Tuesday, January 17, 2012

gone goofy, again

this time, as a spectator.

back in the spring of 2011, josh got a wild hair and decided he wanted to do a marathon. (he ran his first half in the fall of 2010). he entered the nyc marathon lottery (unsuccessfully) so of course the next logical thing to do was sign up for the goofy challenge.

poll: who needs psychiatric help?
a) someone who runs their first marathon in cotton spandex and only a 14-mile long run under their belt
b) someone who runs their first marathon the day after running a half-marathon but did actually complete a good amount of long training runs
c) both a and b
d) neither. these are both perfectly wise actions.
we arrived in orlando late thursday night, and hit up the expo first thing around 10am friday before spending the day in hollywood studios.

saturday we woke up dark and early at 3am, got stuck in traffic on the 7-mile drive from the hotel to the epcot parking lot, and arrived at the start/finish area just in time for josh to take the additional 20-minute trek to the start line.

half-marathon day

for the half-marathon, i spectated at the start and mile 13. due to josh's anticipated pace, there wouldn't be enough time to catch him up by magic kingdom. while i waited, i took a few random photos and chatted with an older woman who's husband was running the half-marathon after having suffered a heart attack last fall, pretty amazing.

half marathon - 2:02

josh was aiming for a sub-2 (he can easily run this) and ran pretty much on target, but he had to deal with a lot of congestion in the early miles of the race due to being placed in corral d. ultimately the 3 extra minutes weren't a big deal since he still had 26.2 miles to go.

marathon day

for the full-marathon, i spectated at the start and mile 4 (same viewing area), mile 9, mile 12.5-ish, and the finish. the only way to see your runner between miles 12 and the finish is if you have a park ticket to animal kingdom, hollywood studios or epcot (i wish disney could improve upon this).

josh's goals for the marathon were a) survive, b) sub-5:00, c) 10:00/mile pace. it was his first marathon afterall, and the day after a half no less.

at the start/mile 4 i stood next to a guy holding up his ipad with "inspirational running slogan" typed on the screen (great idea to use the ipad as a "sign" in the dark morning hours). i also chatted with two older women both watching their husbands. after josh passed, i took the monorail to the ticketing center/mile 9 and josh wasn't far behind.

as josh ran on into magic kingdom, i walked over to the polynesian resort to mile 12.5-ish. all this walking and i hadn't had anything to eat yet, i was tempted to buy a $14 muffin (disney extortion fees) but was able to resist. they're all sugar anyway.

josh ran by one last time - i told him he was running sub-10:00-miles and that he could "relax" a little. i had suggested before the race that he 'just run' the first 20 miles and then pick up the pace if he felt like it for the last 6.2. he ran two 20-mile training runs and was a big baby after both of those whining about his aching legs, but they paid off. his knee was bugging him a little at mile 12.5-ish and he said he might slow down, but he held on to the 10:00/mile pace for the remainder of the race.

i met up with his parents after seeing him around mile 12 and we took the monorail back to epcot to wait on him at the finish. i commiserated with fellow clemson fans standing near me about the recent basketball bowl game and soon we saw josh coming down the homestretch of his debut marathon. i was proud.

marathon - 4:22

back-to-back races at goal pace, he must've had a pretty good coach.


  1. Congrats to Josh! Wow he had great times--cannot imagine Goofy being one's first marathon--holy cow. Love the pics. Way to spectate and resist the $$ muffin!

  2. Just Freaking Amazing. A to the Awesomeness!!!! Way to go, and he had an exceptional coach. There is a difference between acceptable and exceptional, and this was exceptional. Congratulations, and very nice pics too. $14 for a muffin? pppffffftt! Very nice 1st marathon time.

  3. Impressive! I can't imagine running marathon #1 the day after a half. Guess his coach and training did pay off!

  4. Great job, Cliff! (Josh, ha!)

    You obviously are a great coach and holy cow for a $14 muffin! It better have been filled with cream cheese goodness and dipped in chocolate (which I realize sounds good and gross, all at the same time).

  5. Very cool!! Congrats to josh!! I didn't know you guys were down there, we could have met up at the runners village on sunday!

    "the only way to see your runner between miles 12 and the finish is if you have a park ticket to animal kingdom, hollywood studios or epcot (i wish disney could improve upon this)."

    You can go to Animal Kingdom and not go in. The course runs right in front of the gate, and through the parking lot. There were spectators lined up the whole way.

    Same with Hollywood Studios - you can wait for your runner right outside the gate, and the course runs right through the front gate and out of the studios.

