Help with Marathon spectating...

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

  1. DopeyBadger

    DopeyBadger Imagathoner

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    Good call! The buses start running again at 7am (per event guide). When my family has taken the first bus at 7am from AKL (resort we were staying at) to EPCOT finish line they literally walked up to see me cross at 1:43 in 2016. So a bus from Contemporary to EPCOT may very well beat the monorail from MK to EPCOT. Would have to add in the ~0.6 mile walk from Main Street to Contemporary bus station (12 minutes) though.
     
  2. Novatrix

    Novatrix Dreamfinder-in-Training

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    Sorry, not trying to highjack the thread, but this also has to do with marathon spectating.

    Are runners and spectators not able to physically interact at the Polynesian viewing area? It looked like in the photo there was a barrier in place. The reason why I ask is I was hoping to pull off to the side and hand over a jacket to my pit crew around that area.
     
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  4. SunDial

    SunDial Where Are The Umbrella Hats

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    In that area it is 2 lane road. The cones are there for visual lane separation. One lane is for the runners and the other is for traffic. Disney will alternate the traffic flow of that one lane with lead and trailing vehicles. So you could hand off your jacket there. Pit crew would have to keep an eye out for the train of vehicles moving thru.
     
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  5. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Totally. But if everyone starts to wait for that last bus...

    Nice that you got that corral A! Now if you were late and you couldn’t get there and had to start later...ugh! No fun for you or those you would be passing.

    Put a little thought out for those like me much further back who get to wait even longer than you. :)


    The Disney starts make us appreciate local runs more. Like 2014 Seattle half staying 5 minutes from the start. Up, ready, waffles and coffee, once ready to go outside it was a 5 minute walk and 5 minutes later it was the start. Made all the sweeter by comparison to Disney.
     
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  6. Novatrix

    Novatrix Dreamfinder-in-Training

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    Awesome, thanks!
     
  7. BuckeyeBama

    BuckeyeBama You are stronger than you think.

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    DB - Can you post something similar for a group expected to run a 3:15 half? We will have a whole bunch of friends and family who will only be spectating the half, but very much want to see us a few times on the course.

    Also, is a ticket required to watch on Main Street in MK?
     
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  8. DopeyBadger

    DopeyBadger Imagathoner

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    I can. When the corrals come out on Friday (my guess) I'll start compiling all of the information into a large spreadsheet. It'll have lots of useful information for runners and spectators.

    ETA- it is my understanding that no ticket of any kind is required to view people on Main Street at MK for the HM.
     
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  9. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    No ticket needed for MK as they’d be there before the park opens. If they go to Epcot to spectate the last mile they would need a ticket.
     
  10. IamTrike

    IamTrike DIS Veteran

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    Being on the bus at 3:30 is not a necessity, but comparing wine and dine to Marathon Weekend isn't an apples to apples comparison. The starts are in different places with a different process to get to the corrals. Also there are about 50% more people running the Marathon weekend half. I think 13K for Wine and Dine and more than 20K for WDW. 50% more runners definitely adds stress to the transportation system.

    I am not sure if it's the fact that it's the first time driving the routes for some of the bus drivers or the fact that there are more runners for the half and the full, but out of the past 7 marathon weekends I've had bus issues twice and both were on half marathon mornings. (one morning the bus driver got lost, one morning there weren't enough buses for the people at the stop so we wound up waiting around for another bus which added about 15-20 minutes to the trip).

    I freely admit that I haven't figured it out, because I've done 7 marathon weekends 3 staying at resorts with buses and 4 staying on the monorail. (never had issues on 5 or 10k days from any resort.) While staying at resorts with buses I've always tried to be on the 3:30 bus. I've been way early 2/3 of the time and 1/3 of the time I've been pushing it to make it to my corral in time. I think I've had worse luck than most though.



    I would probably try and see her at TTC then depending on what the monorail looks like and her pace walk to Poly see her in front of that then walk back to the TTC and head to the finish. I would agree that if they try to see her on Mainstreet they will are in jeopardy of missing everything else.
     
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  11. JeffW

    JeffW Mouseketeer

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    Ok, I might be a bit of a contrarian, but here's the advice I'd give. Don't bother with the start line viewing. It will be a giant mob of humanity out of the start, that will make viewing difficult and it is hazardous for any runner to slow down or not pay attention to all of the runners in front of them.

    I would plan on TTC viewing, as you can be right up close and hug/high-five/etc (just walk south down the cones and under the bridge at TTC until you find an open viewing spot). Then board the resort monorail around to Grand Floridian and you will have a similar situation where your runner won't be separated by cones/fencing/etc. (These two spots work equally well for the marathon). Lastly hop back on the resort monorail to the TTC and monorail to Epcot to see your runner *entering* Epcot (this only applies to the HM, as the entry to Epcot for the Marathon is completely different). Again, no separation barriers like there will be when your runner is exiting Epcot. Plan to meet your runner outside the bag check tent after they finish.

    I say all of this based on viewing runners with my own kids in the past (as young as 3). Your kids are older, but especially when mine were little, being behind any kind of crowd or barrier made it really hard for the kids to interact.

