Thursday, March 1, 2018

Final Thoughts: 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend

Now that we are almost a full two months post-WDW Marathon Weekend, I feel like I can adequately sum up my thoughts about the weekend now that some time has passed.

I try not to write about a race weekend immediately after because I'm usually still so pumped up on endorphins that I can't objectively think about the experience to adequately review it.

There were things I absolutely loved about this year's Marathon Weekend and some things that made me second guess doing this race weekend again.

In no particular order, here are my final thoughts on 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend!

Absolutely Awesome Things

Seeing friends is always the highlight of any runDisney weekend but this year, it felt like we got to spend a lot of time with several of our friends that we only get to see a few times a year. It was really such a highlight of the weekend.

Breakfast at Floatworks with friends is the very best way to recover from a marathon.
Some of us are way excited to be running 26.2 miles.

Running down Main Street USA and through the castle is magical. Running down Main Street USA and through the castle twice in two days is super magical. I really loved all of the course changes this year that took us through the front gates of Magic Kingdom and I especially liked how much more time we spent in MK during the full.

Good morning, MK!

Exploring Pandora was definitely a cool part of the weekend. We also got to ride both new rides at AK and discovered a favorite new bar, Nomad Lounge.

Mugs and matching magic bands are mandatory in Pandora.

Y'all already know I love Altra running shoes, but WDW Marathon Weekend proved to me how vital having the right shoes can be. I wore two different pairs of the Paradigm for the half and full and in between the races I wore the HIIT XT (cross-trainers). I credit my Altras with helping me make it through the weekend with strong, pain-free feet.

So many of my favorite things in one photo.

Less Awesome Things

Y'all. These courses were so crowded. There were times during the full when I felt like we were running in wall-to-wall people. At one point, I stopped at a medical tent to get some biofreeze and was nearly bowled over by all the folks crowding around the table. I don't know if there were more runners on the marathon course this year or if I'm just getting too old for this crap, but it felt really, really crowded throughout much of the race.

And....we've got walkers, five across. UGH.

That expo was not a great experience. Long lines everywhere, confusion on where to go, multiple buildings for merchandise, bibs, etc. Matthew and I had such a bad taste in our mouth from this expo; it made us reconsider the entire weekend.

No merch is worth waiting hours for.

The weather in Florida in the winter can be unpredictable but this year's was exceptionally crappy. With temps in the 30's and a real feel in the 20's, we might as well had just stayed in Pennsylvania and ran with all our winter weather gear! This is the second year in a row it's been cold- we're due for a weekend of good running weather.

You should never have to wear a hat in FLORIDA. 

So... will be back for WDW Marathon Weekend in 2019?

Already dreaming of 2019 bling.

Maybe... probably. :-)

There are a few things up in the air for us personally (which I'll detail in another post soon!) so we can't quite say yet what January 2019 will look like.

But in all likelihood, we'll be back for another WDW Marathon Weekend- at least we want to. During the marathon this year, I had a strong feeling that I wanted to run another marathon, and run it for time. It's been almost three years since I PR'd in that distance and I can feel it in my heart- I've got one more 'fast' marathon in me. Will it be the WDW full next year?

We'll just have to wait and see!

Did you run during WDW Marathon Weekend? What was your experience like?


  1. You know what was the suckiest thing about the 2018 Marathon Weekend? That we never managed to cross paths. Can we not do that in the future? Kthxbai ;-)

    You guys should do Space Coast!

    1. SUPER FRUSTRATING! I totally missed our annual selfie! I've heard nothing but great things about Space Coast. Maybe we'll skip WDW and do that one instead :-)

  2. It’s frustrating to get to the Expo on Friday and find that items are sold out and being offer on eBay for a premium.

    We’re running the Pittsburgh half!

    1. I hate that! Especially when the lines were soooo long to get to the official merch- and then to have it be resold?! I wish you had to have a bib to get the official merchandise.

      Have you done Pittsburgh before? It's such a great race weekend! Hopefully we can connect!

  3. That's so frustrating about the merchandise at the expo! That was one of my fears going into Princess last weekend. Since I didn't go to the expo until day 2, I didn't encounter such lines, and thankfully it looked like the merchandise area had been restocked overnight. I was able to buy everything that I had wanted to.

    1. That's awesome! Hopefully runDisney is learning from all the past expos and is making positive changes.