Brooke and I weren’t planning on going to any of the parks on Sunday. However, I sort of had Disney non-visit remorse on this short trip (I know, I know) and since Brooke has an annual pass, I suggested an Epcot visit.
We were about halfway there when I said, “Hey, wait a minute. Doesn’t the marathon go through Epcot?” (You know, because we live in a bubble and didn’t think about it prior!) After a brief glance at the course map we realized that it did, indeed! Not only that but it was at the very end of the marathon, miles 25 and 26.
Brooke and I are VERY big into the rah-rah! I mean, if we had the supplies in the car, we would have whipped up some signs on the spot. But since we didn’t we had to rely on our big mouths.
We knew quite a few people running the full marathon. Naturally, we were tracking exactly zero of them.
But everyone is a friend in Disney, right? Knowing that everyone deserves a good cheer, we decided to just cheer for everyone and hoped that maybe we’d stumble across pals!
I’ve got to say, the way that Disney handle crowds while the park is open is very impressive. They had a couple of different routes so when they routed runners one direction, the park goers would wait. Then they would change the runners directions slightly so that the crowds could cross. It works very well (as long as you wait at the crosswalk and don’t dart out in front of runners).
It started raining a little after we arrived but it wasn’t as cold as it had been the past few days. We made our way over to Mexico, cheering as we walked.
Figuring margaritas were in order for cheering, we grabbed yummy beverages. Some of the runners had the same idea. Because, why the heck not? (This nearly made me say, “Hey, we should run the marathon so that we can drink at the end.”) (Nearly. Then I realized I could just do that anytime in Epcot and NOT run a marathon.)
We hung out around the Mexico pavilion for awhile, cheers-ing and cheering the runners!
We made sure not to say that they were almost there or that the finish was just around the corner. Instead we emphasized how much they all rocked and were looking good and strong!
Of course, while we were there we made our way to Norway! We needed to give a Scoot a Doot shout out to our favorite statue of Grete Waitz!
Around this time, we started wondering if we would be able to track down Kristen and Suzanne. We did a little social media stalking (I feel only slightly weird saying that; after all, we were looking at people’s skirts yesterday to find them!) and knew we were looking for peach colored shirts and that Suzanne was wearing a cool superhero skirt. We continued to walk and cheer until…
I don’t even know HOW to describe the noise we made when we all saw each other. I really don’t. I mean, we were excited when we found each other during the half the day prior. But this? This was a whole other level!
We offered them our drinks and they took sips before they were once again on their way! Oh my word, it was seriously awesome.
I’d been texting with our friend, Meredith, and told her we’d be by Morocco. It was her first marathon and my hope was to see her to cheer her on at some point because we’d missed each other the rest of the weekend!
Brooke and I grabbed some yummy food and sat down outside to eat when I heard Meredith yelling my name. We were falling down on the cheering job!
Mer and I had met each other at the 2013 Wine and Dine meetup and it was especially awesome to see her again, right where we had first met. She was running for Team Noah and she ROCKED it!
We sat and ate while watching more running streaming through the World Showcase. We saw awesome costumes, people who looked like they were hurting (but they were persevering!), and family members cheering on their people. It was all wonderful!
After awhile, we saw the balloon ladies come and go. For those not familiar with the term, the balloon ladies are the very last people to start a race and they keep an exact 16 minute mile pace so people know how fast or slow they are going. The goal is to be in front of the balloon ladies to keep an accurate pace and avoid being swept.
I’m not sure what mile you have to get to in order to be “safe” but I know that we spent a good amount of time right near the balloon ladies in Disneyland and it seemed like mile 10 was the key mile there.
Brooke and I continued to walk along the course while the runners became more sparse. Finally, the last runners made their way through the course while we were in France.
What wound up as spontaneous cheering for the marathoners was a great treat for us! As runners, it was wonderful to be out there, supporting our tribe.
You’re all out of this world and we give you two thumbs up! Way to rock!
Cheering in the rain counts for double the brownie points, you know! As someone who most likely passed by you, THANK YOU FOR CHEERING.
I was definitely cheering for you, Nicole! In fact, I was scanning the runners for you so WHO KNOWS, we could have totally had a moment and not even known it.
Best.margarita.ever! And I can’t remember exactly the sound that came out of my mouth when we saw you two either – but it was a glorious reunion!!!
It WAS a glorious reunion! I’m so HAPPY that we saw you. THE BEST.
Spectators make a world of difference! And runDisney has developed a great system of crosswalks! They did it this past November at W&D and it was awesome!
I agree – spectators along a course can really lift the spirits! I can’t help but cheer others going after such an incredible accomplishment. 🙂 That crosswalk system – they had it DOWN. It was really impressive!
Thank you for cheering! I was coming through Epcot when it was raining and I was being SO cautious because some of the ground was kind of slippery. I love spectating and cheering at Disney races!
MERANDA! We probably saw you, which is just crazy and awesome, all in one! Cheering at any race is always a great time – I’m a big fan. And it’s so much fun to have people respond and cheer back at you. 😉
Seriously, what were the odds? I needed a bit of a pick me up and seeing you both took care of that. And the margarita probably helped too ; ) we were so excited to see you. So glad I got to meet you all this weekend in person.
Me too, Suzanne! Next time let’s make it happen for more than a 10 minute stretch (and maybe even when we aren’t running). 😉
I’m in the “probably saw ya’ll but it didn’t connect in my brain” group of people!! 🙂 I love that last dash through EPCOT — had BIG plans to grab a beer but at about mile 10 realized I hadn’t brought any money!!! 😉
Thanks for standing out in the weather cheering!!!
Oh well we were DEFINITELY cheering for you, Anne! And I would have totally bought you a beer had we connected. NEXT TIME! xo
So sad that we missed you! I was hangin’ with Kristen and Suzanne right up until that last mile, when our friend Wendy’s ankle gave out and we sent them up ahead while we walked it in. Cheering for the half on Saturday was SO MUCH FUN and I loved waiting for the last runner!
We probably saw you and Wendy and didn’t even realize it!
I agree, there is something really special about staying until the very end to cheer in the last runner. We were there from 11am until around 2:30, so we were able to see so many people in their last couple of miles. It was inspiring!!!
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