Marathon Weekend 2022

Anne

Well-known member
I'm at the airport heading home after a great marathon weekend trip with my bff! I'm pausing my Christmas trip report to post information that might be helpful regarding travel right now, as well as race specific info for those who are doing Princess next month. Please let me know if there is any specific information you're looking for. Then I'll go back and try to finish off Christmas.
 

Anne

Well-known member
Will we get a trip report about the race?
Sure, if you're interested. Do you want the whole race report and then finish off Christmas, or the practical stuff for the race, then finish Christmas, then go back to the day by day race report?
 

lovett1979

Well-known member
Sure, if you're interested. Do you want the whole race report and then finish off Christmas, or the practical stuff for the race, then finish Christmas, then go back to the day by day race report?
However you’d like. I just love reading race reports. I’m not doing Princess so don’t need the tips ASAP or anything. Just hoped to get the full experience. I am curious to know your thoughts about Covid safety at the races, though.
 

BSS

Active member
I'm at the airport heading home after a great marathon weekend trip with my bff! I'm pausing my Christmas trip report to post information that might be helpful regarding travel right now, as well as race specific info for those who are doing Princess next month. Please let me know if there is any specific information you're looking for. Then I'll go back and try to finish off Christmas.
I would love your general thoughts on current travel and being at WDW right now more specifically. We leave in just under 3 weeks to head down for 9 days. We are all adults and all vaxxed and boosted. We will mask.
 
I am curious to know your thoughts about Covid safety at the races, though.
I am curious too. My impression from wine&dine is that the protocols were fine, but the compliance and enforcement were lacking. For example, masks were supposedly required in the corrals, but I'd estimate that less than 1/2 of the people in the corrals were actually wearing them because once you walked through the entrance to the corral, no one was actually checking. Since covid positivity is currently much worse than it was during wine&dine, I'm wondering if compliance was any better last weekend.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
I am curious too. My impression from wine&dine is that the protocols were fine, but the compliance and enforcement were lacking. For example, masks were supposedly required in the corrals, but I'd estimate that less than 1/2 of the people in the corrals were actually wearing them because once you walked through the entrance to the corral, no one was actually checking. Since covid positivity is currently much worse than it was during wine&dine, I'm wondering if compliance was any better last weekend.
I follow a ton of runDisney runners on social media and the pictures I saw of the pre-race gathering area, walking to the corrals, in the corrals, at the start, seemed like far less than 50% of the people wearing masks. With the transmissibility of Omicron it seems like it would be a good idea to mask up, even outdoors, if you're shoulder-to-shoulder with lots of other people.
 

paxsarah

Active member
I'd love any details you wish to share about the race weekend. I'm doing my first runDisney race in 8 years in April, and I used to follow that stuff so closely (it was the only DIS forum I regularly frequented) but not for a long time now, so I will read anything you want to give us. :)
 

Anne

Well-known member
They promise that every mile is magic so I would like to know for each mile, specifically, the type of magic you experienced and how it was manifested.
Too many to name them all, but probably the most magical was losing my big toenail at mile 24. It's the magic that keeps on giving since I'm not sure how I'm going to get my foot into a closed-toe shoe for work tomorrow.
I follow a ton of runDisney runners on social media and the pictures I saw of the pre-race gathering area, walking to the corrals, in the corrals, at the start, seemed like far less than 50% of the people wearing masks. With the transmissibility of Omicron it seems like it would be a good idea to mask up, even outdoors, if you're shoulder-to-shoulder with lots of other people.

COVID Protocols and the Races:

They did absolutely nothing to promote mask use at the race. It was like mentioning COVID by name and masks were a taboo subject for the DJ and announcers. People were very good about masks on transportation. Outside I would say it was close to 40-50% with masks and 50-60% without. Except as we got close to the start people removed them and then we're standing shoulder to shoulder for the last 10-15 minutes with the majority unmasked at this point. How hard is it to keep the mask on until we get spaced out a little???? I kept mine on for maybe the first half mile until better spaced. And then would put it back on for any lines or character stops or congested areas on the course. It wasn't hard to manage at all.

My original goal was to hang back in the corral and try to stay spaced to the very end. It was an absolutely futile strategy. I was in S2 and for the 5K and 10K we started the weaving round-about-march to the start at about 4:30 am. At that point it was shoulder to shoulder people pushing forward and you can't hang back because the next corral group is coming up behind you. For the half and the full it was a little better because it was a straight march forward. But even then 25 minutes before the start people were moved forward and the corrals from behind came up closer so there was no longer a back of corral where you could space out.

