Page 2

February 2001 Warner Robins, GA

Museum of Aviation Races

Well, we've made it through another successful Museum of Aviation 5K/Half-Marathon/Marathon event. We had 181 participants in the 5K; 138 in the half-marathon; and 80 in the marathon. That's more than we had last year!

5K Winners Half Marathon Marathon

Buddy Clark 16:34 C.R. Miller 1:13:54 Jeff Keady2:56:15

Beth Lane 21:37 Sue Kelly 1:24:04 Valerie Reed 3:38:02

Clark Walker 17:40 (Masters) Ken Youngers 1:17:51 (Masters) David Allison2:56:26 (Masters)

Brenda Cooter 23:28 (Masters) Mary Sweeney 1:24:48 (Masters) Anne Wright4:06:26 (Masters)

Steve Rausch 3:14:29 (Clydesdale)

THANKS to everyone who came out to help - from stuffing shirts in bags, shuffling place cards from the finish line to the computer, maintaining the food and drink table, manning the water stops and clock splits, setting the course and everything in between. We've received great feedback at our web site from participants. We did great!

A Perspective on the 2001 Walt Disney World Marathon

(from one of our own - Joe Howard)

We drove down to Orlando on the first Friday in January so I could run in the Disney World Marathon the following Sunday. We stayed at the nicest Disney Resort on the whole grounds (The Swan and Dolphin) due to my fiance Lynn's daughter having connections. Our $310 room cost us only $45 a night. We went to the Magic Kingdom on Saturday and that ended up costing more than the 3 nights in the hotel!! I hung out with Lynn while the kids, Christy,19, Dave,17 and Joe Joe, 14, took off on their own. The MK was just like Disneyland in California where I grew up. I was a bit disappointed that there haven't been very many advancements in technology since the early 80's.

Lynn and I also went to the marathon expo on Saturday to pick up my race packet at the Wide World of Sports complex. This is where the Atlanta Braves go for spring training. Getting a bus from the MK to the sports complex was a nightmare. We had to go back to the Swan, catch a boat to MGM Studios, and then a standing-room-only bus to the Sports Complex. I couldn't find my registration form that I had so carefully guarded for the last 2 months, but it turned out to be no big deal and I got another one at the expo after showing some ID. Lynn bought me a bright yellow coolmax running shirt for $15 so she could distinguish me from the other runners. I just happened to be at the expo at the same time Jeff Galloway, 1972 olympian and marathoner, was doing a seminar on running/walking during the marathon. He was giving info on what ratio of running to walking you should do based on your level of experience and expected finish time. It was great. I decided to do an 8/1 based on his seminar. Ran 8 minutes, walked 1. Well that was the plan anyway, more in a minute.

After the expo visit, we went back to the MK via bus, boat, nap at hotel, bus. I wanted to see everything and probably over did it. My legs were sore from walking and standing so much. We got back to the hotel at about 10:15. I started getting stuff situated for the next day. I put in a wake up call for 3:30am and finally got to bed at 11:15. I didn't sleep well at all because I was so anxious. I got up at about 3:15 and showered and started drinking water. I stood outside the hotel waiting for the bus at 4:15 and it finally came at 4:30. I told Lynn and the kids to sleep in and meet me at the Boardwalk just outside the hotel at about 9:30 - 10:00. Boy, was I off on that estimate. I got to the staging area at 5:10 and met up with Charlene and Linda from the local running club. Linda didn't have a number and was going to try to run as a bandit, but they were checking runners for race numbers too closely, so she decided not to at the last moment. I then checked in my bag and headed for the starting area. Charlene and I both had to use the port-a-potty on the way, others were lined up all along the woods going au natural. It was about a 20 minute walk to the start from the staging area. I wasn't too happy about that. Then we had to stand around for another 30 minutes.

The race finally started at 6:15 with Mickey Mouse rising up out of the dark with fireworks lighting the sky behind him. I talked Charlene into the 8/1 run/walk. She wasn't too sure about it at first, but by mile 10, she was looking forward to the walks. I kept seeing this guy who looked just like Jeff Galloway running about the same pace we were. I said to Charlene that it couldn't be him because we were running such a slow pace. We were doing about 10:15 per mile. We both had to stop at about mile 3 in Epcot to use the restroom again. Epcot was great. It was the first time I had ever been there. After Epcot it was a long run to the Magic Kingdom. Running through the MK was the greatest. I was high 5-ing all the Disney characters from Mickey to Goofy. One of the runners in front of me pulled Pluto's tail as he was turned around taking a picture with someone. Pluto got really pissed!! Next time I'll have to take a disposable camera to take pictures with all the characters. It was great. There was a barbershop quartet singing, too. We even got to run through the castle!

The half marathon split off right after the MK. I said good-bye to Charlene and started on the second half of the marathon. I decided to ask the person I thought was Jeff G. if he was. It was him! I ran a little way with him and asked him what ratio he was running. He was doing a 9/1 so I ran on when he stopped for his walk as we weren't on the same schedule. I was so excited to meet him and to be running with him that I forgot to introduce myself. Oh, well. We kept passing each other through the Animal Kingdom until about mile 17 when my legs decided to fall off and be replaced by boat anchors. It was all I could do to shuffle to the end after that. I changed my ratio to 6/1.

The hashers were at the 19 mile water/beer stop. I stopped for a beer and a down-down song, which helped ease the pain for about a half mile, but then it was back to shuffle/walk. After that we ran through MGM studios. There was a guy at about mile 23 with a Mickey medal motivating people to finish and get a medal just like his. That helped. It was my first glimpse at the real thing! I finally got to the boardwalk at about 10:40, over an hour later than expected, and shed my camelback and walkman when I met up with my family. After that I saw a woman with hasher stuff on her shirt and started talking to her. I tried to keep up with her running and walking as we ran through Epcot again to the finish, but she had really long legs and I had to jog to keep up with her walking! With about a 1/4 mile to go, I let her run on and walked a little more before making the last effort for the finish. I was really hurting but started trying to motivate the silent crowd at the end to do a little cheering. They would cheer for a couple of seconds as I ran by and then went silent again. I tried.

Right after the finish I got my Mickey/Donald Mylar blanket and my Mickey medal. There was a ton of food and drinks. I picked up my bag and then called my daughter's cell phone to see where they were. The busses weren't picking people up to go to the finish, they would only drop runners off at the resorts. I told them not to bother as I would be back to the hotel soon. I went for a $10 massage for 10 minutes. The girl was weak like she was afraid to hurt me and didn't do me any good. When she was done she said to me, "You seem to be really hurting. Do you need some help?" I told her no, and that I would live. Thanks for nothing. I got on the bus, which was an ordeal getting up the steps. Getting off was even worse. When I got back to the hotel, everyone was gone to lunch so I left a note and headed for the health spa whirlpool, which was closed. I spent about 30 minutes in an outdoor hot tub instead and then laid around the pool for about an hour. Christy, my daughter, joined me at the pool. I wore my Mickey medal everywhere for the rest of the day and people would stop and talk to me about it. It was GREAT. I only wish I hadn't gotten sick for the 2 weeks before the marathon and could have trained during that time. Maybe if I hadn't been sick and if I hadn't walked around the park so much the day before my time would have been faster. We'll see in 7 weeks when I do the Blue Angel marathon in Pensacola!!

Joe Howard

"Running - Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional; rest is required."

Previous Page

Return to Newsletter Index