Thursday, March 19, 2020

In Which Jenn Has Thoughts About The New WDW Marathon Course


Hello cats and kittens! Are you stuck inside due to COVID-19 quarantine? Is the world slowly crumbling around you? Does the threat of cancelled races and Disney trips loom over your head? Me too! Let's distract ourselves with a frivolous runDisney discussion topic.

Let's talk about the 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon course. It was appreciably different from the course used for at least the previous 5 years, which I know because I ran 2015-2019 of those races and subsequent changes, while existent, were minor.

But 2020 was a brand new experience. And as is so often the case when I comes to change, I had mixed feelings. I think a lot of this was to accommodate all the construction; I wouldn't be surprised to see major adjustments as frequent as from year to year until all the newness shakes itself out.

So my opinions may be even less valuable than ever. Nonetheless, here are some of my random thoughts on the 2020 course, in no particular order:

  • Hitting the Magic Kingdom later in the race was nice in some ways, as it gave you something to look forward to. But by the time I - moderately slow from undertraining but nonetheless a denizen of early-ish corral C - didn't get to MK before sunrise. I missed seeing the lights on castle.
  • However, I did like that hitting more fun stuff during later miles. Long stretches of road and Wide World of Sports were replaced by stuff like the aforementioned Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom, and I wasn't mad about that.
  • Speaking of Wide World of Sports, I'm neutral on its excision. I know a lot of people hated it with a fiery passion, but I developed a strange fondness for it over the years.
  • On the other hand, the vaunted addition of Blizzard Beach was kinda boring. No characters, no spectators.
  • In fact, there were hardly any characters at all toward the end of the race, at least when I was running through it. This might have been a product of the heat; maybe Disney was trying to keep people moving, especially since they ended up removing a mile from the course for the slower folks thanks to the weather. But I didn't see a single character in World Showcase, which was weird.
  • Doubling back through the Epcot bus area in the beginning was a bad idea. I don't think I need to explain this one. But if you're curious, I dive into my conspiracy theories a bit more in my marathon recap
  • There were no real out-and-backs! Score!
  • Obviously the run through the Studios down the Boardwalk and into Epcot remains EPIC. It was a bit of a bummer having to turn out of World Showcase early and go backstage, but I understand we had to accommodate the construction. Still, somebody could've hooked up some speakers during the last half mile or so backstage. I had been jamming to the Disney music and really missed it at the end of the race.
  • EXCUSE ME WHERE WAS THE GOSPEL CHOIR AT MILE 26???????

So those are some things that stood out to me. Did you run the race? What did you think?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

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