    Something you didn't mention is actually finding your runner. It can be especially mind numbing staring at thousands of people as they run by, trying to pick out your family member. Two options I use. If using a Garmin Watch that has bluetooth to a cell phone, LiveTrack is an awesome feature of Garmin Connect so you can see exactly where your runner is at any moment. Do a few trial runs during training runs before going to Disney. An alternative, again if your runner is carrying a cell phone, is to have them text you when they are a mile away from the meet up points. Disney does have free runner tracking that will send you text messages at key locations, but I've found the "lag" highly variable in the past and wouldn't fully trust it.
     
  12. JeffW

    JeffW Mouseketeer

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    Whoops, meant to add this. Here's a link to a Garmin track from last year's marathon (which will match up to the half marathon through about 8.5 miles)

    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1515895961

    TTC is about mile 3.75 on this track and Grand Floridian is 7.1 Since this overlays with Google Maps, so you can zoom in and see more details than the event guide maps, if you'd like.
     
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  13. funsizedisaster

    funsizedisaster Earning My Ears

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    When I ran the Princess 2 years ago, I woke up "late" and boarded the bus from Port Orleans around 4:30...If I remember correct I was in Corral H? I made it to the corral just as they were releasing the first wave. Granted, I had no bags to check, went thru security and straight to the corrals. No potty break, nothing else. This weekend is a much busier race with more runners than the Princess weekend. Better to be safe than sorry.
     
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  14. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    And hard to find your people, too.

    The one time I had family watching, they were at the end, in the stands, at TOT 2013. I didn’t see them and they didn’t see me. The only reason they knew I finished was bc the announcer said my name (I had no idea) so they started making their way to the meetup.

    I had somehow managed to wedge myself between a few tall runners in the side opposite the stands and was invisible to them.

    If doing that I personally as a participant would have a text written out and ready to just hit Send when at that spot.


    Although I haven’t had anyone spectate for anything beyond the one TOT, it has been really meaningful seeing all the strangers at TTC cheering. Especially the strangers cheering for strangers. I love those people. Be one of those people. :):):)
     
  15. JeffW

    JeffW Mouseketeer

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    Completely agree. My family doesn't even attempt the finish line anymore. When they are out on the course, they have these inflatable hands, which makes them easier for me to spot (and lots of runners like giving them a high-five)
    Hands.jpeg
     
  16. GreatLakes

    GreatLakes DIS Veteran

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    Sorry, I was out and about this weekend. If you want to watch the start yes, take the bus to the start and then the monorail to the TTC. When I got off the monorail I would head over towards World Dr. near W. Wilderness Rd and find a spot where there aren't a lot of people between there and the water tunnel before the Contemporary.

    When your wife passed I would job over towards the Poly and try to find a spot over there where there are also not a lot of people. Next to the golf course on Floridian Way should be relatively quiet.

    I personally would skip the start and just wait for her at the TTC area but that is up to you.

    Being in an area where there won't be thousands of other spectators makes it easier for your runner to spot you. Just know their pace, their expected start time based on corral, what they are wearing, and make sure they know where to look for you and what you are wearing.
     
  17. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Oh and I’ve noticed that the tracking is better than it used to be. I actually track myself, to see how accurate it is. :)
     
  18. BelleWannabe4

    BelleWannabe4 Mouseketeer

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    I agree that the tracking is pretty good! I also use it to track myself, but it's only available when you cross certain markers (5K, 10K, etc.).

    As a runner, I text as I'm heading into MK and then when I'm about to exit Epcot. At that point, my spectators text me a photo of where they are and give me a quick description (i.e., first viewing stand before the finish line, or right behind the photographer on Main Street). We don't bother with the start because there are so many people and by that point I'm just ready to get a move on. I've always had luck finding them both at MK and the finish and we've gotten some pretty great photos on occasion...and sometimes I just look like I have lost my mind while running...I'm working on it :P

    ETA: Last year, for Princess, my mom got on a bus at 4:45 am from POFQ and was able to see me in MK with time to spare. I ran that in 2:24 if that helps. Apparently there were some runners on her bus who were FREAKING OUT. She didn't get to Epcot until 5:45 due to the traffic.
     
  19. rgaimari

    rgaimari Earning My Ears

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    Hi,

    Does anyone know about spectator viewing at Animal Kingdom? I was hoping to get resupplied by my wife sometime around 8:30, before the park opens. Will people be able to meet runners in the parking lot that early? According to the map, it looks like we'll be running around the lot starting about mile 14, so plenty of opportunity, provided spectators will be allowed to be there. Also, would there be transportation to it? Or would Uber be the best bet? Thanks!

    - Bob
     
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  20. DopeyBadger

    DopeyBadger Imagathoner

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    Hi Bob! Your wife should have no issue resupplying you either at the entrance of the AK (not inside but outside the gates) or in the parking lot at 8:30am. Since AK opens at 9:00am, there should be normal resort bus transportation to that location starting around 45 min earlier. I've passed by AK much earlier than 8:30am (~7:26am) and seen plenty of spectators in that area. She could consider an Uber if timing were too close for comfort.
     
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  21. JeffW

    JeffW Mouseketeer

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    Yes, there are plenty of opportunities (you run the whole sidewalk around the front of AK and past the bus drop off). I'm out of AK by around 7:45 and it is always busy with people. I'm not sure what peoples' experiences are with Uber on marathon morning (the roads and traffic get a bit chaotic), but buses are definitely running to get people to AK that early
     
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