Posts Tagged by dopey challenge

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend By The Numbers

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is in full swing and over 100,000 runners and their families have descended upon the resort.  As someone who loves some good statistics, I enjoy seeing some of these fun facts about the race weekend…

Fact Sheet - Marathon

Check out the girl power!  57% of the participants are female…go ladies!!  I think what amazes me most about this race weekend is that even with all these people participating in 4 races over 4 days, everything seems to run effortlessly.  That’s what makes runDisney races so magical and what keeps us all coming back year after year.

Best of luck to all the participants this weekend!!

RAD Signature 100x75

 

 

 

For more fun Disney facts, head over to my friend Tony’s site Disney by the Numb3rs where you’re sure to be amazed by some of the Disney stats you will find.

Sneak Peak at the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Merchandise

Yesterday runDisney released a first look at some of the merchandise you will find at the Health & Fitness Expo during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. (Side note: Shouldn’t they just be calling it WDW Marathon WEEK by now??)  There are the usual shirts and hats, but there are also some fun new additions this year.  Let’s check it all out!

runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend 2016

2016-WDW-Marathon-Merchandise-1

Right off the bat, I’m loving the use of the original Walt Disney World logo.  It gives everything a bit of a retro feel which this WDW enthusiast loves!  My favorite item at any runDisney race weekend is the glassware, pint glasses in particular.  I collect them from all the races I’ve done and use them as my daily water glasses.  It’s a fun daily reminder of those events!

WDW 5K, WDW 10K & Kids Races

2016-WDW-Marathon-Merchandise-2

As usual, the merch for the Kids Races is the coolest!  Steamboat Willie is super cute and I just love the “Future Runner” shirt.  I might have to pick one of those up in the future for a certain little someone 😉

WDW Half Marathon

2016-WDW-Marathon-Merchandise-3

Look…pants!  From the photo, they look like women’s capris, but it sounds like there will be both pants and shorts available for certain races.  Their a bit busy for my taste, but I like that they are adding new items.

WDW Marathon

2016-WDW-Marathon-Merchandise-4

Goofy’s Race & a Half Challenge

2016-WDW-Marathon-Merchandise-5

Dopey Challenge

2016-WDW-Marathon-Merchandise-6

Come to think of it, all these designs are a bit busy this year.  What are your thoughts?  I’m sure this is only a fraction of what you will find at the Expo.  I can’t wait to see what the 2016 Vinylmation looks like!

If you are headed to the WDW Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo, make sure to arrive early if you have your heart set on a particular item.  Also, stay tuned for information in the next few days on the new runDisney New Balance shoe design that will be released at the Expo.

What do you have your sights set on?

RAD Signature 100x75

Registration Opens at Noon for the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

It’s that time of year again…registration for the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is upon us.  Let the chaos begin!!

08 Runners at Start Line

This HUGE race weekend takes place January 6 – 10, 2016 with over 50,000 runners descending upon the Walt Disney World Resort.  This is clearly the ultimate runner’s family vacation.  There is something for everyone!  From the youngest in the family to the Dopiest of runners, you are sure to find an event that fits you and your family.  Registration opens today at noon and you can click here to register for any (or all) of the events.   

Since these race weekends have been selling out in record time (as little as 25 minutes for some!), runDisney has shared some helpful tips for making sure you get into the race you want.  Mainly, be ready at 12:00 pm EST sharp and have everyone in your party register for themselves.

2016 WDW Marathon Registration Tips

Prices for the races have increased anywhere from 3-8% this year, with the exception of the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge and the Kids Races which stayed the same from 2015.  The prices are as follows:

Dopey Challenge

  • $550 by May 19, 2015
  • $580 between May 20 and June 9, 2015
  • $610 on or after June 10, 2015

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge

  • $360 by May 19, 2015
  • $380 between May 20and June 9, 2015
  • $400 on or after June 10, 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon

  • $175 by May 19, 2015
  • $190 between May 20 and June 9, 2015
  • $205 on or after June 10, 2015

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

  • $175 by May 19, 2015
  • $190 between May 20 and June 9, 2015
  • $205 on or after June 10, 2015

Walt Disney World 10K

  • $110 by May 19, 2015
  • $125 between May 20 and June 9, 2015
  • $140 on or after June 10, 2015