    After the studios, it winds along in front of Boardwalk, Beach Club and the Swan & Dolphin hotels before going into Epcot at about mile 25. There is race transportation between each of these hotels and the finish line.

    That being said, if your runner is fast enough, you might miss them at the finish with any of those options. After the studios, you're at mile 23-24ish, so you're getting pretty close to the end there. And Animal Kingdom is so far away from everything else that it makes it a challege to get back in time if your runner is fast. Plus, the roads are all clogged from the race going on.

  6. congrats Josh! and WTG on being an amazing coach/spectator/wife. lol!

  7. Way to go, Josh. That's pretty hardcore!!

  8. If you are going to do your first marathon, you might as well go big and make it the Goofy Challenge! Congrats, Josh! The whole spectating thing always amazes me. It is a whole other event trying to meet up with your runner at the various points along the way. (...and with no $14 muffin to help keep up your endurance...).

  9. Well done spectating/coach/wife/#1 supporter!!! And big congrats to Josh!!! Also, please tell him he is nuts for deciding to do the Goofy for his first marathon. (By doing this he does realize he's now just as crazy as the rest of us runner's right?)

  10. Great job, probably all the sugary muffins he had along the way.

  11. Holy crap...awesome job to Josh!!

  12. Holy cow! Way to go Josh! It was totally his coaching! Very impressive!

  13. Awesome! And you STILL hold the PRs in the household:)

  14. Way to go Josh! He crushed his marathon goal! Even after a half marathon.

    Who was his coach??? haha

    My answer is D btw.

  15. $14 muffin is crazy. Good job at resisting that temptation (like it would be hard). That's pretty neat that Josh's first marathon was with the half marathon too, the whole idea of the Goofy challenge is pretty fun and I'm glad he was able to do it, with impressive times at that :).


  16. Go Josh! Crazy for sure, but also awesome. I support it!

  17. Way to go Josh, but more about the Clemson fans. That was just ugly. Way to go Josh, and I honestly couldn't stomach it anymore. Way to go Josh, but I think they have a foundation for the future. Way to go Josh, and don't hate me because I'm a Duke fan in basketball. Way to go Josh, What I lived in NY and I couldn't stomach St Johns or Syracuse.

    Way to go Josh.

  18. I am pretty darn impressed! Congrats to him. I can't even imagine doing the Goofy! Great pics and way to stand up to Disney on the muffin! ; )

  19. Nice! That's a serious first marathon experience!

  20. Oh my gosh, Lindsay, I had no idea THAT is why you were in Florida last week! You sneaky thing! :)

    And hey, what's wrong with longest training run be 14 miles? I'm all over a plan like that!!

    Anyhoo, congrats to Josh, that is freaking fantastic, he ROCKED both races. Woohoo! He must have had an excellent coach ;).

  21. When you posted this on FB I did think about the fact that he was doing Goofy for his first marathon. Crazy!

  22. Holy Moly! That JOSH is an amazing guy!!! Please tell him CONGRATS for me!!! Wowsers!!!

  23. Big Congrats to Josh! That's quite the accomplishment....but can he snatch??? LOL

    How did it feel to be "spectator"? I absolutely LOVE having Jeff at my races, it really means a lot to see a loved one cheering you on, no matter what the length of the race is!

  24. So fun. Brings back a lot of memories. While Doug and I were in the Bahamas this past week, we talked about Disney and how fun it is. Just that darn 3 am wake up call 2 days in a row...uggg...Everything is is pretty amazing.

  25. What a stud! This sounds crazy but fun! I think my husband ran his first marathon off of around 13 miles as his one long run. Silly silly. Now he is injured. ;(Hope Josh's recovery goes well. xo

  26. Nicely done, Josh!!!! That's an awesome marathon time day after a half (or anytime for that matter).

  27. Way to go Josh! That's an amazing accomplishment :) I'm sure he owes it all to his moral support/coach!

  28. So, when's Josh running a Ragnar, Coach?

  29. Holy smokes, he rocked the Goofy! Way to go Josh!

    A good spot to spectate is to bus it to Animal Kingdom. You can cheer from the parking lot just as runners exit the park and make their way out on to the highway. Pretty easy to bus it to EPCOT to catch the finish after as well. Then you can go have a beer in Germany while you wait for your mom to finish. Or at least that is what I did!

  30. Good Coaching, and good running!



Rick the Marathonman

Rick the Marathonman
Running in Memory of Rick

Follow CTK