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Walt Disney World Marathon 2023: Who is With Me?

Are you in awe of those that ran the 5k, 10K, Half, Full … or gasp, the Goofy or Dopey?  For me back home in Chicagoland, I was both cold and jealous.

Marathon weekend saw a lot of people dig deep and accomplish something that most people haven’t. Did you know that less than 1% of the US population has completed a marathon?

The weekend itself was more than just running. It was a culmination of training and willpower to get ready for the race. It was the responsibility of saving up the money to run – especially if you had to fly. It was a lot of prayer – from “Please don’t cancel my flight / please don’t let it get delayed” to “Let the rest be downhill…”

The weekend is also about creating magic. At the Meet of the Month, the WDW Radio Running Team and the WDW Radio Clubhouse got to say hello to our Make-a-Wish Family. Each member of the WDW Radio Running Team donates a minimum of $100, and if you think about the over 600 members of the team (which my wife and I are both proud to be a part of)… we’ve created a lot of magic.

The weekend is also about camaraderie, from the Meet of the Month, seeing a fellow runner in Lou Blue, or the Cheer Squad shouting loud as you come into view. I can remember my first marathon in 2016, rounding through the final stretch in Epcot when a familiar face came into view around England. 

“Brother, you’ve got this …” He didn’t know me from Adam, but Lou’s words helped me get to the finish line. There’s also a post-race meet up for everyone to get together afterwards, assuming you’re not like me and passed out in the hotel room.

I’m not a runner, which you can tell by my waistline and my love of food. I am a busy professional, married to a busy professional, with two kids ages 4 and 2 that keep us… yes, busy. I’m one of those runners that ends up near the back of the pack when it’s all said and done. And yes, I’m one of those runners that probably ends up walking more than I run.

And, for when I ran in the past… there’s another thing that the weekend is about for me personally — the celebratory post-race steak!

But, I’m throwing it down now. I’ll be running the 2023 Marathon. And, I’ve got a new reason to look forward to for the weekend… the post-race photo with my wife and two young kids. And, in 40 years… I’ll show them the photo and recount an amazing journey.

I’ve been inspired, and hopefully you have been too.

No matter what distance you run, are you in?

(And, if you are, join the running team while you’re at it!)

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About Lou Mongello

Lou Mongello is a former attorney who left the practice to pursue his passion, and is now a recognized Disney expert, author, speaker, and host of WDW Radio. Learn more…

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