Me? Oh gosh no, not me….our son ran the DW Marathon on January 12. But we were there….as part of the “ChEAR” Squad. (Note the spelling: Never forget you are in Disney World where ears are big!).
Months ago when Keith told us he had registered to run, we knew we would be there. After all he has been training for a year and has run a few 10Ks and 1/2 marathons, but this was a first full marathon. We didn’t take it lightly.
David and I arrived at our destination, Port Orleans Riverside Resort in Disney World on Thursday, January 9 in the early afternoon. It is a lovely Resort made up of several very large Southern style mansions situated on a very large land area along a beautiful river. We soon discovered that our room was “walking distance” from the lobby/dining rooms/gift shops, etc. I should have had a pedometer on me, but my guess is it was about 1/4 a mile from the lobby. David says “Maybe!” Of course, he is a walker. Keith and his wife, Julie arrived in the evening and we all met for breakfast the next morning. Later, Keith quipped that next year the Marathon was going to be run at Port Orleans Riverside from our room to the lobby . Ha Ha, you’re funny, Keith! But not a bad idea.
Friday morning, Keith and Julie were soon off to pick up all his necessary papers, and other important things the runners needed. David and I boarded a park bus to Epcot and spent the day there enjoying gorgeous weather. We had lunch at the Rose and Crown Pub in the United Kingdom section of Epcot.
That evening we met with Keith and Julie at the “Pasta in the Park” giant buffet dinner in Epcot, for runners and their friends/families/supporters, etc….(for a fee paid in advance, of course!) It was held in a huge ballroom with literally thousands of people in attendance.
After the buffet, the runners (and us) had a special location set aside for us to watch Epcot’s evening “IllumiNations” fireworks display on the Epcot Lake. Stunning and magical!
Saturday morning we all took the park bus to Magic Kingdom where we managed to see Philharmagic, and ride the tour of the Haunted Mansion all before lunch. The Philharmagic is enough to make this artist green with envy…with its outstanding concepts, design and craftmanship. Wow! Disney never disappoints. The Haunted Mansion bothered me for several days. Hmmmm! And that was about the 6th time we’ve been on that ride. After a big lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern we did Pirates of the Caribbean and a ride around the Park on the train. Dinner was at our Resort in the Boatwright Dining Hall. Super!
The next day dawned very early for Keith as his race began at 7 after all was said and done, but he had to be there at 5. Julie, David and I arrived at 9 and had a wonderful buffet breakfast (“ChEAR Squad privileges!) while we watched the race on big TV monitors all around the large tent. Julie was notified of Keith’s progress on her phone every so often…amazing technology. We were all so glad to see him after the race. Julie actually saw him cross the finish line, but we missed it on the TV. Oh well! I was a happy Mom!
Since Magic Kingdom is probably Keith’s favorite place in the world, after a rest we spent the afternoon and evening there. Yeah, we even did the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I made a terrible score. Of course, David was a Galactic Hero and I was just a Star Cadet.
Later we had dinner at a small restaurant close to Cinderella’s Castle and watched the fabulous fireworks display.
After breakfast together Monday morning we all sat in the Resort Lobby and reminisced. We had a very interesting conversation about being “goal oriented”, as Keith certainly is. He earned his Ph.D in the Philosophy of Mathematics while working full time….and the other side of the coin…a person who operates without goals but accomplishes much and does all really well, i.e., Julie, his wife. Congratulations, Keith for a job really well done and to Julie for being a patient, runners wife.
They were ready to return to Houston Monday but David and I stayed on until Wednesday to see if we could actually enjoy Disney World without the family….verdict…..a little, but it’s not the same.
“….Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.” Hebrews 12: 1b