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January 15, 2014

WDW 2014 Marathon Weekend - Inaugural Dopey Challenge, Part 6

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2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Three down, one to go! But we haven't even done half of the mileage yet...we have completed 22.4, and still have 26.2 left!

It was VERY hard to get up at 2:00 this morning...we both really, really, really wanted to go back to sleep. But today was the first real test of this whole Dopey Challenge thing - at 13.1 miles a half marathon is much more of an endurance test for most of us.

We again drove to Epcot, leaving our resort at a little after 3:00, and again we had minimal traffic. Even including parking it only took about 12 minutes. But that's because we left EARLY.

Before I go any further I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of the volunteers and cast members who get up even earlier than we do to man the aid stations, direct traffic, answer questions, and probably a thousand other jobs that we might not see, but that are absolutely necessary. I don't know how they manage to keep doing it with smiles on their faces, and words of encouragement, but they do, and we are SO appreciative and grateful. This is Andrew, who we also saw the morning of the 10K. Notice his duck hat, and his gloves, which had glowing fingers - he told us to touch them for a burst of power. :-) (I did - every little bit helps!)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

It had rained during the night and it was quite humid. The temperature was about 67, so it was our warmest race so far. Showers were expected about 9:00, and thunderstorms later, so we were hoping the rain would hold off for the race. At least the overcast kept the temperature down while we were running. (The showers never materialized, though we did have thunderstorms and heavy rain that night.)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We again gathered for a pre-race meet and photo. (Thank you to Phil DeLuccia for the photo!)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

And then it was off to the start corrals, which are about 1/2-3/4 mile from the pre-race area, mostly on a fairly narrow road. This often entails shuffling along, shoulder-to-shoulder, for what seems like hours. This year we headed out about as soon as they opened the corrals and it wasn't TOO bad, but still a bit congested. That's one thing that was so nice about the 5K and 10K - we didn't have that long crowded walk to the start.

One thing that runDisney did this year to try to help with the course crowding was to add more corrals, but put fewer people in them, and start the corrals at different intervals, depending on the number of people. There were 16 this year - I think there's been 8 in the past.

We started in Corral K with a group of Team AllEars runners. We couldn't even SEE the start line, and once our corral started moving it was still a pretty long walk to the start! Most of the corrals got a nice fireworks display when they counted down to the start but ours didn't. :-(

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Our corral started about 6:05, which was 35 minutes after the race started. The elite runners were halfway done by then, and we saw the first ones heading back when we were less than 2 miles into the race.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Mile 1 - only 38.3 to go!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We ran with a different group than we did yesterday - they were doing 30:30 intervals. That was very different for me - I train with a longer run interval. But I have to say that I never had time to get out of breath, and since this was all about getting through the half and surviving to run the marathon on Sunday, it worked out pretty well.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Near the Contemporary we have to run under an overpass. There's always a DJ up there talking to us - and he has these huge Mickey hands (which unfortunately you can't see in the photo). This overpass is actually the waterway that connects Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon, so he told us that we were running under water. :-) Running under means that it's downhill at first, but then uphill on the otherside...this is always a slow part of the race because it's narrow and then uphill.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

At about mile 5.3 we entered Magic Kingdom! It's always a lot of fun to run on Main Street. We stopped for a photo with the castle.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

And we had to stop to greet our AllEars Cheer section at the hub. They are the best!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The lines for the first few sets of characters along the race course (the pirates and the Nightmare Before Christmas characters) had been really long, but the lines in Magic Kingdom weren't quite as bad. Lee and I wanted to get character photos so the rest of the group went ahead. I was very excited to see Tigger in Liberty Square - in all of the Disney races I've done I've never gotten a photo with Tigger! The line wasn't very long, either.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

After leaving Magic Kingdom we get to my least favorite section of the course - we call it "Cone Alley". It's from Magic Kingdom to past the Polynesian. The road is only two lanes, and since they need to allow outbound traffic from that area they restrict runners to one lane with a seemingly endless line of orange cones side-by-side. Even though we are 6+ miles into the race by then everyone gets really bunched together and it's slow going. Sometimes it's completely blocked by walkers and it's very frustrating.

