Running the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon, or: “If the shoe fits I want you to wear it…”

And we’re back.
January is a pretty nifty time around all points Hokeyblog, and I’m not talking about any of that “New Year, New Me” idiocy. Everyone is pretty much the same nozzle they were weeks ago, and we (you, me, everyone reading these words) are no different. Except we’re much better looking. Cheers to you ridiculously attractive people reading this blog.

Anyway, we love January around these parts because (a) it’s my birthday month, and your freewheeling Aquarian host is turning a year older and entering the FINAL year of his mid-40s, which is depressing enough, but never mind that because (b) tonight after work we’re driving up north to Walt Disney World, taking that tenuous, tentative, tantalizingly transformative trek up the Turnpike to run the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon.
As usual, I suppose. This is our fourth time running the Disney Marathon (having done it before in 2013, 2015, and 2016). But yet, it’s still surprising. I’ve made no secret that I’m completely burned out on Run Disney events. Quite frankly, they’ve gone entirely downhill since I first started enjoying them five years ago. Run Disney experienced a sudden and massive rise in popularity, and in turn made the business decision to exploit their success in an entirely consumer-unfriendly way.

How can I best put it? Let’s start with (1) Jacking up the race registration prices to the point of absolute lunacy, (2) Reducing the amount of on-course entertainment, (3) Paring down the runner benefits and swag items, (4) Reducing and/or eliminating post-race food, drink, and support, (5) Getting rid of special, unique experiences like night races and obstacle events, (6) Related to 5, homogenizing all their races to the point where each one mostly feels the same (How many times are we going to do that same Epcot 5K/10K course? Yeesh…), (7) Flooding every weekend with overpriced, multi-day “challenges” designed to cater to Disney completists while watering down the quality of all races contained therein, (8) Their outright refusal to limit race merchandise to a handful of items per customer, resulting in a mad dash of eBay speculators grabbing everything off the shelves, boxes of wine glasses, armfuls of whatever jackets they can find, with those who are left out of luck finding all of these things up for resale online at ridiculous mark-ups, and (9) Their ABYSMAL no-refund, no-transfer policies, which means you’re registering upwards of 9-10 months in advance for a race that might sell out, but if you find out you’re enable to attend because LIFE HAS A WAY OF CHANGING IN A HEARTBEAT, you will found yourself screwed out of hundreds or thousands of dollars; the $600 I spent for Boots and I to attend the Disneyland Dumbo Challenge of 2016 has not been forgotten by us Hokeyfolk.

And yet here I am, actually excited about the Disney Marathon this year. Because no matter what “Screw The Customer”-attitudes Run Disney is engaging in, it’s still a really fun race. Overpriced, sure, but fun. I get to see my a lot of my buddies and enjoy their company over the weekend, and since I’m “only” running the Marathon, I don’t have to spend ungodly amounts of cash, wake up at 3 AM for multiple mornings in a row, or spend money on multiple hotel/resort nights. We’re coming up Friday night and leaving late Sunday, and I’m good with that.

Plus HOLY FREAKIN MOLEY: look at this weather forecast:

We got ourselves a cold weather marathon! At least, cold weather for this South Florida iguana. This is perfect for me. I don’t think I’ve ever run a marathon with temperatures starting in the 30s and never going above 50.

So I’m going to have fun at the 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Or I’m going to try to, anyhow. My running game is not up to where it was a few months ago; I’m still dealing with a bout of hip tendinitis which slowed me down over the past 8 weeks. I haven’t trained as hard, and I’ve put on some weight in the interim as a result (yeah the holidays didn’t help either). But I’m still game to enjoy my time on this course. AND I’m not gonna by much merch either. One Vinylmation, one refrigerator magnet, and THAT’S IT. No other loot. Less is more.

Anyway, see you at the World! Here’s the video (wear it good!):