My heart started pounding in my chest.....
Butterflies started fluttering in my stomach....
I finally had a map. A real, true map of the race and it is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Now, of course, I'd love to run through the Magic Kingdom as well, but I'm sure MK is open late that night and a girl can't have everything, right?
Here is the info straight from the Endurance Series newsletter:
Start at the newly re-imagined ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex running down Victory Way and then west on Osceola Parkway toward Disney's Animal Kingdom® Park. Then race back toward Disney's Hollywood Studios™. The course will wind through the idyllic village of Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts and lead you through the international gateway entrance to Epcot®, where you will finish just before your party at World Showcase!
As I looked closely through the map, I was thrilled to see how much of the run is THROUGH the actual parks and not in some back alley behind the scenes, very boring, trash dumpster kind of route. The run leads us through 3 of the beloved Disney Parks: Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and, of course, EPCOT. I love the idea of running around the Tree of Life on Discovery Island back to the entrance to Africa, along the Discovery River to Asia where I hope to see the Yeti on Expedition Everest. From Everest, we run out the park for the one boring 3 mile segment of the run from Animal Kingdom to Disney's Hollywood Studios where we will enter by the Tower of Terror, run up Sunset Boulevard to the Sorcerer's Hat to Streets of America and onto Mickey Avenue where I have spent many hours waiting in line to greet characters for my kids. Maybe this time, I will be meeting some Disney Characters just for me! From Mickey Avenue, we'll run through the old Back lot Tour around Echo Lake and out the front of Disney's Hollywood Studios.
From this point, I will be genuinely excited. Not only because I'll be at mile 12 as I round the the Disney boat dock to the EPCOT resorts, but I will be on a route that I have run many, many times before. Whenever we visit WDW (about every 3 years), we stay at the Boardwalk Inn Resort which is wedged in between Disney's Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. The final 1.1 mile will be an adrenaline rush as I round the Swan & Dolphin and press on to the Yacht & Beach Club over to EPCOT. It won't matter that my legs are tired, my body is locked up or that it's midnight and I should be heading to bed. I will have that final adrenaline rush when I see the nightlife on the Boardwalk, hear the sights and sounds that are so very familiar to me and give me the final push into the chute.
Now you understand why I am so excited about this race. Everything in Disney World is magical to me, even a torturous 13.1 mile run. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
Everyone racer knows that there are two key factors to determining your satisfaction with a particular race.
1) The T-shirt (and I still don't know what that will look like)
2) The Medal.............................................................................and here's a picture of it.
INAUGURAL DISNEY WINE & DINE HALF MARATHON, OCTOBER 2,2010 in the shape of Spaceship Earth (aka the giant golf ball) with 3 charms hanging off of it. I can't find a great picture of the medal so I can look at the charms closer, but I'm assuming they are the 3 icons of the 3 parks we run through.
In summary, now you will understand why I am so giddy, like a teenager going on a first date. I get to spend the weekend with my awesome husband as well as some incredible family and friends who will be there to cheer me on and support me at the finish line. I get to act like a young princess running down the chute to her Prince Charming.
Let's face it. Wouldn't you like to come?
You should. It will be a Magical Weekend.