Still on cloud 9 from Mum completing the Dopey Challenge and being nowhere near the back of the pack, like she was anxious about! We have our big races coming up but for those of you just starting out on a marathon journey, I suggest you read here and here for Mum’s prep for hers, as well as the below!
She proves that anything is possible – she only started “working out” in her forties (yoga dvds and the cross trainer), and has now done her 1st marathon at the ripe old age of
fifty six twenty five! She is so inspiring and encapsulates everything I believe in with running: it doesn’t matter how old you are, how fast you are, what distance you run…running brings people together in ways that drinking etc could never bring. No matter if you did a marathon in 2 hours or 12 hours, you still went through the same course, shared the same pain, saw the same things…it’s awesome!
Anyway, here is her recap of just how
cold fun this Disney Challenge was.
As you likely already know, I am pleased to say Keith and I completed the 2018 Dopey Challenge. Never mind the mileage, the ridiculous early mornings and the sheer number of competitors, the biggest challenge turned out to be…wait for it….the cold. Who’d have thought?
We’d been checking the weather forecast before we left but didn’t really believe it – Thursday 4th January 0 degrees, Friday 1, Saturday 3 and Sunday 6. So, a quick re-pack – jeans, hoodies, long sleeved running tops, running tights, jackets, hats and gloves. Not exactly what we had planned but so glad we did. I already had bought foil blankets for waiting before the start of races but didn’t realise how important they would be. I also got some old hoodies from Emma that I could ditch along the way once I had warmed up. Disney launder all the abandoned clothes and give them to charity.
We still weren’t prepared for just how cold it would actually be at 3.30am waiting around until 5.30 for Keith in Corral A and 6.30 for me in the last Corral each day.
(It was so dark when we started)
However, happily we both survived. Keith did really well and I made it round. By marathon time on the Sunday my legs had had enough and I’m sad to say I had to walk around 21 of the 26.2 miles. I was still mid pack even with my Disney theme park pace walking, so all in all I am pleased with myself. I was well ahead of the “balloon ladies” (sweeper van to you runners out there) who started at the back of my Corral going 17 mile pace just one wave behind me. If they overtake you at certain points you end up being swept up and no Dopey medal.
I must mention the wonderful volunteers. There were thousands of them. From car park duty, bag checks, Corral duty, water/food stations and handing out medals at the end. They were all so cheerful and supportive and must have been freezing also.
As expected Disney had everything well organised and had that bit extra along the routes. Buses from resort hotels to the start from 3.00 each day and taking back after. We never had to wait more than 5 minutes. A DJ at the start area trying to keep everyone motivated, character greetings (but with huge queues), loads of portapotties at the start and spread throughout the routes, a countdown and firework start for each wave (which got a bit tiring when you’re at the back), bands, choirs, drum beating cleaning ladies, chatty construction workers, the dragon from the Magic Kingdom parade, cars from retired rides, jokes, huge video screens with Disney clips, Disney songs blasting out, goats from the Animal Kingdom petting zoo, each mile marked by a character and a song and best of all soldier from Toy Story shouting abuse and making some do push ups if he thought they were slacking!
(I’m pleased to say I was always smiling…sometimes copying Debbie’s pose when I saw a camera!)
After each race everyone got a foil blanket, water, Powerade and a breakfast box and their picture taken with their medal(s).
We have 6 special Disney running shirts and 6 amazing medals plus for the 25th anniversary of the marathon , special Mickey ears!