So those of you who have been following this journey for a little while (or have looked in the archives) will remember the complete madness that is the Dopey Challenge. The Dopey is a 4 day event at the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend which takes place annually at the Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. Here’s the deal:
Wednesday: Survive Expo and all the crazy people who buy EVERYTHING
Thursday: Run 5km
Friday: Run 10km
Saturday: Run Half Marathon
Sunday: Run Marathon
It sounds insane because it is a little bit insane. It is also an amazing running adventure and experience. It is a great reminder that even road running does not have be taken that seriously (although some mad people do take this extremely seriously) and that you can seriously challenge yourself without taking the fun out of things. Running at Disney isn’t like running everywhere else. It has its own magic and dose of pixie dust and I can’t imagine having run my first marathon anywhere else.
I’m not sure what possessed me to want to have another go. Maybe I have unfinished business. It’s not that I particularly feel the need to do it faster than last time but last time I really enjoyed the first three races and then marathon day was just a bit miserable because it was so humid and because a marathon really is just a bloody long way and I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. I don’t need to do it faster, I just need to do the marathon better. I need to focus more on taking it in and enjoying the experience – yes even ESPN Wild World of Sports can, so Kath tells me, be quite fun. I want to have another go to focus on the experience and not on just getting to the end. Although I have to say I only really remember the good bits – I think that’s how marathons work in your brain, you forget. I know I was miserable on marathon day but that’s not how I now remember it.
We booked the trip ages ago and were anxiously waiting for registration to open. Of course it opened while we were in Australia so we worked out the time difference and set our alarm for 2am and sat in bed with the iPad to register. It didn’t work for the first attempt as the screen froze before we entered our credit card details. We had to crash out and start again. I sort of knew Dopey wasn’t likely to sell out immediately but you just never know so we persevered and got lucky; second attempt and we got our Dopey registration and the race retreat booked and confirmed. We’re doing it. What have we done. I’m not sure whether knowing what I have let myself in for is better or worse. Either way, it’s a lot of miles over 4 days!