Race Report: Castaway Cay Challenge 2018

The day after the 2018 WDW Marathon, Arthur and I boarded the Disney Dream for a 4-night cruise. This particular cruise is tied to marathon weekend, in a way.

While all Disney cruises that visit their private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, offer a "ship 5K", only once a year does runDisney offer a race there. And anyone who ran any race during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend who also runs this special runDisney Castaway Cay 5K earns an extra special medal for completing the Castaway Cay Challenge.

Naturally that means that this cruise attracts a lot of runners as passengers. There were some runDisney events on board, including runDisney crafts (making spectator signs) and runDisney trivia. There was also an information session the night before we docked at Castaway Cay. There were about 3000 passengers on board, and about 1000 of us ran the Castaway Cay Challenge. It was fun to be on a runner cruise like this.

The four-night cruise started with our departure on Monday evening. Tuesday we docked in Nassau. It was overcast and drizzly but Arthur and I still had a nice walk out to a small zoo for a visit, where we could do some birding in addition to seeing the resident animals. We stumbled upon the Rainbow Lorikeet enclosure at just the right time.

Race Day: January 10, 2018
Wednesday we docked at Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay Challenge 5K
The first race was early -- runners were able to leave the ship before anyone else and we had a nice view of the ship docked in the dark. The race included four rotating characters at two different stops. We ran an out-and-back along the island's airstrip and finished by making a loop on the bike path. It was 70°F with light drizzle and 100% humidity at the start of my run.

Mile 1: 19:06 | Mile 2: 18:02 | Mile 3+: 13:53, 7:15*

After the Race
After picking up our medals (a rubber one for the race and a nice metal one for completing the challenge) we picked up water, bananas, and runDisney snack boxes. Characters were out for finisher photos, and there was a beverage kiosk offering beer and champagne for sale.

"Ship" Castaway Cay 5K
The challenge race was followed by the usual "ship 5K" race which was open to all passengers. Arthur signed up for it and I ran that along with him (although he ran ahead of me, bored with my walking pace). It was still 70°F at the start of this race, with intermittent light rain.

Mile 1: 13:45 | Mile 2: 14:07 | Mile 3+: 15:31, 1:48*
Arthur finished before me so he saw me get my last medal from this whole Dopey ordeal.

After the Race
For this free race there were no characters out on the course or at the finish. The beverage tent was gone but water, bananas, and leftover runDisney snack boxes were still out when we finished.

After the second race, Arthur and I headed back towards the ship, where Captain Hook was out for photos. Back on the ship, we had breakfast, rode the AquaDuck (fun, too cold, no lines), and freshened up. Back on the island, we took a few glamour shots with all of my medals.

We had some BBQ lunch in the rain and looked at a couple of the island's shops. The weather was pretty lousy so we didn't stay on the island too long.

Garmin Times: Both races were untimed. Garmin gave me 58:17 for the CCC and 45:10 for the ship race
Race Amenities:
Rubber finisher medal, Challenge medal, personalized bib, and short sleeve tech shirt for CCC. Rubber medal and generic bib for the ship 5K.
Cost: $70 for the CCC; $0 for the ship 5K

*I often forget to turn off my Garmin after a race, so the final time is skewed.

Report written January 28, 2018

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