Walt Disney World Marathon 2013 Volunteering

What a way to experience the Disney Marathon! This weekend, Marcus and I volunteered for that 26.2 mile run, and we had an absolute blast!

Disney Volunteering

We were required to pick up our credentials on Saturday at the Wide World of Sports, which was a great excuse to check out the expo. It was so strange to be at an expo and not actually be running it! It was a great excuse to try some of the samples that I stay away from on pre-race days! Woo hoo!!

Disney Marathon

As a fun side note – this was the 20th anniversary of the marathon and there are a select group of runners that have run each and every marathon since its inception! How amazing is that!?

Disney Marathon Perfect 20

It was pretty darn packed when we got there but we were able to get what we needed pretty easily. We hit up the expo for a few, said hello to a few familiar faces (Hi Carissa and Erika!) and head back towards Tampa to rest up for our early wake up call.

Disney Marathon Expo

Disney marathon expo

An early wake up call it was! I am pretty sure that this alarm took the cake as earliest ever! Before volunteering for the race, my earliest wake up was when I ran the marathon back in 2008! We pretty much felt like we took a nap, so getting up wasn’t too bad (coffee sure didn’t hurt!). Our shift was from 4:30 am – 9:30 am. Disney closes most of the main roads for the start, so getting into the park from 5:30-6:30 am is very tough – 4:30am is actually quite necessary to secure your spot.

Disney Marathon Alarm

We had a pretty quick drive to Orlando (50 minutes or so) since there was no one on the road. We got onto the property and headed straight for Downtown Disney, where the volunteer staging was taking place. We grabbed our volunteer jacket and snack bag (granola bar, cookie, chips and trail mix), and loaded our designated bus to get shuttled to our spot.

Disney Marathon Volunteering

Disney Volunteering

Our volunteer spot was pretty much awesome. We were park of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Screaming Fans ChEAR Squad. We were right after mile 6.5 by a fire station, fire truck, and an amazing DJ. Rather than giving out water like I have done at many other races, we had one single objective – be loud and support the runners. Needless to say, a cheer station right next to a DJ was pretty much the best place ever! I was crazy the crazy girl jumping like crazy in a Chevron top!

Disney Marathon fire truck

 

Disney Volunteering

We waited about 20 minutes when we got there until the first athletes arrived. The wheelchair group was first, and they were absolutely flying! Marcus and I were in the very front of our volunteer group, right next to the DJ and speakers, so we were dancing up a storm as everyone was running by. I was receiving all kinds of updates on my phone from my friends that were running, and I was doing my best to look out for everyone. It was dark for the first hour, so it was kind of tricky to catch some runners.

Disney Runners

As soon as the sun started to peek out, it warmed up and was pretty comfortable (for the volunteers, yes – the runners, not so much). I was jumping up and down, waving my arms, clapping my hands, and just having a fantastic time. I spotted Meghan first and she looked fantastic! So strong and rocking her first marathon. Dee, Rachel, Genna, Ashley and Collier all followed soon after and I was able to jump in and run with a couple of them (sorry I missed you Heather!!). I loved being able to see so many friends giving it their all for 26.2! I took photos of most of them, but for some reason, my phone didn’t store them. I just got a new iPhone 5, and then App I downloaded didn’t save them :( Bummer!

Disney Runners

Before we knew it, our 3.5 hours of cheering came to a close – we hopped back on the bus to Downtown Disney and were dropped off back at volunteer staging Before leaving we got a nice little thank you for volunteering at the race. A free one day park ticket!

Disney Marathon ticket

Disney is so great about treating their volunteers well, which includes giving us snacks, jackets, and of course the tickets. They don’t expire until this time next year, and I can’t wait to go and use it!

Disney Volunteering

I would definitely volunteer regardless if we got a free ticket or not – I had an absolute ball! Marcus and I are already talking about what station we want to volunteer at next year. I am thinking it could be fun to be closer to the end, so my yelling and screaming can help pump up the runners that are struggling and hitting that dreaded wall. Who else is coming along!?

Disney Volunteer

Have you ever volunteered at a big race? Do you prefer to be at the beginning, middle or end? Would you like to yell and scream, or do you prefer to give out water?

P.S – Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! You can win free run coaching or personal training!

The Ultimate Training Giveaway

Now that we are almost 2 weeks into the New Year, how many of you are still focused on your goals? I know I definitely am, and I want to help you reach yours as well. I have a very special giveaway for you today!!

Training Giveaway.jpg

I would like to offer my virtual run coaching services or personal training services to you, free of charge!

1 month of run coaching

or

3 month run training plan

or

1 month personal training plan

If you are curious as to the difference in a training plan or coaching, just check out my coaching page. It is all explained there. There absolutely no catch – other than, of course, actually entering the giveaway!

So here is what you need to do:

Mandatory: Tell me in the comments why you want to win the giveaway, and which option you plan to take advantage of.

For a bonus entry, follow me on Twitter and tweet out “I want to win (whatever your preference is) with @marybaum20! http://wp.me/p206qH-1cW” Leave a comment here letting me know you did.

I’ll be announcing the winner next Friday, January 18th, so everyone has a week to get their entries in. Good Luck!

