2018 Dopey Challenge final thoughts

#disney world  #dopey challenge  #runDisney  #race recap  #recap  #race  #running 

This is the sixth post for the 2018 Dopey Challenge. Checkout my recaps for the expo, 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon.

One more Dopey Challenge post for this year, okay? Okay. I know, I know. It’s been a lot, but just a quick little wrap up for the whole weekend here and then I’m done.

If you didn’t read the other posts, feel free to grab a pot of coffee, a cat and/or dog to snuggle with, and curl up with them…

2018 Dopey Challenge expo and pre-race

2018 Walt Disney World 5k - 27:52

2018 Walt Disney World 10k - 59:19

2018 Walt Disney World Half Marathon - 2:06:11

2018 Walt Disney World Marathon - 3:40:15

So this was my third Dopey Challenge, sixth Goofy Challenge, sixth Walt Disney World Marathon, and thirteenth marathon. I think I’ve run like 22 or 23 runDisney races total. I could count them and get an official count, but eh. Anyway, coming into the race, I was repeating over and over that I was planning on this being my last runDisney race for a while. I wanted to take a break and spend the time and money elsewhere.

By the end of the weekend, though, I was already ready to sign up for next year. I just had that much fun! I spent more time running and hanging out with friends each morning than in years past and I couldn’t get enough of it. It changed my mind a lot about running with friends. I don’t think I’ll ever like doing group runs or sway from being a generally solo runner, but I think I’ve found it can be a fun change of…pace.

The cold weather was certainly not enjoyable, though. It was great for running, but freezing my damn balls tits off before each race was less than enjoyable. This was definitely the coldest race weekend I’ve done in Disney. At least last year, it was mostly just the marathon that was cold to start. This year, it was everything.

And, unfortunately, it wasn’t just the races that were cold, but the weather was in the 30s and 40s almost our entire trip. This made for cold days in the parks, as well. We layered the hell up, but neither of us brought our winter coats with us and no amount of layering was enough for spending the entire day outside.

Granted, it was in the single digits at home so Florida was certainly a lot better than that, but you don’t go to Central Florida for temperatures like that! And, at home, we actually have our winter coats and aren’t spending all day walking around a theme park.

At least it wasn’t raining!

Anyway, the weather certainly changed how we did parks a bit. We favored things that were indoors and were more willing to call it a night earlier. We did the O Canada! show in Epcot and the Finding Nemo musical in Animal Kingdom. Neither of these, we’d done before, but they were inside so it seemed like a good time to check ‘em out!

Rivers of Light

We also saw Animal Kingdom's Rivers of Light for the first time. It was fantastic!

Moving on from the weather, I really liked the race medals as a collection this year. I loved how they all followed a theme that tied them together. It truly made them feel like a collection, instead of six individual medals. However, they expectedly continued the trend of big over-the-top medals that I’m not a huge fan of. I mean, I get it, it’s Disney World, so of course they are big and over the top. But I’m much more a fan of smaller, simpler medals. Last year’s marathon medal was fantastic, probably my favorite runDisney medal ever, to be honest. It’s clean and simple while still being cute and unique. Unfortunately, this year was back to insanity. THOUGH, the Dopey medal, well, you just can’t argue with that kind of cuteness. It’s actually perfect for a challenge medal—I’m a little more lax when it comes to challenge medals.

Dopey Challenge Medal Collection

They work very well together.

Dopey Challenge Medal Collection


As for my legs, they weren’t too sore afterwards. It was mostly just a bit in my quads and that was gone by Wednesday. I’ve already done four runs for 18 miles since last weekend. My legs have felt tired, but willing to move. This weekend, I have the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon coming up. This should be a good test for me to see how my body might react for the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge in three months. Fred Lebow is in Central Park and includes two laps of Harlem Hill and three of Cat Hill so it’s not an easy course. I’m hoping that’ll give me a good indication of what to expect come April.

Amelia and Danielle riding Space Mountain

Gotta take your hydration serioualy during Dopey weekend!

Either way, I think my training actually worked as well as I’d hoped. I wanted to come out of Dopey weekend without being too beat up and able to turn around and hop into Boston training pretty quickly. And I think I did that. I don’t plan to push the pace for either Boston or Big Sur so I’m going to be focusing on running a lot of miles at the same kind of pace I did while training for Dopey. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m feeling like I’m right where I hoped to be.