Bottom line, doing the races was a high-risk activity. There is no way to get around that. If you are not comfortable that you might end up with COVID (and have a contingency plan in place) then in-person racing at Disney is probably not a good idea in the current environment. You can certainly try to mitigate the risk by being vaccinated and boosted, masking when unable to space, and spacing out as much as possible when you can. But you can count on at least 30 minutes of being cuddled up with hundreds of your fellow runners at the start. I've had plenty of patients tell me "but we were outside" and still got COVID from friends at the pool, playground, or other activities where they spent prolonged unmasked face to face time outdoors. Being outside, if there isn't distancing or masking or both, is no longer low risk.
 

Anne

Well-known member
I follow the main marathon weekend thread on the DIS and there were 2 reports of positive COVID tests yesterday from participants. One was reporting "heat stroke" symptoms on Sunday and my first thought at the time was it sounded more like COVID. Sure enough, they were positive yesterday. With current incidence and that many people participating there were likely hundreds of people positive in the corrals and on the course. I will keep testing, avoiding socializing, and wearing my N95 over the next week to try to avoid exposing others if I end up with a breakthrough infection. The probability is not low given the environment and current incidence. I knew that going in, although crowding and mask adherence did end up being a little worse than I'd anticipated.
 

lovett1979

Well-known member
I follow the main marathon weekend thread on the DIS and there were 2 reports of positive COVID tests yesterday from participants. One was reporting "heat stroke" symptoms on Sunday and my first thought at the time was it sounded more like COVID. Sure enough, they were positive yesterday. With current incidence and that many people participating there were likely hundreds of people positive in the corrals and on the course. I will keep testing, avoiding socializing, and wearing my N95 over the next week to try to avoid exposing others if I end up with a breakthrough infection. The probability is not low given the environment and current incidence. I knew that going in, although crowding and mask adherence did end up being a little worse than I'd anticipated.

There are multiple posts in the runDisneyRun Facebook group today of people testing positive after this weekend. This did not happen after WIne & Dine. I know there were probably many more people there this weekend but I think the main difference is the omicron strain's transmissibility. Hopefully everyone pulls through it without serious symptoms or long issues.

Do you think if everyone had masked in the corrals it would have made a difference? Or would the conditions during the race have caused these cases anyway?

I do love the disclaimer at the top of the runDisney homepage - "An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present."
 
I follow the main marathon weekend thread on the DIS and there were 2 reports of positive COVID tests yesterday from participants. One was reporting "heat stroke" symptoms on Sunday and my first thought at the time was it sounded more like COVID. Sure enough, they were positive yesterday. With current incidence and that many people participating there were likely hundreds of people positive in the corrals and on the course. I will keep testing, avoiding socializing, and wearing my N95 over the next week to try to avoid exposing others if I end up with a breakthrough infection. The probability is not low given the environment and current incidence. I knew that going in, although crowding and mask adherence did end up being a little worse than I'd anticipated.
From one of the runDisney training groups:

7 dwarves challenge.PNG
 

Anne

Well-known member
Do you think if everyone had masked in the corrals it would have made a difference? Or would the conditions during the race have caused these cases anyway?
Masks in corrals certainly would make a difference. Transmission would still happen over the course of the weekend but the number of cases would be lower. No masks in corrals and person A is exposed there. Person B on the course. Person C at a meal. The masks in corrals might prevent person A from becoming sick. You still might see infection for person B and C, although B might be distanced enough and brief enough exposure to remain negative.

A 3rd person now reported probable COVID post race on DIS.

I forgot to mention people also did not mask at all in the middle of the race at the park bathrooms where masks are usually required. I was the only person with a mask on in the bathroom mid-race.
 

Anne

Well-known member
Three more positives reported yesterday on the DIS marathon thread.

So why did I chose to go, even though it was foolhardy and if someone had asked me my medical opinion I wouldn't have recommended going? After almost two years I'm tired and I'm burnt out. Until my children were fully vaccinated I did nothing. Not even in the summer lull did we do a meal out or a show or a family gathering beyond seeing our parents. I've worn my mask diligently in public, even when not required. Only my husband attended my mother-in-law's funeral. That was really hard to miss, but the kids weren't yet vaccinated and not everyone attending was vaccinated and many announced in advance they would not wear a mask. When I signed up for the race in the summer it looked like this would be mostly behind us by January. I wasn't expecting we would be at a point where record cases were being reported. I hadn't seen my BFF (I'll refer to her as L going forward) since our last race trip in Oct 2019. She had to get extra time off work and special approval for this trip months in advance. Disney made it clear there were no refunds of race registration for COVID-related concerns and no transfers to the virtual race. I had a DVC reservation that was under 30 days so the points would be essentially lost if I canceled. Add to that my daily exposure at work and my kids' daily exposure at school (every day they have been back from winter break there is someone in their class who is out for a positive or exposure) and it was hard to feel like the trip was a whole lot worse than what I'm exposed to every day at home. At least I wouldn't have to put a swab up the nose of any of the other race participants. But mostly I'm just tired of missing the things that are important to me and seeing L was really important to me. So I went and now I'm doing my best to avoid exposing others over this next week in case I become positive and hoping I get lucky.

