The Town of Celebration is located five minutes from Disney World and twenty minutes from the Orlando International Airport with easy highway access.
Celebration Marathon is considered one of America's prettiest neighborhoods (as selected by Forbes Magazine) on what may be the flattest course you will ever run! The course is certified with USATF, so it is a Boston qualifier.
Celebration is where I ran my first marathon in 2014, the town’s inaugural race. I just completed my 5th Celebration marathon and 7th overall race on January 27, 2019. Since that inaugural run in 2014 and discovering the joy it brought to my life, I’ve been hooked. I enjoy the challenge of growing my abilities and testing my limits and I like to choose races whose entry fees benefit charities and good causes. The Celebration Marathon helps fund scholarships for high school seniors across Osceola County.
Last Sunday, however, was more challenging than usual because of the “cold” weather (by Florida standards). It was 50 degrees give or take a couple degrees and raining the entire day. This made the course slippery; in some places I had to be extra careful not to go so fast - but it was still fun. Despite poor weather, dedicated runners and compassionate spectators were still driven to do their best, pressing on toward the finish or cheering others to the finish. The warmth of the enthusiastic cheers from the latter definitely helped to ease me along those wet, windy 26.2 miles.
My wife Sarah was very supportive, calling me several times during the race to see if I was ok. She, along with my Mom, other family and friends were very encouraging. Even my big brother Wafik was also cheering for me all the way from the UK. My in-laws were concerned about me going through with the race since they know I don’t like being rained on in the cold. It was certainly challenging and not the most pleasant feeling to be soaked, but I wouldn’t trade the experience as it helped me learn better what I can accomplish with prayer, determination and support.
My advise to all runners remember to have fun! Cheer on the person next to you, talk to the volunteers, wave to little kids , encourage them to be the next generation of future runners.
Fulfil your dream and never give up- even on rainy days.