There were a few characters in this stretch, and we stopped for a couple of photos. I was surprised NOT to see Mary Poppins at the Grand Floridian - no characters at all there, which was unusual.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We saw this character, though - Laura is our craziest Team AllEars cheerer. She loves sweaty hugs, and thinks toenails are for sissies. :-)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

At one point we ran past Dr. Dribble - he was dribbling two basketballs for the entire course! (He did it Sunday during the marathon, also.)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We caught up with our teammates around mile 9.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Our friends Gail and Julian were out cheering at mile 9.7, and it's always wonderful to see them out there!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

This is the first time I've seen Disney Cruise Line cheering - they had a cruise line bus and some banners and an officer or two. Someone was announcing runners like they do when you board the ship: "Disney Cruise Line welcomes ...!" It was fun.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

At mile 11.1 was the main Team AllEars section - it's always wonderful to see them, and not just because it means we are almost done. :-) I don't know how any of them have voices left after the weekend. (Actually I saw a number of them on Sunday night and many of them were pretty hoarse.)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Yippee! Backstage at Epcot is my favorite sight - the gospel choir. It means only .2 miles to the finish! We were still feeling pretty good but I told Lee there would be NO sprinting to the finish. "There's no sprinting in Dopey!"

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We crossed the finish line - Lee even got a shout-out from race announcer Rudy Novotny.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

After we got our Donald medals we got our third (and last) wristband. Though you see all three in this photo, I was only wearing one of them - the others I had cut off but then wrapped around my wrist. I only had the one 1/2 marathon band on the final day.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

I've complained about the contents of the silly runDisney box but I hadn't taken a photo - here's what we got every single day. (They did have bananas every day, too.)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

But one thing that was available in the finish area was champagne!!! That seemed to me like a fine way to celebrate completing the half marathon.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

On the big monitor at the finish area we had watched a number of our teammates cross the finish line and we caught up with them after they exited the race area. Everyone did just great! Several of them were having not-so-good days (Lee and I call them "rock days", because our coach tells us: "Some days you're a diamond, some days you're a rock."), but they toughed it out and finished strong anyway.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We are happy that the half is done, and are feeling pretty confident about getting through the marathon tomorrow. That's a lot of miles, though. I saw a runner with a t-shirt that said: "Why couldn't Phidippides have died at mile 20?" :-)



January 13, 2014

WDW 2014 Marathon Weekend - Inaugural Dopey Challenge, Part 5

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2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

It's official! We are Dopey! Great experience, but I am SO tired.

We lucked out and had absolutely perfect weather today - sunny, in the 50s and 60s, not too humid, and with a nice cool breeze. It was like running in San Diego. Really comfortable for running.

The course was the same as last year, so we had the lap around the Walt Disney World Speedway, and went all around the Wide World of Sports complex again. I didn't think there were significantly fewer people in the marathon but the roads were less crowded, especially in the narrow parts, and the lines for character photos were shorter.

Before the race we gathered for one final team photo. (Thanks to Alex Armas for the photo.)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The walk to the corrals wasn't even a shuffle this morning - we could just walk normally! That was really nice. We sat down in our corral to wait for our wave to start.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

There were fireworks for all of the corrals, which was nice.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Our corral started about 25 minutes after the race started. We were at the front, which was nice.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Mile 1 - only 25.2 to go! (At mile 1.9 we were exactly half done with the 48.6 Dopey distance.)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

I was running with my friend and teammate Linda, and we had a great time when we reached Magic Kingdom - the lines for most of the character photos weren't too long and we stopped several times.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

As I said the crowds weren't too bad - even on "Cone Alley" as we call the one-lane section from Magic Kingdom to the Polynesian. We saw our friends Gail and Julian cheering near the Grand Floridian and stopped to say hello to them. They come out and cheer just about every year, and it's wonderful to see them!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

I saw several groups of Team AllEars runners out on the course - it was fun to run with them a bit.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Backstage at Animal Kingdom the keepers bring out some of the animals - that's always fun. This adorable little owl is named Finn - but he wouldn't look at the camera.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

