03 April, 2012

The Dopey/Goofy Recap - The Full Marathon

And finally! The conclusion of the Goofy/Dopey weekend!  I know everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting for this so again, I apologize.   :)  And again, a ton of these photos come from Dan, so go stalk him on Twitter @DanielWanderman!  After about Mile 10 I was done taking my own photos. :)

By the third morning of waking up before the crack of dawn, I felt like I was in an episode of Groundhog's Day.  That stupid alarm!  After the bus fiasco the day before for the half, I wanted to be sure we were at the buses extra early.  We all quickly got up, dressed, ate some breakfast, and headed out.

Of course when we got to the bus line, they were completely prepared this time.  There were 3 or 4 buses lined up waiting and runners were just piling on.   Jumped on a bus and were at the runners area in no time.

For the half, Daniel and I ran together and didn't have any other company.  This time around for Goofy, we were running with Eric, who ran Marine Corps with me, and Linda, who ran the marathon with me last year.  We all planned on meeting at the Running of the Ears gathering area but I was also running this race with the WDW Radio Running Team, which was meeting a few tents down the way.  I spent the time before the race going from one group to the other, trying to keep an eye out for our running partners.  Received a message from Linda that she'll meet us in the corral so it was a hunt for just Eric.

While at the WDW Radio Running Team meeting area, it was nice to say hi to people that I've only been in contact with online.  Plus, it was great to get to talk to Lou Mongello a little bit again!  For those that don't know Lou, he's the owner/producer of the WDW Radio podcast, blog, and a huge huge presence in the Disney community.  You want to know something about Disney history?  Lou knows the answer or can link you to someone who does!  Plus he's originally from Jersey so I like to tease him that I can still find fabulous pizza, bagels, and taylor ham back home while he's stuck trying to replicate everything in Florida.

Lou and I
The WDW Radio Running Team!

Race time was slowly getting closer so we broke away from the group and were finally able to meet up with Eric.  After a quick porta-pottie stop we made our way with the rest of the cattle herd towards the corrals.  It was SO nice to not have to be rushing and sprinting to the corrals!  And I could finally breathe easy when we made it to Corral B! 

Made it to Corral B!

Pic thanks to Daniel!
Glad we remembered to bring our mylar sheets from the day before.  They came in handy and were easily discardable.  The rest of the time was the typical pre-race stuff.  Stretching, relaxing, warming up, singing the national anthem, getting pumped, etc.  And before we knew it, the race started!  The final part of Dopey/Goofy has begun! 

The beginning of the race was like all the others... started out on the highway in the dark.  The route the first few miles are slightly different than the half marathon.  Instead of heading directly to the Magic Kingdom, we first headed towards Epcot and made our way through Future World and towards the World Showcase. 

Pic thanks to Dan
We ran into Mexico and for some reason I felt the need to take a pic with one of these guys, even though I took one two days prior at the 5k!   The good part about our little stop though was that we ran into our friend Jeff.  Chatted it up a bit but then lost each other somewhere backstage.  We did end up running into him multiple times throughout the race though!  More on that later....

Leaving Epcot was around Mile 3...miles 4, 5, and 6 were fairly boring (since the only photos Dan or I have are of the mile marker signs!) however I did get a fabulous chuckle out of this shirt...

For those that don't know,  Pheidippides is the Ancient Greek that the race is based after.  After running from Marathon to Athens to pass on the message that Greece won, he dropped dead on the spot from exhaustion.  Fun, right?  

And small tidbit of info... the distance from Marathon to Athens is only 25 miles, not 26.2.  However for the London Olympics in 1908, they wanted the race to run finish in front of King Edward VII's royal box,  so they added the additional 1.2 miles.  Bastards.

Around Miles 7 and 8 the action started picking up on the race course.  There were more things on the road to keep us occupied, and we were getting closer and closer to the Magic Kingdom.  The sunrise is always so beautiful and peaceful, even while running!  

