The happiest race on earth or my road to the Walt Disney World Half Marathon

16 01 2009

By Dave Kellermans- F4 Athlete

This is my first race report so bear with me. First of all I really have to give props to all the coaches and the other runners of the various groups (especially the run for fun group) – I’m the back of the pack guy, the one that collects the cones – but they were there with advice, tips and tricks and most importantly patiently waited for me on the long runs.

disney_001 My wife and I arrived in Orlando on Thursday packed with gels, Salt tablets and my own stash of Gatorade (Disney only serves diluted PowerAde, so my first bottle was going to be the good stuff). One memorable thing is that Disney puts on a great program around the races with a great expo and a lot of guest speakers – we listened to Dick and Rick Hoyt (Team Hoyt), Jeff Galloway, John Bingham and Coach Jenny Hadfield.

disney_002 The race was Saturday morning with a wave start. We woke up at 3am and took the Monorail system to Epcot to join over 12,000 runners to the start. The race started by fireworks and we were off towards Magic Kingdom. The first mile was slow, very slow – even for my standards – as it was quite crowded. This is one of the problems – in quite a few places you are running on a one lane road with a lot of people around you. Also a negative was the lack of entertainment outside the parks themselves. When you are running thorough Magic Kingdom or Epcot, there is lots of music, Disney characters (runners stand in line to have their picture taken …) and spectators, but outside the parks there is hardly anything.

I settled into my race plan, which was to split the race in thirds – the first third run five minutes and walk 30 seconds, the next run five minutes, walk 45 seconds and the remaining third to run 5 minutes and walk one minute. I had done my home work and programmed my Garmin to beep at these intervals. The plan worked out great, helping me to maintain my pace and still have short periods to reset my body.

I had a nutrition plan that differed from my first Half Marathon in Moab – eat less. I had 4 gels for my journey, plenty Salt Stick tablets and I drank 1 bottle of Gatorade and two (diluted) bottles of PowerAde.

I used the Salt Stick tablets to avoid / cure cramps and muscle aches. During the race I was generally fine – at mile 9 my shoulders started tensing up and two tablets did the trick to relax them.

The planning worked out great and I finished the race happy my performance, but just like Moab – I would have not been able to turn around and do it again (at least not yet :-).

After the race I raided the ice machine in the hotel and carried three hotel room size trash buckets to my room. The joys of an ice bath for tired legs – I was able to walk the next day without problems.

Here are the stats for my race

5K 00:45:12
10K 01:29:35
15K 02:15:23
Finish 03:16:12


Avg HR 142 bpm
Max HR 159 bpm

Overall it was a fun race, but due the lack of entertainment between the parks, I probably won’t be back. Personally I am happy – I finished 2 minutes 47 seconds faster than The Other Half in Moab and slightly faster than planned with Coach Pam before the race.

A big thank you goes to my wife, who decided to run the race with me and entertain me.

Also thanks to everyone running with me, the coaches and everyone at FastForward – I’ll see you in March for the Triathlon program.




6 responses

17 01 2009

I am so happy for you Dave! Congrats!
Oh, I have those F4 stickers to pimp your new bike out with so you are lookin’ pretty stylish in March when you join the TRI program!

22 01 2009

Congratulations Dave! I did this race last year and agree that I wouldn’t do it again because of the roads in between. Two half marathons down – now the TRI program?! You’ll have a blast.

22 01 2009

Dave, My Man…………..

You do realize that you’re a total Rock Star at this point, eh?…..We’re all majorly proud of you and your many accomplishments………You’re going to take the Tri World by storm come March!


5 02 2009

Dave –

I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to tear up the Rez and the surrrounding roads during tri training!


9 03 2009
Dave W.


Congratulation…keep up the good work.

You ex-work colleague.

Dave W.

13 03 2009
Scott Gurst


It was a real pleasure to read your race report, having had the privelege of training with you this past winter. Congrats on a great race!

– Scott

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