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.

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