So after all the “fun” of traveling, it was thr morning of the first race on the journey of the Dopey Challenge! For the 5k I was planning to take it slow with my mom like I had in the 3 previous years. The only thing that was on my mind was “Will they sweep or not give Dopey finishers their band if it’s beyond the 16 min/mile pace?” My mom is not really a runner or fast walker so this was a real concern of mine. I wanted to finish it with her but I was nervous about the first 3 miles messing up the rest of the weekend.
Clothes all ready for tomorrow!
The morning of the 5k I woke up at 4am, got dressed in my Merida costume, grabbed my peanut butter toast and coffee, and then my mom and I were out the door by 4:50. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and mingled with the other runners for about an hour on this chilly, drizzly morning. We camped out in the car for a while (one of the benefits to renting a car) before heading to the corrals to avoid some of the drizzle.
Luckily the rain held out for us! The start area had a DJ, plenty of port-o-potties and plenty of space to take pictures and look at people’s fabulous costumes! Lots of Up groups this year which was awesome. We got in our corrals and hung out there until our time had come! We took a moment of silence for Boston and the National Anthem was sung and then corral A was off with a puff of fireworks!
We crossed the start line around 6:50 or 7 and it was slow, very crowded and I was attempting to keep us at a 16 min/mile pace.
About a half mile in we weren’t doing so great and my nerves started getting to me so I asked my mom if it was okay if we ran our own races and she was okay with that. I did feel bad about it but I was getting antsy. If this was the normal 5k and it didn’t impact my other races that weekend, then I would’ve stuck with her.
From there on I took it at a comfortable pace. We saw Flick and Princess from A Bug’s Life, Norwegian Daisy (who I had gotten a pic with the previous year), Dopey in Germany, and Remy and his brother in France.
I wanted to stop for Dopey but the line stretched across the entire front of the Germany pavilion so I took my chances and decided he would probably be at another race. I did stop for a picture with the rats in France though. This was a great photo op.
The race took us backstage in Epcot behind Test Track, around World showcase, through Future World, around the front entrance area (the leave a legacy area) and then finished back out in the parking lot. This is really a great race and I felt good at the end and grabbed my Pluto medallion. Then the line for Dopey bands happened.
For the Dopey Challenge they were giving runner s a plastic wristband after they ran every race to prove they had run them all to receive all 3 medals on the final day. The Dopey band pick up was supposed to be just beyond where the water bottle and Powerade were handed out. However there was some miscommunication and the line got backed up all the way into the area where they were handing out medallions. Once the error was identified though, the line moved swiftly and we never had a problem like this again at any other race. Kudos runDisney!
First 3.1 done!
With my first band on my wrist and my medallion in hand I grabbed my snack box and waited for my mom who crossed a little after me. We then headed home feeling good.
- Family friendly and great for anyone who is nervous or doesn’t consider themselves a runner
- Great course with lots of park time
- Corrals were a good size (but they could spread us out more)
- Really great costumes!
- Some very uncommon characters
- VERY Dopey Challenge heavy. 7,000 of the 10,000 races entries went to Dopey Challenge racers in the 5k which definitely changed the dynamic of the race
- Crowded with LONG lines for characters
- Fewer characters than in years past
- Disney premium price for a 5k