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WDW Marathon Weekend Historical Reference

lukacseven

Active Member
Also in 2019 we ran along the Boardwalk. All my other marathons were run along Yacht & Beach.

Anybody challenge that??
2019 was the first year for Boardwalk. Every other year, at least since 2006, went through Y&BC.

Back in 2006 & 2007, half & full finishers received free admission to Pleasure Island for the post race party. In 2008, PI no longer had an admission charge, and when it closed, they claimed post-race party at Downtown Disney. The only perk was some of the restaurants had discounts - I recall 10% off at Bongos (excluding alcoholic beverages).

2011 was Marathon Monday. admission was free for marathoners (sorry half finishers) but was limited to MK only.

2010 was the after party at HS. Park closed to guests at 7:00, but ToT, RnR, GMR, & toy story remained open for half and full finishers until 10:00. $45 for non-runners. They had DJs, characters and cash bars set-up in front of RnR & GMR. Very sparsely attended, probably because it was 24 degrees, but was fun to walk straight on ToT 7 times in a row.

2013 was the 20th Anniversary and they promised something SO SPECIAL and UNIQUE during mile 20, which was exiting WWoS. All we got were giant puppetry costumes. I only remember Sebastian the crab.

So many runners felt the surprise was weak and poor. ‘That’s it?!’
I was one of the disappointed runners. The medal was awesome, but the mile 20 definitely didn't live up to the hype. Original rumors teased an A-list performer in the baseball stadium, but that never materialized. I really liked the racetrack portion of the course, but still feel the WWoS is too long and drawn out.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Girly Girl Fan Club
Premium Member
I’d like to see runDisney bring back some kind of Marathon Monday....or a Sunday evening afterparty! I’d be all about that!! @lukacseven

Walking back to the Contemporary Sunday night of the Full, I noticed lots of Half & Full Marathoners walking over to MK. It closed at 9:00PM - I left the park around 8:40. Happily Ever After was completed, so I wondered if there was some type of party for those who ran the Half and Full.
 

Greenlawler

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
2013 was the 20th Anniversary and they promised something SO SPECIAL and UNIQUE during mile 20, which was exiting WWoS. All we got were giant puppetry costumes. I only remember Sebastian the crab.

So many runners felt the surprise was weak and poor. ‘That’s it?!’

I remember being epic-ally disappointed too. The first 7 years I ran the marathon my main motivation was the characters. My family used to collect character photos, I mean almost to the point where it was getting ridiculous the lengths we went too to find a new character. Thankfully that mania has subsided a little.

That being said mile 20 in 2013 was a massive letdown. We were thinking Steamboat Mickey would be there at least, or it would be like the Half in 2009 where they had over a dozen characters lined up at Epcot (Pinocchio, Geppetto Stromboli, Gideon, Fowlfellw, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Little John, Prince John, Sheriff of Nottingham, Quasimodo, Pheobus, Esmerelda).

However I will say mile 25 at the 25th anniversary in 2018 was almost as much a disappointment.

I love it when they go out of there way to bring out one mind blowing character.

Trying to remember the year Ludwig Von Drake was out....maybe 2015?
 

Greenlawler

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Never mind*edited I saw where @lukacseven answered my question

I do remember the Special Pre Half party at DHS for the 15th was pretty amazing, with The Bride and Umbrella Girl from Haunted Mansion doing Meet N Greets.
 

CAV

Well-Known Member
2019 was the first year for Boardwalk. Every other year, at least since 2006, went through Y&BC.

Back in 2006 & 2007, half & full finishers received free admission to Pleasure Island for the post race party. In 2008, PI no longer had an admission charge, and when it closed, they claimed post-race party at Downtown Disney. The only perk was some of the restaurants had discounts - I recall 10% off at Bongos (excluding alcoholic beverages).

2011 was Marathon Monday. admission was free for marathoners (sorry half finishers) but was limited to MK only.

2010 was the after party at HS. Park closed to guests at 7:00, but ToT, RnR, GMR, & toy story remained open for half and full finishers until 10:00. $45 for non-runners. They had DJs, characters and cash bars set-up in front of RnR & GMR. Very sparsely attended, probably because it was 24 degrees, but was fun to walk straight on ToT 7 times in a row.


I was one of the disappointed runners. The medal was awesome, but the mile 20 definitely didn't live up to the hype. Original rumors teased an A-list performer in the baseball stadium, but that never materialized. I really liked the racetrack portion of the course, but still feel the WWoS is too long and drawn out.

I agree with WWos. Too long and too many turns. It's horrible on the knees / ankles at that far into the race.
 

lukacseven

Active Member
Walking back to the Contemporary Sunday night of the Full, I noticed lots of Half & Full Marathoners walking over to MK. It closed at 9:00PM - I left the park around 8:40. Happily Ever After was completed, so I wondered if there was some type of party for those who ran the Half and Full.
I remember in 2012, they had EMH at MK on Sunday night. We ate dinner at The Wave while watching Tebow beat the Steelers, then walked over to MK after the game. Park was open til 11:00 and was relatively deserted. Nothing special for runners, though.
 

