1. Being chased down by a runDisney official photographer – thinking they were going to kick us out of the race when they wanted our picture for their Facebook page.
2. Spending all weekend dreading running through ESPN because we were told it was going to be terrible, but end up loving it thanks to A+ character stops, changes in terrain and school bands and cheerleaders and a banana station.
3. A chocolate aid station with 5k left.
4. A “Let’s Get Down to Business” singalong with the 3 Shirtless Bros at about 7k into the 10k.
5. When the half marathon got cancelled, an impromptu half happened at Pop Century resort, with hundreds of runners, aid stations and spectators that could be heard across the lake.
6. Getting a shout out from the runDisney MC at the beginning of the 10k.
7. Getting to feel like we were starting the race at the beginning of the 5k and 10k, thanks to the new mini-corral system.
8. The spectator who went crazy for as at every spectator station. We saw her about 5 times (including the finish!) and she cheered so loud for us.
9. Roller coasters and shots halfway through the marathon. We didn’t do either but appreciated it was an option.
10. Seeing all the half marathoners who upgraded to the full crushing the full course.
11. All the princesses in Epcot!
12. A+ medals.
13. Beast character stop!
14. Genie character stop!
15. The dude we met before out impromptu half. We weren’t excited about it but he was so so so excited – he called it his most favourite Disney race ever – we fed off his energy and were pumped to crush 13.1 on our own.
16. Cruising to the finish line with a full crowd in the stands.
17. Accidental post-marathon cider.
18. DJs with more energy at 4:30am than I’ll ever have in my life.
19. The people who dressed up as the 101 Dalmatians. There were 101 of them.
20. The people who dressed up as the monorail.
21. The petting zoo at 25k.
22. Mickey and Minnie character stop!
23. Everyone who made a “fly, don’t run” joke on the course.
24. The guy who ate the best banana of his life at 26k.
25. Starting a mass wave of people using the bathroom in the woods in the marathon starting corral.
26. Wearing a tutu and going to the bathroom in the woods anyway.
27. Every kid who held out their hand for a high five.
28. Every person who cheered for “Flora, Fauna and Merryweather!”
29. The marathon shirt matching Jill’s costume perfectly so she wouldn’t get cold but could still be in costume.
30. Singing along to “Let It Go” in the 5k.
31. Canadian Donald Duck character stop!
32. Being Tweedles with my sister.
33. Seeing people buy beer, margaritas and turkey legs on their way to the finish line in the marathon.
34. Running through Animal Kingdom for the first time ever.
35. Running through Hollywood Studios for the first time ever – and there being huge crowds of people cheering.
36. In fact, the last 5k of this marathon might be the best final 5k of any race I’ve ever done.
37. Wearing a tutu and fairy wings for a marathon wasn’t terrible.
38. Seeing a group of minions several times out on the course and cheering for them.
39. Oreos in the snack boxes.
40. The many, many congratulations from visitors and cast members when we wore our medals out and about the next day.
41. How, after a terribly cold start, it became perfect marathon weather.
42. Running through the castle.
43. Being able to sleep in a bit because the half was cancelled.
44. Being randomly filmed or photographed because our costumes were awesome.
45. The Big Bad Wolf’s theme song blasting on the marathon course.
46. Seeing the classic rides on display on the marathon course.
47. Fireworks to start the race. Always.
48. Feeling so strong and happy throughout the entire marathon. I never bonked, never felt weak and never wanted to stop.
.6 So many stressful things happened – Jill’s flight was delayed and she missed the expo, the half was cancelled, I lost my bib and my flight home was cancelled – and it was still a memorable, magical weekend.