Race Recap: The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - Part 1

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that the Walt Disney World Marathon took place this past weekend. In fact, it blows my mind that it has already been a week since the 5K went down!

Before this year, I had only participated in one RunDisney race: The 2015 Walt Disney World Half Marathon. I signed up when Peter and I decided that we were taking our honeymoon in Orlando. Actually, I almost didn't get to participate since it was technically sold out, but they later reduced the amount of Goofy Challenge registrations (Half and Full marathon) and opened up the field for more half only participants! You can read more about it here.

Not long after our visit, it was quickly decided that we would be going back to Disney ASAP so I began saving up money immediately. But not only were we going to partake in a Disney race, Peter thought it would be great to sign up for the Dopey Challenge. For those of you who don't know what the Dopey Challenge entails, it's when you run all the races that are held during the WDW Marathon Weekend. That includes a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon. A total of 48.6 miles in 4 days!

Honestly, I was not completely on board with this idea,  BUT I would not let my own husband show me up. As soon as registration opened in March, we were signed up!

So FAST FORWARD to January 4th.

We flew out of Baltimore to Orlando and went straight to the expo. It was way bigger than what I remembered. Overwhelmingly big!

We went to pick up our bibs, shirts, and then look around to see if there might have been anything that would have tickled our fancy, but we ended up being super frugal. Because we aren't currently working our normal 9-5 jobs, money is to be saved, not spent! So all I ended up getting was a Dopey Challenge magnet! Besides, we received a lot with our registration!

Who needs more race shirts when they give Dopey Challengers 6!? As a challenger, you get the 5k, 10k, half, and full shirt. In addition, you also get the Goofy and Dopey Challenge shirts! I seriously never have to get another workout shirt. All these races have me set! I think they should start giving out shorts or sports bras.

After the expo, we checked in for our hotel for the evening. We ended up getting the same place we had when we went on our honeymoon, but totally upgraded on the room.

We also had an AMAZING view! We could see Epcot from our room and the fireworks from both Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

For those of you who want to know, we went to the B Resort Hotel & Spa. The room we had was the Signature Master Suite. Definitely recommend that place! They will do you right!

Anyway, enough about the hotel! Back to the recap!

We didn't go to any parks that night because for those of you who don't know, these races start really REALLY early. All of the races begin at 5:30am, with exception of the 5k, which begins at 6am. The race staff also encourages you to show up between 3-4am if you aren't being shuttled by a Disney hotel. This will allow you to beat the traffic and avoid missing the race! So getting up at 3am or sooner is not unrealistic at all! We got up at 3 and were out by 3:30.

When we arrived at the start, we had plenty of time to kill, so Peter and I stood in an incredibly long line to get pictures with Dopey.

Worth it!

And after that long wait, we were able to hop into our corrals for an additional 30 minute wait. I feel like Disney is big on long waits. Haha! But it's a small price to pay for an amazing race! Seriously.

We were in corral C, so once the gun went off, we had about 15 minutes or so until we were officially sent across the start line. They sent us off in waves rather than unleashing us all at once. These races are HUGE and I think they estimated about 12,000 runners. So in order to make sure we had a good race, they dismissed us every few minutes, just like most Rock n Roll races. Unfortunately, by the time we were given our start, I had to pee BIG TIME! But I wasn't going to stop off at a port-a-potty for a 5k. I figured I could handle it for 30 minutes or less.

As soon as I started running, my bladder was really unhappy. I had my flip belt on and my phone inside was pressed right up against it. Every step I took, it felt like my phone pressed tighter against my bladder! I swore I was going to pee myself, but I managed!

The first mile of the race was outside of Epcot on some of the streets surrounding the parking lot. It wasn't the most entertaining place to be, but they had to make it a 5k somehow without overcrowding runners by doing circles in the parks.

It was all made up for once you entered Epcot! You were welcomed with Disney songs, character stops, and the feels (for me anyway). I belted out lyrics to my favorite songs, posed for a ton of photos, and forgot all about my urgency to use the bathroom.

At one point I asked Peter "Is it weird that I'm kinda getting emotional?" He replied without any hesitation, "Yes."

We finished the race in about 30 minutes, which was well-above what we are capable of, but we had to remind ourselves to hold back for the races ahead. We still needed to have plenty of fuel in the tank to get us through 3 more races. Especially the full marathon! It wouldn't be a true Dopey Challenge without finishing!

But surprises were ahead that would make this weekend very unique!

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I go through the 10K, Half, and Full Recap!!!

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