Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

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HCcD
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Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:54 am

Well, I have renewed my membership and am a Dopey again, for another year …. Ha !!! After completing the Inaugural Dopey Challenge in 2014, I had the urge to return this year and run it again this year, with a mission and running relatively healthy, after a year of recovery from my injuries sustained toward the end of the 2013 Season … My training went well, able to get in my long runs, and in particular, back-to-back weekend runs .. Weather conditions in late November and December allowed me to run outside more this time around and had a number of training partners to keep me company … Thanks again, Jes, Marg, Jes and Andrea … One of the advantages of having multiple training partners is that, if one or two are not able to come out and play one week, there were always at least one person able to accompany me .. Only when the weather conditions did not permit, I stuck it on the treadmill and built up to 36K for my longest run .. a new PR for treadmill running … Ha !!!

So, overall, had a good recovery and rebuild year in 2014 and that set me up to a solid effort for the 2015 Dopey Challenge …


Travel Day

Lessons learned from last year’s winter storm, I booked my flights early and chose a Direct flight from Ottawa to Orlando … and, fortunately, made the right call, as a winter storm arrived in the area the weekend prior and week of … So, this year was a no stress travel day and arriving in Orlando with a balmy 20C, while departing Ottawa only hours earlier in -30C windchill … Ha !!!
Just spent the days leading to the start of The Dopey Challenge, chilling out and relaxing at the Timeshare Resort and banking the much needed sleep and r&r before the fun and games begun …

Day 1 – The Expo

The first day of The Dopey Challenge was The Expo at ESPN’s Wide World of Sport... Having bought in to the Runner’s World Dopey Challenge Package this past year, it allowed me to skip the line to the race kit/bib pickup and head straight to the Expo to grab my RunDisney / Dopey Schwag before it sold out, like last year .. As for exhibitors and offerings, it appears that it is getting less and less every year, but, fortunate for me, it is also good for the bank account, in the end .. Ha !!! Left the Expo with some Dopey Schwag, and few months supply of K-Tape and Biofreeze, to name a few, but nothing else worthy to mention …
After leaving the Expo, went to the other building and picked up my Race Kit and Schwag, one stop shopping at the special pickup location for the RW Challenge Peeps .. It was awesome …Received my bibs, shirts then headed to get my photo taken .. Apparently, this year, Run Disney utilized photo ID’s for their Challenge Participants .. Photos taken at the Expo, then after every race, another photo taken, and at the end of the Marathon on Day 4, before receiving our Challenge Medals (Goofy and/or Dopey) the race staff verified on their computers to confirm/verify that we all finished our respective races …
Headed back to the resort afterwards and just relaxed and getting prepared for the next 4 days of racing … Yeah, yeah, I am so boring, eh!!!

Day 2 – Family Fun Run 5K

The first event was the Family Fun Run 5K. My strategy this year was to run each race by feel and see how the body felt each each, unlike last year, in attempting to race from the get, which resulted in very, very tired legs, after day 1 when I sorta-kinda race it .. Ha !!!

Woke up at 2am or, and just lazed around in bed before finally getting up at 3am to get ready and drive to Epcot, for a 6:15am start time … It was quite a chilly and windy morning at 2c plus windchill from the nasty winds …
Fortunately, for the 5K and 10K, I was placed in Corral A and was able avoid the crazy crowds for the race(s) which had approximately 2,500 in each Corral …The start of the run was a little crowded. We were along the roads outside of Epcot, which weren’t always that wide. The first 500m or so was a bit of a slow start navigating through the crowds and narrow stretches … Not sure how the Corral assignments were decided upon, but there were families with kids in the A Corral that started walking from the get go, that started in the front … Once I cleared the first couple of turns, finally got the legs moving and quickly found my happy tempo pace …

The run then took us into Epcot, going through the World Showcase and parts of Future World before finishing up. Surprisingly, I crossed the Finish Line in a time of 22:57, about 27 seconds slower than last year, but felt so much fresher … Afterwards, headed to the Family Reunion Breakfast … One of the benefits of the RW Dopey Challenge package was that it included all the optional meals, Family Reunion Breakfast after the 5K and 10K, the weekend Race Retreats and the Thursday evening Pasta in the Park at Epcot …

Breakfast was a nice thing to have after the race .. scrambled eggs, sweet potato fries, turkey sausage, French toast was offered, as well as fruit salad, juice, etc … Ended up staying a bit, while chatting with the crew and other runners from the RW Challenge area ..

Headed back to the resort afterwards for a short nap and a bit of shopping and touring around later in the afternoon, before heading back for the Pasta in the Park, in the evening .. 

Day 3 – Disney World 10K

The 10K’s start time was at, so I was up again by 2am to get ready and make sure that I was off to the race site by 4:00am. It was a bit warmer than the previous day, though still in the mid-30s with windchill
The 10K started off running on roads outside the park for 3 miles before heading into Epcot, leaving it, going to the Disney Boardwalk, then heading back into Epcot before the finish. Surprisingly, legs felt really good from the start and I quickly found my steady tempo effort … and, completed leg 2 of the 2015 Dopey Challenge in 50:37 .. about 3 minutes faster than last year ..

After crossing the finish line, received my medal, went through the photo line at the Dopey Challenge Tent before heading to the Family Reunion Breakfast, like the day before … Pretty well the same menu and stuff happened, as the prior day, before heading back to the resort for a nap .. Ha !!!

Day 4 – Disney World Half Marathon

The half marathon was again a 5:30 AM start and temperature a bit warmer, into the low to mid 40’s at the start. This run started on the roads outside Epcot, towards the Magic Kingdom, I started in corral C (for the half and full marathon)

The run through the Magic Kingdom was fun and as we exited the park, we knew it was only about 5 more miles before we were done with the race. As we were leaving the Magic Kingdom, there was about a 1 mile stretch that was just bare and lonely, and mentally, fatigue (mentally) was starting to set in after early morning wake-up the past several days, I suspect … The pace slowed down, as one of the staff from the RWC passed along me, chatted for a bit, before he took off and left me in his dust (to my defense, he was injured and only planned on running the half marathon this year) .. Once he dropped me, than, with about 3 miles to go or so, I somehow caught a second breath and the legs started moving again .. perhaps, around the time that the skies were starting lighten up … With about 3K to go or so, just we were approaching back to Epcot, on the turnaround just before the on ramp .. my energy level was back and I was able to finish strong, entering Epcot and heading towards the Finish Line … and crossing in a time of 1:50:40 .. about 7 minutes faster than the previous year … and, still feeling good ..

Afterwards, received my medal, and headed back to the Race Retreat Tent for brunch, chatted with a number of other participants, had a massage, before heading back to my resort for a nap … 

Day 5 – Disney World Marathon

The morning of the marathon was like the others, early and cool, though it was a little warmer than in previous days at about 13C as we headed to the start line at 4:30am, as we headed to the start line 5:35am start time. The introductions, fireworks, anthem, etc. then we were off with the first wave starting at 5:35am …

As with the other days, I planned to run by feel .. However, I decided to implement a 1 mile / walk 15-30 seconds strategy at every mile marker .. This actually worked quite well, as I forgot my Garmin at the Resort, so just keyed on the Mile Markers and Water Stations for short walk breaks, as required this year … Interesting thing was, when noticed the FB updates for the marathon, my pace and split times were pretty consistent throughout within seconds … Things started getting a bit skewed over the final 10K, as I took more walk breaks, and photo ops …. Especially, the final 1K or so when we entered Epcot …

The race course started out like the half marathon, taking us from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom. There were still lights on Cinderella Castle, and I managed to get a selfie out in front of the castle before leaving the park.
As we left Fantasyland, we headed into Frontierland before exiting the park backstage. As we continue exiting the parks, to take our long stretch of road towards Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with a small detour to run around the Speedway Track. Then continued on to AK, about miles 7 to 12 is one of the longer stretches without as much entertainment. Compared to past years, it seemed that there were not as many character opportunities on the course this year, especially through the Animal Kingdom .. It could be just me and/or that I was not interested in stopping for every single op this year, as compared to previous years … Ha !!!
Leaving AK, we were now on the road towards ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, for a 3 mile loop around the complex, track and stadium …When we left the complex, it was mile 20 and there were reports of runners cheating by just skipping the complex entirely. The in and out shares the road, so some folks stopped to stretch in the median, then when they thought no one was looking, jumped back on in the other direction. The only problem is that there was a timing mat in the Wide World of Sports, so their times reflected this. I’m not sure if Disney would crack down on cheaters like this, as they didn’t affect the medalists, but something just hits me the wrong way about people cheating like this.

From there, it was not too much further to the end. There was another 3 miles before we hit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and this would normally be the part where my legs would really start to feel sore, but I didn’t notice it as much as usual. Since leaving Expedition Everest, the 90/30 run/walk strategy for me turned into running until I hit either a mile marker or the aid stations, in which case I would walk a little bit before continuing on, so my runs were a little longer than before. Still, I was feeling strong, probably running just about 10 minute mile pace when I was actually running. Once we hit Hollywood Studios, we went around the backlot.

Once we exited the parks, it was just a 5K to go. We were on Disney’s Boardwalk for a couple of miles before finally heading into Epcot. This final stretch along The Boardwalk is when and where I usually start to fade a bit, and this year was no different … Took short walk breaks, as required .. To me my marathon time for this Challenge has never been a priority ...

Finally, entering Epcot, The World Showcase is approximately 1.2 miles from one end to another. We entered the park right before mile 25, and getting all the way to the end meant less than half a mile to go before the finish line. Dopey was at the 25 Mile Mark last year, and I was so hoping for a photo op this year, but, was disappointed, to not see him there this year, when I passed this point …

In the end, I crossed the finish line of the Mickey Mouse Marathon and completed my 33rd Official Marathon in a time of 4:23:06 and a combined Dopey cumulative time of 7:23:20 …. Approximately 30 minutes improvement over last year ..  and, Finished 527th overall out of 6,397 Official Finishers of the 2015 WDW Dopey Challenge.

Overall, I am quite happy with my performance and results and looking forward to returning again in the future, should the Registration Gods allow … Perfectly Dopey does have a nice ring to it, if I can make it to 5-in-a-row, however .. Ha !!! But, only time and $$$ will tell, if this happens, at this point .. I do have other destination events on my radar, and, unfortunately, unable to them all … 

I was well prepared this year, and adjusted my time and energy during race week(end), accordingly, focusing on the race primarily in rest and recovery and relaxation at the Resort between the races … My whisper goal, one year, would be to go sub 7 hr combined for the Dopey Challenge, should all the stars align and I stay healthy and injury-free and most importantly, the weather Gods offer us another almost perfect conditions during race weekend … 

Now, time to take a day or two to r&r then get back to the roads, for marathon #34 and #35 in May, in Mississauga and Ottawa, respectively …
Race Results: http://itsmyrun.com/index.php?display=p ... unner=HCiD

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:59 am

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:03 pm

Look at all the Bling .. :) :P

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:04 pm

Me and my Buddy Bart Yasso at the Race Retreat .. Ha !!! :)

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:05 pm

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:05 pm

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:06 pm

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:09 pm

Pasta in the Park ..

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:11 pm

Post 5K Race

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby purdy65 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:21 pm

Great pics Andy!

Sounds like a fun time, and you really did very well! Congrats!
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:44 pm

thank you thank you thank you.

Love the pics.
Love the hats
Cool pic with shimmering castle.
Did you sanitize Minnie's nose before kissing it? hahaha
I like how you say "ha" alot. I might've picked up that habit.
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:44 pm

congrats - you're crazy!
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby eme » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:07 pm

Congrats Andy!

Cinderella's castle looks very neat light up - I'll have to keep an eye out for that next time we go.

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby Hammie » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:27 pm

You truly are Dopey! Congrats on some solid racing!
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby Avis » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:41 pm

Well done! Good to read that you felt so well for each and every race. I loved your report. Congratulations, and happy racing for the rest of 2015! :D
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby Tori » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:21 am

Congrats Andy on another Disney weekend! I am sure we will see you next year there! It felt weird not being there this year.

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby Habs4ever » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:31 am

Congratulations Andy!
Great finish time and pictures.

I want to know how much luggage you had with all those running outfits and returning with all that schwag!
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby La » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:33 pm

Congrats, Andy. Did they do photos instead of wrist bands? Was this due to fraud in previous years? How did it work on race day - did the lineup to have your photo taken move well, or were there backlogs (like they had with wrist bands last year)?
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:05 pm

La wrote:Congrats, Andy. Did they do photos instead of wrist bands? Was this due to fraud in previous years? How did it work on race day - did the lineup to have your photo taken move well, or were there backlogs (like they had with wrist bands last year)?


Yes, they did Lesley ... For those doing either the Goofy or Dopey Challenge, we had to get our photos taken with the bibs at the race kit pick up .. and, were told to head towards the Goofy/Dopey tent after finishing the race and getting our race medals, then get our photo taken before walking through the tent .. at first we were informed that we would be getting the wristbands, after each race, as well, but it never happened, but were continued being told, next day, next day, etc ... I guess they just wanted to add a fear of paranoia to everyone that we may/may not get a wristband, and it worked pretty well ... On marathon day, after receiving our marathon medal, we proceeded to the photo line, then entered the tent and, there the RunDisney staff verified on the computer that we were who we were, compared to our photos taken at the Expo ... I suspect that they also checked for our photos after every race, as well ... Though, apparently, not everyone bothered to take their photos after each race ..

In the end, I believe that they just wanted to train us to go through the photo line and tent after each race for marathon day ...

And, yes, last year, apparently, there were quite a number of frauds, of people after getting their Goofy/Dopey Medals, then slipping back and giving their wristbands/bibs to another marathon finisher, so that they too would claim the coveted Goofy/Dopey Medals ..
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby Robinandamelia » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:23 pm

Another great set of races Andy and love all the pics you took. Great placement overall as well. Crazy about the photos because of fraud...who would even think! Nice work, congrats on a great few days.

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby Ken B » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:47 pm

Just caught up on reading the race reports, Andy! The pics tell it all! congratulations!

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby lorei » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:56 pm

Congrats!!! I love the pics! How did you figure out your placement in the Dopey Challenge? The list was sorted alphabetically so I couldn't figure out where I stood (outside of the individual races).

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby HCcD » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:12 pm

lorei wrote:Congrats!!! I love the pics! How did you figure out your placement in the Dopey Challenge? The list was sorted alphabetically so I couldn't figure out where I stood (outside of the individual races).


There was a RW article posted on FB with a link to the results/placements, lorei .... will try to locate it and post it here when I have time, if you like .. :)
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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby lorei » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:36 pm

Did a bit of digging and found it! THANK YOU!

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Re: Andy Has Gone Dopey All Over Again

Postby barebuns1 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:30 pm

Great photos. congrats on completing your 2nd Dopey Challenge. Wow. :)
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