Help with Marathon spectating...

Discussion in 'runDisney' started by g-dub, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. g-dub

    g-dub Earning My Ears

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    Hello all,

    We are journeying to the World for New Year’s and the week after, and my DW is running the half marathon on Saturday 1/6. Also on the trip are myself and DS 15 and DS 11. We are never done the marathon thing before and information is a bit hard to find about the schedule and mechanics of being a spectator.

    My wife was planning on leaving early in the morning to make sure she is there on time. We are staying at OKW so will be using Disney transportation to the start line at Epcot. I was hoping not to get the kids out of bed at 3:30AM if possible, but willing to do whatever.

    It looks like spectators can see the start at Epcot, can watch on Main Street of MK before the park opens, and then can watch the finish at Epcot. Looks like monorail is running from Epcot to MK...

    My questions:
    1. Is it possible to take Disney transportation to watch the start of the half marathon, then take the monorail to MK to watch her run down Main Street, and then back to Epcot for the finish? She runs the half in about 2:05 to 2:20 or so... Not sure we have enough time to make it to MK and back to watch her run by?

    2. Is monorail the only way to go to MK that time of the morning? One thought was to let the kids sleep in a bit, not be there for the start but make our first stop MK to watch her on Main Street and then high tail it back to Epcot to watch the finish. Is that possible? If so, does Disney transportation go straight to MK that early or do I need to go to Epcot by bus and then monorail to MK?

    3. Any other advice on being a spectator? Looked at the paid spectating packages and don’t think we will be doing that - doesn’t seem worth it...

    Thanks!
     
  2. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    1. Yes it is possible.

    2. Your best option is monorail to MK if you are watching the start.

    3. I wouldn’t do the paid options unless you really want to.
     
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  4. GreatLakes

    GreatLakes DIS Veteran

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    The answer to #1 depends partially on how fast your wife runs. Keep in mind you will have to take the monorail to MK, then transfer to the park monorail, then go through security, then get down main street. Main street is also pretty packed and loud so there is a good chance you wife won't see you. I personally would take the monorail to the start and then head over towards the side of the parking lot and try to catch her outside of the park. You could then go over near the Poly and catch her a third time if you are fast enough and she isn't flying.

    I agree with rteetz that the paid packages aren't worth it. To add a little to what I posted above I personally would rather my spouse be over in the GF Poly area than on Main St only because that is a little more boring for the runner and seeing family there would be a nice pick up. Main St. and the whole MK portion of the race is a pick up in itself.
     
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  5. g-dub

    g-dub Earning My Ears

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    Just to make sure I understand you, you are saying take the bus to Epcot early in the morning, watch the start, then take the monorail to the TTC - watch her from the TTC? Is the viewing close to where I would exit the monorail? Then you are saying do not take the monorail to MK but instead walk over the Poly and watch her run by there - where would the best place to watch be at Poly? Then walk back to TTC and monorail back to Epcot - hopefully to be there before she finishes? Do I understand all that correctly?
     
  6. g-dub

    g-dub Earning My Ears

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    Another question I just thought of: what about using Uber? Or Minnie Uber? Perhaps I could call an Uber to our hotel room at OKW and take that directly to MK - avoiding the crazy busy monorail. Although I wonder if roads are closed and it isn’t possible to take an Uber that time of the morning?
     
  7. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Minnie Vans don’t start running until 6:30AM. You’d have to use a regular Uber. The Uber would have to drop you off at the TTC.
     
  8. GollyGadget

    GollyGadget Mouseketeer

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    I ran the PHM a few years ago with a similar pace. My mom saw me off to the corrals then headed for Main Street. Once I passed she had plenty of time to get near the finish.

    I don't remember what time I got to the start area but I remember my mom said she had just enough time to get to MK. I know corrals aren't out yet, but that will affect what time she'll be passing the spectating areas.

    From what I've heard spectating at the start line isn't worth it because you can't get close enough to really see the runners. Whether you choose to look for her inside MK or at TTC, I would head straight there and not worry about the start.
     
