During the first weekend of January 2012, I completed the Goofy Challenge. The challenge consists of running a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday, and then completing a marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday. Susan and the boys took a couple of days off of school and traveled down to Orlando with me. Also, our friend from the Army, Bill Kendall and his wife, Melanie, flew in from Maine to run in the marathon with me. On Friday, everyone visited the expo to pickup the running packets. The expo was held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It was very crowded, but well organized. On Friday evening everyone relaxed at the resort pool, which was heated. Mom was kind enough to set everyone up in an upscale condo for the weekend.
On Saturday morning, we departed the condo about 3:45 in the morning. Traffic was very heavy. I barely made it to his starting corral for the 5:35am start. Susan and the boys were able to see me at the start and at the finish line. I ran through Epcot and Magic Kingdom during the half marathon. I held back during the half marathon to reserve energy for the following day. I finished the half marathon in 1 hour, 55 minutes. After the half marathon, my thighs were a bit sore. I rested Saturday evening while carb loading. Sunday we decided to leave a little bit earlier. This time, I made it to my corral with plenty of time to spare. Bill, Melanie, and I all started the race together. We ran almost the first mile together. I never saw Melanie again on the course. I saw Bill at a turnaround, near mile 21. The marathon course took us through Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios. I had thigh discomfort the entire marathon. I finished the marathon in 3 hours and 54 minutes, which was a new personal record for me.
I enjoyed completing the Goofy Challenge. After doing it once though, I have no desire to do it again. The course support was very good. Disney did a superb job of distracting runners from the pain of running 26 miles. My favorite sight was when he first entered Animal Kingdom. Several Disney employees lined the roadway with various animals. Birds, an owl, a lamb and a pig watched as crazy humans ran by them for hours. The photograph above was taken right before the full marathon. The photograph on the left is of me finishing the full marathon.
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