For all of you running the Disney Marathon, the Disney Half Marathon, or the Goofy Challenge this weekend, GOOD LUCK! I’ll be volunteering at mile 6.5 of the marathon course, so look for me. I’ll be looking for you!

 

PureProject & Spring Marathons

So whoever said spending time on Facebook gets you nowhere was proven wrong in my book today! Brooks Running (aka, the only running shoe I will wear)  is holding a contest in cities across the country. They started off in Boston, then came to Tampa yesterday, and will be hitting up Nashville, Austin, Portland, and Seattle for the rest of the week. Pretty much, it is a scavenger hunt. They post pictures in a spot in the designated city with a clue, and whoever finds the Brooks Guru first wins a pretty sweet swag bag! This photo was posted at lunch on Tuesday.

I honestly was expecting the picture to be in a more well known part of Tampa, based on yesterday’s picture in Boston Common. When the picture popped up, I noticed I was close – really close! Being that it was 12 noon, I was a-ok to hop in my car and just use a lunch break to hunt down the Guru! I made it to the spot in just 6 minutes, and was the first one there!!

All I had to do was say a simple “Did I win PureProject on the Run?” and the prize pack was mine! Wooo hooo!

So why is Brooks giving away free stuff? Their new line of PureProject shoes are now in stores and they want to make sure everyone knows it! They hooked me up! I will be mailed 2 new pair of Pure Project shoes of my choice. I went ahead with the Pure Flows that I already love, and I am going to give the Pure Drifts a shot as well. What else was in my swag bag? See for yourself!

 

And its a great that I have some more Brooks gear coming my way as I am going to be needing it this spring! I finally chose my spring marathon and signed up on Monday night. I’ll be heading to Louisville, Kentucky the last week of April to run the Kentucky Derby Marathon! I actually ran this race as my second marathon back in 2009, but really didn’t train for it much. I want a second chance on this course for 2013! My whole family lives up in Louisville, so that didn’t hurt my decision either. Running a marathon and getting to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins? Sign me up! Well, I guess I already did that! ;0)

The course is really pretty, running through a couple of parks, along the river, and even through Churchill Downs (where the Kentucky Derby is actually held each year)! That was definitely my favorite part last time! The elevation chart has a couple of spikes but nothing too crazy. Very manageable for this Florida girl!

So there ya have it – this has been quite the start of the week for me! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to write this post by Brooks Running. My super savvy social media stalking skills led me to earning this ridiculous bag of swag. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Is Brooks coming to your city? Do you plan to keep an eye out for them? What about your spring race – have you picked it yet?

 

Meghann’s Wedding Weekend

This past weekend was my great friend Meghann’s wedding! We have talked so much about all of the work that she has put into her big day and I couldn’t wait to see how it all turned out! The wedding was held in a rustic barn in Titusville, Florida and was absolutely beautiful. The weather was overcast and cool and everything was perfect. There were so many touches that Meghann put on the wedding that were direct reflections of her and Derek’s personalities. I loved being a part of all the festivities – from the pre-wedding run to the ceremony to dancing the night away.

Congratulations Meghann and Derek! Love you both! Here’s to many years of happiness!

 

 How was your weekend!? Do anything fun? Have you ever been to a wedding in a barn or rustic area?

A few of the photos are courtesy of Ashley – she caught some amazing moments!

A Year in Review: 2012

So I am doing this a little bit out of order – I revealed my 2013 goals on Wednesday, and thought I would recap 2012 today. It was quite the year for me, and I hope 2013 is even better!

January

I started Yasso 800 workouts for the first time – still one of my most searched for posts.

February

I paced Meghann to a 13.1 PR at the Rock N Roll St. Petersburg Half Marathon

I chatted about the Race Shirt Debate

 

March

I completed the Gasparilla Michelob Ultra Challenge

I won my very first 5k!

 

And rode in a parade to celebrate it!

April

I talked about my top 6 Running Recovery Tools

I completed my 6th marathon – the Country Music Marathon

6 Time Marathon Finisher!

May

I shared a few race spectator tips

Shared the Jello Leg Workout

Volunteered at my first triathlon (a 70.3!) – and saw Lance Armstrong!

June

I was asked to be a Lululemon Ambassador

I tried a Peanut Butter Coffee Smoothie

July

Celebrated my first blogging anniversary

Went to a Baptiste yoga workshop

Enjoyed my Lululemon photo shoot

Completed my first triathlon

August

Went to a yoga for runner’s workshop

Attended my first Healthy Living Conference

Created the Rock Your Bottom Circuit Workout

September

Surprised a great friend with a bridal shower

Featured as Fitness Magazine’s Fit Blogger We Love and Women’s Running Blogger on the Run

Started studying for the NASM exam

October

I ran (and PR’d) the Chicago Marathon

November

Became a certified personal trainer

Completed my first Pretty Muddy mud run

Announced my running coach services

Finished the Women’s Half Marathon

December

Ran a Bachelorette Party Half Marathon

Shared my holiday gift guide

Celebrated my 26th birthday with a hot chocolate party

2012 was quite the year! I am hoping that at the end of 2013, I can look back and feel even more accomplished than I do about 2012! What are some things that you are proud of from 2012? I would love to hear them!