runDisney Dopey Challenge Tips

As a Dopey finisher, I wanted to impart some wisdom from my personal experience last year that may help you get through the four races as best as possible. Here are my best runDisney dopey challenge tips:

Dopey challenge tips

1.) Sleep: I know it can be so tempting to close down the parks and stay up late watching fireworks, but trust me on this one. By the 3rd and 4th day the early wake up calls were REALLY getting to me. I was IN bed at 8:00 every night. I didn’t always fall asleep right away but I made it my goal to have the lights out by then. The week or two before Dopey I went to bed early every night and woke up earlier than normal to prepare myself for the races.

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2.) Hydrate: Last years races were HOT and HUMID. In an effort to not be dehydrated, I drank at least one Gatorade every day and guzzled water non stop. Remember, you CAN bring water into the parks, as long as it isn’t in a glass container.

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3.) Stretch/ice/foam roll: I left room in my suitcase for my foam roller and ziploc bags for ice. I foam rolled every day, and got ice from the hotel for sore spots. I also stretched in my hotel room. I knew if I wanted to stay as injury free as possible these things were a must.

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4.) Relax: This was the toughest one for me. I was really excited about being in Walt Disney World and wanted to go go go. Luckily we made the smart decision to hit EPCOT after the 5k for a couple of hours, then took a nap and hung out at the resort the rest of the evening. After the 10k the next day, we went to Hollywood Studios for about two hours then took another nap, and after the half marathon we didn’t go to any parks, just rested and relaxed. It was tough the first two days as I wanted to go go go, but I was so tired after the half, I was glad I took it easy in the afternoons.

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5.) Stay informed: Make sure you read the official race program you will get at the expo to check times for buses, race start, and information for spectators. Keep an eye on the runDisney Twitter account and Facebook page for emergency information should it occur about different procedures due to inclement weather, etc.

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6.) Stay organized: I put each costume in a giant ziploc bag, and had a separate carry on bag for all of them in case my luggage got lost. I also carried on my running shoes. Every night before the race I would lay out my entire outfit, plus breakfast, fuel, etc. so all I had to do was change the next morning and not rummage through my suitcase looking for things!

My husband and I chose to not take character photos during the 5k as lines were super long, but we still ran at an easy pace. We followed the same guidelines for the 10k, but did stop for pictures during the half and full marathons.

Make sure you check out my packing list vlog before you go, and don’t forget to have lots of fun and take plenty of pictures, it is an amazing experience! If you have any questions about my approach to Dopey, feel free to leave them in the comments. Finally, you can read my closing thoughts on Dopey in a post I wrote after coming back from the race weekend.

RELATED: Sign up for my FREE My Disney Experience and Magic Bands E-Course!

QOTD: What are you most looking forward to about marathon weekend? Do you have more dopey challenge tips?

runDisney Tower of Terror Medals Revealed

runDisney recently released the 2014 medals for the Tower of Terror race weekend that will take place at the beginning of October. I love the hitchhiking ghosts on the 5k medal, and am glad they are still sticking with the super cool 10 miler medal with moveable parts, it’s one of my favorites!

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Last year was my first year to run this race, and I ended up really, really loving it. We stayed at the Boardwalk Inn, so simply walked over to the race start, and then back to the resort after the party. The ten mile distance was perfect for a humid Florida evening…just when I started getting really tired, the race was over! I originally wasn’t a huge fan of the night time races but have truly grown to love them. There were a lot of fun characters on the course that you don’t normally see at a typical runDisney race, and of course after parties are a lot of fun!

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You can check out my race recap from last year’s event for some motivation, or just to know what to expect on race day. I am super bummed I won’t be there this year (my due date is just 3-4 days before the race!) But hopefully will be able to run it again in the future.

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For more info on this race or the other runDisney events, check out runDisney.com.

QOTD: Have you ever run a night race? Thoughts on this year’s medals?

Inaugural Disneyland 10k 2013

I love west coast runDisney races.

runDisney Disneyland 10k

Waking up at 4:45 is like waking up at 6:45 in my brain, and walking to the start from my on site hotel took five minutes. Genius. That may be why I don’t look so exhausted in my pre race photo.

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Bobby and I headed down to our corrals right as the 5k winner was coming through. They were not yet letting people into the corrals, so we hung out in a giant mob of people until nearly 6:00 for a 6:15 start. The National anthem was sung, and the race had started! Bobby was running for time so he was up ahead of me. My plan was to have as much fun as possible. After a quick wave at Carissa and a shout out from her, I headed off for my first runDisney 10k.

Within a couple of minutes, Meghann found me, and we found Brian from Pavement Runner! We have been talking about meeting for so long and how fun to see him on the race course. I also saw Karen, and Christine and Pam.

