Walt Disney Half Marathon – Oh Donald..You sure were a hot one!

It’s Day 3 of the Dopey Challenge.  The half marathon was upon us.  We headed to the bus stop for 3am.  As much as I enjoy a good name for a challenge, I was beginning to think it should be called the ‘Sleepy Challenge’.  Boy, was I sleepy.

My running outfit for the day was ‘The Goofy’.  I wore a blue Sparkle Skirt, orange running shirt, and had made a light vest and green band that would represent Goofy’s hat. I didn’t want to wear a hat as I was worried about the heat.  Boy was I correct.  On this particular Saturday it was really humid.  Uncomfortably humid.

We got into the Race Retreat relatively early and munched on a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.  I limited my water intake as I had already hydrated in the resort room. That didn’t stop me from making a few trips to the washroom.  😉

Before we had to leave for our corral, we saw Tabetha and Greg.  This time I didn’t forget a photo op.

Raring to go in the Race Retreat

Raring to go in the Race Retreat!

The bracelets you see are the magic band, the race retreat band, and the 5K and 10K bands we were to wear until the Dopey was completed. After each race, we had to get a band to show we ran it! Our collection was starting to grow!

We headed for the corral, and waited for our turn.  We were in K corral, so it took several minutes until we were up.  We spent our minutes taking pics, and listening to the announcers talk about the race.

And then we were off.  The course starts outside of Epcot and then proceeds towards the Magic Kingdom just inside mile 5.  By the time we get to mile 6 we are already leaving Main Street and the Castle behind.  It’s such a rush entering Main Street and running towards Tomorrowland and Cinderella’s Castle.  The energy is truly magical.

wdw half mk

There’s about 5 miles of road before going towards Epcot. I think about mile 9, the humidity was starting to take a toll on me. I love the heat, but I prefer to be sitting by a pool when it’s humid. We trudged on.  By mile 11, I seemed to channel Merida, so I was raring to battle on towards the finish.  Of course, by mile 13, we were practically there.  Donald makes it look so easy! 😉
wdw half on our way

wdw army

The finish was a welcome sight indeed. I grabbed a picture with Mickey before crossing the finish line. Before I knew it, the medal was placed upon my neck and we were back at the Race Retreat to enjoy our lunch.

wdw half finale finish

It was a difficult day in terms of the humidity. I saw many runners humbled on the race course. Some even leaning on their friends for support. Humidity can really hurt a runner if they aren’t accustomed to running in it. It slowed us down a bit, but so did the bottle necking on the course. It’s hard to say how much the humidity played in the extra time. We were about 20 minutes slower than the half marathon I ran the following weekend, so it surely had some part. I was on fresher legs after all! I also struggled with some hamstring/quad issues near the end of the race, so I was feeling a bit of the burn near the end. I had hoped to get a massage at the Race Retreat, however, they were full by the time I got there. My strategy before the marathon bombed big time. I had to rely on some really good stretching back at the resort and some compression socks to get me through the day to be fully charged for the full marathon on Sunday.

Funny thing about the Dopey Challenge. After racing 3 days, we still weren’t at the halfway point of the total mileage of all 4 races.

After the race, we made our way back to the resort. Cleaned up for the day, and made ourselves over to Animal Kingdom to be a part of their daily parade. We had just enough time to find Donald and show him our well earned hard ware. I can tell you from personal experience, Donald is a really funny guy!

Good times with Donald Duck

Good times with Donald Duck

We got to the parade meet up for 3pm and met the other people participating in the parade. We were put on the Rafiki float. Essentially, it’s a safari like truck that we sat in. We were the front float! Rafiki stood behind us. We made our way through Animal Kingdom waving to all the people side lined along the parade path. We sang along with the song that was blaring and smiled till our cheeks hurt (and they did). It was a fantastic way to cap off our half marathon day, and it also allowed for some well needed rest for our legs. I can’t help but wonder what the people viewing the parade thought of these random people in the parade…hee, hee.

Hey look, I'm a cast member!

Hey look, I’m a cast member!

Rafiki on our safari float.  Our view in the float during the parade.

Rafiki on our safari float. Our view in the float during the parade.

After the parade, we wandered around Animal Kingdom. We stopped for dinner at Flame Tree Barbecue, and then headed back to the resort for a quick dip in the hot tub. One more sleep till marathon day. The day we were to put it all out there and receive our well earned Dopey Bling! (Mickey and Goofy too!) We were so close, we were dreaming of it that very night!

Did we get it done? Stay tuned….Marathon Recap tomorrow.

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