Mile 7ish - Pic thanks to Dan
We ran past the Walt Disney World Speedway (not to be confused with the Tomorrowland Speedway inside the Magic Kingdom) and they had a bunch of old classic cars and their owners cheering us on.  I remember them from last year and it was cool to see all the old cars!  The Speedway also had a few fancy cars out for us to see from the Driving Experience, like a Lamborghini and Ferrari (I think?).  

My dad and stepmom, as well as Christina, were at the same cheering spot at the TTC like the day before so I started to keep an eye out for them.  Luckily it was much lighter out so Dan didn't confuse another poor dad as my own. 

Pic thanks to Dan

Running over to pops!  Pic thanks to Dan
After a quick hello and some photos, we continued on towards the Magic Kingdom.  I was happy I could actually run through the park during the daylight! 

As we entered Main Street, we immediately saw the WDW Radio Running Team cheering squad screaming their heads off!  The cheering support from the team was amazing throughout the whole entire race.  Definitely helped give that extra little boost whenever you needed it! 

High Five to Lou!  Pic thanks to Dan
OK, now for quite possibly the best story of the entire race.  Dan and I quickly made our way down Main Street and wanted to stop for photos in front of the castle.  Dan saw a 'Run Daniel Run' sign and joked saying 'Oh look!  It's for me!'  He ran up to the girls, snapped a pic, and then kept on running.

Funny part about that was?  Dan had NO clue who the girls were.  But even funnier... he SHOULD have known who they were!  I didn't realize that Dan didn't recognize them but I immediately knew it was our friends Amanda, Suzannah, and Katherine.  I saw them holding the sign and KNEW the sign was for Dan!  He was just so excited to see his name, he didn't bother looking at who was holding the sign!  When we were in Tomorrowland he said something to the effect like 'That was so funny that it was my name!'  I then had to inform him that it was our friends!  Doh! 

After making our way through Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, back through the castle, and out by Frontierland, we headed backstage and ran into Mary Poppins and gang.  The line was relatively short so we quickly jumped in line for a pic. 

We left Magic Kingdom and headed past the Grand Floridian and Polynesian again. Saw my dad, stepmom, Courtney, and Christina again (which was around Miles 12-13), and kept on chugging along. Now seriously... Dan and I have barely any pics from this stretch of the course so it must have gotten a little dull.

Right around Mile 14 we ran into the Villains area and it was awesome!  Again though, huge line so we snapped a pic and kept on going.  

Pic thanks to Dan
Right around Mile 15 they had Jack Sparrow and a few more pirates taking pics too.  We also ran past the infamous smelly sanitation plant on property.  I honestly do NOT remember this part of the course AT ALL from the year prior.  I must have been delirious by then.  It was completely new to me.  But sadly...yes.  It did smell.  

Pic thanks to Dan
Almost at 15 - Pic thanks to Dan
After getting past the pirates and smelly sanitation plant, we finally made it into Animal Kingdom.  We entered the park slightly before the park officially opened.  Last year we hit it exactly at 9am, which was cool.  Made our way around the turns and started making our way towards Expedition Everest....

Pic thanks to Dan
The whole time leading up to the race, and even during the race that morning. We kept going back and forth on weather to ride Expedition Everest or not. We agreed that if it was open, we were definitely going to ride! But then we realized that we started (or at least I did) 2 corrals earlier than last year, which put us about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. And of course, we got to Expedition Everest at 8:50. Exactly 10 minutes before the ride opened.

In the pic below you can see all of us looking over trying to see if it was open or not. Also, if you look in the distance by the entrance, you can see our friend Jeff in black hanging out. He rides every year, regardless of how early he gets there! So we ran up to Jeff and stopped and then the game of 'What do we do????!!!' started. Linda was on pace for a PR, so was I actually. I don't remember what Dan or Eric said when they weighed in but in the end, we decided to skip jumping on the ride and moved on. Looking back, I should have waited. I didn't PR this race and after we left AK, I got into a mental funk and decided to screw thinking about my time and just enjoyed (or tried to enjoy) the rest of the course.

Pic thanks to Dan
At Mile 18, Dan, Eric, and I were all hurting. Little pains here and there but I was slowing down and taking the other two with me. When I saw the grave diggers on the side of the road, that's when I realized I wasn't going to PR and said screw it. I jumped in line even though it was more than a few people long and waited for my photo. Seriously...laying on that dirt was the BEST feeling EVER!! Getting up was NOT though.  We lost Linda around here since she still wanted to try to PR.

Mile 18 - Pic thanks to Dan
We continued on our way and made it to the out and back on the way to Hollywood Studios.  Surprisingly, we ran into our friend Danielle who was kicking some serious butt in her first marathon!  We wished her luck and she blew past us.

Mile 20 - Pic thanks to Dan
Last year at this point, I got re-energized when I heard 'Sweet Caroline' playing.  The whole crowd around us last year started singing at the top of their lungs.  This time?  Not so much.  People were not cheery at all this time around.  It was hotter and I think the heat was getting to me.  I was already through all of my water bottles and had started using my nuun tablets and dumping water from the water stops in to dissolve them.  Didn't think I would need them at all.

We gladly entered Hollywood Studios and I was seriously ready to be done.  My body wasn't screaming in pain, but I wanted to get this race over with.  I was just shuffling along trying to get to the next walk break.  And I think our walk breaks started getting longer...and longer.  At the candy/chocolate stop I grabbed the gummy candy (like gummybears) and couldn't get them down.  I ate one or two but had to toss the rest.  It was like Marine Corps Marathon all over again.  Instead I just started downing more nuun.

22 - Pic thanks to Dan

Pic thanks to Dan

Between 23 & 24 - Pic thanks to Dan
After making our way through to the front of the park, the only thing keeping me smiling at the time was knowing that two of my gym friends were outside the entrance of the park by the Christmas tree. I was so excited to see them.  They were two of the biggest and happiest cheerleaders and it definitely helped getting a high five and hug from them!

On the path to Epcot I did start feeling a little better.  I knew I was almost done.   Although looking at the pics, I realized that when I'm pretending to be happy, I give a thumbs up to the camera...

Pic thanks to Dan
We made our way down the path towards Epcot and I didn't trip on the pavement like last year...score!  I think there was actually a few spectators pointing out the raised sidewalk this time.  The crowd by the Beach Club/Boardwalk area was awesome for the motivation.  It was exactly what I needed at that time!

We rounded the corner and entered Epcot and started making our way through World Showcase.  We knew that the WDW Radio Running Team was cheering by the UK so we kept an eye out.  They were loud and crazy and again, just what we needed! 

Pic thanks to Dan
My family and friends were waiting for us at Mile 25.5, just like last year and Dan ran ahead to get a pic of me spotting my dad.  Yup, that's my dad on the left.  :)  I didn't get as emotional as last year when I saw Christina but OMG I knew I was almost done!  I got hugs and cheers and told them to meet us at the family reunion area.  Let's get this race over with! 

Pic thanks to Dan
We made our way through the rest of Future World and past the singing gospel choir. And there it was... the finish line!!
Pic thanks to Dan

I attempted to 'sprint' the last leg but I doubt it really looked like a sprint! We crossed the line and congratulated each other with hugs and cheers. We all had completed our first Goofy!!

Pic thanks to Dan

Same spiel as the day before pretty much! We were handed our marathon medals and then made our way to get our mylar blankets. After walking a little bit we found the Goofy medal tent and were quickly handed our 2nd medal of the day. Woot! The only thing that slightly bothered me was that they didn't check to see if I had completed both races. They quickly saw the orange Goofy bibs and handed me the medal. We then lined up for our finishers photos and then through the food lines for the same meh food as the day before. And yet again we made our way through to medical/ice tent to get our knees all nice and chilly. I swear it works wonders and will be doing this for every race from now on! After getting iced up we hobbled our way (even slower than the day before!) through the bag pickup area to where our friends and family were waiting for us. It was SOOOOO nice to finally be completely done with the running for the week and finally start to celebrate and enjoy! We hung around for what felt like a LONG time just hanging out and relaxing. Friends kept coming and going with their medals and it was fun to see everyone having fun.

