I wrote most of this post months ago…right after I returned from Disney World. I then promptly forgot to post it because I was waiting for our photos to become available. Whoops!
First thing I’m going to say is this: the Dopey Challenge is not a good idea. It will eat your life for months and make you cranky. It will cause you to change your diet, your schedule, and then cost you shit tons of money. This stupid dwarf caused me to lose almost 30 lbs. And that was all before I got on the stupid plane. The races themselves are way too early for any normal human. The morning of the marathon was a cold, painful nightmare. I stole towels from the hotel in an effort to keep my fingers from going numb because it did not occur to me that I’d need the same gear I use in Colorado. The half didn’t even happen because LIGHTNING, so I had to run it on the boardwalk and the path between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
All that said… I’m glad I did it. I proved a lot of things to myself over the course of the last year. I went through a lot of shoes and I spent a lot of money, but I absolutely do not regret running these races.
Lots of people have written extensive summaries of all 4 races so I won’t mess with that here, but I will make several points:
- The Disney photo system is great. Pay the $150 and get all the photos you ever wanted from the parks and the races. I VASTLY prefer this to Marathonfoto.
- Disney did the right thing cancelling the half and they made good to people caught up in the whole mess. No complaints. My running friend transferred to the full and suffered horribly, but it was a voluntary suffering! And she got 2 medals and 2 shirts! I got a refund in a gift card and will just spend it on the hotel for the marathon next year. I am a goddamn junkie.
- The 10k is still my favorite distance and I love running through Epcot at dawn.
- The marathon course is AMAZING. I would not make the Dopey your first marathon, but if you do the marathon by itself you really will not regret it. I enjoyed it immensely and got to plenty of characters you don’t see often.
- Port Orleans, Riverside and Yacht Club are both very comfortable. Beaches and Cream at Yacht Club is the best post-race meal. Boma is still awesome.