On Sunday, January 13th I completed the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. For those that are not familiar with this challenge, it has been held for 20 years in Disney World (Orlando, FL). It consists of running a half marathon on Saturday and then a full marathon on Sunday. You can of course choose to just run one or the other, but if you are really Goofy, you sign up for both and receive a third medal.
Two friends (Brenda and Teri) and I trained for this challenge for 32 weeks together. We trained when it was warm enough to wear shorts and cold enough that two layers of pants almost weren’t enough. Our longest weekend run consisted of a 9 miler on Saturday and a 22 miler on Sunday.
Race weekend took forever to get here, but finally it did and off to sunny Florida we went. We met up with two runner friends (Aimee and Debbie) at the airport and another one (Lauren) in Florida.
I won’t bore you with all the details. but overall it was a lot of fun. Here is my review in bullet points:
- I haven’t flown in 26 years and all the security measures were quite intimidating. I still don’t like to fly, but I am no longer afraid to.
- The resort we stayed in was nice; we enjoyed the time at the pool after both races.
- The long-sleeve technical shirts we received are unisex and not very flattering for women.
- The Expo was disappointing. We might have gotten there a bit late, but there was hardly any Goofy memorabilia left, not even 39.3 car magnets. You’d think they have done this a time or two (or 20) and should not run out. Nothing available online either.
- The half hour wait to get into the building to get our shirts was ridiculous. This is after we received our race bibs in another building.
- Getting up at 3am two days in a row is hard. (The races start at 5:30)
- Plenty of free transportation!
- The 1.31 mile walk to the starting line each day after a 30 minute bus ride was a bit much.
- The water stations were one of the best I have ever seen.
- Running a half marathon with friends and not for time was a lot of fun.
- The volunteers aka “Cheer Squad” were awesome!
- Coming down Main Street and seeing the Castle was a breath-taking experience.
- The courses were good. I didn’t care for the freeway part the last few miles in the half marathon, or the freeway parts on the full marathon.
- The half marathon took us through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The full took us through those two, including a trip around Richard Petty’s Speedway track, plus the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood. That was a lot of fun.
- Seeing the Disney characters along the way, and having the opportunity to take pictures of them was neat.
- My stomach started getting upset again at mile 18, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as Columbus ’11.
- Training in cold weather doesn’t help you when it is 80 degrees out.
- At mile 21 I had to walk.
- At mile 22 I was able to run again.
- I always knew I would finish.
- Setting a long-term goal and seeing it through is an incredible feeling!
- Would I do it again? No, it beats you up pretty bad, BUT I would recommend it to a seasoned runner.
- Am I glad I did it? Yes, it was a great experience, the training and the races.
Thank yous: Thank you Teri and Brenda for training with me. Even though sometimes I didn’t sound like it, I really enjoyed spending time with you two! Aimee, Debbie, and Lauren…can’t wait to go to another event with you ladies. You gals make it fun! Last but not least, thank you to my hubby who let me train for hours on end and then let me go to Disney World without him. You are the best!