And I had to get my photo taken with Jiminy Cricket - he's not a character you see very often.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Outside Animal Kingdom was Mickey Mouse!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The stretch from Animal Kingdom to Wide World of Sports is long and boring. Our Team AllCheers group always sets up a cheering section there - they are such a welcome sight!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

As I was coming out of Wide World of Sports about mile 19 I found some familiar faces! Lee was running with a different group, and they had started in an earlier corral. They'd been having fun along the coast taking their time, and posing for photos - they even took a ride on Expedition Everest! So I was finally able to catch up.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

They were having way too much fun, so I joined them for the rest of the race. At about mile 22 Eddie and Lee did pushups for Sarge. Lee was feeling so good he did clapping push ups.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We eventually made it to Epcot. Aladdin told me I needed to be careful, because Abu likes to steal shiny things. :-) I was surprised that there weren't more characters out in Epcot - I only saw Aladdin and Mulan.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

In Mexico we stopped and several of us got frozen margaritas. Let me tell you, that was a great way to end a race! :-)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

At mile 26 is my favorite sight of the race - the gospel choir. They sing us home.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

No new wristband today - instead they gave us three medals! Clank, clank, clank. :-)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge
2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge
2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The Dopey Challenge has been a really special experience, especially sharing it with teammates, and I'm glad I did it...but this may be a "one and done". The lack of sleep really caught up with a lot of us today, I think.

The recap of the half marathon is still to come. For now I'm going to call it a night, and I'm very glad that I am NOT getting a 2 a.m. wakeup call tomorrow!


January 12, 2014

WDW 2014 Marathon Weekend - Inaugural Dopey Challenge, Part 4

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2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Three down, one to go! Though we haven't even done half of the distance yet - Michelle told me today that it's not until we get 1.9 miles into the marathon tomorrow that we will have done 24.3...

I am beginning to think that the Dopey Challenge is really a long-term study on the effects of sleep deprivation. We are pretty tired. Today started at 2:00, and between the race, the team meet this afternoon, and hanging out having dinner with friends tonight, it has been a very long day already. So I'm afraid there won't be a race recap of today's half marathon for a few days.

I do want to leave you with this photo from the team meet today - this year Team AllEars raised $104,725 to fight breast cancer, and over the last five years the team has raised $330,620! Thank you to all of you who have contributed!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Marathon tomorrow. I think we are ready, and will get through it ok, but it's still going to be a tough day.



January 11, 2014

WDW 2014 Marathon Weekend - Inaugural Dopey Challenge, Part 3

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2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Two races down, two to go! Unfortunately it's the two SHORT races, so we've only done 9.3 miles and have 39.3 left. Yikes. We're feeling good, though - we took it very easy in today's 10K and had a good time running with some of our teammates.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

This was the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K. It was Minnie's race, and she's the one on the 10K medal. The medal is very nice, and as my friend Eddie pointed out, it has my favorite word on it: Inaugural. :-)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

This one started at 5:30 instead of 6:15, so we left our resort at 4:00. There seemed to be more people this morning, or at least more people driving, though we still never hit stop-and-go traffic on our way in. We were parked in row 17 rather than row 14 like we were yesterday.

It's probably a good thing I'm blogging each day because otherwise all of these race mornings are going to seem the same after a while. :-) We met our fellow Team AllEars members and posed for a team photo, and then eventually dispersed to our corrals. (Click on the photo below to see a larger version. Thank you, Tom Troost, for the photo!)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

This time a group of teammates dressed up as Avengers characters - here's Iron Man and Pepper Potts.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

It was odd...there seemed to be more people at the race, but fewer people in the corrals - there were just as many corrals as yesterday - A-E.

Today we ran with some of our teammates, and that was really fun. They were doing 2:1 intervals, which I hadn't done before, but it worked really well - a nice steady pace. And that's what I wanted today - actually that's the goal for the whole weekend.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We started in Corral C. The race started right on time with Corral A, but then there was 12 minutes before Corral B started. Fortunately we started only 5 minutes after B. Apparently there were long waits after we started because we heard later that by the time Corral E started, some of the elite runners had already finished!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Mile 1 for today, 4.1 for Dopey! 44.5 to go!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The first three miles of the course looped around the perimeter of Epcot - some of it out on the roads and some of it in backstage areas.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

This time we came into World Showcase between Norway and China - yesterday it was Mexico. There were several characters in Epcot (though no Dopey today), but the lines were pretty long and we didn't stop.

