Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Goofy Challenge Race Recap

The weekend I had been thinking worrying and training about for months finally arrived and it was all worth it!

Half Marathon
Although the Disney World Marathon weekend is scheduled for the coldest weekend in January (historically) this year was an exception. Not what I wanted for running long distances, but it could have been worse.  Morning temps were in the upper 50s and warmed up to mid 70s.   Because we start so damn early, we run a good portion of the race in the dark which helps on warm days like this.

I don't know if it's the starting time, 5:30am, the number of runners 24,000 for the half and more for the marathon, or the distance you have to walk to the starting line, 20 min walk, but you have to get up so early for these races!  We had a 2:30am wake up time with the goal of leaving the house by 3:05am in an effort to get to the parks by 3:30am and beat the traffic.  The pre-race traffic jam stresses me out and I would rather have a calmer start to the day so it's worth it to get up 30 minutes earlier.

There are many opportunities to run half marathons and marathons, but only one place where you can stop along the way and get photos with all the characters you grew up with. Our goal for this race was to take it easy and take lots of pictures and that's just what we did.
The Mary Poppins pic is my favorite! 

We finished the race in 2:23:46 with one-third of the challenge completed. Then we headed back home to refuel, relax and get ready for tomorrow's race.

Waking up at 2:30am for the second night in a row wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it did make me think of the movie Groundhog Day.  Using the same routine, we got to Epcot without too much trouble, but the crowd arrived earlier today.  The big change we made was to head out to the starting line as soon as they opened the chutes.  It was so much better than the giant crowd were  wedged into the day before during the walk out.

Our plan today was to run-walk in 4:1 intervals, take more photos and enjoy the race. The first walk break always feels awkward, because you don't need it then and everyone is hustling past you. We pretty much stuck to that schedule except for photo and bathroom breaks until later in the race when we walked more than ran. 

We didn't want to kill ourselves to finish with a great time.  It was a relief to not worry about the time, something I am not used to, but very freeing. Unlike yesterday, I brought some extra food with me to eat later on in the race. Consuming only Powerade and water for that many miles is not enough for me and I am not a GU person.  I packed Honey Stingers, a Cliff Crunch and some pretzels. 
The villains photo is my favorite from this day! Gaston cracked me up.

Belle looks sweet, but I think she woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, because she was a little abrupt.  Not very Belle like.

Because this was the 20th anniversary of the marathon there were some special happenings at mile 20. My photos don't do it justice.  It was refreshing to have a little excitement at the point in the race you really wish you were closer to the finish line than you are.  

I was very hot and tired by the time we crossed the finish line in 5:31:29.  
We met our goal and completed the Goofy Challenge!  I can't believe I ran 39.3 miles in two days. It was not easy and it took many hours of training, but I'm glad I did it and I'm glad its over. It is definitely a crazy thing to do, but it is such a big deal during this weekend that you feel like a celebrity when people see your Goofy bib and share words of encouragement.

It was an experience I will never forget!


  1. Now that is an experience you shouldn't forget ever! I wish I can take my son and go run there one year. Really awesome and well done to all!

  2. So amazing! Even though it was tough it looks like there were some fun moments in the race. You both should feel super proud! :)

  3. Okay - this is my half marathon comment, then I'll go read about the full...

    you finished in 2:23 and that was taking it easy and getting photos??? I'm in awe!!!

    We took it easy, hit every photo stop - got in at 3:30 on the nose. You, my friend, are a speedster! I bow down to you!!

  4. And the marathon -- again you are freaking fast! The heat zapped any speed out of me by the time I hit Osceola Parkway. One thing I noticed was that surprisingly I felt better running than walking during the first 15 or so miles of the full. I thought after the half I'd just want to walk a lot, but somehow walking felt all awkward. I wanted to do 4:1 intervals as well, but for the first mile and a bit I refused to walk. I was terrified. All those that weren't doing Goofy were so fresh and flying by!

    You are right, the Goofy bib (and shirt & medal in the parks later that night and the next day) sure do make you feel like a star! I can't wait to do it again.

    What about you? Think you'll do Goofy again in the future?

    1. Won't be doing Goofy again, but want to run the Dumbo Dare in Disneyland. I was sad it sold out so fast this year.

    2. I signed up for Dumbo at the expo, so now I just need costumes! That race will be a piece if cake after Goofy!


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