Dopey Challenge – Day 4 – THE Marathon

Sunday, brought Day 4 of the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World.  Marathon Day.  26,000 runners.  We were down to about 6,400 Dopey runners out of the 7,000 who had started with us on Thursday, in the 5K.  The half marathon on Saturday, and specifically the 100% humidity had taken out some of my Dopey friends.  Sad smile  But alas, the majority of us were still standing strong, even if we were a little delusional from lack of sleep.  My Dopy Rockstar pals once again climbed out of bed at 2am FL time (1am, Chicago time) and hauled it up and out, leaving for our drive to Epcot by 2:30am.  Easy parking day.  We were very close to the entrance as opposed to the other days.  Seems Disney Officials finally got it right and put the early birds up front by the gates.  Just in time for us for the BIG day!  We stayed tucked up in the car til the very last minute it was time to go in for gear check.  We made a lame attempt at photos.  My brilliant photo thought of the day was to do “game faces” but as you can see, Judy and I just smiled cuz well, that’s all the thought we could put into this last game day.  Jason, Dawn, Judy & I below:

game face

Then we did a quick meet up with a few of Jason’s British friends.  I think we were going for muscles here, not really sure.  Me, Jason, Julian, Dawn, Judy, Jonny & Martin.

pre marathon

Then off to the start to finish this thing run the marathon.  Another amazing set of fireworks, even better than that which they did for the half, if that is even possible.  This is the photo that runDisney posted and it’s ahmazing!!

marathon start_runDisney

Each corral (A thru M) started with their own set of amazing fireworks with Mickey Mouse as the official conductor who sent us off into the darkness for one last run thru the streets of Disney.  Here is the course map to get an idea of exactly how much of Disney we would be tackling.

Full map

The first portion, maybe 8 miles was a repeat of the half marathon, which I was perfectly fine with me because I had really enjoyed it the day previous.  However, soon enough they turned us off to see new things.  I did get an early photo of Captain Jack Sparrow’s pirate ship, from Pirates of the Caribbean, because it was so cool when I saw it on the half that I wanted to make the stop to take a pic this time around.  Disney really did a great job setting up the scene where each character was located in order to create the look and feel of the movie set for which they represented.  It was very nicely done and a pleasure to see as we sped past.

Pirate ship

On to the Magic Kingdom and I don’t think running thru there could EVER get old!  This was definitely my favorite part of both the full and the half marathon.  Running down Main Street was absolutely amazing and there was MASSIVE crowd support.  It was even better this go round seeing a run club buddy, who has moved to FL, in the crowd cheering!!  Love main street and I love Diane!!

diane

Then the highlight of Magic Kingdom for me was seeing Cinderella’s Castle all lit up and draped in icicle lights.  Absolutely breathtaking.

castle

After the Magic Kingdom, we started weaving thru the rest of the parks, starting with the Richard Petty race track where a local car club got up super early to surround the track with all for their old and new muscle cars.  We ran the entire track and it was SUPER cool!  Then off on the back roads to Animal Kingdom where I was super stoked to ride the Everest Adventure roller coaster.  Til I got there and it was still closed.  Boooo!  I was SO disappointed.  Like really disappointed.  I had been anticipating riding the Everest during the marathon ALL year.  I was crushed.  Last time the family and I went to Disney, I was pregnant with Michael so didn’t get to ride.  This year when we go back, Michael will still be too little to ride.  This was my only chance for YEARS to come.  Sad smile

It was right before we got to Animal Kingdom, around Mile 12 that my tummy started giving me trouble too {read more disappointment}.  I had spent all day/night Saturday trying to refuel from everything I had lost during the half and it was going well until I popped that first energy gel of the day, then it was ALL down hill.  I may have even shed a tear or two on one of the SIX potty stops I had to make (under total duress) during the last half of the marathon.  It was a rough because it left me empty and devoid of energy.  I just kept following my Dopey Rockstar ladies who were so utterly kind to wait for me each and EVERY time I had to stop.  Now those are good friends.  Thank you, Dawn & Judy!  So the second half of the marathon course is a bit of a blur.  I just followed their shirts.  Didn’t talk much.  Noticed the characters were out but always wondered if we would see the ones I liked.  We didn’t.  Here is Maleficent in a photo that Dawn snapped.

