Preparing to Go Dopey…

So my first major hurdle of 2013 comes in approximately 2 weeks in Orlando, Florida. I’m scheduled to run what some runners refer to as “The Dopey” in Walt Disney World. What is “The Dopey”, you ask? Well I’m glad you inquired. The Dopey begins on the Friday of WDW Marathon Weekend, with a 5k family fun run. The following morning, the weekend continues with the WDW Half Marathon which takes runners through Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. Finally, on Sunday morning, runners take off on a 26.2 mile quest through all four theme parks during the WDW Marathon. By the time the weekend is complete, 42.4 miles of running will be in the books. I’m really looking forward to this one, as it presents a challenge that I’ve only attempted once before (I ran the Goofy Challenge – the Half and Full Marathons back to back – in 2009).

Knowing all of the mistakes I made during 2012’s marathons, I am going to really focus on my preparation for this weekend-long event. My meals, rest, and fluid intake will be planned out thoroughly. And then…I’ll figure out some new way to screw it up.

The Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is ripe with challenges, even though the races run through the Happiest Place on Earth. So for those of you that are planning to run a race in WDW in January, here are my suggestions for averting some pitfalls:

1) Plan out your sleep and fuel. In order to make the starting gun at 5:30am, runners need to begin heading to the starting areas at around 3am. In order to be ready for this race, you need to get a decent 7 hours of sleep and also give yourself time to eat a carbo-loaded breakfast. That means waking up at around 2am ato begin preparation for the event. This translates into hitting the sack at about 7pm. In Walt Disney World. NOT AN EASY TASK. So have a plan and stick to it to give you the best odds possible for success.

2) Let the Kenyans go! Know what your average pace is…and STICK TO IT. From the start. Run your race – not someone else’s. If you go out too fast, you’ll burn out early and you won’t be able to recover. There are tons of distractions all over the course in WDW – enjoy the sights…but stay focused on your pace.

3) Eat, Drink, and Be Merry. Fuel properly the night before the race. Eat well on marathon morning, and fuel consistently throughout the race. And don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start taking fluids. If you wait until you’re thirsty, it’s already too late.

4) Don’t try anything new on marathon day. Don’t buy your running shoes at the Expo the day before the race. Don’t eat some exotic meal for dinner the night before race day. Don’t wear brand new shorts or a brand new technical shirt for the race. Train in your race day gear so you can trust how it will feel during the 26.2 miles.

2013 is going to start of interesting…


If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for. It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. Thanks!

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at:!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409


Author: backofthepacker

A slow running, wine slurping, Disney-loving, bourbon swilling triathlete that is simply looking to go from ordinary to extraordinary...and hopefully motivate others along the way.

One thought on “Preparing to Go Dopey…”

  1. Just I thought you couldn’t go harder than Goofy, I learn about the Dopey. That’s true madness!

    I didn’t realize this was on your schedule for 2013. I will be doing the marathon on Sunday (originally wanted to do Goofy but then decided against it for several reasons — honestly not regretting it 🙂 ).

    Good luck — look forward to reading about your experience!

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