OK so this is going to surprise absolutely NO ONE who follows this blog, but I just registered for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. That’s a Half-Marathon on Saturday followed by a Full Marathon on Sunday, during the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This makes perfect sense, because I am absolutely insane. But while stalking Sparkly Runner’s blog this morning, in which Ms. Sarah detailed her reasons for not doing Dopey Challengenext year, I thought I’d springboard off that and go over my own reasons.
Let’s dial it back a bit for the Hokeyblog newcomers. A few months ago I attended the 2014 WDW Marathon Weekend, ran the 5K, 10K, and Half-Marathon, then proceeded to attend the Full Marathon as a spectator. I did 3/4ths of the Dopey Challenge and vowed to do all four races in 2015. But in the weeks that followed I gave that possibility a lot of thought. Participating in the Dopey Challenge requires a lot, not the least of which being:
- Time — four races on four days, plus a fifth day to attend the expo and pick up your registration. That means Expo on Wednesday, 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, and Saturday and Sunday on the 1/2 and Full. That’s a bare minimum of four nights hotel stay, and most likely five since who’s going to want to hop in a car and drive home directly after running a Marathon (which in turn comes after a previous three days of running?) You’re gonna be sore, tired, in dire need of an ice bath and even more dire need of some serious relaxation time. Either way, that’s quite a bit of time to take off…
- Training — this one I’m not all that concerned about, really, but it’s a concern. I already have a summer training schedule mapped out in preparation for the 2014 Space Coast Marathon next November, which includes plenty of long runs, speed work, hill training, conditioning runs, etc. I’ll be doing runs upwards of 30 miles long before I set foot at Disney for the Goofy Challenge. But it’s not just the ability to be able to run long distances; you have to condition yourself to run on tired, sore legs and achy feet. Doing the 1/2 and Full back-to-back will be challenge enough; throw in another 9.3 miles on top of that, and that means more training to prepare for that level of impact. Not quite sure if I’m down for that.
- Travel — you can save money a zillion different ways while visiting Disney, but the fact remains that you’re still going to end up shelling out a lot of cash. As mentioned before, doing the Dopey will most likely require a five-night stay, somewhere. I generally stay on-property, despite the premium costs, because it’s closer, more convenient, and more fun. Five nights at a moderate resort can run upwards of $650, or more. Throw in meals and incidentals, and that can skyrocket even further. And we haven’t even mentioned actually getting to Disney either. Sure I live close enough to drive there in 3 hours, but that’s still another $140 in gas and tolls.
- Touring — not for nothing, but I never attended for everything to start with a ‘T’. Hrm. Anyway, this is one of those your mileage may vary things, but being at Walt Disney World sort of makes you want to enjoy Walt Disney World. Think about the Dopey Challenge for a second. You’re gonna be there for several days; each morning you’re waking up at around 3 AM, which means those nights before you’re tending to crash as early as possible. Your available funtime window is severely curtailed, and it becomes even moreso as the week progresses (if you’re walking a 5K you don’t need to worry all that much, but by the time the Half- and Full races come around, you will need plenty of rest). No night time parades, no last minute dashes to Rock N Rollercoaster, no watching the fireworks on Main Street, etc. After the last race you’re home free to do whatever you want… but that’s right around the time you’ll be leaving to go back home, and even if you aren’t you’ll be exhausted. So it really won’t be much of a vacation, per se. Especially given how much you’re shelling out for the privilege.
- Price — the Dopey costs $530. That’s American dollars. That’s about $300 more than you could ever expect to pay for a Full, Half, 10K, and 5K. Yes I know, you’re paying for the Disney brand, services, perks, etc. It’s still exorbitant as hell, no matter how you slice it. Even the Goofy costs $360, and that’s still a lot of beans!
So all that said, I’m looking at my race schedule for next season. The races on my schedule include the Disneyland 10K and Half, Miami Beach Halloween Half, Wine and Dine Half, Avengers Half, the Space Coast Marathon, the Publix A1A Marathon, and the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon in Alaska next June. My dance card is already pretty full. And I do want to do more races outside of the ones I’ve already done, and I already have three repeat races lined up (somewhat, anyhow; I’ve done the A1A Half, but never the Full). So I’m good with doing “just” the Goofy this year. BESIDES — let’s get real. Goofy is my favorite Disney character of all time (alongside Dumbo and the Chernabog). I need that medal for my Bling Collection, bigtime.
So for all my running and Run Disney buddies out there, I hope to see you out there, running or spectating or anything in between. Next season is definitely going to be a fun one (and a challenging one!) and I can’t wait to take it on. And here’s the video: