Race Report: 2018 WDW Half Marathon (Dopey 3/4)

The 2018 Dopey Challenge day three run would be 13.1 magical miles in somewhat warmer temperatures.

I had signed up for the WDW Half Marathon in 2017, which was officially cancelled due to stormy weather but was unofficially run by probably hundreds of runners on Disney propety and elsewhere, including me. I was happy to be able to run the race this year!

This course took us from the Epcot parking lot out to the Magic Kingdom and then back for another finish through Epcot.

I dressed up as La Befana. I had a running skirt made by RunningGorgeous using fabric Arthur designed based on the Epcot storyteller's outfit. Arthur also designed an apron for me based on the same character. I cut up a green tech shirt to copy her look but it didn't end up looking how I would have really liked it. I should have gotten a seamstress to make a top for me, but I ran out of time. And then I forgot to bring my broom. Oh well. Even with the prop I doubt anyone would have known who I was supposed to be. LOL

Training & Goals
The last 3+ months had been all about Dopey training, with the goal being to finish all of the races and have lots of fun.

Race Day: January 6, 2018
Arthur and I left our All-Stars room at 3:39AM and arrived in the Epcot parking lot at 3:49AM. We stayed in the car until about 4:15AM, trying to keep warm, before heading out to get a photo with Dopey.

It was only slightly warmer than Friday so it was still cold at race time. By the time I started running at 5:55AM it was 39°F.

On the creep up to the start I picked up a really nice discarded fleece blanket with a colorful tie-dye pattern. I kept this tied around my waist to keep my legs warm.

There were lots of discarded mylar blankets and other stuff alongside the corrals and the piles got bigger the closer we got to the start line. Finally we saw our wave's fireworks and it was time to run!

Mile 1, 2, 3: 12:51, 13:41, 17:04
The first four miles of the race were on the highway between Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Somewhere in the second mile there was a huge Mickey Mouse hot air balloon. I literally said "WOW" when I first saw it -- it was really cool!

Mater and Lightning McQueen were out for pictures in the Magic Kingdom (TTC) parking lot. I forgot about the blanet around my waist when I got up for my picture so I awkwardly ripped it off and dropped it on the ground -- you can see it in the photo at me feet. Woopsie.

Mile 4, 5, 6: 26:31, 13:41, 19:26
Before we got into the park we could have photos with Wreck-It Ralph & Vanellope and then Jack Skellington & Sally. I dropped my waist-blanket for good in the line for Jack & Sally. It was that cold!

And then we were running through the Magic Kingdom! I saw Arthur when I ran down Main Street, but I missed seeing him when I ran through the castle. There were a lot of characters out in the park, including the White Rabbit and Sebastian in Fantasyland.

Mile 7, 8, 9: 19:00, 13:44, 19:52
By Mile 7 we were out of the park and on our way back to Epcot, this time running by the Polynesian and Grand Floridian resorts.

Somewhere around Mile 8 my phone decided to die, so I missed a couple of photo ops, including the mile marker. After messing with the phone for a while I got it to power back up and got it in low power mode where it remained (10%) for the rest of the race. Luckily PhotoPass was out for Vacation Genie and the Incredibles.

Mile 10, 11, 12: 15:42, 15:19, 16:24
More highway miles, with a couple of Disney hills (overpasses) thrown in for fun.

Mile 13+: 15:19, 13:13*
It was a long slow race but it was still over too fast. Before I knew it I heard the choir singing and was running over the finish mats.

After the Race
I remembered to find my friend Jim, who was giving out medals. Jim volunteers with me at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey on Thursday mornings.

I found Arthur and we went back to the hotel for an ice bath and shower before heading out for an early lunch at Ale & Compass at the Yacht Club resort.

Then we went to the Magic Kingdom for a few rides and ice creams in the afternoon. Dinner was a big pile of pasta at Noodles & Co. before turning in early for the big 26.2 on Sunday and the final run of the Dopey Challenge!

Recommendation A+

Chip time: 3:51:40
Placement details: 1407th of 1505 in Age Group; 20058th overall out of 20801 finishers
Race Amenities:
Usual Disney goodness
Cost: $576.30 for all four Dopey races

*I often forget to turn off my Garmin after a race, plus there was obviously something wonky going on with my GPS as it gave me .8 miles overage, so those split times are skewed.

Report written January 18, 2018

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