My first marathon. Encouraged by running buddy, Betty Leidholt, who had done two marathons already, I enthusiastically started training in October. Betty is a great coach and cheerleader. The trip with her to Florida was a blast. We stayed with Betty's brother Ted in St. Petersburg, Fla. It was great returning to this place as we had a cousin's reunion in 2005 on St. Pete's Beach. Kim's friend, Kelly, got married in St. Petersburg a couple days before the reunion. It was such a great place to be that I was excited to be there again. Enjoyed sitting by the pool soaking up the son and relaxing the two days before the race.
Ted drove us to Orlando and treated us to a platinum stay at the Mariott World Resort by DisneyWorld. Only time in my life I've been a platinum! Room Service, Room with awesome view,etc.
We left the motel at 3:30a.m. Sunday with friends we'd met on the elevator who drove us to Epcot Park. What a neat family from Ga.
Betty and I sat on the ground drinking water (and coffee) AND visiting the porta potties for about 1hr 45m before heading to the starting line with about 17,000 other runners. We got separated in the crowd but found each other in plenty of time to get to our corral after a final pp stop. We couldn't believe that we weren't nervous, just excited and taking everything in like the awesome fireworks that started every wave. And we were off and running through Epcot and then the Magic Kingdom, on to Animal Kingdom and Universal Studios then back through the MK to the finish line at Epcot.
Wine and cheese to the room. More carb loading after the race at the steakhouse in the motel. Fell asleep watching the Packers but Betty, a diehard Packer fan didn't not off at all until the game was over. The next morning we got the beni of an unbelievable breakfast buffet at the motel with 80 entrees. We needed it as we were off to DisneyWorld to enjoy a day at Animal Kingdom. All runners were admitted free if they wore their medals. There were LOTS of us there. To end the day, we ate at one of the best restaurants ever, Bomas. Entered to the bongo drums and African decor, etc. Another buffet! Betty's daughter told us to be sure and go there. Thanks Michelle.
What a memorable marathon trip. Perfect weather, one of those once in a lifetime experiences. And Betty and I have so many stories. Two directionally challenged friends traveling together. Mike & John were a bit concerned but we got ourselves to the airport and returned to blizzard conditions at home!
|Carb Loading at Macorini Grill with Ted, Holly & Miriam|
|Waitin' in the Dark for the race to begin|
|Running Through the Castle|
|The Best Moment Ever!|
|Please bring us cheese and Chardonay|
|With Mickey and runner friends.|
|Enjoyed Animal Kingdom|