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I ended up running with Meghann for the first few miles, and we had a blast!

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We made it into Cars Land and the photo taking began.

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You can’t tell I’m having fun or anything…734896-1036-0036s

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(photo from Meghann)

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We didn’t stop for this photo, but Mike did a crazy wave for us.

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my attempt at a selfie with the castle in the background.

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Somewhere around this point I stopped to take a GU and lost Meghann in the crowd. I continued on my picture taking spree and did some waiting in line for photos.

It IS a small world after all. I ran into SO many awesome folks who read my blog, I stopped counting after 15. It was fun to see how runDisney connects up all in one place and one race! A big HI to everyone I ran into on the course!

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I told the guy to count so I could jump, he looked confused, but he did a good job! Hooray fall!

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I love animals Not horses particularly, but seriously, how often do you take a picture with a horse on a race course?

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Loved this sign.

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These ladies were fun, I don’t see them out often.

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I’m late! The white rabbit shooed me along after this photo.

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I had to get a photo in front of the Dumbo ride!

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I jumped in line for these guys and told them I had fun seeing them yesterday at the meet up. The Mad Hatter seemed shocked that I missed him already!

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I got this one for my buddy Kelly, the red queen is her favorite.

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Castle!

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WWWEEEE! I’m running through Disneyland!

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I got this one for my bestie Jen who had to miss the race. These guys are her favorite.

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I ran through Frontierland to another backstage area before heading out into Downtown Disney. I knew we had to be getting close as the finish we near the Disneyland Hotel. I loved the final stretch through DTD, so much crowd support!

You can tell by my red face the heat was starting to get to me. Ok, time to be done!

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I saw the mile 6 sign and gave it all I had. Bobby took video of me crossing the finish with a smile on my face. After another shout out from Carissa, I was done.

Hooray finish line!

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I grabbed my medal, water and snacks and found Bobby among all the runners. I finished in 1:11 and change, which is pretty good considered all the stopping and standing in line I did for characters and filming!

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Bobby did a great job and came really close to a PR.

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Please check out this fun little video I made while running on the 10k course. It was fun to video as I ran through the parks!

Final thoughts: I LOVED this race. I loved loved loved the course. It took you through so much of the parks…it felt like the majority of the race was IN the parks which was fantastic and so much fun. There were a lot of character opportunities, and ending running through Downtown Disney with the crowd support was phenomenal. runDisney did a great job, it’s so tough for inaugural events to know exactly how to plan things, and I think they hit the nail on the head in almost every aspect of the race. The only minor hiccups were not letting us into our corrals until nearly 6:00, and I do think another water stop on the course would be great (with some electrolytes). I missed having electrolytes on that super hot day, and found myself looking for water fountains a couple of times on the course. Oh, one other concern was not all character stops had marathon foto photographers, which I didn’t realize until after. I was bummed I didn’t get professional photos at all of my stops. Minor details of course, still an amazing race!

QOTD: What is your favorite race distance? Are you excited about the addition of a 10k to runDisney races?

Disclosure: I attended this race weekend as media. My registrations, hotel, park tickets and some meals were provided to me by runDisney. However, all opinions are my own.

SportHooks by HeavyMedalz Giveaway

Giveaway time! I am super excited about this one for many reasons. 1.) I was totally running out of room for my bling

2.) It’s a DISNEY inspired giveaway

3.) it’s just in time for the Disneyland half marathon and Dumbo Double Dare!

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Ok, I am getting ahead of myself. I was contacted by SportHooks by HeavyMedalz to host a review and giveaway of one of their Disney inspired medal hangers. There were one, five, and ten hook displays to choose from. I have a lot of runDisney medals, so I of course chose the 10 hook display. They even have a special Princess, Dopey, and goofy display! BUY ALL THE MEDAL HANGERS was running through my head as I browsed the website.

What I love about these babies is they are so easy to install and come with the parts you need to get it into place on your wall. Hubby had it up in just a couple of minutes, and soon after my lovely runDisney medals were being showcased on the wall.

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My precious.

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This medal hanger is sturdy, pretty, was shipped quickly and without any issues. The pricing is very fair, and I know it will last a long time. I love that they have come out with so many different options for the different runDisney races. I hope they start to customize them even more for more runDisney races! (how about a Dumbo one? or Tink?) Mine is already filled up so I am browsing for my next one. Thoughts on what I should get?

How would you like to WIN one of these sport hooks of your VERY OWN!?!? The gracious folks at Sport Hooks have decided to give one THLG reader a medal hanger of their choosing (Up to a $64 value) since very soon lots of you will have new runDisney bling to add to your collection between all the fall and winter races. Simply follow the rafflecopter directions below to be entered to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided with free product from Sport Hooks to review, however all opinions are my own.