos!  We took a few at Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

11.) Walk Enough Miles to Earn My Virtual Marathon Medal

I walked so many miles during this trip.  I didn't actually sync my Fitbit up to my cell phone until after our trip, but I was regularly getting about 16,000+ steps each day when I checked my watch.  The average woman needs to take about 62,926 steps to complete a marathon, so I definitely completed one marathon, but it probably ended up being more than that!  I'll have to go back and total everything up one of these days!

12.) Enjoy the Weekend and Have Fun!!!

Whew, this was an emotional few days for me, but I did have fun.  There were a lot of highs and lows throughout the weekend, but I'm really glad I participated in it.  

In the end, my 2023 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend was a bit of a rollercoaster, but I'm so proud of myself for getting to the 10K start line, and I'm even more proud of myself for finishing it.  I definitely earned that medal with blood, sweat and tears.  On top of that... I was also able to complete my entire Race Weekend Bucket List!

The weekend didn't go as planned for all of us, but we tried our best.  Sara was able to finish the Dopey.  Eliot did the 5K, 10K, half marathon and walked about 20 miles in the marathon before he fell behind the pace and got pulled.  Nori finished the half and walked a few miles of the half before getting on a bus.  And Rick made it 11 miles into the half before they pulled him.  Eliot and Rick were both disappointed, but I think we did great considering the only person who actively trained for the weekend was Sara.  

We're all so proud of Sara for going 48.6 miles in four days!  Congrats Sara!!!

So that's a wrap on another RunDisney race weekend.  I'm not sure when Eliot and I will be back for our next one, but I'm positive that we'll eventually find ourselves back in the corrals and on those start lines again someday!  °o°

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