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Disney Marathon Weekend – Complete Guide from Expo to All Races (incl. Kids’ & Dopey)

This weekend is the Disney Marathon Weekend. I have run the 26.2 magical miles x’s 4. And last year I ran the inaugural Dopey Challenge – 4 straight days, 4 straight races – Thurs 5k, Fri 10k, Sat 13.1, Sun 26.2. For all those running any of the events this weekend, or thinking about running in the future, here’s my official guide.

BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE RECAP LINKS BELOW FOR TONS OF PICS/VIDS/INSIGHT!!!!

The 6 Dopey Challenge Medals.

The 6 Dopey Challenge Medals.

1. The Expo!

Yup, that's an expo.

Yup, that’s an expo.

The Expo is Huuuuuuge. It’s takes over three buildings at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. You pick up your race packets, you get to see famous expert speakers, and you shop. You can shop for miles. It can be pretty overwhelming, but luckily there is a bar on hand where you can relax with a cold one, if you so desire.

To read my full in depth Expo recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

2. The Kids’ Races

Medals for everyone!

Medals for everyone!

Our boy has run the Kids’ Race x’s 3. The races also take place at the ESPN sports complex. Distances depend on age and desire, from the 100 to a mile. And yes, parents can run with their kids. And yes, it can be pretty chaotic. The start times, corrals, etc. can AND DO change at the drop of a hat. My advice: Be early, be ready, be flexible. They are a lot of fun though, and it’s great to get kids involved in the marathon weekend.

To read my full in depth Kids’ Races recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

3. The 5k (or Day 1 of the Dopey Challenge)!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

The 5k takes place on Thursday at the parking lot of Epcot. The race itself basically takes you in and around the theme park. It’s actually kind of neat to be in the park before it’s open. They still have characters you can take pictures with, and tons of volunteers to cheer for you. And just like that, it’s over. A quick 3.1 miles through Epcot.

To read my full in depth 5k recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

4. The 10k (or Day 2 of Dopey)!

Don't really need gloves in Florida heat, but ya know...

Don’t really need gloves in Florida heat, but ya know…

2014 was the also the inaugural 10k. I gotta say, this was probably the least exciting of all the races. Again, you start/end at Epcot, but the first 3 miles you are on the dark roads outside the park. There’s a little entertainment, but mostly it’s silent. The second 3 miles you do run through a resort before entering Epcot to the finish – that part is fun!

To read my full in depth 10k recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

5. The Half Marathon (or Day 3 of Dopey & Day 1 of The Goofy Challenge)

Yes, I wore a child's Snow White apron.

Yes, I wore a child’s Snow White apron.

The half marathon again starts/ends at Epcot. The difference is here that you do an out and back from the park to Magic Kingdom and back. The highlight is running through Magic Kingdom (and thru Cinderella’s Castle), but in between the two parks, again you’re just running on roads. Of course, they do have people cheering, characters, entertainment, and there’s more to see (resorts, etc.). And this race can be a lot of fun.

To read my full in depth Half Marathon recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

6. The Marathon (or Day 4 of Dopey & Day 2 of Goofy)

Medals 6/6 (includes Dopey & Goofy bonus medals)

Medals 6/6 (includes Dopey & Goofy bonus medals)

The marathon is the shining jewel of the whole weekend. The granddaddy. The big kahuna. And it’s my favorite as well. Over the course of 26.2 miles, you go through all the theme parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios) as well as through several resorts and also a lap on the race car track and a jaunt through the ESPN sports complex (incl. a lap on the track & baseball stadium). There is excellent support along the course & tons of entertainment. This is Disney at it’s best. They pull out all the bells & whistles. Really a magical marathon.

To read my full in depth Marathon recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

7. Disney Meet-Ups!

We had to refill our carb levels somehow.

We had to refill our carb levels somehow.

Of course, Disney is a big draw. Not only for tourists, but for runners as well. I’m really happy that at the Disney races I’ve run, I’ve been able to meet-up with so many long lost (and new) friends. At the Dopey Challenge, I couldn’t believe how many old friends, fellow bloggers, etc. that I had the fortune to meet up with.

To see my in-depth Meet-Up recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

8. After the Races – Time to Celebrate!

At Magic Kingdom with our medals.

At Magic Kingdom with our medals.

Of course, Orlando is a huge tourist destination. There’s tons to do and see there. Disney World has so much to offer. But so do others, such as Universal. So many rides, foods, drinks, good times.

