Here we go, day 1 of the Dopey Challenge!
Going into the race weekend I knew it was going to be cold. Not like “Florida cold” but legitimately cold. This first morning I woke up to temps in the 20’s and at least an hour of waiting around before the race would start so it was time to layer up. I wore a RawThreads tank top, a long-sleeve Under Armour ColdGear shirt, and my chip top which was a waffle long-sleeve. On the bottom I had on opaque tights (like regular women’s tights, these make a surprisingly good base under leggings and jeans) and two pairs of running tights. Some thin wool socks, gloves, a wool BUFF, and a hat also completed the ensemble!
This year they moved up the start time of the 5k to 5:30 am, so no slight-sleep-in for this chipmunk, it was off to the races! (pun intended)
I left my room around 3:50 and was on a bus by 4:05 or so. The bus arrived quickly at the start area and I enjoyed getting to spend some time with friends but when they started moving us to the corrals I was ready to get this run done. In past years I’ve walk/run the 5k with either family of friends but this year the plan was to run quickly so I can get back to the resort to turn it around make Animal Kingdom rope drop at 8am.
The race start was prompt and I was in the second wave of corral A. The race starts in the Epcot parking lot before turning to head into the backstage areas. Normally they have a character at around the half mile mark but not this year. Right at mile 1 they had a character stop for chip and dale, I almost stopped but I was just starting to warm up and didn’t want to lose my warmth momentum!
We came in at Mexico and the Norweigan vikings were out again. They are a really fun character group! There were other characters out in World Showcase too (I think 2) but I didn’t stop for them.
Had to stop for a pic of Spaceship Earth from World Showcase!
While the 5k is the easy run of the weekend, it definitely packs in the fun. They turn off the normal background music and play fun Disney music around the promenade and I just always find my happy running Disney place. We ran around World Showcase to the International Gateway where we exit and we get to run down a fun incline which I always like to put my arms out for and pretend like I’m soar down it. It just makes it way more fun guys, try it.
Once we loop around backstage we come back in near the UK and turn towards Canada. We then run into Future World and hang a left to Future World West. I grabbed a quick pic with Horace Horsecollar too!
The rest of the race was full of easy paces and lots of run dancing and singing. I really had fun out there (which will become a theme for the weekend) and felt strong.
I finished, quickly grabbed my medal and my food box and made my way to the bus area and much to everyone’s surprise… the buses were already lined up! The way the 5k course is laid out, the buses have to wait for all runners to start and get to nearly mile 1 before they can start leaving which is fine but because of the waves, the first runners finish before/as the final waves are starting. Usually this means they don’t line the buses up until the runners have passed and runners are left waiting outside but this year someone thought ahead for the cold temps and had them ready to go so we could at least stay warm.
Sitting on a warm bus with my medal – ready for some Animal Kingdom fun!
I made it back to All Star Music around 7:00 and hopped into the shower hoping to turn it around quickly. I was showered and out the door by around 7:45, made a quick stop to fill my mug with coffee and headed to the bus. I made it to Animal Kingdom shortly after rope drop and quickly made my way to Pandora, the line for Flight of Passage was already out to the Discovery Island area so I decided to head to the Navi River Journey first.
After Navi River, I decided I just had to suck it up and stand in the 3 hour line for Flight of Passage. I was going to ride this ride one way or another this trip. Pro-tip, the Kindle app and a good book are a great way to pass the time in line! Flights of Passage is amazing guys, worth the long wait at least for the first time you ride it.
After spending the morning in Pandora I knew I was pushing it and needed to go rest. I headed back to the resort and planned to take an 45 minute nap but it turned into a 2.5 hour nap (another theme of the weekend) and roused myself to get back to Animal Kingdom to watch the night time show and ride a few more rides (Everest and Dinosaur).
I then left Animal Kingdom and got ready for day 2. Another cold morning but was hoping to lay down some fast miles at the WDW 10k.