I can’t believe Dopey weekend has come and gone! There is just so much to recap, so I’m planning on breaking it down race by race and then I’ll write a separate post with some pros and cons of the weekend and my overall feelings on if I would do the Dopey Challenge again.
So, as any race weekend does, it all began with the expo!
All Dopey Challenge participants had to visit the expo on Wednesday since the first of the four races, the 5k, was on Thursday morning. I landed in Orlando Wednesday afternoon dropped my stuff off at my “home” for the weekend (Saratoga Springs) and met a few friends at the Magic Kingdom – we had decided we were going to go with our same Wine & Dine expo strategy of arriving about an hour before it closed to avoid the crowds.
We picked up our race bib packets and shirts, spent a few minutes looking at the runDisney merchandise and were in and out of there pretty quickly. The only thing I bought was a Dopey car magnet. To be honest I found the runDisney merchandise pretty disappointing, there was really no Dopey merchandise left by that point, and the one shirt I did like ran SO small that I couldn’t even fit into a large!
On the bright side I wasn’t too disappointed about not buying a shirt, because for once the included race shirts weren’t horrendous! Dopey Challenge runners got 6 shirts (1 for each race, plus a Goofy shirt and a Dopey shirt) and runDisney FINALLY not only offered women’s cut shirts, but the tech material was good/ real tech material, not the brillo pad/ cardboard the shirts have been made of in the past!
This is the first time I’ll actually get some use out of my runDisney race shirts!
The morning of the 5k I got on one of the event transportation busses around 4am to meet Daniel and Patrick at the starting area outside of Epcot for the 6:15am start.
We had decided that we were going to run together and stay at an easy pace to conserve our legs for the rest of the races we had coming up over the weekend. We loaded into our corral (B), and at 6:15am we were off for the first leg of our Dopey Challenge!
I have to admit I was not particularly thrilled with the 5k. It was incredibly crowded from start to finish and over the entire 3.1 miles we only saw 4 characters!
One of the characters that was out in Epcot’s World Showcase in front of Germany was Dopey. Now I’m not sure who at runDisney thought that this was a good idea with there being 7,000 people running the inaugural Dopey Challenge, but the line for Dopey was unbelievable! We ran right by and finally stopped for this quick picture with Remy and Emile in France.
A quick Spaceship Earth photo on the way out of Epcot….
…and we were quickly at the finish line!
I have to say I was disappointed with the lack of characters and entertainment during the 5k, but since it was starting to drizzle out I left giving them the benefit of the doubt that maybe the rain was the reason there weren’t many characters out.
We grabbed our post-race snacks and made sure to hydrate and re-fuel to be ready for the 10k the next day!
There seems to be a theme here… I was disappointed with the lack of characters during the 2nd half of the half. I only counted 4 between MK and EPCOT.
Yup, I was disappointed with the lack of characters for the 5k, 10k & half…the full was the only one where it was ok, but I still think there were more last year.
Always love reading runDIsney race recaps! 🙂
I’m not sure if you’d feel comfortable writing a post on this, but recently Meghann from Meals and Miles wrote a post on the costs of doing an Ironman, and I found it really interesting: http://mealsandmiles.com/2013/12/19/how-much-does-an-ironman-really-cost/. I’m kind of a budgeting nerd, so I’d be so curious to read something similar on your take of doing the Dopey, and maybe sharing ways to save costs for people who want to do a runDisney race but are worried about the expense.
It would be awesome to see a breakdown! I’m planning on Princess half next year with friends, and would like to give them tools to help plan a budget for the trip!
I have a dopey spreadsheet with all the costs on it, actually, and one for W&D and Tower of Terror as well.
Haha, then you may be a better person to write that post because to be honest I didn’t keep track of ANYTHING! I sort of just go into these weekends knowing my wallet and credit card are going to be abused and try not to pay attention to it!
I love this idea, I’ll have to take a look and see if I have enough information to write a post like this because to be honest I don’t do a very good job at keeping track of my expenses for trips (partially because I’d rather not know what I spend!).
Nicole (below) said she keeps spread sheets so maybe she’ll be able to write a better post than I would!
Lisa, Nicole put together a post with some budget info, check this one out and let either of us know if you have any more specific questions! http://pinkelephantonparade.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/the-dopey-challenge-cost/
Cool, thanks! And one of these days we need to meet up! 🙂 Life’s been super busy, but would be great to catch up.
The 5k was… I mean… I noticed a really big difference in terms of the crowd from last year. Fewer families with young children and grandparents, which I think kind of defeats the name of the “family fun run,” you know?
I TOTALLY agree…I didn’t see nearly as many kids and families. I was actually thinking there should almost be 2 different 5k’s – 1 starting earlier for the Dopey runners and 1 a little later for the non-Dopey runners.
right? I was shocked to find 70% of the participants were dopey people, I definitely wasn’t expecting that at all and my sister was in E for the 10k and said she thought it had a definite affect on the race itself.
Reblogged this on Built for Comfort, Not Speed….
Awesome recap! I know exactly which Dopey shirt you’re talking about — in what universe is that actually supposed to fit any average-sized person?! I agree with your feelings on the 5K…and I may or may not have been one of the nutcases in that ridiculous line for a Dopey photo…haha. 😉
Haha, exactly! I thought for a minute I mistakenly tried on a kids shirt! I don’t think you’re nuts for waiting for Dopey, I think runDisney is nuts for putting him there! It should have been one of those characters in the finish area up by the stage so it didn’t interfere with the race, you know?
AGREED! I thought for sure he’d be out after the race(s)…they must have known the kind of reaction they’d get for putting him out during the 5K, right?!
Thanks for the recap! I can’t wait to read more!
I do love all the race shirts from this weekend and the material- I lol’d at the brillo pad comment bc I know exact what you’re talking about!
Disney 5ks usually only have a few stops, from what I’ve experienced. It sounded about right- and I’m so jealous about Remy and Flik! I was super disappointed for the 10k characters.
What was rD thinking putting Dopey on the course?! And then at mile 25 of the marathon? That was just cruel. He should’ve been in the finish line area for all of the races for yall.
Yeah, I felt the 5k & 10k were definitely lacking characters. Fortunately when I ran by Dopey at Mile 24/25 there wasn’t a line so I jumped right in and got a great picture!
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I agree, but I also noticed that each race they pulled out more stops than the one before. For example – turning on the big flames in Epcot, or turning on the castle lights for the full but not the half. Makes you feel bad for the people who didn’t do all of em though – they missed out! Yes, that Dopey line was redonk! I’m glad he had NO line at the full!
Oh I was thinking the same thing about the castle! I was disappointed the lights weren’t on for the half, but when I saw them on for the full I thought, “well that kind of sucks for the people just running the half!”
And yes, I was shocked there was no line for Dopey during the full when I ran by! Glad I got that picture : )
I guess we lucked out all around!!!
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I loved following along via Instagram and now I’m actually reading about your adventures. Too bad about the lack of characters. But I loved Al’s cameo with your snack box!
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