I started running in 2008. I don’t exactly know what it was that prompted me to do so. Perhaps I had the need to be more active. It’s relatively easy to do in terms of equipment: good shoes and my favourite tunes on my iPod. I really started to enjoy it, and wanted to learn more to improve my race times. I went to my local running clinic and signed up for a 10k clinic. It was during this clinic that I learned about the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World. Well, say no more. Running & Disney combined? I was hooked!!
In 2009, I began my training for the Goofy. I called it, “39 miles before turning 39” (which I was turning a few days later) I even signed up for the 5k that weekend, which unofficially is called the ‘Dopey’. Which I guess has some truth to it! I mean, who wants to race in the same weekend; a 5k on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday? Most people don’t. Us runners? We seem to be an excessive bunch! However, as a traveller to Disney, my thought was, if I was going to experience the WDW marathon weekend, I was going to do it all.
The 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend had the worst weather on record. I think it was colder in Florida than it was in Toronto. The news reported orange groves freezing over. There was sleet and ice on the race course. It was dreadful for locals whom were not accustomed to winter weather of this nature. For me though, my pursuit for Goofy was all the motivation I required. Nothing was going to stand in my way!
The 5k was a nice warm-up for the weekend, and during the half, I was too occupied with motivating my spouse, to really be concerned about me. It was his first half marathon. Upon finishing the half marathon, I do remember thinking to myself; “You really want to run a marathon tomorrow?” The answer was a resounding “Yes!!”
I’ll admit it was painful. For the first 18 miles, I was able to shut out the pain from my mind, concentrate on my run and just enjoy the race. The last 8 miles however is when I felt my body shutting down. It was at this time, that my mind kept me going. It’s surprising what you can accomplish when you think positive. I envisioned crossing the finish line and receiving my medals. I looked back on all my training leading up to the race, and in that moment, nothing was going to stand in my way to achieve my goal.
One of my favourite sayings is from Walt Disney himself. “If we can dream it, we can do it”. Sometimes, that is all the motivation I need.
I look back at the 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as one of my fondest running achievements.
For a full look back at the 2010 Goofy Challenge, you can view my video here 2010 Goofy Challenge
What is your favourite running adventure and why?