Walt Disney World Marathon Dopey Challenge 2015: Race Recap!

IMG_0073Alright so I know this is almost 3 months late, but life happens.  I took a new job inside Microsoft and have been heads down getting immersed in the new job.  I have finally got some time to write this post, and away we go. I am going to start with some fun facts about the Disney Race this year, I got this from this article: Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

  • 209,000—runners who take part in runDisney events each year
  • 26,700—runners registered for the Walt Disney World Marathon
  • 12,800—runners registered for the Walt Disney World 5K
  • 10,783—Calories burned in 4 days running
  • 7,700—Dopey Challenge registrants
  • 141—runners who have completed Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge in each of its 10 years
  • 65—countries represented among runners

2015-01-11 08.50.30Some interesting perspective it seems like the event can seem overwhelming big, but at the same time I feel like I was running at home.  More importantly I had all of my good friends running it with me.  Huge shout out to Michelle, Pearl, Jimmy, Dan, John and Bill for doing the Dopey Challenge as well.  It was great running with you all and I love running with you all!  

An even extra shout out to Dan for sticking with me for all 4 races! 

As always running in Disney is something special, and this year had the added edge for me.  I wanted a little redemption after my bonk at the 20th anniversary run in 2013.  The only thing that was minor distraction was the temperature this year it was unexpectedly cold, especially during the 5k, but by the marathon the temperature was fantastic and made for a great run!

This year I was able to ride Expedition Everest again.  I was also able to finally fulfill one of wishes, and my magic band helped it to come true.  This is my 4th time running in Disney World, and since the first time I saw 2 runners coming out of the Germany Pavilion with a beer and pretzel as they were running I have wanted to do this.  This year I finally got to have a pretzel right around mile 25.   Overall it was great running in Disney and looking forward to running the Avengers in November.

So here are my individual race reviews:


IMG_0007This was probably my favorite of the 4, not because it was the shortest, but because it had the most fun.  It was a very relaxed and you could tell that Disney was in the air.  What made this run great was when we entered Epcot the sound system was on Full blast, and Animal Book’s, want to be like you .  Awesome way to start the Dopey Challenge.  On fun boost I found during the 5k and continued through the rest of the runs, was counting down the miles, so at Mile 1 of the 5k I yelled out 47.6 miles left, and got a great cheer from my fellow Dopey Challengers.  It was something I did through out all of the runs, and was actually pretty fun.



IMG_0018The 10K was another great new run and through the parks, and got to go through the boardwalk area.  This was the first year I got to see football Mickey and I jumped at the chance to take the picture.  While this was easiest one of the longest lines I waited in all week.  It was worth it, as Dan and I were waiting our good friend and running partner Michelle came up.  While she did not want to wait, we told her she was and hopped into the picture with us. It was a great run and I continued calling out the miles with a lot of fun.  That afternoon we went to see a movie in downtown Disney I think it was the Hobbit, but the theatre provided a great napping environment. 


1/2 Marathon

IMG_2295This was the first run we actually got to go into the magic kingdom and as always running down main street with the crowds and lights was just awesome.  Truly makes you feel like a kid again!    There are two things I remember about the 1/2 one was the continued cheers as I counted down the miles.  The second was coming back into the finish we had a really steep curve uphill going up one of the clover leafs going to the finish.  It was pretty gnarly, and I walked most of it.  I was saving myself for the marathon the next day.  Overall it was a great half and I was feeling strong going into the last day of the challenge.



IMG_0948The big day was here and I was ready and very relaxed as I approached the start line.  I felt good and had gotten some good rest before the run.  I was a little nervous based on the last time I got to the start line of the marathon.  This was a run I truly just owned from start to finish.  I did not really feel in trouble during the run at all.  The lure of the roller coaster pulled me through the first 13 miles, the finish line pulled me the rest of the way, of course the beer and pretzel helped as always.  .    A couple of things about this run.  One thing I noticed is my countdown of miles was not received with as much gusto as the prior days.  So I changed and reminded everyone that we would not have to get up at 3am to run on Monday.  That went over much better.  Also this was the day before the national title game for college football and my buckeyes were playing (and won!!!!!). It seemed no matter where I turned there were OSU fans every where.  So Dan and I made rule anytime we saw someone wearing Ohio State geared we would stop and cheer.  Even at the grandstands it was amazing and to all the buckeye fans all I have to say is

O H …..

Lastly getting to see your friends among the 25,000 runners during the race truly is special.  So when I saw  Pearl around mile 22, it was awesome, and she had to catch a cruise.  We also saw Michelle a couple of times along the course was great.  Seeing Michelle and her mom at the finish was an even treat, and something I will not soon forget!

As always Disney was a great run, not sure I will do the Dopey again, but I will most likely do Goofy one day again.  However I do someday want to do the Wine and Dine 1/2.  Take care everyone and God Bless!

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