Enough of my rationalization. Other COVID related considerations:

As in December I wore an N95 plus glasses at the airport and on the flight. Instead of the Suay masks I wore a KN95 in the parks outdoors and added a Suay over the KN95 indoors and on transportation as well as my glasses for eye protection (at least most of the time, sometimes I'd forget in the transition). In the corrals, even though it was outdoors, I added the Suay over my KN95 because we were so close. For stops during the race and the bathroom on the course I popped on the KN95 but did not double mask. I initially wanted to wear an N95 for the parks and the races but it was not easy enough to get on and off (plus the straps would randomly snap off) and I felt like the KN95 was sufficient for a mostly outdoor environment. I definitely noticed more KN95s in the parks this trip compared to December. I had pockets and kept the masks in a plastic zip lock and always brought a back up KN95 to the races and parks. If you forgot or lost your mask on the course there were surgical disposable masks given out when getting on the buses. I did not see any masks being provided at other times.

Ideally I wouldn't have done any indoor dining. But there were a few we wanted to do that we kept. I tried to keep the indoor dining towards the end of the trip (except for one meal) so that if there was a breakthrough infection it would be after returning home. I did my usual Binax Now test before both my departure and return flights. I did not do any mid-trip asymptomatic testing because I am starting to get low on tests. I brought a few extras in case either of us developed symptoms during the trip (thankfully we did not).
 

Anne

Well-known member
Race Details:

Corral placement and proof of time were different compared to pre-COVID. PoT was only required for a Marathon under 4 hrs and a Half Marathon under 2 hrs. All other placement was done based on your reported estimate of finish time (Half and Full) or minutes per mile pace (5K and 10 K). There was no proof of time for anyone for the 5K and 10K. Below are the specific corrals assigned for each pace from the DIS thread:

"For the M/Goofy/Dopey runners, it appeared to be (although I did see some anecdotal counter evidence on Facebook that I didn't dig into):
s1 = POT of 3:40 M or less
s2 = POT of 3:40 M to 4:00 M, and Platinum Club rD
s3 = 4:00-4:30 estimate
s4 = 4:30-5:00 estimate
s5 = 5:00-5:30 estimate
s6 = 5:30-6:00, 6:00-6:30, and 6:30-7:00 estimate

For the HM, it appeared to be (although I did see some anecdotal counter evidence on Facebook that I didn't dig into):
s1 = POT of 2:00 HM or less
s2 = 2:00-2:15 estimate
s3 = 2:15-2:30 estimate
s4 = 2:30-2:45 estimate
s5 = 2:45-3:00 estimate
s6 = 3:00-3:15 and 3:15-3:30 estimate

The 5k/10k seemed a bit more mixed and I don't have a good read on the system they used."

The interesting thing was that if you entered the fastest finish time that did not require PoT for any of the registrations that included the marathon (marathon, dopey, goofy) S3 was the first available corral and you'd be placed there for all races. If you were only registered for 5K, 10K, or half and entered the fastest time that did not require PoT you were placed in S2.

I was signed up for Dopey and L was signed up for the 10K and half. I originally thought L would be in S3, but because she was not signed up for the Marathon she was in S2 for both her races by selecting the fastest finish that did not require PoT, which was great because then we were in the same corral (although if we hadn't been I would have moved to whatever corral she was assigned).

Race start time was moved to 5 am for all races. I really liked that because it was less time on the course with the sun up. When you're getting up in the middle of the night, 30 minutes earlier is still the middle of the night.

This was the first race trip where I had a car. We stayed at BLT and the start for all 4 races was the Epcot parking lot. Buses were used for race transportation to the 5K and 10K for the monorail resorts. We chose to drive to the 5K and 10K which I think was more convenient than my experience taking the bus in past years. The monorail was available for the half and the full. Because of road closures we were told we would not be able to drive from the monorail resorts to the start. That was fine as the monorail was more convenient than driving.

Race transportation started at 3 am for the 5K /10K and 2:30 am for the half and full. Runners were told to arrive no later than 3:30 am but the ramp to Epcot parking wasn't closed until 4 am. Corrals were already open each time I arrived, so I'm not sure exactly when they opened them, probably sometime between 3:30 am and 4? The walk from the corrals to the start line started about 4:30 am for each race (maybe 4:25 for S1)? So if you were in an early corral and were trying to arrive at 4 am in the parking lot you might miss your start group. There were no character meets before or after the race, only on the course and those were distanced (although really not any different feeling to the quick stops compared to pre-COVID). At the race start you could take a picture with one of the 50th anniversary gold statues but I didn't opt for that.

