I chose the Walt Disney World Marathon for my first full marathon for a few reasons.
1. Peer Pressure
3. Peer Pressure
4. The Disney Experience
5. Peer Pressure
You might think peer pressure had a bit to do with the decision, eh?
As you probably know, I had no desire to run a full. Zip, Zero, Nada, None. Half Marathons were my thing. I'm to the point now where I can knock one out with very little training, with a relatively consistent time. That was good enough.
But is good enough ever really good enough?
My friend Jim has done the Disney Marathon 4 times, tomorrow will be his fifth time. We've met up in Orlando the last few years to do some RunDisney events - WDW Marathon weekends, the November Wine & Dine Event. And the last few years, he's always 'enthusiastically encouraged' me to at least consider a full. Last year, when registration for the 2014 WDW Marathon opened, my resistance had been worn down and I signed up.
The Disney experience definitely comes into play with my decision. Any folks who have read my previous posts know I love RunDisney events. They are consistently well run, they listen to their runners and execute appropriate changes each year, and lets face it - if anybody is good at moving thousands of people around efficiently, its Disney. I've run races that were put on by other large organizations and were nightmares. I've run races that were put on by small, local running clubs and were amazing. But I felt most comfortable knowing that the Disney experience was going to be amazing.
And of course, familiarity. Having done the WDW Half Marathon a few times, I know some of the quirks about the first half of the route. I've spectated for the Full Marathon so I have an idea of what its going to feel like when I get to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (mile 17-20 for those curious), and run through the stadium. I know what time to leave my hotel to arrive at Epcot at a time I'm comfortable with. To me, it was important that race day wouldn't be a complete surprise.
The benefit to all of this? Tomorrow I'll be running that Marathon and I'm not nervous. I'm not scared. I'm not worried about the logistics.
I'm excited. I'm excited to lace up my shoes and run. And that is something I never thought I'd say about running 26.2 miles.