The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 1/8/23

Magic Kingdom from boat launch

It’s my favorite annual trip report – my WDW Marathon trip! See all the posts in this trip report here. Onward!

Right so, when we left off this trip report, I had just finished up the 2023 Walt Disney World Marathon and taken a bus back to All-Star Sports. As is often the case for me, I was craving some seltzer water, but the pool bar wasn’t yet open and I didn’t remember seeing any in the food court drinks case. I wound up swinging by the vending machine in my hotel building and getting a Diet Coke (thankfully they take Apple Pay).

So there I am, digging into a bubbly beverage, holding my medal to my chest with my other hand to keep the spinner from clanking. I tap open the door and swing it wide, only to find… Erika in bed?

Let’s rewind.

You’ll recall that before the race, Erika declared a desire to backtrack to a real bathroom and sent me on ahead to the corrals. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, assuming she just really wanted to avoid a porta potty, which is fair enough. However, it turns out the chain of events was far more harrowing than that. In fact, if you’re very squeamish, you might want to bow out for the next paragraph.

Turns out, the reason Erika wanted to peel off is because she started feeling nauseated. I’ll keep this brief, but essentially she spent some time throwing up before making the incredibly wise and mature decision to preemptively pull herself from the race.

So she instead came in first place in a different race: who will be the ceremonial starting patient for the finish line medical tent? It was her! She won! She had her medal before anyone else on earth! The medical staff had her lay down for a bit and drink some Powerade and take some aspirin and rest until the buses back to the resorts started running.

In the meantime, she described for me an interesting scene; as the race began, so did the trickle of patients for the treatment team. I never thought about it, but evidently if you stop at an on-course medical tent and decide – or it is decided for you – to pull yourself from the race, you get bused back to the main finish line medical tent for further evaluation.

Thus Erika got to see all sorts of the ailments runners were coming in with. You had your twisted ankles, of course, and your dehydration, with the biggest issues seeming to arise from the fall victims – indeed, one lady landed on her face and knocked her teeth out. She had the honor of getting turfed straight to the hospital.

Anyway, the resort buses started running at 7am, at which point Erika returned to the room and went back to sleep. She told me she considered putting all her race stuff back on, tracking my bib, and arriving at the Epcot parking lot just as I was finishing, like, where have you been? I’ve been done for HOURS. Which would’ve been hilarious, but she decided to stick with sleeping, which makes sense to me!

And that’s where I found her, all those hours later, snug in bed and feeling infinitely better. Must’ve been something she ate?

Here ends the Epic of Erika – she bore her saga with a grace and equanimity I could never have managed, and I admire her all the more for it. Seriously, I read many stories of people who for whatever reason could not ultimately run their races. Heck, I almost couldn’t run the race.

Yet I didn’t read a single angry or bitter caption. There was disappointment, sure, but each and every one of you faced your new, race-free day philosophically. Statistically, it will more than likely happen to me one of these days, and when it does, I hope I can channel your inner zen. Cheers to those who push their limits, yes, but also those who know them.

(I’d love to do a blog post featuring stories from those who had to DNS or DNF – please shoot me an email, comment, or DM me on Insta to include your incident! Anonymity preserved by request. You don’t want misery to be without company, do you?)

Right then! This ends a Tale of One Marathon, Two Ways. After some chatter with Erika over the exciting sights of her morning, I hopped in the shower before rewarding myself with some Gideon’s Bakehouse cake. Breakfast of champions/marathoners!

Gideon's bakehouse Butterscotch cookie butter cake

Obviously the only thing that could complete my race cycle was a long nap. Having slept NO HOURS AT ALL, I really needed it.

Surprisingly I woke up only 3 or so hours later, ready to roll. I believe this is the approximate length of two full REM cycles, so that makes a certain amount of sense. Then again, I’m basing this on a hazy memory from a “Deadliest Catch” episode, so who knows.

This gave us plenty of time to make it to our dinner reservation, so we decided to eschew an Uber in favor of the fun way of traveling. Where was our ADR, you ask? Why, it was for none other than the Hoop de Doo Revue! After literal years of hearing great things I was finally going to experience it for myself.

There’s only one organic, mass-Disney-transpo way to get from 99% of resorts to Fort Wilderness: hie thee to the Magic Kingdom, then take a boat launch from there to the resort. Our MK bus dropped us off in plenty of time, though, so first Erika indulged my ego by taking some medal photos of me in front of the train station. See, I told you there’s a lot you can get done without ever entering a park. 😉

Oh, God, that’s SO MUCH OF ME. I just got portrait mode, okay? I’m excited. Here, look at Erika for a minute.

From there we picked up the boat to Fort Wilderness Resort, which helpfully dropped us right in the main area by Pioneer Hall. We checked in for our table and wandered the resort a bit until it was time for the show. Review coming next week, promise!

Hoop de Doo runs about two hours, but luckily the Magic Kingdom was open until 11pm that night; we were able to pick up another boat launch back to the park and then a bus to All-Star Sports with no difficulty. By that point we were pretty tired thanks to our separate ordeals, so we just showered and packed a bit before hopping right into bed. One more Disney day…

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!


  1. Awww, Erika is such a trooper and I’m glad she made the right choice if she was feeling sick. And as a sidenote, you’d think maybe the number of “fall victims” would be a good indication for Disney to get better at corraling people?? I mean you know most of them have to be because the course is too crowded with people running different paces. I’d bet that even percentage-wise Disney has more injuries due to that issue than any other race. What happened to safety first? It might be because I was a fall victim in a non-Disney race, but I feel like this is something that gets hugely overlooked and matters, well, a lot.

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