Happy Wednesday and if this is your first visit to Joyful Miles, welcome, we’re glad you’re here! Please pardon the dust while we finalize things and get caught up with recaps.
So where to begin? Okay, one thing about me: I have serious runDisney insomnia issues because of anxiety and my inability to shut my mind off when the lights go out. This race proved no different. I got zero sleep on Wednesday, the night before the expo, and only about an hour before the 5k.
But whatever, I’m also a #suckitupbuttercup believer so once our multiple … and I mean multiple … alarms started blaring at 2:30 Thursday morning, I was outta bed, in my costumes, and ready to begin our Dopey Challenge adventure!
Oh, and I must mention was how AWESOME staying at Bay Lake Towers was for Marathon Weekend! With four ladies (and later five,) having two bathrooms was fantastic, and we appreciated having our own washer and dryer.
Back to the 5k. We took our first of four traditional kitchen photos and headed out the door at around … oh, my memory is fuzzy here … 3:30am? Whatever it was, it was later than I wanted because I’m usually a first bus gal.
I do remember making the mistake of not eating enough, though. Thanks to Megan’s Garden Grocer order, I had plenty of bagels, oatmeal, and peanut butter, but in my excitement, I just grabbed a granola on the go. Not eating enough was my biggest mistake, which I’ll talk about in my half recap.
By the time we got to the bus stop, the line wasn’t horrible but it still took a while to get on the bus. The weather was a tad chilly but ended up being perfect for running! I was also loving our Incredibles shirt, which ended up being a very popular costume choice.
At the time, the realization that we were about to run 48.6 miles hasn’t truly sunk in, so we were feeling pretty joyous and relaxed on the bus. We made it to the Epcot parking line in plenty of time to meet up with other pals in our running group, get a couple character photos, and dance away our anxiety!
TIP: Always leave early for races. The excitement and festive vibe is well-worth losing some sleep!
We soon parted ways with Ginny and I heading to corral B. She’s the same gal I had a total blast running the 2015 WDW Full Marathon with last year, so I was seriously looking forward to us sharing 48.6 miles together! (We run about the same pace but she could totally smoke me if she wanted to.)
As for running strategy, we decided to shed some nervous energy by opening up and then stopping for every single character photo. After some fantastic energy from John, Carissa, and Rudy, we were soon on our way!
It was a tad warmer than we had expected and those red leggings we wore felt super hot, but rolling them up to capris helped. We soon entered Epcot … Lord, I will NEVER get tired of running through World Showcase early in the morning! … and came upon a very long, long line for Timon. But since we thought we’d finish before the others, we just shrugged and said “What else are we going to do?”
NOTE: This will come back and bite us later.
While in line, though, we were so excited to see Megan and her friend Brooke, a gal who works for Runners World and creator of the adorable ears we wore throughout the weekend! (Here’s her Etsy shop.)
Ginny and I then parted ways and stopped for a customary picture with Spaceship Earth. The photo does not truly show how pretty it looks early in the morning!
The next character stop made me shout for joy. Bolt!!! A gorgeously-white Bolt, I’ve never seen him out before! Once again, horribly long line, but we jumped in. There was NO WAY we could miss him!
Afterwards, it was Ginny’s turn to shout with joy at the next character stop in France. Marie! And even more gorgeously-white Marie with her adorable pink bow! This line was even longer, but the two CM’s taking pictures were like machines, cranking us through in record time.
Running through Future World is always fun and once we saw Stitch, we quickly hopped in the long line, scanning the passing runners in case we saw anyone in our group. By the time we had gotten to the front, only Lilo was out, but it was cool. We love her, too.
Before we knew it, we came upon this cute mile marker. The sign might have said 1:24:12, but the race seemed to pass by super quick!
Race 1 of 4 and 3.1 miles of 48.6 DONE!
We attempted to get a jump shot at the finish line but that was an epic fail. Scratch that notion, permanently. Instead, we got our adorable Pluto medallions, filmed our post-race commentary, and went to family gathering area only to discover that our “What else are we going to do” mentality was another fail since Megan and Jackey had already finished way ahead of us. 😉
The line for Dopey was long but we just had to get one!
We also got a jump shot picture that ended up being one of our favorites.
Afterwards, we headed to the monorail (another major perk of staying at Bay Lake,) with the intentions of showering and maybe resting a tad before hitting Magic Kingdom. But a funny thing happened when we got near Epcot’s entrance. We realized that it would be opening soon and what would be the harm of a quick Test Track ride?
That quick spin turned into Ginny convincing me to ride Mission: SPACE on the Orange Team side that’s more intense. I had some concerns but it’s impossible for me to turn down a challenge, so I went for it, #suckitupbuttercup and all.
Seriously? It wasn’t bad at all.
We then hauled our stinky rears back to the monorail.
After quick showers, we headed to Magic Kingdom for a spin on Big Thunder Mountain.
We then hopped on over to Animal Kingdom to use our Fast Passes and say hello to our buddies Russell and Dug.
So technically, since we ran through Epcot early that morning, we did all four parks in one day … which really wasn’t smart to do with the Dopey Challenge, but was tons of fun anyway. We were very responsible later that evening by grabbing flatbreads at Bay Lake’s Contempo Café, relaxing in our room and getting to bed early.
TIP: During Marathon Weekend, be sure to ask if they have any special dishes for runners or to modify a meal. They were glad to add chicken to my flatbread instead of beef!
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the video recap version from our Joyful Miles YouTube Channel!
Have a joyful day and be on the lookout for Jackey’s 10k recap tomorrow!