To see my in depth recap of how we celebrated CLICK HERE NOW!

9. Finally, Be Thankful!

Anyone who runs, knows it takes a lot of support. Months and months of early morning miles can’t happen without the support of family, friends, social media pals, etc. This was not lost on me when I was Dopey last year. And so I made sure to thank everyone – from fellow runners to fellow bloggers to the fams.

To read my in depth thankful recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

Rumors confirmed - I am dopey.

Rumors confirmed – I am dopey.

So to all you who are running in any or all of the races this Disney Marathon Weekend, I wish you the bestest of luck! Whether you’re running or not, or just thinking about running this event in the future – hit me up with any questions you have! I’ll try to help! Soooooo……

Today’s Question: What Disney Marathon Weekend questions do you have for me?

-Scott

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Categories: disney, fitfluetial, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

10k Recap – Disney Dopey Challenge Day 2

Day 2 of the inaugural Dopey Challenge was the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k.  Day 1 was the 5k Family Fun Run.  This race was warm and humid.  And still early.  Yet another 2 am wake up call for a 5:30 am start.  It was also much more packed and energetic than the 5k.  There were a lot more people this morning.  A lot more buzz.

My best Mickey pose

My best Mickey pose

For this race, I was again rockin’ an Ohio University shirt.  My costume consisted of my over-sized Disney cartoon gloves, and my customized Mickey Mouse ears.

Sis, Mom, Me B4 da race.

Sis, Mom, Me B4 da race.

To help keep the ears on, I wore the GoPro camera on my head with a head strap that held the hat in place.  The only issue was that it was hard to tell if the camera was recording or not.  The solution was to hold my hand in front of it to see if I saw the reflection of the red blinking light…or ask one of the volunteers if it was blinking.

Hitting record on the GoPro.

Hitting record on the GoPro.

Same corral as the 5k —> A.  The course once again started and ended in the Epcot parking lot.  Truth be told, the first few miles were kind of boring.  Actually, a lot boring.  It immediately took us out on the roads that link the parks within Disney World.  Dark.  Quiet.  Sure, there were a few attractions (characters, deejays, etc.) placed along this stretch, but not much.

The 10k is the RED line.

The 10k is the RED line.

Plus, I got to see first hand the corral start separation that everyone was complaining about after day 1.  I got to see it because the course started with about a mile out and back on the road.  I kept watching the road on the way back looking for corral B.  It never seemed to come.  Not sure why they held them so long.  There was plenty of room on the roads.  As you can see from the highlights from my head mounted video camera:

Anyway, once the course finally got us into Epcot, it livened up.  It also took us around the Boardwalk Resort.  That was pretty cool too.  It’s so weird being there so early in the morning, and I’m sure we woke up a few tourists staying in the hotels there, but it was eerily cool.

Running and waving. Talented.

Running and waving and sweating. Talented.

The final stretch took us back through Epcot before finishing back at the parking lot near where we started.

Running.

Running and smiling.

Once again, I tried to take it easy.  My last 10k I finished in 46:23.  This one I came across in 1:04:28.  Once again, I reached my goal of finishing with a personal worst (PW)!!!  Mission “Take It Easy Races 1 Thru 3” successful so far!

I have weird running form.

I have weird running form.

Again, I ran the entire way, as I wanted to complete the Dopey Challenge by actually running all 4 races – no matter how slow I took the first few.

I really need to stop running like that.

I really need to stop running like that.

Again, I was trying to relax, enjoy the run, and not exert myself too much.  This was all in design to be able to have something in the tank for the 26.2 in just a couple days.

Moments before I pounced on Snow White.

Moments before I pounced on Snow White.

At the finish, I decided to do something other than just run over it – so I did a little heel click hop!

Heel click wide shot.

Heel click wide shot.

Heel click close up.

Heel click close up.

The Minnie medal was pretty cool too. I do love getting new hardware!  Bling Bling Race Bling!

Yup yup.

Medal 2 of 6 got son!

And now we were done with 2/4 races.  9.3 miles down, 39.3 to go!  The 39.3 is the Half and Full marathons back to back – they call that the Goofy Challenge.  So all that’s left for me to get Dopey is to be Goofy.

Next up I’ll recap the Half Marathon.  If you missed my recaps of the Expo and/or 5k,  you can see them HERE and HERE respectively.

How bout you?  How was your last 10k run or race?  Ever run with a camera?  Ever do anything special at a finish line?

Categories: Race Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

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