There is a saying that goes something like the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. Well the running 48.6 miles begins with getting up way too early. It was the day of the Family Fun Run 5K, the first hurdle in the Dopey Challenge. There was a time not all that long ago – when the thought of running 3.1 miles was truly foreign to me, now it did not faze me. However getting up early enough to have something to eat, get ready and be in the starting corals for a 6:15 start did not sound good at all. Even though Leslie was not running in the 5K, she got up and helped me get ready and went to cheer all the runners.
Disney runs busses from the on property resorts to the start of the races, but for the 5K we decided to drive. One thing that is nice about the Disney races is the costumes that people wear. On the walk between were we parked and the starting area we got to see a number of wonderful costumes. I am sorry to report that I did not get dressed in costume for the 5K.
We found our friend Niki before the race. We said goodbye to Leslie and I made my way to the start corals. For the 5K there were 5 (A-E) and I was in D, so I had a good amount of time to stand around. As I stood there and looked over at the EPCOT ball in the night sky and realized that I would be looking at it a lot over the next few days, and looking forward to seeing it Sunday afternoon near the end of the 48.6 miles instead of at the start of it as I saw it now.
More standing and then finally we moved into position. My plan was to do my run / walk intervals during the 5K since I was going to mainly walk the 10K with Leslie.
The course for the 5K takes us thru the parking lot (as you can see on the route below – except there are race tents replacing the cars). We stay in the parking area to some back roads and enter EPCOT behind Test Track. I did not take any pictures of the back of Test Track because I thought I had some from the 5K the year before – but could not find them.
We enter the World Showcase by the side of Mexico and it is really beautiful with the lights on all the buildings. I took a picture – but it did not turn out. As I approach Norway I noticed there was a line for a character, so I moved over and joined the line thinking that it must be someone from the new movie Frozen. After waiting in the line for a minute or so I found out that it was Norwegian Daisy. I like Daisy, but since Leslie and I were going to dress as Donald and Daisy for the half, I figured I did not need a picture.
In general the atmosphere while wandering around the World Showcase is fun – but when you are in a race and going thru the park it is really amazing. I continued my way around – - – and then I got to edge of Germany. Right on the edge of Germany is wishing well where many times during the day Snow White can be found. However Snow must have been asleep and sure enough Dopey was there. That was it – I had to have a picture with Dopey. I was not the only one – the 5K had 10,000 runners – of which 7,000 were registered for the Dopey. So I continued on looking for the end of the line, and continued and continued. I finally found the end of the line on the other side of Germany. Since my time did not matter – I just had to finish and I was pretty sure that they would not sweep. I waited. From what I can tell from my Garmin it looks like I waited about 25 minutes – but it was worth it I got a blurry picture with Dopey (however there should be a good picture of me with Dopey on the disk from MarathonPhoto).
I continued around the World Showcase and saw that Remy and his brother were available for pictures. I should have stopped, but since I spent so much time waiting for Dopey I just continued on.
The course took us over the bridge and then out of the International Gate entrance to the EPCOT where we ran thru some more backstage area before re-entering the park between the UK and Canada. From there it was the home stretch with less than a mile to go.
About 12 years ago Disney came up with yet another way to make money – by selling pins and giving lanyards of pins to cast members that contain pins that cannot be purchased for them to trade with guests. Since Leslie and I are really into pin trading when we visit the parks I put pins on my Princess Half Marathon bib and traded during that race. My goal was to trade once in each park I ran thru for each race, so I had some pins on my bib. I had not seen cast member with pins, so once I got to France I started running up to the cast members and asking them if they had any. I am sorry to report that I failed to trade a pin during the 5K. However I did achieve a personal record for the 5K – it was my slowest ever (but I did get a picture with Dopey and had fun).
After the 5K we went back to the room for me to shower and change and then it time to meet up with a group of our favorite people. We had breakfast with the Rudd family at Kouzzina and we all went over to the Magic Kingdom to meet up with the Pearson’s from the UK. While we were in the park we also met up with our friend Nicole and her daughter. One of the things we love about doing Disney races is being able to see so many of our friends at one of our favorite places. As you can see a lot of people can ride Dumbo at the same time.