Figment82

Well-Known Member
This is such a great idea for a thread! What a trip down memory lane. I fondly remember that stupid relay in 2012 - it was my first and only time doing the full marathon, and having runners rush by you on fresh legs at the halfway point was the most discouraging thing I think I’ve ever experienced during a race, lol! They tried those for W&D too but didn’t last long. The two segments weren’t equal distances which was weird, but I guess they had to work with what they had and put the switch off point in the DAK parking lot.
 

lukacseven

Active Member
This is such a great idea for a thread! What a trip down memory lane. I fondly remember that stupid relay in 2012 - it was my first and only time doing the full marathon, and having runners rush by you on fresh legs at the halfway point was the most discouraging thing I think I’ve ever experienced during a race, lol! They tried those for W&D too but didn’t last long. The two segments weren’t equal distances which was weird, but I guess they had to work with what they had and put the switch off point in the DAK parking lot.
I ran leg #2 of the marathon relay. It was interesting...You were basically treated as a spectator at the start line. They had designated buses to T&TC. The buses dropped you off and they had a mini version of the start village. You checked bags there and they transported them back to the finish line. then you waited in 6-7 corrals and watched a jumbotron. They had a really goo DJ and lighting effects and a backdrop. the corrals were positioned after the leg 1 finish line. As your teammate entered the Simba lot from Floridian Way, they announced them, you could see them on the jumbotron and you stepped out of your corral. After they crossed the finish, they tagged the second runner in and you ran to the end of the corrals, turned around, back past the DJ booth and finish line in the opposite direction and then merged onto Floridian Way. Because of the extra .2 miles at the end, leg 2 ended up being slightly longer. All of this and I thought it was fun and extremely well organized. Where they lost me was when the leg 1 runners got medals from a tent after they crossed their finish line and basically became spectators for the remainder of the event. I felt like they should have had a special reserved area at the finish line for leg 1 runners where they could wait for their teammates and then distribute the medals together.
 

Figment82

Well-Known Member
I ran leg #2 of the marathon relay. It was interesting...You were basically treated as a spectator at the start line. They had designated buses to T&TC. The buses dropped you off and they had a mini version of the start village. You checked bags there and they transported them back to the finish line. then you waited in 6-7 corrals and watched a jumbotron. They had a really goo DJ and lighting effects and a backdrop. the corrals were positioned after the leg 1 finish line. As your teammate entered the Simba lot from Floridian Way, they announced them, you could see them on the jumbotron and you stepped out of your corral. After they crossed the finish, they tagged the second runner in and you ran to the end of the corrals, turned around, back past the DJ booth and finish line in the opposite direction and then merged onto Floridian Way. Because of the extra .2 miles at the end, leg 2 ended up being slightly longer. All of this and I thought it was fun and extremely well organized. Where they lost me was when the leg 1 runners got medals from a tent after they crossed their finish line and basically became spectators for the remainder of the event. I felt like they should have had a special reserved area at the finish line for leg 1 runners where they could wait for their teammates and then distribute the medals together.

Wow, that was quite an elaborate setup! I can see why it probably wasn’t a cost effective use of time and resources, especially with the extra transportation. I agree with you on the medal distribution - receiving them as a team at the marathon finish would have been a lot more fun. But I’m sure people would have found a way to cheat the system - they always seem to find those loopholes. Thanks for the firsthand report! And I was totally kidding about it being “stupid” - I just remember being so ready to quit at the halfway point and tempted by that relay finish line, haha! 😉
 

lukacseven

Active Member
Wow, that was quite an elaborate setup! I can see why it probably wasn’t a cost effective use of time and resources, especially with the extra transportation. I agree with you on the medal distribution - receiving them as a team at the marathon finish would have been a lot more fun. But I’m sure people would have found a way to cheat the system - they always seem to find those loopholes. Thanks for the firsthand report! And I was totally kidding about it being “stupid” - I just remember being so ready to quit at the halfway point and tempted by that relay finish line, haha! 😉
Found a link with a good report from the relay with photos...
 

Greenlawler

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Found a link with a good report from the relay with photos...

I can find several race reports from various years, but it's hard to pick details from all these.
 

Greenlawler

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Small update to the history added today 2/8

More questions

First year for Cheer Squad? Runner's Retreat?

In 2010 I have seen conflicting reports. Post Race Party according was at DHS or Epcot?
 
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lukacseven

Active Member
Small update to the history added today 2/8

More questions

First year for Cheer Squad? Runner's Retreat?

In 2010 I have seen conflicting reports. Post Race Party according was at DHS or Epcot?
In 2010, the post race party was definitely at DHS. I don't remember there ever being a post-race party in Epcot for the January race weekend, at least since 2006. Maybe someone got confused w/ W&D?

I know they did not have ChEar Squad in 2008 or before - they did have it in 2010, but not sure about 2009 - the perks differed throughout the years slightly. Never did Race Retreat either(wish I had in 2010), so don't really know when that started.
 
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Greenlawler

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In 2010, the post race party was definitely at DHS. I don't remember there ever being a post-race party in Epcot for the January race weekend, at least since 2006. Maybe someone got confused w/ W&D?

I know they did not have ChEar Squad in 2008 or before - they did have it in 2010, but not sure about 2009 - the perks differed throughout the years slightly. Never did Race Retreat either(wish I had in 2010), so don't really know when that started.

2008 was my first year and I do not remember a Cheer Squad either. I think it might have been 2009, I do remember there being different levels of reserved seating. I think Race Retreat might have been a 2010 thing.

Updated today with some finisher numbers from 2013-2019......if those are right it's got to be troubling to Disney or that humidity was worse than I thought. That's almost 9,000 less than the year before, and 5,000 less than the lowest turnout (taking into account the added half runners in 2017) since 2013.
 
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Edward Jackson

Well-Known Member
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_World_Marathon

The first marathon, run on January 1994, featured 5,588 runners. This marathon was the first race that launched the Disney Endurance Series, which is now runDisney.

That first year, when you entered the marathon, you were mailed a long sleeve t-shirt. Funny thing, I was not able to go to Florida after
I signed up, but I still have the t-shirt. :D
 

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