Security was so much nicer now that they have the scanners. For the 5K and 10K there was almost no back up waiting to walk through the scanner at the front of Epcot coming from the parking lot. The line was a little longer coming from the bus drop off. But both were so much faster than the prior security screen. For the half and full arriving by monorail the security screening was done prior to boarding and then no screening was required at the park entrance since the monorail exit is behind the security entrance.

Each corral was released in mini-waves and they staggered the start so that the first group of S1 was 5 am and the last group of S6 was 6 am. It feels a little odd to finish the race and still have groups waiting to start but I guess that is always the case and not new. The exception this year was the marathon. Because of the humidity and predicted high temps they started S1 and S2 in 1 wave each and both a little before 5 am. The end of S6 was started by 5:30ish. This caused more congestion at the start of the race but was an important modification, as it was reported there were a lot of runners in distress at the end of the race. They at least had 30 minutes less time out in the heat of the day. In 2020 the marathon course was shortened after 10:30 or 11 am due to high temperatures. That did not end up happening this year and the earlier start probably helped.
 
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Anne

Well-known member
A bunch more COVID positives on the DIS. So far so good here. I'll feel more confident once Monday comes (although I guess a positive on Monday could already be from work). I'm still crazy hungry, so that's a good sign, right?

One thing to add on PoT. If a half marathon was used as PoT for marathon placement a 1:53:45ish (someone said they were placed in S2 with a 1:53:50) was required for S2 and 1:44 or faster for S1, due to the conversion factor.

I don't have a ton of pictures from this trip and it's fresh in my mind so I'll go ahead with the full trip report for race weekend and then finish off Christmas later.

Trip dates for me were Wednesday 1/5/22 to Monday 1/10/22. L had less time off work and came for 1/6-1/9. We stayed at Bay Lake Tower.

Wednesday 1/5/22

I booked my G+ and ILL at 7 am as my plane was being de-iced for take off. I had to wait a few minutes for the Peter Pan times to advance and was thankful for the de-icing delay. At 10 am my flight landed on time and had made up the initial delay. The flight was completely full. Baggage claim took some time again. I used Alamo's skip the counter option and was at the expo by 11:30 am. I hate the drive to and from the airport, but I loved having a car at WDW. If they brought DME back I think I'd stick with the rental car now that I've experienced the convenience. The lack of baggage service is the one downside and the wait at baggage claim is not short. But on the other hand our kids are old enough now to cart their own luggage and it sure is nice having all the bags right away instead of waiting 4 hrs for delivery.

The expo opened at 10 am and 11:30 was probably one of the worst times to show up but I wanted to get it out of the way so I could settle in and enjoy the parks. All the front lots were full and I was directed to park in the far corner of the remote lot, about as far a walk as possible. In hindsight I should have changed shoes from the impractical suede boots I wore on the plane and I paid for this later. The official Disney merchandise building was the first on the right and the line wrapped out and all the way around the building. The bib, t-shirt pick up, and the 3rd party expo booths were at the back in the usual locations. Expo passes are now required for entry and I had a screen shot of mine, but you could print it as well. I think you can bring guests/family with you? For runners who had difficulty with the online waiver (which was anyone registered on someone else's runDisney account because they could not access the online waiver) there were paper copies on tables at bib pick up. There was no need to go to runner relations which is what L was told to do in advance on the runDisney phone lines (she registered herself for the half but I registered her for the 10K from my account). I didn't bother with any merchandise due to the lines and headed to BLT. My room ready text had come at 10:33 am. Yay!

Due to limited availability I had a lake-view studio for the first night and a standard 1 bedroom for the last four. I made no room requests for this reservation since it was only 1 night. I was in 8037 which is 10th floor. I opened the the door to the balcony, felt the breeze, and listened to the music from the pool while I ate my snack/lunch brought from home. This is the most relaxed I have felt in 2 years.


My foot felt off and as I changed for the park I realized my boots had created a lovely blister on the ball of one foot and on the side of the heel of the other. I feel ridiculous getting blisters from the expo! The weather was beautiful and I really enjoyed my walk over to MK. The classic characters were waving from the train station as I entered. I stopped for a photo at the Christmas tree. The Photopass CM had me do this goofy pose. I include it just to show the creepy jax doll head is still there in the dystopian Christmas backdrop.


Tinker Bell's cavalcade came by as I headed up Mainstreet.


Our trip in December was mostly overcast and I was struck by how beautiful the castle looked in the sunlight.

 
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