Disney Family Fun Run 5K

  • $65 per participant by June 9, 2015
  • $75 on or after June 10, 2015

runDisney Kids’ Races

  • $15 per child by June 9, 2015
  • $20 on or after June 10, 2015

Mickey Mile

  • $30 per child by June 9, 2015
  • $35 on or after June 10, 2015

Disney Castaway Cay Challenge

  • $75  (A reservation on the January 11, 2016 Disney Dream 4-Night Bahamian Cruise is required in order to participate)

Race Retreat Packages

  • $120 Full Marathon
  • $120 Half Marathon
  • $230 Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
  • $230 Dopey Challenge

Pasta in the Park Parties

  • $54 per adult
  • $30 per child

Family Reunion Breakfast

  • $40 per adult (ages 10 and up)
  • $30 per child (ages 3 – 9)

Don’t forget that DVC members receive a discount on runDisney events!  Make sure to visit your member page to obtain the discount codes.

As usual for most runDisney events, packet pick-up will be required at the Health & Fitness Expo held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex beginning Wednesday, January 6th.  There are so many other great events over the weekend, like the Pasta in the Park Party, Cool Down Party and more!  Visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend.

Looking for a hotel room for the Marathon Weekend?  Kingdom Magic Vacations can lock in 2015 rates for you now and by booking with them you will get tons of extra perks!  Click here to get a FREE quote.

Check out some posts from the past few WDW Marathon Weekends to get you excited for the big weekend!

2015

2014

2013

So what race will you be running over Marathon Weekend?  

RAD Signature 100x75

Traveling From Australia for a Dopey 50th Birthday

When Andrew first contacted me and told me about the adventure he had planned for his 50th birthday, I was beyond excited to share his experience here on RAD.  Andrew and his family traveled halfway around the world as he took on the Dopey Challenge.  He might have recruited them to run a bit with him as well.

***

How best might a runner celebrate a ‘big’ birthday and have the family join in as well?  The Dopey Challenge provided the answer!

Exactly one year ago (and the date of the 2014 WDW marathon) I set the challenge for me and my family: I’m going to run this event next year for my 50th birthday and you’re invited to come with me, but there’s a catch – you have to join me in at least one leg of the Challenge each!

And with that, baited by the idea of an overseas trip (and not really understanding the 3:30 am wake-up times!) the Dopey Challenge for 2015 became a year-long family adventure. From planning the rest of the trip, raising the funds, making the bookings – and training – it was a step up for each family member. But the running was where the big steps were required;

  • for the 14 year old who had never run longer than 10k to run a half,
  • the daughter who isn’t into running to run a 10k,
  • the 16 year old to get out of bed at 3:30am!,
  • the wife to go from 0 kilometers as a runner to a full marathon in exactly 12 months.

Now the other challenge was traveling half way round the world. From Australia to Orlando. From summer to winter. From time zone to who knows what time zone it is! We joked that jet lag might actually help!!

After a white Christmas we hit Orlando and thought it was just as cold! We stayed in a family room at the All Star Resort and it was just the right size and space. We bought 6 day tickets and had marathon Sunday ‘off’. The four events made an incredibly memorable birthday experience that lasted for four days!

The Family 5K was first – and it should have featured Elsa on the medal and not Pluto… it was a truly Frozen event!

These guys had great costumes …. And at least some warmth!

These guys had great costumes …. And at least some warmth!

Despite the cold we had great fun. We started in Corral A which helped get the race over with faster and we dressed up as Peter Pan and Captain Hook. We met a fellow runner whose surname was ‘Hook’ and he even asked to have a photo with us! We got lots of comments about how strange it was for Peter and Hook to be doing something together to which we assured them this was a once-off!

2015-Dopey-Challenge-Aussies-3

2015-Dopey-Challenge-Aussies-2

How hard is it to order a drink around here!!

The 10K was a heat wave by comparison!

After a day at Hollywood Studios – and the last sighting of Mickey’s hat – we got up for the 10K.  Tinker Bell joined me this time and boy was she glad she didn’t have that costume on the day earlier!

2015-Dopey-Challenge-Aussies-4

A highlight was the cheerers chanting “Pan and Tink! Pan and Tink!” That really lifted us over the finish line! Another highlight was my 16 year old son racing – and winning – his age group and coming 11th overall 🙂

Magic Kingdom here we come …..

The Half Marathon was a long day!   Not only because of the 3:30am start but because we started in Corral P, the last corral (because one of us didn’t have a qualifying time).

