A Dopey Walt Disney World Marathon TR (Updated 1/14/2017)

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by Nole95, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Nole95

    Nole95 DIS Veteran

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    You will have a much more relaxing race weekend leaving the kids at home. You can go at your own pace with only having to worry about your schedule. Eat when you want and go to bed when you want.

    We also had a running joke going about how much money we were saving without the kids. Didn’t have to buy a bunch of snacks, junk food or random souvenirs.
     
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  2. Nole95

    Nole95 DIS Veteran

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    The waking up early was hard, but after a couple days we almost got into a rhythm. It’s almost like we didn’t realize just how early it was anymore. Those power naps each day were a big help.
     
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  4. roxymama

    roxymama DIS Veteran

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    Loving these updates. I really like the boardwalk area and want to read up more on this abracadabar now!!!!
     
  5. Nole95

    Nole95 DIS Veteran

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    Great little place. Sits right between Trattoria and Flying Fish. Never had any trouble finding a small table to sit out. Also have an outdoor area, but it was too cold, even with the heaters, for that last weekend.
     
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  6. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Glad you enjoyed my beer stop! If I do it again, I need more beer but I may be running in the race next year depending on if we decided to do that race weekend again.

    It's mostly water so totally not surprised you had no issues popping out of bed the morning of the half!
     
  7. baxter24

    baxter24 DIS Veteran

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    HAHA I saw two different couples holding hands at different points during the half and full. It didn’t appear as if one was pulling the other along either. I did laugh each time and thought it was an odd time to be holding hands especially in areas that were congested.
     
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  8. emilyindisney

    emilyindisney DIS Veteran

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    Some great pictures of you guys running together during the half!
     
  9. Fletch

    Fletch I'll have a steak sandwich, and a steak sandwich.

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    Enjoying your report! I always love to read about the experiences of other runners.

    Yes, this! We've done race weekends both with and without the kids. We definitely miss the kids when we go without them, but it is SO much easier to handle with the craziness of race weekend without having to manage the little ones.
     
  10. Sailormoon2

    Sailormoon2 DIS Veteran

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    You guys have fantastic finish line photos!!
     
  11. Nole95

    Nole95 DIS Veteran

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    Day 5 – The Main Event: 26.2

    The final day of Dopey had arrived. Everything we had been training for came down to the hardest race.

    I came into this race wanting to run a sub 5 hour marathon that had so far eluded me. Three years ago, while running Goofy, I put maximum effort into the half and the full. The result was me gassing out at about the halfway point of the full. Last year, I was in perfect shape before the Savannah RNR Marathon, but a painful hernia slowed me down at mile 18. I ended up finishing in 5:07. The previous three days I had paced myself accordingly, and I would be disappointed in anything more than 5 hours.

    Once again, the 2:30am alarm woke us up. It was the warmest morning yet. A balmy 41 degrees. My marathon gear was very similar to my half gear. Compression calf sleeves, shorts, short sleeve shirt with a thin long sleeve shirt over the top, and throwaway gloves and a hat. I was as ready as I could be.

    The only difference between Sunday morning and previous days was it appeared to be quite breezy. The balloons in the parking lot were noticeably blowing sideways. I began to wonder if we were going to have to deal with a headwind for portions of the race, but I figured I wouldn’t know until things got going.

    We headed to the corrals, and this time I made sure to use the bathroom before walking all the way down to the front of D. We set up camp as usual, and relaxed for the next hour.

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    Finally, the time came, and we were off. The first place I thought we would hit a headwind was on World Drive, but I was pleasantly surprised that there was not one.

    One thing we did for this race to do a mental reset was walk through each water stop. We would go down to about the middle of the water section, and slow down to a brisk walk. We would drink our water, and then get moving again. At mile 4 we were moving along at a 10:45 or better pace. My wife cautioned me that I needed to slow down or nothing good would happen later on in the race. I heeded her advice and slowed it up some.

    Running into MK once again helped to slow down the pace. I decided to film the run down Main Street, so I filmed while running as much to the right as possible. Once again, another great experience.

    The Run Down Main


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    Of course, after MK is the dreaded Cone Alley. It did not seem as bad today. No one was holding hands, and no one was really walking right in the middle of the course. I pretty much parked in behind some people that were moving at a similar pace and powered on through it.

    We were now at the point where the course diverged from the half course we had run the day before. It was time for the lovely Bear Island Road and Western Way out and back part of the course. While running Bear Island, I always enjoy the stench of the sewage plant, and the breeze always seems to be blowing just the right way. This was also the first time I experienced the out and back on Western Way. Definitely not my favorite. It was tight and crowded the whole out and back. I did my best not to weave, and tried to follow people through.