The mile 4 sign was near the American Adventure.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

While running by we noticed that the construction walls came down last night from the new Spice Road Table restaurant in Morocco. It's scheduled to open tomorrow (Saturday).

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

I always enjoy running through Epcot in the dark...so pretty.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We went out the International Gateway again, but this time we did a loop around Crescent Lake on the boardwalk. It was nice to see Team AllEars there to cheer us on!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

After the loop we went back to the International Gateway and backstage at Epcot, entering Future World next to the Imagination Pavilion. We went across Future World and backstage at the usual place and then covered the last .25 miles to the finish line.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We got our Minnie medals, and today there wasn't a line for the Dopey wristbands. We had one volunteer tell us we didn't need to keep wearing the wristband from yesterday and another tell us we needed to wear both of them, so we went to the Dopey tent and talked to a runDisney person, who verified that yes, we only needed to wear the most recent wristband. (Some of our teammates are still wearing both of them, though. :-) )

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

In the refreshment tents we received another silly runDisney food box...apparently we're going to get four days of the same crap. We scoped out a concession wagon next to the finish area that has bagels, muffins, fresh fruit and chips for sale. The same things that MOST races would offer their finishers in the refreshment area.

We walked over to cheer spot near the finish line where some of Team AllEars was cheering on the rest of the runners. We saw lots of really great costumes - loved this woman dressed as Kevin from "Up". I'm sorry it's not a very good photo, but it was a wonderful costume!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We saw our entire Avengers team finish - they looked fantastic!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Some thoughts on the new race...Lee and I ran our first 10K race at the Disneyland 10K in September, and we really like that distance. I really liked the distance this time, too, though I'm not wild about the course. The first 3.5 miles or so are pretty boring - nothing to see and not much entertainment, either. Once we got into Epcot, from then on it was good. The size seemed about right - it was not overly crowded. Just a few places that we had to slow down, but we never had to stop and walk (except where we wanted to!).

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

It was hard getting up at 3:00 this morning - and it's going to be harder still to get up at 2:00 tomorrow and the next day. Running the half marathon tomorrow will be our first real test. We are again planning to take it pretty easy. I'm hoping to get in some character photos during this one.



January 10, 2014

WDW 2014 Marathon Weekend - Inaugural Dopey Challenge, Part 2

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2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

One race down, three to go. Of course it was the easiest of the four, and we still have 45.7 miles to go. But it's nice to have one of them done!

We had never run the WDW 5K before. It's a MUCH smaller race, and a whole lot more pleasant! With the influx of 7500 Dopey runners this year it was much larger than usual (around 10,000), but there's a huge difference between 10,000 runners and 25,000+ runners like there are in the WDW half and full marathons.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The 5K started at 6:15 (all of the other races this weekend start at 5:30). We planned to leave at 4:30, and scheduled a wake-up call for 3:30, whereas with the marathons we plan to be on the bus at 3:00! So it was almost civilized. Ok, relatively civilized.

We drove our rental car to the Epcot parking lot. We weren't sure what to expect as far as traffic went but there wasn't any - it took us a whole 9 minutes to get there and park!

Because it was such a short race we didn't have any bags to check - good thing, because there is a security bag check outside the pre-race area for anyone with bags. (I suppose it's a necessary precaution after Boston.) I can't imagine what the lines for that are going to be like on Saturday and Sunday when there are way more runners. So, if you're going to be running this weekend and will have a bag, allow time for that!

It was a little bit chillier this morning than we expected - since we've been here the expected temperatures for the weekend have continued to drop. That's a good thing as far as running goes, but because we were expecting warmer weather we didn't bring as many throwaway clothes. We both had brought mylar sheets we'd saved from previous Disney races, and those kept us warm enough.

