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Walt Disney World Marathon, Low Lights, Negatives,

11 Less Than Magical Moments About the WDW Marathon

The Walt Disney World Marathon is widely regarded as one of the most “magical” marathons by many runners.

I’ve run the race three times, and I’ll likely do it again, but let’s accept the fact that there are plenty of “less than magical” moments over the course of the 26.2 miles as well.

Walt Disney World Marathon, Low Lights, Negatives,

Where the Pixie Dust is Missing

  1. The mile (or more) walk to the starting line. I mean, as if 26.2 miles wasn’t already far enough…
  2. The excitement as race time draws near is great, unless you’re in a corral that doesn’t begin until an hour after the race actually starts.
  3. Honestly, how many stinky dumpsters are there backstage?
  4. Speaking of stinky, there’s nothing quite like the smell of (literally) tons of animal poo as you start to get close to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  5. Running in the parks is really awesome, but the bottlenecks that are created can be brutal.
  6. Two words–Osceola Boulevard.
  7. The guests at the Studios that have no clue there is a race going on and step off the curb right in front of you and expect you to avoid them. Seriously?!?! I’m 23 miles deep into a marathon, and you think I’ve got the energy to get out of your way? Just be glad I didn’t lower the shoulder, because I REALLY wanted to. (Can you tell this one hits close to home?)
  8. Guaranteed you’ll see at least 50 people (men and women) stopped along the side of the road to pee. I’m not condemning or casting judgement, because I’ve done it every time I’ve run the race, but it does take a little bit of the “magicalness” away
  9. The swag bag is basically swagless. Unless of course you bring your credit card, then you can get lots of swag. But seriously, for the price of this race, they can’t give us a 26.2 sticker with a Mickey head in place of the decimal point?
  10. Speaking of sparing no expense, I hope you’re not looking for much to eat after the race. I’ve run 5ks with a better post-race spread than a runDisney event.
  11. The last mile takes FOREVER! When you’re just walking around in the World Showcase the trip from England to Mexico doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal. But when you’re 25 miles into your race, that route seems unending!

If you’ve run the Walt Disney World Marathon, either this year or in the past, did I miss anything? Where else could runDisney use a little more pixie dust to cover up the less than magical moments and make an enjoyable race even better?

What They Don’t Tell You About WDW Marathon Weekend

I can still remember back to 2010, the year I ran my first runDisney race–the full marathon during the WDW Marathon Weekend.

I remember going to the expo, feeling completely lost but eventually finding my way to get my bib and race shirt, before literally reading every word that was written about what to do on the morning of the race.

After running the race, however, I realized there were quite a few things that they didn’t tell me about making the most of out of the WDW Marathon Weekend and some of what they did say was complete BS.

I’m taking this year’s WDW Marathon Weekend off, but having run either the full or the half in each of the past 4 years, I’ve got a pretty good handle on what one needs to do in order to successfully navigate the expo, get to the starting line, finish the race, and enjoy the parks afterward.

If you’re running any of the WDW Marathon Weekend races this year, I hope this helps and that you have a great race.

And if you’re running the full on Sunday, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be watching outside of the Studios. Look for the beard and make sure to say hi!


Diz Runs With… Liza Howard


Stopping to pump breast milk while running (and winning!) an ultra marathon is just another day at the office for Liza Howard. I joined Liza for a few easy miles recently, and we had a pretty awesome conversation.

Liza Howard

Liza Howard-san?

 

Liza and I talked about running, of course, but as we both have young kids family and parenthood stories were topics we transitioned into as well. Liza got started in running ultra marathons basically because of the peer pressure of hanging out with other ultra runners and just getting talked into running longer and longer distances. And like I always say, peer pressure is no fun until you give in! Read more

Diz Runs With… Charlie Engle


On today’s run, I’m joining ultra marathoner Charlie Engle for a few easy miles.

Charlie Engle

Charlie Engle

Charlie’s story is an almost unbelievable combination of highs and lows in both running and life. I could have talked with him for another couple of hours, but in our short time together we still managed to cover some areas of his life in pretty good detail.

Read more

Diz Runs With… Ian Sharman


On today’s run, I’m joining Ian Sharman for a few easy miles. Now, if you don’t know who Ian is, you’re obviously not a member of the ultra marathon community.

Ian Sharman

Ian Sharman

Since he started running, which was only about 10 years ago, he has completed 200 marathon or longer races! He has also set a new record for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, become the director of the US Sky Running Series, and coaches some of the top ultra marathoners in the world. To say this guy is a pillar in the ultra running community is obviously an understatement. Read more