Ah, the 2014 Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K. I haven’t run an official 5K since the 2013 Expedition Everest Challenge. I always refer to the 5K as the gateway drug. It’s what got me started on my path to the Marathon. (Video of the 2010 Mickey’s Halloween 5K) Once you get one of them under your belt, you know you’re capable of even greater distances.
This 5K was going to end up being a very special one. It was part one of my four-part Dopey Challenge. A challenge that consisted of 48.6 miles run over four days.
I wasn’t scheduled to check into Saratoga Springs until the day of the 5K. Luckily, I’m local, and I drove in that morning and checked my luggage at the hotel at 4 AM. I had my husband drive me over to the Epcot parking lot and drop me off, and I proceeded to make my way to my assigned corral…E.
I knew my friend Suzannah of Zannaland would be spectating the 5K so I texted her to find out where she would be. Zanna was hanging out with the WDW Radio Running Team so I decided that since that team was composed of mostly friends, I would try and run the 5K with them… Or should I say walk the 5K since that is what runDisney consultant Jeff Galloway said that Dopey Challenge participant should be doing.
My girl Leah and I patiently waiting.
Funny enough, it seemed that all of the runners in the last corral for the 5K were Dopey Challenge runners. This was shocking. Most runners in the last corral are runners with no proof of time. I don’t know why Track Shack decided to put all the Dopey Challenge runners in the last corral, but it was really strange and made for a very congested course as we tried to weave around walkers. Hope this is something that they change for next year.
We waited for four corrals to start in front of us and then it was time for corral E to line up. I was chatting with my friend James when the fireworks went off and we just started moving. We shuffled along at a comfortable 12 minute mile pace until we got around the Epcot parking lot and started heading into the back of Future World near Test Track. I knew running with James was going to be fun because he doesn’t look at runDisney races as challenges, but more as parties, and we really didn’t have a goal set for ourselves… just to finish. He was also doing the Dopey Challenge.
James and I were still chatting when we realized that we were almost done with the 5K. As we came up upon Spaceship Earth we saw a family running beside us with a small toddler. We were almost to the three-mile mark and this little runner was saying that he wanted to quit. James and I took a look at his bib. His name was Daniel. So we did what any other fellow runner would do when you hear someone beside you saying that they want to quit…We cheered loudly for him. And then everyone else around us started cheering as well. “Keep going buddy! Don’t give up! You’re almost there!”
James and I decided that it was time to stop for one photo since we were almost done with the race. We paused directly in front of Spaceship Earth and got this shot.
We turned the corner and exited Epcot. As we headed towards the finish line, we looked over on the left and spotted the WDW Radio Cheer Squad. This is what it looked like from their vantage point.
BAM! We did it. Dopey challenge part one in the bag!
Thanks James…I couldn’t have asked for a funner (yes it’s a word) running buddy. You were the last friendly face I saw on my 2013 WDW Marathon Fail …so it’s only fitting that you be the first one I run with on my 2014 WDW Marathon Redemption Song.