My icy knees!  Pic thanks to Dan
The best part of the entire day??  Taking my sneakers off and rubbing my feet!  Haha!  Yes, that's my dad in the background looking down at me like I'm crazy.  Flip flops have never felt so good. 

Pic thanks to Dan

While walking back towards Epcot, it was awesome to run into a few people that recognized me from the blog!  I know we ran into Marc, but also ran into two other 'fans' and I want to say Thank You!  I apologize completely but I am HORRIBLE with names.  Not to mention I was seriously delirious after all the running.  But if you came up to me to say hello, please leave a comment below.  I love meeting people that read the blog and wish I had written down or tweeted you right then when you told me your twitter name!  Emily?  Erin?  Ugh, I feel horrible.  :(

We had some business to take care of before heading back to the hotel and showering.  There were beers waiting for us at Rose & Crown!! We hobbled over to the UK and the non-running gang quickly grabbed a table outside.  My dad headed to get some french fries (Obviously I know where I get my gluttonous appetite from) and the rest of us went to grab some Strongbow.  I wanted to go inside the pub and get a Black Velvet but it was packed so we just went to the kiosk outside.

While waiting for the fries, Dan and I sprinted (hobbled?) across the course to go hang out and say hello to Lou and the rest of the WDW Radio Running Team!  Mike and Katie were there too so we snapped a quick photo with everyone.  

Pic thanks to Dan
After cheering for a few minutes for the runners coming by, Dan and I decided it was finally time for our celebratory drink.  We made our way back over to the tables and plopped down.  That beer seriously never tasted so good!  Hung around for a bit drinking and eating our fries.   It was SO nice to be done! 

pic thanks to Dan
Needing a shower badly, we headed back to the room to get ready for the rest of the day.  I had been icing my knees but knew a nice cold bath would help so I filled the tub and plopped in.  With my phone of course so I could start writing back to some tweets and texts! 

pic thanks to Daniel

We bummed in the room for a bit until all of us were neat and pretty.  Of course we needed the obligatory bling shot of all of us!  We then proceeded out into the world for a fabulous dinner at Artist Point and closed out Magic Kingdom until 11pm.  I'm quite impressed none of us fell asleep in our food or on a ride! 

pic thanks to Daniel

So yeah... Goofy was HARD, but it's still amazing doing it.  Are we crazy?  Oh hell yes.  But it makes it that much more awesome when you get to run with friends and just enjoy it.  One of these days I want to PR during a full but Goofy isn't the race to do it in.  Which means I need to find another full to run.  Hoping for NYC this year but I doubt the lotto will be kind to me.

And yes, I'll be running Goofy in 2013!  Not sure about Dopey since I wasn't a huge fan of waking up 3 days in a row, Disney doesn't make it 'officialy' Dopey, and I don't want to spend $55 on a 5k when I'm already spending $320 on the next two days.  

I know before the races I ranted a little bit that we had to use the same bib for both races.  Honestly?  It wasn't bad at all.  I admit Disney did the right thing when making us wear the same bib.  It was easier for tracking and I'm sure cleared up some logistic headaches for them. 

As for running with the WDW Radio Running Team?  I'll definitely be supporting them at all the Disney races I run, and probably ones outside of the parks too.  Great organization, great people, lots of fun!

And a huge thanks to my running buddies Daniel, Eric, and Linda!  Definitely helped push me faster than my body wanted to go towards the end.  You guys helped keep my mind off the task at hand and made the entire race fun!

Next up?  The runDisney MeetUp and then I'll start posting your guest posts of the past few races this year! 


