When runDisney announced the inaugural Dopey Challenge, I was intrigued. The “old” Goofy Challenge of running the half marathon Saturday and the full marathon Sunday was on my bucket list, but I was just too nervous to pull the trigger and try it (even though both my brother Brian and my running partner Megan had Goofy medals in their collections). The new Dopey would add a 5K on Thursday and a new 10K race on Friday, for a grand total of 48.6 miles in four days. Sold!
This was an expensive race entry ($495 early bird), but a lucky slot machine in Kansas justified a one-time splurge (at least in my running-deranged mind). The 7000 Dopey slots filled rather quickly and both Megan and Brian missed out. My brother decided to go Goofy again for the second time, while Megan signed up for the full (her tenth).
The expo opened at 10am on Wednesday and was expanded this year to include the baseball stadium (in addition to the HP Field House and the Jostens Center). There was a separate line just for people who wanted to buy the limited edition New Balance runDisney shoes, which I heard started to form at 4:30am. The Field House had the usual packet pickup, along with most of the race shirts and a new runDisney merchandise shop. Jostens Center held all the rest, including the runDisney booth where I stood by Jeff Galloway again and listened in on a few conversations. With all of the shirts, I left Wide World of Sports with a pretty heavy race bag.
The Family Fun 5K event on Thursday had the latest start of the week, with the fireworks going off at 6:15am. It was fairly warm and humid for the first three races, with a wonderful cold front moving through on Saturday night before the marathon on Sunday. The last three races all started at 5:30am and I’d say getting up so early four days in a row was probably the hardest part of the challenge for me (2:45am on Sunday was just brutal).
I ended up semi-racing the 5K and 10K and dialed down the pace for the last two. Given my relative lack of training the previous month, I was very happy with all of the times:
- 5K – 24:27 (7:52 pace)
- 10K – 51:09 (8:14 pace)
- Half – 1:58:04 (9:00 pace)
- Full – 4:11:49 (9:36 pace)
My brother helped me pick out the cool Pirates of the Caribbean costume for Sunday, while the giant mouse hands and ears made a return appearance in the half. Megan ordered a Duffy costume from an Etsy vendor online and the crowd response was awesome (especially from cast members) – pretty sure she was the only Duffy in the field too.
Spent a little time in all four parks while I was down there, but for the most part, I just hung out with Brian and his wife Patti while soaking in the non-Minnesota winter weather. Thanks for the kind hospitality you two!
Only one other confirmed and registered race entry right now in 2014 – the Get in Gear 10K on April 26th. Lots of others I’d like to do, but we’ll see how much I can budget for entry fees this year…Originally published by DK on January 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm