Dopey Challenge 2017: 10k

Before the Race

My alarm went off for another early morning for the 10k. I did wind up getting enough sleep to get me through the race, so I was up and dressed fairly quickly. I waited a little longer to go out to the buses than I had for the 5k, but I was still in line fairly early. It was more than enough time to get to the Epcot parking lot and walk over to the start line party. I was early, but not nearly as early as the day before. I headed into the corrals about a half hour before the race started and sat down towards the front-ish of the corral. It was a little cooler than Thursday, but nothing too bad.

The 10k!

It was a quick start to the race, as it only took about 15 minutes for Corral C to make our way to the start line. We were off fairly quickly, headed out the parking lot and to the left (instead of the right as the day before). The first mile really flew by, as I kept to my 4-1 intervals for the entire race. I felt like I was flying, and it was pretty great! The only thing that sucked right after was the hairpin turn-around on the highway to get to the next part of the course. It didn’t help that there was a DuckTales character stop right at the turn-around, so it got really congested.

We continued on the highway, and it was really nice to run in the semi-darkness with all the people around. There were a few more character stops, and I finally made my first one of the weekend for the Incredibles! I only lost about five minutes, and I would say that it was totally worth it.

Mile three was still on the highway, but I never really felt bored. There was always something to look at, be it video screens that they had set up in the median or as I ran by character stops or the costumes of the other runners around me. It was still mostly dark, and the weather was perfect for running.

We headed past the sanitation plant and through the butt end of World Showcase to make our way over to France. We made a quick turn to the left to head towards the resorts around the secondary lagoon. Boardwalk was pretty awesome, with a bunch of people already out for the morning to cheer for runners. There was a big bridge we had to run over to turn around over the lagoon, then headed by Yacht and Beach Club. It was a quick little jog back into World Showcase.

Again, they had the torches lit and Disney music blasting through all the speakers. I don’t know how long their playlist was, but I wound up running back into World Showcase right at the point where I had run out before. It was as if the playlist was just put on pause for me.

Back out of World Showcase past the Epcot ball, did a weird little turnaround, and then followed the same route out of the park as we did for the 5k. I was a very happy finish line-crosser!

I wound up crossing the finish line in 1:19:04, which was actually a faster pace than the 10k and included a 5-minute character stop!

After the Race

Got back on the first bus to Pop Century, showered, and laid down for my morning nap. My mother and I just had a pretty low-key day at Disney Springs, where I picked up a Dopey ornament for my memory tree and we got to look at some really cool things. Picked up some gifts for other people and ourselves, plus really good lunch at the Earl of Sandwich.

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Headed back to Magic Kingdom in the evening for our Fastpass at Space Ranger Spin. It was fun, but I had definitely been spoiled by Toy Story Mania. We had dinner reservations at Tony’s Town Square, and it was super-cute and we got to eat on the porch with a nice view of the Christmas tree. I had chicken parmesan without the sauce (yes, I’m the worst Italian in the world) and it was really good. My mom and I wound up splitting up for the evening, as my mom wanted to look around gift shops for a while and I wanted to get my daily pictures taken.

After I got my pictures taken, I started to wander towards the buses – the plan was for me to head back to the hotel first so that I could shower and be asleep by the time Mom got back to the room. I took my phone out for the first time since before dinner, and I received bad news – the half was cancelled.

Obviously everyone had been watching the weather all week, as the thunderstorms were concerning. RunDisney put out information earlier in the day that they would be watching the weather to make a call on the race. Facebook was blowing up with people distraught over the cancellation of the half, and I tried to not get sucked into all of it. I checked the weather for the next morning, and I saw that the storms were set to taper off later in the morning. I decided to join the other people on Facebook who were planning on running around their resorts, as the lake between Pop Century and Art of Animation was over a mile around.

I tried to call my mom to tell her about the cancellation, but she didn’t answer. Instead, I called my dad – why, I’m not really sure. I complained to him for a minute, then got the satisfaction of telling someone out of my system. I called my aunt back at home since she was our resident Disney expert and asked her if the lake would be a good option – she agreed and then indulged my sadness over the actual half being cancelled. Finally, my mom called me back and I explained it all to her. She was on her way back to the buses, so I waited for her by the bus stop and we headed back to Pop Century for a full night’s worth of sleep…

the Dopey Challenge 2017 Series
Dopey Challenge 2017: the Day Before
Dopey Challenge 2017: 5k

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