Day 3 of the Dopey Challenge began with a 2:45 am wakeup call. The weather was still cold at 3C. I put on my one pair of tights I’d brought for the third time and added a long sleeve shirt under my tank top. Thank goodness our hotel room had a washer and dryer so those tights felt fresh! My running outfit was inspired by Sulley from Monsters Inc. thanks to this awesome Sulley trucker hat I got from Tokyo Disneyland in February.
Neil and I left our hotel just before 4 am as getting to the corrals for the half and the full takes a lot more time. There are more runners, so the security bag check is busier and the porta potty lines are longer. There is also a 20 minute walk from gear check to the race corrals, and I didn’t want to feel rushed. I met up with RoadBunner, one of my oldest blog friends, just outside of gear check for the long walk to the corrals. Despite having “known” each other since about 2007 this was our first time meeting up, and it was really nice to have company on the way to the start.
At my corral I made my way towards the front and sat down on a heat sheet I’d saved from a previous race and huddled in my robe. As race time approached I ate a package of GoGo Squeez applesauce from a snackbox from the previous race. The race started and the corrals started to move up, and I hung onto my robe until the very last minute. Today there sadly wouldn’t be a way to pass my robe off to Neil, so I dropped it behind one of the race barricades where it was picked up for donation by RunDisney staff.
Walt Disney World Half Marathon Race Report
I knew the key to a successful Dopey Challenge weekend would be managing my effort throughout the races. Between the cold weather and the excitement at the start line I watched my Garmin to make sure I didn’t take off too quickly. I also modified my run/walk intervals for the race. In training I typically run 9:30/0:30 intervals, but shortened my intervals to 4:30/0:30. It was a process that worked well for Whistler 70.3 to manage effort and fatigue.
Just after the 5 mile mark we entered Magic Kingdom. I spotted Neil on the sidelines and passed my gloves off to him, but unfortunately missed seeing my dad.
Running down Main Street is my favourite part of the race. I slowed down, listened to the music and the cheering and just tried to take everything in. As I looked upon the castle I felt myself getting emotional! Turning into Tomorrowland I spotted Sulley and Mike Wazowski! Until this point the character line ups had been too long to stop at, but I figured I would make an exception for these guys.
We turned through Fantasyland…
…and ran through Cinderella’s castle. Just as I exited the castle a woman was running toward me *going the wrong way* yelling at the photographers to please make sure they capture her castle shot! Um…ok.
At the base of the castle I pulled off to the side to get a photo with the castle beautifully lit behind me.
I spotted Neil in the crowd at the base of the castle, then continued on through Liberty Square and into Frontierland.
We exited the Magic Kingdom and ran along a backstage road towards the Grand Floridian. I tend to speed up through here to make the miles go faster, but I kept a keen eye on my watch to make sure that wasn’t happening.
When we reached the Grand Floridian the penguins from Mary Poppins were out! The line up was short, so I stopped for a photo.
Further up the road were Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. I’ve never spotted Mrs. Incredible (aka Elastigirl) for a photo opp before, so I had to stop.
From here on out it was just about managing effort while the miles ticked by. Before I knew it we were entering Epcot for a quick out and back past Spaceship Earth.
I cruised into the finish line feeling great!
As soon as I crossed the finish line I drank a chocolate milk and attempted to get off my feet. I had a marathon I needed to recover for!
Dopey Challenge Race Reports:
- Net Time: 2:56:43
- Overall: 10,782 out of 20,801
- Women 35 – 39: 894 out of 2,015
- Women Overall: 5,355 out of 12,276
- 5K split: 39:13
- 15K split: 2:09:34