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Found this in my old email folder, reposting it so it can be saved for posterity...
Sue Siragusa race report:
Let the games begin!
We started out Thursday afternoon with a snowy and hectic ride to Metro Airport. The normal 45 minute drive took almost 2 hours. Yikes! I was really looking forward to getting away from the cold and snow. We started our adventure in the airport parking shuttle. Shots for everyone. If you didn't know it, you can buy those really cool bottles of different alcohol at the Red Wagon Wine shop in Rochester. Kamikaze's seemed like the appropriate shot to drink for the start of this adventure. Luckily they didn't have any problem with the other 12 bottles I packed for the plane ride. The flight was a riot. Lisa had a young man (8 years old) next to her. She of course charmed him the whole way to Florida earning herself the title of group Puma (hey she's not 40 yet so she can't be a Cougar yet) After arriving in Florida we split up to go to our respective hotels. Joe, Mike, John and I were at the Pop Century, while Lisa and Jen stayed at another hotel in Kissemmee. After checking in we cabbed it to the girls hotel for pizza, beer and a challenging game of Uno. After being warned that our Uno game was getting too loud by the hotel staff we made it back to our room around 3a.
Friday and the Expo gave us the catch phrase for the weekend "It's Disney"
We were starving with plans to eat then hit the expo, unfortunately all we could find was a cafeteria style restaurant where a pulled pork sandwich (no fries or drink) ran a cool $9.00, but hey "It's Disney" The expo was fun. We shopped and shopped and shopped. The guys were not as happy as Lisa, Jen and I but they put up with us anyway. At this point we were feeling a little Goofy and picked up a traveler beer (one you take on the road) and made our way to the board walk for lunch. We ended up at the Brewery (not so much of a leap for us) then the ESPN club for some arcade fun (Lisa is the original Guitar Hero). There we stayed to play video trivia, for which we sucked at. 4 pitchers of beer later we split up to get some sleep. We needed to get up at 2:30a to get ready for the 1/2 Marathon. You needed to be on the Buses by 4a but hey "It's Disney"
1/2 Marathon Race Morning
Rise and Shine it's going to be a Magical Day. Thanks to that wake up call I was up and ready to go by the time Lisa and Jen got to our hotel. When I agreed to do the Goofy Challenge it was on one condition, that was that if I ran we would do it my way. What was my way? Well first of all we needed to be in costume and second we needed to stop and take pictures at every mile marker, last we would worry about time and just have fun being silly.
What did we wear for this first race. The gals were princess complete with tutu's and tiara while Joe and Mike made awesome princes with crowns! One small problem. It seems that we brought the cold weather down from Michigan so we were in many many many layers. As I said we had to be on the buses by 4a. The race did not start until 6a. Normally that wouldn't have been so bad but that morning it was 22 degrees with 18 mile an hour winds topped off with freezing rain and snow. We stopped on our 1/2 mile walk to the start (Yes it really was a 1/2 mile not adding the 1/2 that it took to get from the bus to the staging area) at a bridge to get out of the rain. There were bins for the toss away clothes that were lined with garbage bags. Well being the clever runners that we are we BORROWED those garbage bags to keep ourselves dry and hold in whatever body heat we could) The funny thing was that I decided I should take off my throw away pants there so I could put it in a bin. No sooner than I put it in a bin that another woman came and took them out of the bin to wear. Yes my throw away pants ended up on another runner! I just had to take her picture. We took off in wave number 2 (fireworks and all) and the Disney adventure began. We were a real crowd pleaser! Everyone had a shout out for us and we were the subject of lots of spectator photo shoots! Just like real princesses and princes (although the guys kept being called Kings for most of the race) we were treated royally. We stopped at every mile marker. We started together, ran together, finished together. Then when the race was over we froze together! With one medal down we were ready to warm up and celebrate. Tired from trying to stay warm not from the run, we cleaned up and meet for lunch and shopping. We still managed to get in another round of beer (4 or 5 only) before going back to our rooms to get ready for the big show! Marathon here we come. It really was a Magical Day!
Marathon Race Morning
Yes another 2:30a wake up call! Off to the buses before 4a and into the port of potty like. Now the Marathon was a little different. They had 2 waves as well as two different starts that took runners in different directions. Today we were all pirates! ARRRH! The weather was a little better and by that I mean no freezing rain. The temperature was a little colder and the wind chill was actually worse than the day before. We went to get in our corral when the fireworks went off. Thinking we were in a different wave we took our time walking. It was only when we got all the way up to the start that we figured out that we were in the first wave. Whooops! time to run! Since we had pictures of the first 13 miles from the day before we didn't stop at the mile markers but today we made time to stop and have pictures with the characters! My favorite was the Pirates of the Caribbean! Yes we had our picture with Captain Jack, Barbosa and the pirate crew. We were so excited I think we scared them a little bit. I did get an extra squeeze from Captain Barbosa so I guess he wasn't scared by my enthusiasm at all! By the way after the 30th time of people yelling Arrgh! to you it lost a little of it's charm. We did love to hear "GO PIRATES" and were once again the subject of many photo ops. The day before Jen found Minnie Mouse Pirate Ears that said "Pirate Princess" on it. Being pink it matched my dress so I had to wear them. Unfortunately I was mistaken for Minnie by some race fans. I can sort of see where they would think that since I did have ears on but Argenta was called Pocahontas and I just don't see where they got that from. Did she wear a bandana and eye patch? No matter how you run 26 miles is a long way but when your dressed up as a pirate it just didn't seem like anything at all. With time not being our driving force we walked, ran, ate stuff they gave out like bananas and chocolate. The finish line however, never looked so good. Not because we needed to stop but because two medals were waiting for us! Big, Shiny and loud (oh did I mention they were BIG) the medals are incredible! We started together, took pictures together, finished together, now was the time to party together. We cleaned up, met for dinner at the House of Blues, then closed the Jelly Roll which was a really fun piano bar on the Boardwalk. Up at 2:30a and back to bed by 2:30! That's what I call a full day. I have many tales I could say but this email is already a page and a half. With any luck we'll have a bunch of pictures linked on yourpaceormine.com
Would I ever run this race again? OH YAH! We had such a ball. For real serious runners, our finish times would be an embarrassment but for those who look for the fun they were a badge of honor. I would not have given up the memories I made for a first place finish!
So who wants to join me in 2015? I think every 5 years would be perfect. Start thinking up those themed costumes now.
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