Ten Reasons to do the Dopey Challenge during the WDW Marathon Weekend
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10 Reasons to do runDisney’s Dopey Challenge

Oh, the Dopey Challenge. Four days of waking up at 2:00am to run a total of 48.6 miles, something which sounds like complete insanity to most folks but to us?

We. Love. It.

We love everything about runDisney’s Dopey Challenge–the 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon and every moment in between. It’s what first brought us together in the most fantastic way because nothing bonds a bunch of ladies like sharing your worries about training, nutrition, hydration, weather forecasts, and whether or not God will grant you a poo before the marathon.

Awesome meme by @runnersbe
Awesome meme by @runnersbe

10 Reasons to do the Dopey Challenge

Are you tempted to register for the Dopey Challenge during WDW’s Marathon Weekend but can’t quite make up your mind? Megan and I have ten reasons why you should, with some bonuses thrown in for good measure.

Want to see the video version of this content? Check out our YouTube Channel or see it below.

*Oh, and if you have registered, be sure to check out our Tips for Disney’s Goofy & Dopey Challenge post!

1.) Barney Stinson will be proud.

Challenge AcceptedEspecially if you sign up wearing a suit.

*BONUS: Just the act of registering will make you feel hardcore.

Especially when you tell someone about the challenge and they respond with, “You’re going to do what??? Run all those miles in four days? That’s crazy.”

Oh yeah. You got their crazy.

10 Reasons to register for the @runDisney #DopeyChallenge #werunsocial #runchat #WDWMarathonWeekend Share on X

2.) You’re going to get SIX RACE SHIRTS!

That’s half of your outfits for six vacation days right then and there, which means less pre-trip shopping, less packing, and less stress about deciding what to wear–a total win, win, win situation!


And yeah, okay, perhaps one could point out that you’ve paid a lotta money for those shirts, but it’s more fun ignoring that fact.

3.) So many friendships will be made!

The running community is strong, and after seeing all the amazing photos and videos from previous Dopey finishers, you’ll need to experience this for yourself. You will become friends with previous internet strangers who not only run but also LOVE Disney. These internet friends will become some of your closest buddies and it will feel like seeing a long-lost childhood pal when you finally meet those you’ve been conversing with online. You’ll get so close, you’ll even arrange to stay together in a hotel room …. after confirming that no one snores.

*Dear reader, Laura, here. Megan was specifically referring to how she hardly knew Jackey and me. Now she loves us. #awww #happyendings

4.) You will learn a lot about yourself during your training.

Training will allow plenty of time for introspection–sometimes good, sometimes bad. Knowing you have to get a run in sometimes becomes a mental discussion inside of your head–but remember those internet friends you now have will get you out the door and hold you accountable.

Whether your prefer to go it alone, (with 26K of your closest running comrades on race day,) or chose to coordinate running attire with your running partners, you’ll learn what works best for you – your running style, social or solo!

*BONUS: All that training gives you the stamina to conquer the EXPO!

You’ll have completed the training and depending where you live that may require very early mornings or the dreadmill… If you can complete your training and function in life, you’ll be able to plan your strategy to conquer the runDisney Expo on the first day. After all, you might need some ‘essentials’ because those six race shirts left you a little $$ for the expo vendors.

*Dear reader, only Megan calls a treadmill the dreadmill. I actually love it. #weirdlikethat Here’s some tips for Taking the Dread out of Dreadmill!

5.) Cookies and brownies and Grandma’s fruitcake, oh MY!

Granted. Training through the holidays will stink at times … especially if you mess up like I (Laura) did in 2015 by having to do a 20-miler on Christmas Eve … but there is a bright side. You will gain weight if you don’t intake enough calories, which means you can indulge in more holiday food!

You’ll also win Fitbit and Garmin step challenges against your friends. The bonuses keep coming!

6.) Character photos!

There’s going to be lots and lots of opportunities to get lots and lots of character photos and fun pictures! There’s 72 in our collage alone and we had to skip some. Talk about lots of bang for your buck! (Have we used the word “lots” enough?)

MW 10k Jackey & Megan

(Gotta say. This collage always makes me smile!!)

7.) Never will a finish line ever feel sweeter.

It’s hard for us to put in words exactly how amazing it felt crossing that finish line. You’ll just have to trust us on this one … and discover it for yourself.

*BONUS: The beer will taste a-maze-ing afterwards.


8.) You will be forever bonded with other Dopey finishers.

And every time you see someone wearing that gorgeous Dopey medal in the parks, you’ll be tempted to do one of those cool chin lifts and give them a fist pound.

Go ahead. That’s right, you deserve it.


9. All your future races will feel easy.

After conquering Dopey, you will find yourself saying things like…

“Yeah, I have a race coming up in a few weeks but it’s only a half marathon.”

“The Glass Slipper Challenge? Piece of cake. I did those three races AND a full marathon.”

There’s power in those 48.6 miles, folks. Which brings us to the final, most important reason of them all … especially if you’re fond of shiny things like us:

10.) THE BLING!!!

Seriously, there’s no need for us to explain this one, right? Lookie here, this is what you’ll get. (Well, next year’s will be different and Castaway Cay is not included,) but go ahead, give these a good gander. Touch the screen. Imagine them hanging from your neck, bouncing against your belly in the most delicious, delightful way.


You know you want them.

That bouncy, amazing feeling leads us to the final…

*BONUS: The confidence to do ANYTHING!

This challenge takes physical and mental stamina like none other, but the crowd and other runner supporting is AMAZING! If you complete this, you have the drive and determination to accomplish other challenges not only in running but in life.

Disney welcomes all types of runners – elite, middle-of-the-pack and walkers that can maintain a 16-min/mile pace. You can be a interval runner, straight runner or a really fast walker. The drive and determination to train and complete the challenge as well as the sense of accomplishment is like none other.


Thanks for reading and please subscribe! We have so much to talk about and we can’t wait to share our experiences–both good and bad, our knowledge and tips about Dopey, runDisney, fitness, and life in general.

ETA: Also be sure to check out our YouTube challenge where we are chatting about 2017’s WDW Marathon Weekend as well as my video offering Tips for the Goofy and Dopey Challenge!

As for what we’re registering for, it’s going to be Goofy for us in 2017, but in 2018? Oh yeah, Dopey, all the way. See you at the finish line!

And yet another ETA: Jackey, Rob, and I are IN for 2018’s Dopey Challenge, woo-HOOOOO!!!

Recover, Run, Rejoice:

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve completed Disney’s Dopey Challenge or plan on signing up for next years, what are your reasons? Please share in the comments below!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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  1. Jennifer Kiper says:

    Are you guys in for 2019? I am a triathlete, not a runner but I am a (hugeeeeee Disney fan so I am going to try my luck).

    1. Jackey and I are running the marathon and waiting until 2020 for our next Dopey Challenge. But awesome, you’re going to love running at Disney! Best of luck with your training and hope you have a blast! 🙂

  2. Do you have of the characters you have met, I wasn’t able to make them bigger. Super excited for dopey 2020 and meeting heaps of characters? Thanks so much sam

  3. I promised myself I would do the Dopey challenge before I turned 50. Oh crap! I turn 50 in June 2020! Dopey Challenge 2020 it is! I have a lot of naysayers but I am doing this!

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