  1. AWESOME recap! You've inspired me to finally write my recap! :-)

  2. I think its so awesome that you did this all with a big smile on your face! I really want to do Goofy!

  3. Great race recap Jenn. Congratulations.

  4. Awesome recaps on your Goofy weekend! Congrats! It looks like such a fun weekend, I would love to try it one year... maybe 2014. Unfortunately this fall (December especially) is already booked up with work stuff, so I would be just silly if I thought I could properly train for the Disney weekend. I am going to be the world's best cheerleader that weekend though :)
    My cousin, who ran the marathon this year, said to me that Sunday night at Epcot, after seeing people with their Goofy medals was the first time she felt like running "just" a marathon was not enough. She was super envious and I wouldn't be surprised if she runs Goofy next year :)

  5. Congrats!! Fantastic recap!! Reading this makes me *almost* consider doing a full marathon, but then I remember that the guy died (I can never remember Pheidippides name so I usually just call him "the guy" - what a great shirt!) and realize I'm good with doing a half! :) Seriously impressive though! Congrats on all your bling! And I love the picture of you with the gravediggers.

  6. Great recap! I am in awe of the Goofy challenge. My friend and I really want to do it next year, and you've shown me it can be done! Thanks!

  7. Wow, what a great recap! Loved all the photos and candid input into the Goofy. My Mom is signing up, but I'm pretty skeptical. We've done the Princess in 2011 and 2012, but I have never done a full marathon and I don't think this is the time to start! :) Love reading all your posts.

  8. Great recap Jenn! I forgot all about the signs by the water treatment plan. One sign that made me laugh was "If you believe in telekenisis, raise my hand."

  9. Thanks for the shoutout around Mile 20! I was reading and was like, "hey, they ran into another Danielle they knew," they I realized you were talking about ME! I think "blew past" you is a bit of an overstatement, but I was totally excited to see you guys! : )

  10. Another great recap, and love the photos. I guess I should add in a "thanks to Dan!" here :-)

    Do you think you'll stop for Expedition Everest in 2013? I've never run the Disney marathon, but it seems like one of those "only at Disney moments" that would be fun to take advantage of.

  11. @Twins...thanks! Can't wait to read it!

    @Beth..the main goal was to go out and enjoy it!

    @bill...thank you!

    @Heather...hate to say but we only did Goofy because we felt the same way your cousin did, haha! But seriously, the marathon (and half!) is an amazing accomplishment in itself!

    @Emily...thank you! :)

    @Mike...it can def be done! You should go for it!

    @WeRunDisney... thank you! :)

    @JStone...omg I forgot about those signs too! I should have taken pics lol

    @liverungrow... you seriously blew past me! I felt like I was crawling at that point. And doh! I totally wanted to link to your blog and completely forgot :(

    @Lisa...thank you :) We keep saying we'll stop for EE in 2013. I feel like it's a rite of passage for Goofy!

    @Daniel...go register!

  12. What a great recap. Yep, it's hard, but like you I'll be doing it again in 2013!

    So glad that you had a great time and made it through - congratulations!

  13. @Amanda...thank you! I think the further away the race gets, the more we forget how hard it was, haha!

  14. Oh man -- this gets me super excited and super nervous about next year!

    At least I know I can handle the early mornings after doing it this year. It's just that extra 13.1 to tack on at the end. At least know I know I can do back to backs (after the half and relay this year).

    Sounds like you had a fun time, as per usual!

  15. running goofy for my first time in 2013...SO excited!!!

  16. @FF...You can definitely do it! Like you said, you proved it big time this year. :)

    @Heather...We'll have to have another early morning meetup!

  17. Loved reading about this. Congratulations! That is awesome. I just signed up for my first Goofy - what training plan, if any, did you follow? Is there one you recommend?

  18. @Kelley... Thank you! And great news that you'll be doing Goofy as well. I'm actually on my phone so can't really post a link but if you click on 'Disney Running 101' in the header of my blog, you'll see Lee Hoedl's training plan link. I used a combination of that and another plan since I was running the Marine Corps Marathon a few months prior. Def recommend his!

  19. Great information !! thanks for sharing

  20. Just found this blog..I want to run a marathon.. it's on my bucket list, I would LOVE to complete the Goofy challenge. Reading blogs like this both excite me to want to try it, and scares the heck out of me for fear of failure... Great job, and thanks for the report!!

  21. @Darrell... Take each race one at a time and it's totally doable! If you've run a half, you can definitely run a full. It just takes a little more training and time but completely possible. And after you run a full, Goofy is surprisingly not that much harder. Definitely do it one day! :)