As many of you know, I’ve spent the past several months training for the Disney Dopey Challenge. It’s 4 straight days of racing. Thurs: 5k, Fri: 10k, Sat: 13.1, Sun: 26.2. I’ve been waiting patiently for them to release the course maps…they finally have!
**CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO SEE AN ENLARGED VERSION**
Here’s the 5k and 10k routes…
The first few miles of the 10k ain’t all that exciting, but I’m glad that at least both races follow somewhat different routes (in the same area). I love variety in my running! I’m also happy that the start and finish are near each other. That way any spectators we have can at least see us twice!
Next up is the half marathon…
Basically a jaunt up to the Magic Kingdom and back from EPCOT. Only thing that concerns me is the round-a-bout at mile 10. I’ve been there before and it is a man made hill. It’s a swirly overpass of road, and it. is. very. angled. You can’t take two even steps because of the slant. I’ve had several friends get injured at that overpass. At least I know what to expect and can try to be safe there.
Finally is the main event, the full marathon…
I really like this course. You get to see most of the main attractions of Disney World. I only wish there was a way they could mix in Downtown Disney.
As you can see, they take us through all 4 major parks – EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, & Hollywood Studios. In addition, we also get to do a lap on their race car track (1 mile around) and through their Boardwalk resort.
In between we pass by various other “attractions”. Running past the golf course is cool, but in years past running past the waste water management plant didn’t smell too pleasant. But I guess you gotta take the good with the not so good, right?
I also really like how that now have us going through the Sports Complex. There we get to run through the training soccer and football and baseball fields. We also get to do a lap on the track! And the highlight is running thru the baseball field where the Atlanta Braves do their spring training. Last year, that was coolio because there was a big crowd in the stands cheering for us (and they had cameras putting us on the big screen on the outfield wall).
It all ends up back at EPCOT. Which, if you look at the map, is over a mile in itself. That just goes to show you how big the parks actually are. I can say this from experience: there’s not much more deflating than entering the final park, thinking you’re almost done, then turning a corner and seeing the “mile 25 marker”. Ugh, another 1.2 to go, all in the same theme park!!!
But it’s all good. I’ve done the Disney Marathon 3 times now, and I know how the game is played. In the coming weeks I’ll offer my tips from experience for anyone else who happens to be running at Disney Marathon Weekend.
What about you? Do you obsess over course maps before a race, or do you care? Have you run at Disney? Any tips? What do you think of the courses?