Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 WDW Marathon Week - 5K

On Thursday of Marathon Week we participated in runDisney's first race event of the week: The Family 5K. This was our fifth time doing this specific race and we noticed a few changes. First, it was earlier than prior years. Second, it was bigger..... there were about 10,000 people organized into 5 large corrals. Next, no strollers were allowed this year - for the Family 5K. Since runDisney made this race part of the Dopey Challenge (4 race series during the weekend that yields extra bling) 7,000 of the approximate 10,000 spots were filled by folks whom were instructed to keep to the 16 minute mile pace. So the Family 5K had to become less family-friendly.
We met up with our Team AllEars friends before the event and unveiled our Team Tizzel shirts commemorating the weekend. We dressed Tizzel up as Dopey to represent that Holly was doing The Dopey Challenge. We a,so threw in Tizzel as Grumpy since Dave was doing the unofficial Grumpy Challenge, consisting of the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon. At other times runDisney awarded an extra medal for 10K/Half Marathon combos. This time they didn't so we are therefore Grumpy.
We did the race with a dozen or so of our friends. The goal was to keep it simple since most of us had other races to do the rest of the weekend. But of course there was the concern over the time requirements for Dopey Challengers, which meant we should try to finish in the 16 minute per mile requirement (something we have yet to accomplish). So we were relaxed, but not too relaxed.
As far as the actual course goes: Mile 1 is through a parking lot. This is boring. What used to make this portion tolerable was seeing some of the junk they threw on the side of access roads like old parking trams and Jungle Cruise boats. Well, Disney cleaned up those areas so there's nothing interesting here anymore. You hit Mile Marker 1 right before getting to a guard house securing some backstage areas of Epcot. It's a few more tenths of a mile before you come out onto World Showcase at Mexico. This is where the fun starts. Music is blaring, the lagoon torches are lit, and there are character stops. All of the characters were repeats from prior year events. Dopey was in Germany with a huge line filled with Dopey Challenge participants. After you pass Mile Marker 2 at the Friendship Boat dock you go backstage of the UK pavilion before coming out by the red phone booths and continue on by Canada and down to Future World. For the last few tenths of a mile of the race you go through another backstage area and then finally finish in the parking lot.

We didn't take too many pictures. The Dopey Challenge requirements were in the back of our minds so there was no time to wait a few minutes for pictures with characters. It was darker due to the early start so Epcot was not as pretty as it usually was during this event. Additionally, we were just having fun chatting with our friends so we were a bit distracted to think of photos. We did get a few in along the way.

Yes those are Disney Pook-a-Looz dolls. Click here to get the backstory.

Overall we had a great time at this event. We would have rather it had been left out of the Dopey Challenge to keep it a true family event like it used to be.

Not sure how he managed it, but Eddie actually did make a video of our time during this race. At the end you can hear race announer, our friend Rudy Novotny, call us out by name and give a shout out to Team Tizzel!

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