Friday, June 21, 2024

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Dopey Problem


I can’t let you know what number of occasions I used to be lucky sufficient to go to Disney World as a child. Mickey & Minnie Mouse have been part of my family, and we by no means missed a brand new Disney film in theatres. Name me a toddler, however that by no means actually left me.

I’m effectively into maturity now and as my tastes have modified, my coronary heart nonetheless belongs on Principal Avenue strolling in direction of the Fortress. The nostalgia may be very actual and brings me to such a wonderful place. And, now that I’m an grownup that may make my very own choices, I’ve determined to take my trainers to the happiest place on Earth, Walt Disney World.

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has been round since 1994, all the time held in January. Through the years the race weekend grew exponentially. Quickly, the “weekend” consisted of 4 completely different races on 4 completely different days. The 5K kicks off the weekend on Thursday, the 10K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday, and the Marathon is the grand finale on Sunday morning. Somebody at runDisney had the brilliant thought to market the 4 races because the “Dopey Problem,” rising the recognition of the race collection.

Right here I’m, a 34-year-old feminine that melts at any time when she sees an image of Minnie & Mickey Mouse who additionally occurs to be an endurance junkie. Any guesses what I did final weekend?

In July of 2021, I arrange my laptop and refreshed my browser extra occasions than I care to confess and forked over all of my hard-earned cash to runDisney for the prospect to run 4 races, on 4 consecutive days, at 5am every day (you learn that proper). Race weekend approached and I had handled my coaching much like marathon coaching, with a couple of facets of Extremely coaching blended in. Coaching over the vacations is rarely good. And, “racing” 4 races consecutively meant throwing out any kind of time targets. Ending was the last word purpose. As a result of who can truly say that they taper a marathon with a half marathon the day earlier than?

When you keep on Disney property, they make it greater than simple for you. You stroll exterior your resort room at 3am to search out a number of busses ready to move runners to the Epcot parking zone, the beginning line of all 4 races. The staging space is stocked with porta potties galore and even features a stage and massive display to get athletes excited for the race. Gear bag vehicles are meticulously positioned the place you may simply seize your issues after you cross the end line. Rubbish cans are all over the place. Water stations are scattered concerning the space. Hand sanitizer galore. Meals vehicles. Merch tents. A “child heart” (nonetheless not sure what that was for?). And naturally, a runner info tent. In case you didn’t know, particulars are what Disney does finest. And there wasn’t a single element of this race that was neglected. Every morning seemed very comparable but very completely different, let me clarify.

 

Pluto 5K

This was by far once I noticed essentially the most costumes on the beginning line. Sure, costumes. So many individuals run dressed as princesses, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, and any Disney Character you may think about. The crowds have been huge at 3:45am as I approached the staging space. Physique glitter and tutus have been all over the place. The vibe was magical and so inviting. Runners have been inspired to enter their corrals by 4:30am for the 5am begin. I discovered my method to the beginning line and by 5am on the dot, I crossed the beginning line and immediately found I used to be working by my childhood dream. Nearly all of the race runs by Epot, visiting the entire international locations within the World Showcase. My psychological image nonetheless doesn’t do it justice. The whole park was lit up with twinkle lights. The fountains have been working on repeat, including to the enjoyment of the race. The end line got here fairly rapidly after 3 miles. Nevertheless it wouldn’t be lengthy earlier than I used to be again for extra.

End Time: 25:18

 

Oswald 10k

I used to be fortunate sufficient to have a couple of pals be part of me for this race. We awakened (they have been a bit brisker than I, as this was my 2nd 2:30am alarm in a row) and hopped on a bus to the beginning line. This time I made a decision to sneak somewhat nearer to the beginning. The gun went off and the primary 3 miles have been a bit uneventful, working in direction of Hollywood Studios on the freeway. However let’s not neglect about all of the character picture alternatives! Disney characters of all types popped up on the facet of the course, full with a enjoyable background so runners might run proper up the mark on the highway, strike a pose, after which carry on working. Generally you have been greeted with a line of runners 10+ deep. Different occasions you may sneak proper in, it was full luck of the draw. Quickly we entered Hollywood Studios by the backlot close to the Tower of Terror. Park staff have been scattered all over the place, cheering you on and performing their half. Every little thing was as lit up as could possibly be. The power was merely electrical. Th subsequent a part of the course included working by the Boardwalk and at last coming into Epcot. As soon as once more, the magic put a smile on my face, and I couldn’t wipe it away. There actually aren’t phrases to explain how lovely Epcot appears to be like at the hours of darkness. Right here I used to be, my Dopey Problem was formally half over. However let me let you know, the enjoyable hadn’t even begun but.

End Time: 52:55

 

 

 

Donald & Daisy Duck Half Marathon

Waking up on the threerd day for the half marathon was once I actually began to note the fatigue settling in. In spite of everything, I used to be in Disney World and I didn’t simply “hand around in my room” in the course of the day. I visited all of the parks, ate and drank all of the issues, and walked extra miles than I ran. The Half Marathon is my favourite distance, so I wished to make it additional particular. So, once I arrived in my corral, I snuck my approach all the best way to the entrance so I used to be in a position to toe the hyperlink of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. The gun went off and we made our method to the Magic Kingdom! Getting into the park and working down Principal Avenue with essentially the most good view of the citadel is a vivid reminiscence I promise that I’ll always remember. Characters popped up your entire 13.1 miles, park staff greeted us with their largest smiles, and shortly we entered Epcot for the ultimate mile. I had checked off 3 of the 4 days, however the largest hurdle was nonetheless on faucet. The marathon.

End Time: 1:52:54

 

 

 

Mickey & Minnie Mouse Marathon

I gained’t mislead you, I awakened on Marathon morning and my legs have been removed from recent. They have been truly sore, too. I took a couple of working steps in direction of the bus at 3am and it didn’t really feel nice in any respect. It was then that I used to be involved that this marathon wasn’t going to be fairly. I discovered the beginning line and step one proved to me that I used to be going to have to really focus if I wished to get by this present day as rapidly as attainable. I made a couple of pals, loved the websites of character picture alternatives, and shortly the enjoyable actually began. We entered the Magic Kingdom, and the adrenaline was flowing. Ultimately the solar got here up and we entered the Animal Kingdom and I felt like Simba whereas I ran by the park. Curious and stumbling over my toes! The race completed up working by Hollywood Studios and Epcot. My smile was as giant as could possibly be as a made my closing flip to the end and I discovered my assist crew. I had achieved it, 48.6 miles over 4 days. Not precisely one thing to shake a stick at. Earlier than the race began, I used to be satisfied I’d be strolling half the marathon, however that was removed from what occurred. The environment and power carried me to this point, even after I crossed the end line. I snapped a couple of footage, modified my garments, and promptly entered Epcot as a park visitor and located my spot in Germany, full with a pretzel and a beer whereas I cheered on the remainder of the marathoners.

End Time: 4:08:01

 

 

 

I can’t say sufficient about this occasion. Disney lover or not, this venue is likely to be among the best to host a marathon. Even when you ran on the freeway, there was some type of leisure. Generally it was music. Different occasions it was a film taking part in which you could see and listen to from 1 / 4 mile away. Having the ability to see the backlots of all of the parks was one other factor I beloved. Positive, they’re boring and that’s the place the workers can prep for his or her day, but it surely’s so enjoyable to see behind the scenes of the magic. And I gained’t lie, I discovered each single end line within the time I’d hoped for. Though, my legs are nonetheless barking at me for even beginning that marathon. Till subsequent time, Disney.

 

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