It's the happiest place on Earth... to run a marathon


Published: Monday, January 9, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 9, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
P.K. Yonge juniors Michael and Geoffrey Anderson have had plenty of experience dominating the high school ranks when it comes to cross country, so the twins figured they would take on the competition at the Magic Kingdom.
At the 2006 Walt Disney World Half Marathon in Kissimmee, the Andersons put up very impressive times. Michael, who won the 1A state championship earlier this year, finished 14th overall with a time of 1:17.18, and brother Geoffrey placed 18th with a time of 1:17.34.
"It was great," Geoffrey said. "That was my first half marathon."
For the two, the half marathon (13.1 miles), held at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, was the longest race that either of them had ever run. The usual high school meet is only 3.1 miles.
Geoffrey said that he usually runs 10-11 miles when preparing for a meet, so he just added a couple extra miles a day when preparing for the half marathon.
Michael, on the other hand, hardly did any preparation at all.
"I hadn't really trained for it," Michael said. "I hadn't really done much before Saturday."
Michael said that he usually runs between 40-50 miles a week during track and cross country season, but said that number was actually way down before running the half marathon.
Despite the apparent lack of preparation, Michael said he knew what to expect.
"I was pretty much ready for it," Michael said. "I knew it was going to be a lot longer than my normal races." He added that he started out pretty fast over the first two miles, and then evened his pace for the rest of the race.
Although the training regimens differed, one thing the brothers can agree on was the weather. They were waiting to start at 5 a.m., an hour before the race started, and the weather was less than perfect at the happiest place on earth.
"It was really cold," Geoffrey said. "Before we started, everyone was freezing. Once it started, the weather was great."
The weather at the start of the race was 48 degrees.
"Once I got warm, it wasn't that bad," Michael said.
Michael and Geoffrey said that they enjoyed the race and the camaraderie they felt with some of the other runners, and both would be interested in running the race again next year.
Geoffrey was also looking forward to meeting up with cross country coach Randy Hollinger, who placed fifth at last year's Walt Disney World Marathon. Hollinger had to pull out of the race because of tendonitis in his Achilles tendon, but said he plans to participate next year.
More than 10,000 people participated in the full marathon, which took place on Sunday. Of those runners, the top 10 finishers from Gainesville were: Matyas Buzgo 3:08.13 (99th overall), Jeffery Morton 3:09.18 (108th overall), Donald Hartman 3:22.29, Nickolas Clayton 3:26.47, Christina Calfee 3:32.08, James Grippo 3:40.47, Mark Ou 3:41.13, Randy Monk 3:41.26, Laura Williams 3:42.23, Mark Gajda 3:42.40.

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