I did it. After training for months, I completed the 2020 runDisney Dopey Challenge. I set my sights on this goal back in 2018 and just over 2 weeks ago, I crossed 4 finish lines: a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon. 48.6 magical miles through 4 Disney World parks over 4 days.
Since I’m recapping 5 races if you include the 5K in the Bahamas, I’m going to split this post into three parts. Part 2 is coming Wednesday, so be ready! Today I’m talking about the 5K, 10K and the Castaway Cay Challenge.
Deciding to Run the Dopey Challenge
Several years ago I toyed with idea of running Dopey. At first it was just a thought in my head. After completing the Fairytale Challenge at Disney World in 2017 doing a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, I thought maybe one day. Then I did it again in 2018 while pregnant with my second child. My friend Rachael and I started talking about Dopey out loud and decided that 2020 would be our year. You can read more about this decision and how I started training in my Dopey training posts!
5K – 3.1 miles
The big race weekend came even faster than I could have imagined! After training for 6 months and thinking about doing it for years, it was time. Rachael and I had a game plan and we were ready to run.
Our 5K costumes were unique and super fun. We ran as King Arthur (me) and Merlin (Rachael) from Sword in the Stone! A classic movie with fun costume ideas. I only wish I would have gotten a sword. I was afraid that it wasn’t allowed since it was a weapon, so I chickened out and didn’t bring one. Turns out, you can run with fake swords in case you’re wondering!
The 5K was an easy course that we’ve done before during Princess weekend. It starts outside of Epcot and you run into Epcot and around World Showcase.
We took this first race very easy. We didn’t want to go out too strong and excited given the number of miles we had to go. Rachael was good at reigning me in when I just wanted to take off! We did walk and run intervals and even got a picture with The Beast when we ran through France! The biggest disappointment was that there were only 4 characters on the course for this race. There were opportunities for many more since so much of this race is in the park!
After the race we grabbed our waters, Powerade and snack boxes, snapped a picture with Minnie and were on our way to our hotels to get ready for Magic Kingdom! Yes, we also did the parks while running all the miles.
10K – 6.2 miles
Day 2 of running was the 10K! After walking around Magic Kingdom the day before, I was a little more tired than I should have been, but luckily I was smart enough to call it an early night and got plenty of sleep. Unfortunately, Rachael did not due to tummy troubles which did cause us to split up a bit during the race.
For this race I actually used an old costume from marathon weekend a few years ago, Snow White! Rachael had a Rapunzel inspired outfit. I designed and created the shirts for both of our costumes and my skirt is from Sparkle Athletic.
The 10K course is one of my favorite courses because of the amount of park time. Since this race goes around World Showcase and along the boardwalk, it feels like you’re in the park even longer and you have TONS of cheering fans along the way. In fact, my amazing, supportive husband woke up early to get to the boardwalk to see me run!
Rachael and I started the race together, but after a mile and a half we realized that Rachael needed to slow down and I needed to speed up. The plan was for me to stop for characters and hopefully Rachael would catch up just in time to snap a pic!
I first stopped for Abu and Rachael caught up with me as I was running away from my picture. Bummer!
I mentioned earlier that my rockstar husband got up early to come watch us run! Well he planted himself on the boardwalk just before mile 5. I was able to text him during the race to figure out just where he would be. Since I wasn’t in a huge rush, I stopped to give him a sweaty hug and snap a quick photo with the Spaceship Earth Ball in the background!
Right after I saw JP, I saw Beach Donald and you better believe I was stopping for the number 1 duck! Rachael wasn’t too far behind me after my Abu stop, so she got to me just in time to snap a picture with Donald!
Overall I felt really great during this race. I walked a good portion of the first two miles with Rachael before we decided it was best to run on our own for this one. From there I was sure to keep my pace in check since I had two big races in the days following!
I couldn’t recap this race without sharing my favorite photo of me from the race! Check out that sweet jump with the Spaceship Earth ball in the background! And yes, I was just as excited as I looked. I really do love running.