I really expected more characters to be around from all the hype I’ve heard about previous Disney Marathons.  Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot but I expected all the big name Disney characters to be out so we could see them and that wasn’t the case.  I thought it was a great course though that covered a lot of the property.  I didn’t mind the back roads at all and I just kept on trucking.  We stopped for a few photos but since I had my own issues happening, I just tried to keep moving.  We walked thru water stops, and there were a lot of those, probably every mile or mile and a half, but kept moving otherwise.  We finally did find Dopey right at Mile 25 though and fortunately Dawn had run ahead (during my last potty stop) and she had a place in line for us.  Yay!!

Dopey pic

Over all, I give the Disney Marathon several thumbs up.  I really enjoyed running thru the parks, even the back roads.  There were tons of water stops.  Medical support at every aid station.  More volunteers than you can possibly imagine.  Anything you might want:  sunscreen (thank you!), Motrin, Biofreeze, Vaseline on sticks, and so many port o potties (super thankful for that!).

The bling is off the hook and that’s coming from someone who rarely even looks at a race finishers medal.

Dopey medals

They offer events for everyone from your little one, all the way up to Grandma and Grandpa.  It’s a real class act and a very family friendly event.  Plus they have beer and champagne at the finish and let’s just say after 48.6 miles of fun, I was ready to have a celebratory beer.  Myself and Judy toasting to a job well done.  We were happy campers!

Dopey Finishe_me & Judy

So that’s that.  The Dopey Challenge, race by race.  Tomorrow I’ll sum everything up and let you know if I think that the big price tag is worth the experience.  Until then, Happy Running my friends!

** Just Keep Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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11 thoughts on “Dopey Challenge – Day 4 – THE Marathon

  1. Congrats on accomplishing the inaugural Dopey!! I did the Goofy in 2012 and 2013 and would have loved to do the inaugural Dopey!! We just moved from Plainfield, IL to Poulsbo, WA in November, so there was no way I could have handled another Disney trip with all that we have going on. You did great and survived a tough marathon! My Goofy in 2012 had perfect weather both days; mid 40’s at the start to a high in the mid 60’s at the end of the marathon. 2013 was not great for running. Both days started in the mid 60’s with fog and the marathon went up to a bright sunny 76. Well, you’ve got the bling and doing the inaugural makes it extra special!! Congrats again!!

  2. Ahhh yes, the price tag. I can’t imagine spending more money on a race but they do every but of it so well that it seemed to be money well spent. Plus, I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I bet your Dopey medal says “inaugural” on it too – my Tinker Bell medal does and that still makes me smile.

    Congratulations on finishing FOUR races this weekend. I’m amazed at how well you held it together. Even with a rough marathon day – you still pulled it out. WOW

  3. It sure was a great race! For what it’s worth, Michael MAY be able to ride EE this year…the height requirement is only 44″. Jackson is 4 and he was tall enough in November when we were there.

    You have great friends to stick with you!

  4. Isn’t the marathon absolutely magical? To date it has been the most fun marathon I’ve ever run (not to be confused with the BEST, which is obviously Chicago). I ran that entire course with a smile from mouse ear to mouse ear, even in those latter back miles that seem to drag. Nice to see that they kept the 20th anniversary course (with the race track and ESPN’s Wide World of Sports).

    I can’t imagine the hurt your legs were going through after putting a 5k, 10k and 21k on them the days leading up to a marathon. No time to rest, no time to recover, all hardship and challenge. Well done on getting through every mile though. It kind of puts a lot of racing in perspective — now that you’ve done this, what’s next?

    Congrats again – excellent way to start the year 🙂

    • Of course, Chicago is the BEST but it’s always good to have new experiences. Fun races! Legs were ok because of the pedestrian pace. Quads got a bit fatigued around Mi 21 but no real complaints.

      Sent from my iPhone

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  5. What an amazing experience for you all! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Boy, it sure makes me want to sign up for 2015! Way to go guys! Congratulations!!! You are all super heros to me:):):) Be blessed!!!!

  6. Pingback: 2015 …. What’s THE Plan? | TooTallFritz

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