Again it was very cold but there was a lovely warm camaraderie in the very last group. Running with my two super guys was terrific fun as Captain America, Mr. Incredible and Hercules. Once the cold thawed out we got into the run but the lines for character photos were SO long by this stage we pushed on, most of the time on the grass to go around the walkers. No one complained though, they all just enjoyed the experience. For some pretty fast teenagers, this shows how the crowd experience at runDisney events is bigger than individuals.

Sharing my sons first official half marathons was a great feeling for a Dad!

Sharing my sons first official half marathons was a great feeling for a Dad!

Epcot here we come!

Epcot here we come!

Marathon day was amazing.

For this one I was worried about the crowds but the Disney organization really shined. We had so many character photo opportunities, often just running straight into the front of the line. Everything was well spaced and, compared to Corral P, the experience was much more pleasant.

I really enjoyed some of the different experiences – like the Speedway and Wide World of Sports (the track and the baseball ground).

2015-Dopey-Challenge-Aussies-8

A light sprinkling of rain at Hollywood Studios was refreshing rather than wet (especially compared to the next day’s thunderstorm). My wife and I ran as Jasmine and Aladdin and two of our favorite photos were with the ‘Aladdin’ characters because of the over-the-top welcome we received!

2015-Dopey-Challenge-Aussies-7

2015-Dopey-Challenge-Aussies-9

2015-Dopey-Challenge-Aussies-12

Taking along you own personal cheer squad really helps!

And then before you know it, Donald and Pluto greet you at the finish line and you’re wearing 6 medals around your neck and you’re officially “Dopey”. That last kilometer is really a bit of a blur!

2015-Dopey-Challenge-Aussies-10

So how do you capture the four days (and year’s journey) in words? I got the kids to wear costumes! I captured it all with (maybe) a million photos! I got to run and experience their running ‘firsts’ as well. We wore medals and enjoyed the Parks together. I still can’t think of another experience where we could do all these things as a family together.  A great birthday overall with a ripper celebration dinner on marathon night at Downtown Disney.

I’ve been disappointed with some posts I’ve been following where runDisney is criticized for many things. Apparently some people think it’s possible to create a perfect Disney experience with 30,000 runners. The logistics were great, any question was answered happily, lots of goodies, great bling. In fact the next running event is going to be hard to match up to this one.

My key bits of advice:

  • Get a time registered or beware of ending up in Corral P. OK if you’re a walker or slow, but if you’re anything of a runner it makes a long hard slog of an event.
  • Make a dinner reservation for the night to make it pleasurable and not like some who wandered around fruitlessly.
  • Get the photo pack – and take in as many opportunities as you can.

The 51st birthday celebrations are going to seem a little low key compared to this!!

 

 

Dining During Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Nutrition can be one of the most difficult things to manage when you are traveling away from home for a race, or if you are Dopey, races.  This is especially true when you are surrounded by all of the goodies at Walt Disney World.  Joe (you might remember him from his Coast to Coast coverage last year!) is just back from WDW Marathon Weekend and is here to share his tips for dining during a runDisney race weekend!

***

When traveling away for a race weekend, runners of all abilities will tell you that any race you run should be no different than your training runs at home.  That goes for shoes, clothing, fuel, and of course food.  So when the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend came upon us, as a runner who was participating in the Dopey Challenge, nutrition and eating while down at Walt Disney World is just as important as making sure that you have the right shoes with you.

2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Dining-2

I arrived down in the World on Tuesday before marathon weekend began.  With all of the running that was ahead of me, especially coming from a cold weather climate, hydration was going to be key.  I was staying at Port Orleans French Quarter so having access to a kitchen to make my own meals was not available. However, having a fridge in the room was a big positive. I made sure during the week that I stayed hydrated all the time. In order to accomplish this, I would drink plenty of water and save and reuse the bottles I purchased from the Port Orleans food court.  (WDW allows you free water fills at their food courts and also water fountains throughout the park.)  **This is a GREAT money saving tip!!**

As for eating properly, when running 4 events over 4 days, you have to watch what you are putting in your body days before your events are to commence.  So, I stayed away from salads and other fried foods/burgers that tend to be found all over Walt Disney World and went with healthier options.  Our food court at POFQ had many healthy options for breakfast to include egg whites, fresh fruit and bananas, bagels, etc. I would usually eat these after the races were completed .