Castaway Cay Challenge – 3.1 more miles
I’m saving the half marathon and full marathon for another post, or possibly two more posts because there are so many miles and feelings about those races. But before I go, I wanted to share about the Castaway Cay Challenge!
Since we went on a cruise on the Disney Dream immediately following the race, we also had the chance to run the Castaway Cay Challenge. This is a 5K that you can run on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. You can only run this challenge if you run marathon weekend and then immediately cruise, so it’s a pretty special race.
JP signed up for this race pretty late…as in a couple days before we left, so he started in corral C. Rachael and I were in A, but not planning to go super fast since we had literally run a marathon 3 days prior. We took this race nice and easy, enjoyed running on the island and snapped some pictures with Timon and Captain Jack Sparrow!
By mile 1.5 JP caught up to us! Funny story, he actually came up from behind and smacked me on the butt scaring the crap out of me. I screamed and was not pleased with him for quite some time. Eventually I came around and admitted that it was funny once the adrenaline wore off and my heart rate came down.
We ran the rest of the race together. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but I’m happy to say that we did it! If you add together all of the miles we did, it totalled 51.7 in 5 races.
The first two races of the 2020 runDisney Dopey Challenge were great! My biggest suggestions to those that are thinking about running the Dopey Challenge at some point are:
- Take the 5K and 10K easy. Don’t push yourself too hard.
- Stop for characters! You’re not running these races for time, so get some photos. You can’t get character photos at any races but runDisney!
- Look for Photopass photographers to get some awesome shots.
- HAVE FUN! These first few races are shake out, fun runs to get you ready for the big ones!
Next up is the Half Marathon Recap! Don’t forget to take a look at our trip overview if you want to see some Disney Park photos too!
I’m totally not a runner but these sound so fun! Can’t wait to read about the other races!
Thanks! They really are a blast. I mean, they’re at the most magical place on earth!
This was fun and inspiring to read about. I’ve ran the CIM marathon and one half marathon and trained for Boston only to get injured. Love love love running, but it causes back injury for me. As a mama who hasn’t done any races except the color run 2 months post part from my first son, and strayed away from long distance running after giving birth to my second, I gotta say I miss it a lot but I love that you are doing it and enjoying your running life so much. Second best exercise for me now is dance fitness though!! Love it! Certified U-Jam and Fierce Funk instructor and all those ten years of long distance running was well worth it because it created a warrior in me. You know what I mean?! Keep running until the wheels fall off mama! =) p.s a cruise and a long race sounds amazing!
That’s amazing that you ran CIM, but I’m so sorry to hear that you injured yourself! How devastating! But most importantly, you were able to find something else that you love that keeps you fit and moving! Dance fitness is AMAZING. I love taking classes though I’m not sure that I look all that great doing it!
This was fun and inspiring to read about. I’ve ran the CIM marathon and one half marathon and trained for Boston only to get injured. Love love love running, but it causes back injury for me. As a mama who hasn’t done any races except the color run 2 months post part from my first son, and strayed away from long distance running after giving birth to my second, I gotta say I miss it a lot. I love that you are doing it and enjoying your running life so much. Second best exercise for me now is dance fitness though!! Love it! Certified U-Jam and Fierce Funk instructor and all those ten years of long distance running was well worth it because it created a warrior in me. You know what I mean?! Keep running until the wheels fall off mama! =) p.s a cruise and a long race sounds amazing!
How awesome! I haven’t done a race since my kids were born, but I’d LOVE to do something like this! Looks like a blast!
Getting back into running post kids was definitely a feat in itself, but I’m so glad that I did. I’ve had a chance to do something just for ME again! Running at Disney is so amazing. You can even make a family trip out of it!
So inspiring! I definitely want to do some runs after baby #2 arrives! Disney sounds so fun!
Disney is magical! Getting back into running after having my second was one of the things that made me feel like ME again! Slowly but surely I did more and it was so worth it!
I love reading about all your Disney races! Adding it to my list of fitness goals.
Thank you! They’re so much fun. Running at Disney really is magical!