Participants in the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend have helped thousands of local public school youth across Central Florida. Almost 25,000 warm clothing items collected by Disney, will be distributed to those in need through Orange County and Osceola County Public Schools and other Central Florida non–profit organizations.
Typically runners, including myself, bundle up in layers prior to the marathon and half marathon to brace against the cold morning air. As we run and warm up, we shed the items along the 26.2-mile and 13.1 mile courses. Approximately 14,696 pounds of clothing was deposited for donation during the two weekend runs. All the items were laundered by Disney textile services before giving them to Central Florida charities.
It’s nice to know that somewhere in Florida, my Downers Grove South sweatshirt is helping to keep a public school student warm this winter.
The day started with packet pickup at the Wide World of Sports which is kind of off by itself over by the Pop Century resorts. The easiest way to get there is to get to Holloywood Studios and take the WWOS bus from there. They have busses running every 20 minutes to accommodate the weekends racers.
The pickup was very well organized with sections for Marathon runners, Half Marathon runners, 5K runners and Goofy runners (doing the half and the full). We were required to show our race waiver and a form of ID in order to receive our number, timing tape (not a chip anymore), and various instruction sheets.
Everything comes in a nice blue mesh shoulder bag which will be used on race day as your clothes check bag. They used to give you a clear plastic bag on race day to check anything you don’t want to take on the course with you. i don’t think people will be checking too much on Sunday as it is supposed to be 30 degrees at the gun.
After packet pickup you walk over to the expo to pickup your race shirt and safety pins to attach your number. You have an opportunity to purchase official merchandise as well as items from various vendors. I imagine the hats and gloves will sell well this year. A tip for the expo. The official merchandise lines are very long, so be prepared to wait. They are Disney lines so they move well but it can still take 30-40 minutes to make it through.
We headed over to Hollywood Studios to mill around for a while but did not get to go on anything as all rides were about an hour wait and we had a dinner reservation to get to. We got back to the hotel for a quick change and hopped on the monorail for a quick ride to the Grand Floridian. We had a early reservation for Citricos so we could get back and watch the College Championship Game (Go Bama). I had the Roasted Chicken Breast with pappardelle pasta, wine-braised artichokes, grape tomatoes, basil pesto and savory chardonnay broth. Matt had the Braised Short Ribs with creamy polenta, sautéed greens, and blood orange demi-glace. Excellent meal. Head and shoulders above last night. Monorail back to the hotel and up to the Top of the World for the game.
Watched the first half the game form the lounge. Wow, what a turn of events for Texas. Doesn’t look like they can pull that one out. 5K early tomorrow morning. Time for bed.