|Race Report: The 2017 Dopey Challenge, Part I - The Beginning, the 5K, and the 10K!
||[Jan. 10th, 2017|05:22 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Just this past week, I ran a series of races that comprised The Dopey Challenge in Walt Disney World. For those of you who don't know, the Dopey Challenge is four races from Thursday to Sunday, comprising of a 5K on Thursday, a 10K on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday, and then topped off with a marathon on Sunday. |
Sounds crazy? It is!
I decided to do the Dopey Challenge even though I was already registered for the Chicago Marathon in October and the California International Marathon in December. My PT was concerned that I might be doing too much running, but my training for Chicago and CIM made my training for Dopey all that much easier.
Between CIM and Dopey I concentrated more on strength training rather than running. Even though I kept my miles up, I made sure I got in my squats and lunges and hydrants and clamshells and hitting the standing hip abductor machine at the gym, amonsgt other lower body and core things.
My strategy was easy: Run the first three races really easy, and then run the first half of the marathon easy as well. Just finish, and remember not to get carried away and run too hard during any of the races. Take my smartphone with me and take pics of anything I found neat or interesting, to help me keep my pace down and not get carried away. Also, enforced walking breaks at every mile marker, whethere I felt like walking or not.
First Race: Thursday's 5K
I had gotten a hotel room close to the start line of all of the races, only to learn that we weren't allowed to walk to the start. We were required to take shuttle transportation. What the heck. It cut down on walking. I took one of the earlier shuttles only to find out that I had gotten there far too early; More than an hour before they started herding us to the corrals. To kill time, I stood in line to get a picture with Pluto before we were finally directed to the starting area. The weather was clear and it was even warm, despite the fact that it was still dark out.
There were a lot of people lined up for this race. I was in corral D. Virtually everyone there was wearing a Dopey bib. I saw very few people who were just running the 5K.
Keeping my promise, I ran a very slow, training pace run. The course basically took us from the staging area and around Epcot. Yes, the Epcot Lake is just under a 5K as it turns out! So if you've been there you've no doubt walked at least a 5K. I was tempted to stop and get a pic taken with a character, but I didn't stop until I saw a pair of vikings with a very short line.
It was just a quick run round Epcot's shops, restaurants, and attractions.
The sun had barely risen by the time I was finished. I had run the race so easily I hadn't even broken a sweat.
Second Race: Friday's 10K
I took a later shuttle to get out to the 10K, which started half an hour earlier than the 5K. Running twice as long this day, I ran at pretty much the same pace as the day before.
At the start line I saw a few more non-Dopey runners, runners who had on 10K bibs, than I did the previous day.
The 10K course started out on an open road. It was one of the roads within the vast confines of the Walt Disney World Empire. (If you're not familiar with the layout and/or never been there, it's fairly spread out between the four parks and various facilities. You basically have to drive to get to the separate parks) I started off easy, the same pace I had run at the 5K. a few jack rabbits zipped past me, and I wondered what their hurry was.
It was much colder than the day before, noticeably so. It didn't take long for it to warm up, however. This race had a lot more whimsy than the 5K. I stopped for a couple of photo ops, once with the Incredibles, and I saw the Viking guys again, only this time there were a few more. I also paused to take pictures of the rising sunset, and also chatted with a spectator with a sign that said "You Look Skinny." I also stopped to get a picture with the Canadian contingent over by the O' Canada exhibit. (Had to. MY gal's Canadian!)
I also got into a lot more conversations with runners. The keyword for this run was casual. Asides from a few Hanz n' Franzers who bursted out of the gate, everyone was taking it easy, and having a chat with a fellow runner was gladly accepted. I got advice from one woman who advised keeping a slow and steady pace. Already done!
The roadway led back to the Epcot course we had run yesterday. It then came out to the Boardwalk, a stretch of shops and hotels around yet another lake. This area was just by my hotel. A wind back to Epcot and we were done.
I felt really good. I had kept my word and kept myself at good and easy paces, only momentarily taking off a few times, but always remembering to run easy.
But my good mood didn't last long...
For this race I wore a 49ers hat, a Berkeley Half Marathon Shirt, and a pair of Stephen Curry socks!
I told them this would be my "Game of Thrones" pic! :)
Had to stop and take a picture of the sunrise at Epcot!
I'm not even making this up: This was the line to get a picture with Minnie Mouse before the 10K race started!
The 10K had more Vikings! I wore my Game Changer Fitness shirt for this race! :D