Dopey Race Recap 2015


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)


Tara Collingwood
Tara is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

4 responses on “Dopey Race Recap 2015

  1. christian says:

    Hmnmmmmm. Sounds like you are ready to bite off an ultra – 50-,miler or 100.

    The Keys 100 is a great race. Key largo, to Key West, straight down US1, and yea, the traffic sucks, but the views and the people, and the adventure rawks.

    Good on ya.


    Christian Griffith
    (growing friend of Stacey Sullivan, and adventure junkie)

  2. […] made sure that even though I had run the Dopey Challenge the weekend prior to the cruise that I still got to the gym and did something a few times on the […]

  3. […] broken for the half marathon the next day.  I was shocked at how good my legs felt after doing the Dopey (5K, 10K, Half, Full) the previous weekend.  I dressed as Princess Leia and saw far too many men […]