YEP! I’m Dopey!
When I first heard about the “Dopey Challenge” in the inaugural year for 2014, I thought it was absurd. Who would do that? I was coming off of a fractured pelvis injury, so I “only” did the 10K and half marathon for the 2014 Disney Marathon Weekend. When it came time to sign up for the Disney Marathon Weekend this year, I thought, “What the heck. Who knows if I’ll be injured or healthy or whatever, but at least I’ll be signed up for all of the races and I’ll decide which ones I will do.” As time got closer to January, I was healthy and in great shape, so I took on the challenge!
For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, the Dopey Challenge is runDisney’s lineup of races as follows:
Thursday: 5K (3.1 miles)
Friday: 10K (6.2 miles)
Saturday: Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
Sunday: Full Marathon (26.2 miles)
That’s a total of 48.6 miles in 4 days. Definitely an undertaking, but I figured the key would be proper pacing and getting the rest I need. Don’t overdo on the early races so I leave some power left in my legs for the longer races. I talked to people who did Dopey last year and almost everyone I talked to said that the hardest part was getting up at 3:30 AM (or earlier!) every day for the races. I get up between 4:15 and 4:30 AM every day, so that actually wasn’t that big of a deal for me.
My first mistake was not checking the weather. I was so focused on the weather for the full marathon that I neglected to even pay any attention to the weather for Thursday and Friday. I ran the first two races with socks on my hands, a long sleeved race shirt (which I think is bad luck to wear during the race), and my recovery compression tights on the bottom. It was COLD out there!
I ran a little bit too fast, especially on the 10K, and I was really hoping that I wouldn’t be regretting it in mile 20 of the marathon 2 days later. I ran alone for the 5K and 10K and then with a friend who is a little bit slower than me for the Half. That was the smartest thing I did all weekend. I am normally around a 1:40, give or take for a Half. I came in at 1:58 with Leah, which I believe saved me from crashing and burning in the Full the next day. Sunday came and I felt great. I had my bagel and banana for breakfast with water and some decaf coffee. I brought a baggie of Frosted Flakes with me on the bus to snack on while we waited for the start. I ran with another friend who was going for a 3:45. We were above pace the entire race. At mile 10 I thought I was in trouble. I started to feel the fatigue setting in, but I didn’t say anything to Troy and just kept on running. At mile 23 I actually felt better than mile 10 and knew I could push it the last 3 miles. We pushed ourselves hard those last 3 miles and we ended up with a 3:39, which was a PR for him. I was very pleased with that time considering I was Dopey!
Disney races are extremely well organized, the entertainment is top notch, and the runners are extremely enthusiastic and wear the best costumes! I LOVE running Disney races–good thing because the day after the marathon I got on a Disney Cruise and had a 5K that Wednesday followed by Star Wars Half Marathon weekend in CA the following weekend. Stay tuned for those race reports!
5K: 23:25 (7:23 pace) 10K: 47:00 (7:29 pace) Half: 1:57:23 (8:50 pace) Marathon: 3:39:28 (8:17 pace)