We met a whole bunch of Team AllEars people before the race - I think just about everyone on the team who was in Orlando came out to either run the 5K or cheer for those of us who were running it. And there were another 8-10 who missed the team photo. (Thank you to Tom Troost for allowing me to use his photo. If you click on it you'll see the larger version.)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Some of our teammates ran in costume - this group was superheroes:

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

And Bryan dressed up as Buddy from Elf. He had the hat, too, though he wasn't wearing it in this photo.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

There were six start corrals for the 5K. We were in B. Looking around us, we saw almost all Dopey bibs - but since Dopey runners were about 3/4 of the total I guess that shouldn't surprise me.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The race started right on time, and we were off about 5 minutes later.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

I was pleasantly surprised that the course wasn't too crowded. We ran backstage around Epcot, and came into World Showcase next to the Mexico pavilion. The mile 1 marker was maybe 1/4 mile before that - 1 down, 47.6 to go...

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

It was still quite dark, but World Showcase was nicely lit.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The lines were long, so we ran by the photo ops with Flik, Daisy (in Norwegian costume), and Dopey - Dopey had a HUGE line. Not surprising, considering all of the Dopey runners! There was a relatively short line for Remy and Emile in France, so we stopped for that.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

After we went over the bridge from France we went out the International Gateway, then backstage behind the UK. Then back into World Showcase between the UK and Canada and through Future World to the park entrance, then a U-turn up the other side, then backstage again and out into the parking lot to the finish line.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

After we got our Pluto finisher medallions we had to get our Dopey wristbands - that's how we prove we have completed each race. There appeared to be a huge line for that, but it turned out it wasn't really the line, and cast members and volunteers got us moving more efficiently so we could get our wristbands fairly quickly. We think that we get a new wristband every day and can then get rid of the previous one. I hope so, because I really don't want to have to wear three wristbands on Sunday!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge
2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

They had the usual silly runDisney food boxes...though after just a 5K we didn't really need much to eat right away.

It started to drizzle a bit after we crossed the finish line, and kept that up for a while. Not really raining though, so that was nice. We went to the spot near the finish line where some of our teammates were cheering, and cheered as the rest of our teammates finished the 5K. Good job, everyone! There were a number of people who walked it together, and it was fun to watch them finish.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

As we were walking back to our car we walked past the start line, and they had already replaced the 5K banner with the 10K banner they will need tomorrow!

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The 5K was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. We took it very easy since we still have three much longer races to get through. The theme was fun and it was nice to see Pluto get a little love, too, since the rest of the Fab Five all have their own races and medals this weekend!

It'll be another early day tomorrow, but I hope I'm tired enough tonight that I sleep a little better.



January 9, 2014

WDW 2014 Marathon Weekend - Inaugural Dopey Challenge, Part 1

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It's Marathon Weekend again at Walt Disney World, and Lee and I are back here again to fill our suitcases with bling and race shirts. :-)

Disney has added a new race and a new race challenge this year. On Friday, the Inaugural WDW 10K will take place. Like the other three races, it also starts and ends at Epcot.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

And now that there's a fourth race, Disney has again thrown down the gauntlet (or Mickey glove) and challenged those of us crazy enough to do all four. It's beyond Goofy to want to do that, so this one is appropriately called The Dopey Challenge. And there are 7,567 or so of us signed up to do it. (Thanks Chris Mushrush for that info!)

It's four races, on four consecutive (very early) mornings. 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, half marathon on Saturday, and marathon on Sunday. A total of 48.6 miles of race courses. Those who successfully complete it take home *six* medals - one for each race, one for completing the Goofy Challenge, and one for the Dopey Challenge. Even by my standards, that's a LOT of bling!

Because the first race is on Thursday, the Race Expo began a day earlier, on Wednesday. We arrived at Wide World of Sports this morning just about 10:00. The Expo was scheduled to open at 10:00, but they opened early - very nice for those who were waiting!

On the walkway to Wide World of Sports they have banners for each of the races set up, which makes for a very nice photo.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge
2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We walked right in when we arrived. The last two Disney race expos I attended (Disneyland and Princess) were nightmares, but today I didn't experience any problems. I don't know if there were fewer people there early because the races are spread out over four days, or if they just learned from some of last year's mistakes (probably a bit of both), but we didn't encounter much in the way of lines at all. Though there was a VERY long line, and long wait, for those trying to buy the New Balance Disney shoes.