2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Dining-1

After waking up early, competing, and eating breakfast afterwards, I was not a big fan of lunch as I did not want to feel like I had to eat just for the sake of eating.  But if I did get hungry while walking around the parks in the afternoon, I could grab a lite snack. Like their options in the food courts, Disney has gotten much better over the years with offering much healthier options throughout the theme parks. I would refill my water bottle in one of the water fountains, and grab a banana or piece of fruit while touring the parks.

As for dinner, as someone who does not like to eat before a race in the morning, dinner was going to be the most important meals for me while down for Marathon Weekend.  If I was staying in a DVC or off property, it would be easy to just head to Publix and buy some pasta from the grocery store for my dinner.  However, since this was not an option, ADR reservations would be extremely important as thousands of runners would have similar ideas as me for places to eat before the races. (Italian Restaurants are obviously the most popular). The restaurants that we chose to eat at were Via Napoli in Epcot, Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the food court at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.  The reason why I chose these restaurants is because they all offered the one meal that I like to eat before a race, pasta.

I checked with numerous websites before I made my ADR reservations to make sure that they had the types of food that I would want to eat.  At Via Napoli, even though the majority of the food on the menu is Pizza, they do offer a spaghetti and veal meatballs option.  The spaghetti was typical spaghetti but the veal meatballs were a nice change of pace and offered some lean protein, which is always beneficial to runners.

At Trattoria al Forno, the menu was a little more fancy. After glancing at the menu, it took some going back and forth with the waiter but I was able to order some linguini with short rib.  Now at first, I wasn’t too sure about this since I thought that beef short rib was going to be too heavy.  However, the portion size was perfect and the flavor of the meat was amazing!  I would highly recommend this dish on a regular/non-running night and am definitely going to add this restaurant into our restaurant rotation for Disney World.  Also, there was plenty of bread to fulfill any lacking of carbohydrate fueling one might have had.

The Wave

At the Wave, the menu was somewhat limited. However, I decided to mix it up a little and have the free roaming chicken breast with plenty of bread on the side. The chicken was cooked perfectly, the portion size was proper, and it did not make me feel like I was loaded down with heavy food or feeling bloated.  I consume a lot of chicken breast while at home, so having chicken breast at the Wave with some bread fulfilled my carbohydrate and protein needs before the 10K race.

Finally, the last race night, we took it easy and had something at the Port Orleans Food court.   One of the stations at the food court was an Italian type station that had macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, meatballs, and pizza. Of course (as you can see a pattern here), I had the spaghetti and meatballs.  It was a nice quick meal that didn’t require an ADR and that we could eat at our convenience and head to bed early in preparations for the marathon day.

2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Dining-3

I learned that it was important to make ADR reservations as soon as our 6 month window opened because most runners would flock to the Italian type restaurants of Walt Disney World.  My greatest fear would be to be searching for something to eat the night before the marathon and not be able to get served at a restaurant that served pasta or some type of Italian food.  I did witness this at Trattoria al Forno as we were leaving the restaurant, I witnessed a runner arguing with the hostess at the front of the restaurant about trying to obtain a to-go order of pasta.  This runner stated that he was a runner and just wanted a plate of pasta to go.  The hostess stated that they could not accommodate him because he didn’t have a reservation.  So, note to all runners out there, it appears that Disney won’t let you order to go meals at a restaurant if you do not have an ADR.

I know its hard to travel to a place that we all love and not consume Mickey Mouse ice cream bars, Dole Whips, citrus swirls, popcorn, and churros to name a few things.  But you have to remember, we all paid a lot of money for these races, took time off of work and our real lives to travel down here for them, and also trained for months and months to have the best possible experience.  It would be a shame to throw all of that hard work away by not fueling your body properly.  All it takes is some planning ahead, take note of what you would normally eat while at home, and apply it while you are on vacation.

2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Dining-4

Finally, of course when you are done with your events, there is nothing wrong with having a nice big glass of beer and a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar! Because after all, you earned it!

*****

Joe Quattrocchi is from Riverdale, NJ and is a proud member of the Essex Running Club.  He has been visiting Walt Disney World for much of his life and has taken over 30 trips to the resort.  Having recently caught the runDisney bug, Joe is the running correspondent for the ResortLoop.com Podcast and has recently joined the Mickey Milers.  You can follow along with his racing adventures on Twitter and Instagram!

Next Page »