    As we neared AK and the halfway point, another thing I started doing was being very aware of the tangents I was running. According to my Garmin, I was already off by .15 miles. While I knew it would go up some more, I wanted to minimize it as much as possible. Making sure I ran the tangents as much as possible also kept me mentally focused.

    While not as fun as MK, running through AK was at least a break from the monotony of the roads. It also represented the halfway point. I blew through the halfway point at 2:23. Well ahead of pace to beat 5 hours. But there was still 13.1 miles to go, and this was where I had started bonking out in the past.

    Halfway There!
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    Since AK is not yet open for the early runners, most of the crowd support is near the park entrance after you exit. Lots of people out there cheering you on. This is good because the long and boring Osceola Parkway stretch loomed large.

    In the previous two Disney marathons I ran, I absolutely hated the Osceola Parkway stretch. Probably because I had already started gassing out. Today, that was not to be the case. I still felt strong, and when I hit mile 16 I really started to believe I was going to go under 5 hours. I started running calculations in my head to know what I absolutely had to do the last 10 miles. Up to this point, I had been keeping my wife in sight, but as we entered WWOS, she gradually started to pull away.

    WWOS is another place that is much maligned by those of us who run the marathon. As you run in, all those who already finished the tangled mess of paths are coming out on the other side of the road. You then enter where you twist and you turn for a good three miles. Back and forth you go, and it is not easy to run the tangents because some of the turns are so tight. It definitely helped to keep me focused, and I hit mile 20 still well ahead of the pace I needed to be on.

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    I came back out onto Osceola Parkway for the short run before turning towards DHS, and then the 4:45 Galloway Pace group came by me. I did not mind this so much because I was pretty sure I was not going to do a 4:45. What I did mind is when they stopped for their walk break, and the group was stretched clear across the course. This made it hard for anyone to get by that actually wanted to keep running. That would be me. I ended up leapfrogging them one more time before they pulled away. I later found out the same thing happened when they caught up to my wife a mile or so later.

    As I entered DHS I knew that short of the wheels falling off, I was going to finish in under 5. It was also at this point, mile 23, that I was started to feel tired, and the energy was starting to drop. I use E-Gels to fuel on these long runs, and gel number seven had been consumed at mile 22. I should have just enough to make it to the end.

    Feeling the Pain Now
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    The good thing about the final three mile stretch from DHS to the finish is that there is great crowd support the whole way. DHS, the path to the Boardwalk and then Epcot itself. Lots of people cheering you on to the finish. This was where I really needed it, and I used that extra energy to get to the Boardwalk. I did have to stop for a couple short walks to mentally recharge, but I was pushing on.

    Finally, I entered Epcot, and I was looking forward to seeing what they had at mile 25. Boy was I underwhelmed. It was pretty much a glorified mile marker. We planned on being in Epcot later to celebrate, so no time for a picture at that moment.

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    Down the Home Stretch
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    Running through Epcot during the marathon is much more fun than the half. There are people cheering you on for the whole last mile. Through the World Showcase and out through Future World. The finish line was in sight, so I pushed with all the energy I had left. I think I vaguely heard the announcer call my name as I approached the finish, but at that point I could have been imagining it.

    Finish Distance: 26.5 Miles

    Finish Time: 4:53:26

    A whole 14 minutes off my previous PR. I was physically and emotionally spent. My wife, who had finished about 7 minutes ahead of me, managed to hang around the medical area waiting for me. I am glad she was there. Between being happy I was done and shocked at how good I had done, I needed to see the face of someone I knew. I think I was also in a little bit of a fog, and it took me a couple minutes to completely catch my breath.

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    Our plan had been to walk back through Epcot to stretch our legs, but the crossing area by the International Gate as well as by Beach Club looked like a mess. After relaxing on the ground for a few minutes and getting out of our running shoes, we hopped the bus to head back for some cleanup.

    Two Dopey People
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    Next Up – Post Race Fun at Epcot / Final Thoughts
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  12. Nole95

    Nole95 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks. It's the one Disney race we finally finished together, and we were both glad they got some good pictures of us.
     
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  13. IamTrike

    IamTrike DIS Veteran

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    Great write up of your Full Marathon experience. Congrats on the PR!!! The stretch from Studios to the Finish is really great
     
  14. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    Great job on your marathon and congrats on your PR!
     
  15. emilyindisney

    emilyindisney DIS Veteran

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    Woohoo! Congrats on your PR! That mile-25 'spectacular', huh? :headache:
     
  16. TeeterTots

    TeeterTots DIS Veteran

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    Congrats on the PR! Nice recap!
     