Almost all of the packet pick-up is in the Field House - the exception is the pick-up for the kids' races, which is at the stadium. Goodie bag pickup varies, depending on what races you are doing - for Goofy and Dopey it's also in the Field House, though for Dopey we still had to go to the Josten Center to pick up our 5K shirt. Odd - I don't know why they wouldn't put it in the bag with the rest of them.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

I really like the shirts this year! The designs and colors are great. And they have FINALLY given us a women's cut shirt - so a small actually fits me! The fabric is a lighter weight tech fabric, and they got rid of those awful gusseted sleeves which were so tight. My only complaint (you knew I had to have one, right?) is that they are still long sleeve. Now, I know I'm from California, where we rarely need long sleeves, but even in other parts of the country most runners don't wear long sleeves more than a few months out of the year...and we hardly ever need them for the races here in Florida. I'm going to cut the sleeves off and turn them into short sleeve shirts.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge
2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge


I'd pre-ordered a Dopey pin - so I had to go to the "commemorative items" line to get that...that was the longest line I had.

There was a small merchandise area in the Field House, but it had a pretty good selection of items - most importantly I was able to get a Dopey magnet to add to my collection (still bummed that I missed out on the Dumbo Double Dare magnet). There were actually several designs of Dopey magnets.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

I think this was my favorite shirt - it's more of a generic Marathon Weekend shirt, but it has the five medals on the back. (I guess the 5K medallion, since it isn't metal, doesn't count. Poor Pluto.)

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge


The merchandise area in the Field House wasn't too crowded, and the checkout line moved very fast (but if there's one thing Disney knows how to do, it's take money).

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Next we went over to the Josten's Center, which is where goodie bag/shirt pickup is for most of the races. There's also a much bigger Disney merchandise area there, as well as all of the non-Disney vendors. It was more crowded, but not totally jammed.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

The I Did It shirts for all the races were over in the Josten Center. The Dopey shirts are tech shirts and not cotton t-shirts - I'd rather have cotton. They came in a men's and women's cut, but the women's cut are PINK...so I have a men's shirt. My favorite part of the I Did It shirts is the map on the back.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

It seemed like there was quite a bit more Goofy merchandise this year than in the past, and a nice selection for the new 10K, also.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

It seemed like this year they had the same types of merchandise available for all of the races (except the 5K). Shirts, magnets, headbands, mugs and glasses, and pins. Cast members were standing by to replenish it, so I hope they won't run out of Dopey/Goofy merchandise the first day, which is what has happened in the past.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

I was disappointed in this year's Coast-to-Coast shirts - in addition to being a tech shirt, I just don't like the design - it seems pretty generic.

We checked out the runDisney booth, and saw the selection of medals - we should have almost all of these by the end of next weekend! (The Tinker Bell 1/2 and new Tinker Bell 10K medals are on the right.) We asked if they were signing people up for the Disneyland Half, like they were last year, but no, registration opens at the end of January.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

There were lots of other vendors and we wandered around and spent some more money. It's my tradition to buy new sunglasses here, and I did, and Lee got a new race belt.

Near the exit, Florida Hospital was doing a body composition analysis, with a device that measures weight, skeletal muscle mass, and fat mass, and they compute your body fat percentage. Didn't take long, and it was kind of interesting.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

We saw a number of our fellow Team AllEars folks wandering around - like our Team captains, Mike and Michelle.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

And MaryJean and Nancy, who were picking up bags for teammates whose arrival has been delayed by the horrible weather. (We also saw Joe, who was doing the same thing.) We were concerned that some of those running Dopey might not make it for the 5K tomorrow, but as I write this, I believe we've heard that everyone is either here or on a plane. Whew.

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Tomorrow starts our first of four VERY early mornings...though the 5K doesn't start until 6:15, unlike the others that all start at 5:30! We're looking forward to getting the Challenge started!



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About Dopey Challenge

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Dopey Challenge category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is the previous category.

Princess Half Marathon is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.