Dopey Challenge 2017: WDW Marathon

Welcome to the final installment of my Dopey Challenge 2017 series! After the half marathon (or lack of half marathon) on Saturday, we relaxed around the resort and Disney Springs with a few friends who came to see us run the marathon the next day!

Before we knew it was it morning and we were up and heading to Epcot. After buying the race retreat during the Princess Half weekend a few years ago, I knew it was a good investment and BOY am I glad that we had somewhere warm to hang out because it WAS FREEZING. I definitely didn’t anticipate weather in the 30s with a crazy amount of wind, but I guess that is what the storm on Saturday brought in.

We grabbed breakfast in the race retreat and took some photos while we waited. In order to prepare waiting in the cold weather, I had a long sleeved running shirt over my Snow White disneybound and then I also put on a poncho hopeful that it might keep in some of the warmth. I also grabbed a cup of hot water to hold and sip on while we waited. At 6:08am, we took off towards Magic Kingdom!

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At mile 6, we exited Magic Kingdom towards Animal Kingdom. I had made plans to meet my mom outside Animal Kingdom after the half way point. It was a little daunting knowing that I still had about 7 miles until that point. But I kept trucking.

Backstage, that had great sights along the way, including parade floats and vintage ride vehicles! Outside Animal Kingdom, they had brought some goats and other animals out from Rafiki’s Planet Watch for the runners to pet and pose with.

I considered hopping on Expedition Everest, but I get dizzy enough just riding it on a regular park day that I didn’t want to risk it that race – maybe my next WDW marathon. After Animal Kingdom, I thought I may be able to ditch my long sleeve once I found my mom but I was still so cold, even having run a half marathon, that I couldn’t take it off.

Now comes the hard part. The course heads towards Wide World of Sports. Once I entered Wide World of Sports, I felt extremely dizzy – like I was going to faint. I ended up walking basically the enterity of mile 19 in WWoS.  I guess I hit the wall like runners say, but I’d never felt like this during a run. I’m guessing it was due to insufficient hydrating and eating between all of the races that preceded this one. I think if I were to do Dopey again, I would pay more attention to confirming that I was drinking enough water and electrolytes between races. However, I did feel like WWoS was not as bad as everyone says – but that could be because I was concentrating on not throwing up during a majority of it so I wasn’t really paying attention to the course. Eventually, I was enveloped by a Jeff Galloway pace group who were doing 30 second intervals. I decided to give that interval a try and kept it up for most of the remainder of the race – there were a few times I walked longer than 30 seconds but it kept me moving!

A sorority sister posted in our sorority runner’s Facebook group that she and her husband would be setting up an aid station after Wide World of Sports. So right past mile 20, I was so excited to see this:

I ran up and gave her a hug (mind you, I’ve only very conversed online with her!) and said thank you. I really needed this boost after feeling incredible awful a few miles earlier.

Feeling invigorated upon exiting WWoS, I knew I only had about a 10K to go and I was going to get two parks in that distance! First up was Hollywood Studios:

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With all of the construction, it was a very quick turn in Hollywood Studios, pretty much in the back and out the front and off to the Boardwalk to Epcot. We took a familiar route along the boardwalk towards International Gateway. But this time once we entered, we turned right towards France and looped around that way. We past Germany, where I saw my inspiration Snow White who remarked I looked just like her! Upon entering Future World, I saw my friends who I stopped to say to, but then they told me my brother was only a few minutes ahead of me so I took off to see if I could catch him!

wdw2017008643571851_7918057536_dsnyRes-base_dsnyLoc-regI never did catch up with him but soon I was crossing the finish line, finally done!
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Overall, it was a fantastic experience that I would do again in a heartbeat! The next day, we made sure to visit all of our favorites and share our medals with them!

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Now, I’m ready to tackle the second part of our coast to coast journey, the Disneyland Double Dare Challenge! Will I see any of your wonderful faces there?

In case you miss the first four installments, you can read from the beginning:

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