  17. Nole95

    Nole95 DIS Veteran

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    Day 5 – Epcot Post Marathon Fun – Final Thoughts

    The hard work was finally behind us, and it was time for some well deserved relaxation, rides and adult beverages at Epcot.

    The Bling
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    After getting cleaned up, we slowly made our way into Epcot. Since the race was still going on, we had to first cross the walkway before the bridge to the International Gate. The cast member manning the crossing area in front of Beach Club told us to just cross when we saw an opening. At this point, it looked like all the runners coming by were from the G and H corrals, so openings were few and far between. We eventually found a good opening, but it’s not easy moving quickly across a wide walkway when you’ve just finished running 26 miles.

    Once we got into Epcot, we were directed around the back of the UK pavilion where we then had to wait in line to cross. The cast members did the best job they could here, but this was probably the worst spot to set up a crossing point. The area in front of Rose & Crown on other side was completely bottlenecked, and there really was nothing to direct guests on what to do. Between people spectating right where the runners came in and those trying to cross over, it was a mess.

    We eventually made our way to Sunshine Seasons for lunch, which is our usual post-race lunch spot, and then used a FP to ride Soarin. We both rode Nemo, and I then rode Mission Space. My wife does not care for the orange version. While in line for Mission Space, I had a young boy ask me if the diamonds in my Dopey medal were real. I wish they were, but no such luck.

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    Once the ride portion of the day was complete, it was time to head into the World Showcase for some beverages. While we did not do a complete around the world, throughout the afternoon we had beverages at UK, France, America, Italy, Germany and Mexico. We had a good time walking around, drinking our beverages, and people watching. We also did not find it too crazy from a crowd perspective.

    Rose & Crown
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    France
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    The Underwhelming Mile 25 Banner
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    Dinner was at our favorite post-race spot; Via Napoli. We have eaten here after every major Disney race we have run. We love the pizza and salad, and it’s a great place for us to end marathon weekend.

    Final Thoughts

    What a great experience we both had. We enjoyed running together, meeting many people from these boards, and just taking in the whole experience. We both started running regularly six years ago, and the 2012 Wine & Dine was our first half marathon. We never thought we would do or want to run a marathon, but that’s what we did in 2014 when we ran Disney. After that marathon, I told myself never again. A year later I was running Goofy. My wife thought I was crazy for doing that, but it was then her idea that we do Dopey this year. Dopey ended up being marathon number five for both of us. I guess the moral of the story is “never say never”. We're already trying to figure out what to do next.

    For anyone considering Dopey in the future, here are some pieces of advice:

    • If you can leave the kids at home, then I would do so. It was so much easier for us to just focus on the running. We could eat when we wanted, rest when we wanted and go to bed when we wanted.
    • Try to make any dinner ADRs earlier rather than later. This gives you time to get back to the resort, get things ready for the next morning and get in bed.
    • Train, train, train. Dopey is not easy, and the better trained you are, the better the experience will be.
    • Unless you have specifically trained for it, not every race needs to be a PR race. Pace yourself in the early races, and you can enjoy and have plenty left for the marathon.
    • Prior to leaving, if it even looks like it might be cold for one or two of the race mornings, head out to Walmart. Pick up throwaway sweats, blankets, gloves, and hats. Buy mylar blankets and hand warmers for cheap on Amazon. You will not regret it.
    • I can’t emphasize this one enough. Go out and get that proof of time before the deadline. The better your corral, the fewer people you will have to contend with on the course. The last two corrals for the half and full both had over 5,000 people in them. For the Dopey/Full this was anyone with a marathon proof of time greater than 5:30 or no proof of time at all. This year I submitted a 2:21 half marathon proof of time. That was good enough to get me in C for the 5K/10K and D for the Half/Full.
    • As for the Expo, unless RunDisney makes some changes to the Wednesday setup, I am not sure what advice I can give other than to get there as close to noon as possible when it opens to the general public. No one should ever have to spend 2+ hours at any race expo standing in lines, so it is my hope that RunDisney will implement some changes.

    Thanks for reading along. If anyone has questions, I'll do my best to answer.
     
  18. emilyindisney

    emilyindisney DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like you had a great final day! Very much enjoyed reading your recap :thumbsup2
     
  19. baxter24

    baxter24 DIS Veteran

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    Congrats on that marathon PR!
     
  20. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Congrats on the entire weekend! Enjoyed following along!
     
  21. michigandergirl

    michigandergirl DIS Veteran

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    Great recap and congrats on your marathon PR! Also agree with "never say never" and your Dopey advice. :thumbsup2
     

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