  9. cavepig

    cavepig DIS Veteran

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    Not sure if this helps or you already read it but in the event guide for the half it has this for spectators

    WALT DISNEY WORLD® HALF MARATHON ONLY
    Location Time Details
    Start – Epcot® Center Drive 5:30 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. Accessible ONLY by foot from Epcot® Parking Lot
    Mile 3.8 - Ticket & Transportation Center 5:45 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. Take monorail from Epcot® to Ticket & Transportation Center
    Mile 4.7 - Disney'sContemporary Resort 5:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Accessible to guests staying at Disney's Contemporary Resort
    Mile 5.1 - Magic Kingdom® Park- Main Street, U.S.A.® Area 5:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Take monorail from Epcot® to Ticket & Transportation Center, exit monorail and walk down ramp, follow overhead signs and take the monorail to Magic Kingdom® Park
    Mile 7.2 - Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa 6:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Accessible to guests staying at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
    Mile 7.7- Disney's Polynesian VillageResort 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Accessible to guests staying at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
    Finish - Mile 13.1 - Epcot® Imagine Parking Lot 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Accessible via Epcot® Imagine Parking Lot
     
  10. SunDial

    SunDial Where Are The Umbrella Hats

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    Yes you can see your wife as she starts her half marathon. There should be a marked pathway to Epcot Dr where the start is. When she is in the Corral's have her line up on the left side of forward movement if you want to to get pics of her going by you. A friend in pink top center screen.
    Disney%20Half%20Marathon_Jan%2007%202012_0010-1_zpsrjsqdzq2.jpg Jan132013_0251_zps847b9a36.jpg Jan132013_0265_zpsd560257c.jpg
     
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  11. SunDial

    SunDial Where Are The Umbrella Hats

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    When you head back over to monorail and ride to the TTC, if your wife has a bright colored top and you can spot her you can get a picture from the monorail. I can tell you this as a former spectator and now Runner going through this was a lot of fun. Jan122013_0123_zpsb2feb0d1.jpg

    When you get to the TTC you should still see you wife depending on her Pace

    Jan122013_0123_zpsb2feb0d1.jpg Disney%20Half%20Marathon_Jan%2007%202012_0030_zpsfympa2tg.jpg

    After TTC you would have to choose whether you want to see your wife run down Main Street or over by the Grand Floridian or Polynesian. Logistics wise you really can't do both.

    Jan122013_0144_zps6c3329d7.jpg Disney%20Half%20Marathon_Jan%2007%202012_0033_zpswbvsbei2.jpg Disney Half Marathon_Jan 07 2012_0042_zpswmhrrq6g.jpg
     
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  12. SunDial

    SunDial Where Are The Umbrella Hats

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    Now when you seen her go past you at either one of these two places get back on the monorail and head over to Epcot. You will have 2 photo opportunities to see your wife. On the right hand side of the park entrance you will see the runners entering a backstage area. Head over there and wait for her to go past you. When she does walk to the left side of the park entrance. This is where the runners will come out and you get to see her cross the finish line. Have a great time @g-dub. Next event you will want to run it with her.

    Disney%20Half%20Marathon_Jan%2007%202012_0091_zpsykaaqbo3.jpg


    Forgot to.add this one earlier ::yes::
    2014-01-11 07.16.33.jpg


    Sorry I couldn't find the Finish Line shot of my friends on the cell phone
     
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  13. DopeyBadger

    DopeyBadger Imagathoner

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    We don't have corral info just yet, but here is a time of day spectator guide for a runner between a 2:05 and 2:20 assuming a 2:20 POT (based on 2017 corrals).

    Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 11.59.16 AM.png

    This reads that she is expected to be at Main Street between 6:48am and 6:54am.
     
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  14. g-dub

    g-dub Earning My Ears

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    This is such great information, thanks everyone!

    So based on the above chart, I know the runner information says be on the bus no later than 4, but if she isn’t starting until 5:58 or so, couldn’t we leave OKW at 5 and still make it on time? Or will the roads close at some point and even Disney transportation won’t run into Epcot?
     
