Wow! What a crazy, wonderful, and exhilarating experience. WE DID IT! We ran 7 races in 11 days. A Total of 114.4 kms at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. We earned the rights to brag about our Dopey Challenge accomplishment, and earned our Coast To Coast medal for 2014.
There’s too many medals to fit them all in one picture. 😉
Was it worth it? In my Fargo accent, I can only say, “You betcha!”
Now the first trip to Walt Disney World didn’t come off without a hitch. We had our worries even before we were fully packed. The weather leading up to our Wednesday departure was frightfully cold in the North East. Airports were cancelling flights on the Monday and Tuesday. We were monitoring our chances of our own flight taking off first thing Wednesday morning. We were hopeful as Air Canada’s flights to Orlando were still flying on the Tuesday with small delays, but it didn’t comfort us completely. I was only going to be completely content once we were up in the air and on our way. We got lucky and our flight did take off on Wednesday with a slight delay as we sat on the apron. However, some travellers were not as fortunate. I Run on Water was one of the stranded passengers who had to make alternative arrangements. Check out her story here.
Once we arrived, we jumped on the Disney Magical Express which would take us to the Coronado Springs resort on the Walt Disney World property. This is a beautiful property in one of the moderate categories that WDW offers. I enjoyed the complex very much. The only drawback is the size of the complex. It’s HUGE! One must walk A LOT to get from their room to the main lobby and dining areas. We were OK with that, however, I can see why some people who have reviewed this resort are not favourable towards it. If a person doesn’t like to walk, this place is definitely not for them.
Once we were settled, we headed for the WDW Marathon Expo to pick up our race kits and to do some shopping. It was pretty easy getting to the Expo as WDW had several shuttle buses. I don’t think we waited more than 5 minutes for a bus. Coronado Springs isn’t too far from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex so it was a short drive.
We picked up our race kits and shirts. The process was a breeze. We headed to the Dopey booth and got our race bibs. Once that was done, we walked over and picked up our shirts. What was nice is that Disney had pre packaged all the Dopey shirts based on the size requested when we registered. The volunteer just grabbed the appropriate bag of shirts and handed them over. Done! I loved the shirts this year. I’m not sure if this was the first year as I haven’t been to WDW race weekend since 2012, but they decided to change the fabric of the shirts to a much softer material. As well, I thought the colours were awesome.
I purchased a few things at the expo – KT Tape, race pins, and a couple of Bondi Bands to commemorate the race weekend. I also bought a much wanted SPI Belt and Dopey running cap. I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the clothing selection. I was hoping to get a nice Dopey shirt in perhaps a purple or green in which his clothing is representative of; however the commemorative Dopey clothing was red and white. I thought that was peculiar. My spouse bought a blue Dopey “I DID IT” shirt. I’m a little superstitious, and refused to buy as I had not completed it yet. Of course, I lost out on buying the women’s pink edition as they were sold out after the marathon. No worries, I had a commemorative Dopey necklace I had purchased at registration instead.
We had little time to spare that afternoon as we had to make it back to our resort to freshen up for our dinner reservation at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Before we left the expo, we attempted to get a New Balance shoe appointment, only to be told they had filled up all the appointments for the day. We were disappointed, but not at all surprised. We also knew we’d have another chance during the Tinker Bell Weekend at Disneyland to fetch the elusive shoes that were selling out. (only to find out later, that many pairs were finding their way onto Ebay….*sigh*)
Our dinner at Sanaa was fantastic. The highlight was the appetizer which featured 9 different dips served with Naan bread. Can you say “scrumptious”? Indeed it was.
Not only were we full on great food on our first day, we were also very filled mentally to the point of exhaustion. We had been up since 2am Wednesday morning, and by the time we got back to our resort it was around 10pm. We quickly put out our race clothes for the Family 5K which was to start at 6:15 am Thursday morning. Which meant, we had to wake up at 3:45am to jump on the 5 am shuttle bus to the race location. We were asleep shortly after we arrived…..the adventure was about to begin.
Stay tuned. I’ll have more on race weekend in my next blog.
Until then, Happy Running.