Totally DOPEY Challenge Accepted: 4 parks + 4 days = 48.6 miles

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away … 

a runner girl who sought adventure in the great wide somewhere had dreams of becoming totally Dopey.  Over the years (and long before Disney ever owned Star Wars), whenever my kids asked for a bedtime story, it has always started that first line – because necessity is the mother of invention right? Or at least that was the case in my story-telling.As I sit here {for the fourth time} trying to figure out how to put my latest runDisney experience into words, it only made sense to start my story the same way.  I had such a hard time figuring out where to start 🙂  I could honestly write for days about all that went into this Dopey Challenge – and eventually that’s the goal – but those are stories for another time.  Today, race recaps and pictures of the bling win out!Grab an extra cup of coffee before you settle in because, if a picture’s worth a thousand words, this post is gonna be one for the record books!The DOPEY CHALLENGE: Four races {5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon} in four consecutive days through all four Disney World parks and Wide World of Sports for a total of 48.6 miles … and 6 medals!!! 🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅

First up, the 5k on Thursday morning.  All the races started at 5:30am, and we had to be in our corrals by 4:00 or 4:30am each day.  So if you wonder why we’re standing around in the dark that’s because it was honestly still the middle of the night! When I signed up for Dopey, I expected to be running most of the 48.6 miles solo.  Even when I found out two friends had signed up as well, I didn’t expect to see them past the start line.  They are two solid BQer’s and I’m, um, not even close 🙂 {TWO rare character sightings – Jiminy Cricket and the Genie!}
But the best thing about running character stop to character stop is that it’s a little bit like intervals.  Run fast. Stop and stand in line for a couple minutes.  Repeat.  I was able to keep pace with them for both the 5K and the half!  Our average moving pace (according to my Garmin) was 10-10:30 min/mile for these two races – not bad considering we stood around in the cold for over an hour before the race before trying to navigate through the crowds of runners and walkers around us.Even though we started the 5K in corral B and the half in corral C, our pace for the half was faster because, once we got past the larger crowds, it was easier to run.  Also – more run time in between character stops!!

I actually forgot how dark it still was when we finished the 5K! I was back at the resort before 7am and got to enjoy my coffee and the sunrise before the rest of my family was even awake – then we were off to Epcot for the day!I had suckered my mom into running the 10K with me (because the 5K was already sold out when she went to register!) so Friday morning we were both up and on a bus by 3:30am.  For the most part, Disney aims to have the parks clear of runners before they open {which is really in everyone’s best interest!} but that means early early mornings.So you already know why we’re always standing around in the dark, but I forgot to mention how ridiculously cold it was that week! Florida had its first freeze in 4 years, so standing around in the dark and the cold was unexpected for sure, and definitely not my favorite.  Great running weather, once my legs weren’t numb and I could feel my fingers again though.Several of the character lines for this race were long, and it was cold!, so we opted for a few selfies instead of stopping to stand in those lines. Favorite costume seen on the course – the monorail! There were four runners, with cutouts on each side and the “driver” had a speaker on his back that was playing a recording of the actual monorail voice, reminding us all to “Stand clear of the door!” Finished!!  10k in the books and shiny Minnie medals to match our pink and red Minnie costumes 🙂
No parks today – instead we visited some of our favorites at Chef Mickey’s for a late brunch.Then on to ESPN Wide World of Sports for the Kids 1 mile run.The runners with their favorite cheerleaders!The rest of this day is honestly a blur – we got back to the room around 3pm. I laid down for a “quick” nap and woke up around 5:30-6pm completely out of sorts.  I had no idea where I was, or even who I was, but I remember looking at the clock and thinking I had overslept and missed the next race!

Now, you might need a nap if you made it to the end of this post 🙂 Ready for the rest of this totally Dopey adventure?

Read the {half marathon recap next} and the {marathon recap here}

2 thoughts on “Totally DOPEY Challenge Accepted: 4 parks + 4 days = 48.6 miles

  1. Summer Thomas says:

    YAY LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to read more, and y’all are the most fun!

    1. Java & Sole says:

      Thanks Summy 🙂 It really was SO much fun!

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