  15. DopeyBadger

    DopeyBadger Imagathoner

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    If taking Disney transportation, then it is advised that you board a bus no later than 3:30am (per the event guide). The last bus from the resorts leaves at 5am, but that's for spectators. The walk from the bus drop-off spot to the start is not necessarily quick. It takes at least about 20-25 minutes (sometimes longer). There are lots of good reasons if using Disney transportation to be no later than the 3:30am bus for a runner. With all the training, money, etc. it isn't worth the risk to take a late bus (just my feeling on it though) and completely miss out on getting in your corral at all. There is a chance that if you show up too late, that you may end up in a further back corral (no guarantees one way or the other). If you use your own transportation, then you might be able to squeeze a little more time out of the morning and leave later.
     
  16. g-dub

    g-dub Earning My Ears

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    Whoops yes I agree - I realized my post wasn't clear. My wife, who is running, would take a bus before 3:30 I'm sure (she hates to be even close to late). Since I will be with our two kids we may wait and take a later bus - sounds like 5am would be the last option...
     
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  17. croach

    croach DIS Veteran

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    You said your wife doesn't like to be late so she should do what makes her most comfortable on race day, but Disney advising people to be on the buses by 3:30 is crazy. Now i'm guessing they do it to try to spread out people boarding buses to the start but it results in a lot of waiting around. Too much in my opinion.
     
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  18. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    You have not seen a line of 10 buses all inching along to the drop off spot as the first corral starts... (the last full one and dine half, in 2014) We were sitting in our corral being rained on and watching those buses move so slowly...

    Or there were the buses for princess that got delayed by something like half an hour and they delayed the start by 15 minutes.

    Be there early or put yourself at risk.
     
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  19. DopeyBadger

    DopeyBadger Imagathoner

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    So here's what I could come up with:

    Assuming her corral start is 5:58. Let's say you see her at 6:03am from your spot.

    -The walk from the start viewing to EPCOT monorail appears to be ~0.7 miles
    Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 5.47.25 PM.png
    -So assuming a walking pace of 20 min/mile (that's fairly slow), That would be a ~15 min walk. (Now 6:18)
    -The monorail to the TTC from EPCOT takes 15 min of ride time. Assuming a few min of waiting in line or waiting for monorail, that seems to put you at TTC around 6:35am. That happens to be her projected time exactly (6:36-6:40). So you may or may not miss her there.
    -The monorail to MK from TTC takes 15 min (and is a bit of a transfer). So let's say best case you didn't wait at TTC for viewing to go straight for MK. That would be ~6:55-7:05am arriving at the MK stop. Then a few minute walk to the inside Main Street. She is estimated to arrive at Main Street at 6:48-6:54am. So I would estimate that you would miss her and that's even if you didn't stop at the TTC.

    I think based on this quick assessment of numbers, you should not go to view the start. You'd be better off either viewing at TTC or MK Main Street (don't think both are possible based on her pace and the transportation time). You'll have a MUCH better chance of actually seeing her (and her seeing you) at TTC because it's much more spread out. Whereas the Main Street viewing is more hectic, but is more picturesque.

    -Since the MK to EPCOT finish area seems to take around 15+15+10 (~40 min) + 15 min walk to finish area = 55 min. I'd plan to head to the finish line from your last viewing area no later than ~7am to ensure you see her at ~8am at the finish. So it would seem your best bet is: either TTC/MK and then head to finish. You'd want to be on the EPCOT monorail no later than 6:00am to allow plenty of time to make it to either TTC/MK.
     
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  20. croach

    croach DIS Veteran

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    Yeah I totally get that but I got on a bus at 4:30 for Wine and Dine and still stood around waiting for the start in corral A. And yes I know the process for getting corrals is different for Marathon weekend. People should do whatever makes them most comfortable but being on a bus at 3:30 is not a 100% necessity.
     
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  21. Princesspixi

    Princesspixi Earning My Ears

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    They may have fixed the issues, but in 2011 i ran the princess half and my mom watched me run down Main Street. It took her longer to get back to Epcot than it took me to finish the race, by about an hr. She said at the TTC it was so bad they she barley moved when she stepped off the monorail.
    She watched the last person cross the finish line and thought i didn’t t finish.
    This past January she walked to the contemporary and took the bus to Epcot to watch me finish. She said it was so easy and not crowded. That’s what she’s doing next month. Oh and she gets on the last race bus to Epcot and heads straight to magic kingdom. But I’m a slow runner.
     

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