2015 Walt Disney World Marathon – Sucked in and back for more…
In 2008, I decided to cross “running a marathon” off my bucket list. I had decided to run a marathon years earlier sitting on a park bench in New York’s Central Park eating an ice cream cone watching the New York City Marathon runners cross the finish line.
I decided that my “one and done” marathon would be the 2009 Walt Disney World Marathon. It was chosen because I would get to RUN through the 4 theme parks of Walt Disney World. I trained hard the summer of 2008. I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping at that time. I followed Hal Higdon’s novice training plan. It called for races as part of my training. I completed my first 5k, 10K and half marathon that year. Each race was a new milestone. Every long run I ran further than I had ever run before.
In January of 2009, I completed my first Walt Disney World Marathon in 6:03:33. I had to walk the last 6 miles cramped up and in pain. I swear I had never before felt such agony. I couldn’t walk right for a week.
A few months later, I decided that the marathon wasn’t so bad. 2010 was the 5th anniversary of the Goofy Challenge and I wanted to run the event. It was during the training I found the Galloway run/walk/run method. I survived the Goofy Challenge running the half in 2:22:15 and the full in 5:38:39, but vowed NEVER AGAIN.
In the summer of 2010, I met Alison at my Hartford Marathon running group. She wanted to run the 2011 Goofy Challenge and I stupidly committed to run it again with her! But this time I also added the 5K – stroller division! I ran the 5K like a wild woman, running out of control, pushing my son through Epcot’s World Showcase. I’m pretty sure I’m partly to blame they outlawed strollers. I ran the half in 2:18:17 and the full in 4:59:51.
In 2012, my BFF decided she wanted to go to Walt Disney World with my family and I agreed. My terms though. We would have to visit during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! The families ran the 5K. She ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon with me and we finished in 2:20:44. I ran the full in 4:59:22.
In 2013, my other BRF decided she wanted to run the Goofy Challenge too! We ran the 5K. I ran the half in 2:18:59 and the full in 6:27:29. I stopped for character photos and a ride on Expedition Everest once I realized I wasn’t going to PR.
In 2014, I was going to take a break from Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and come back in 2015 for the 10th anniversary of the Goofy Challenge. I had been running the Walt Disney World Marathon since 2009 and thought that 5 years in a row was enough. I’d been there, done that and it was time to focus on other races….but then runDisney introduced the Dopey Challenge and I couldn’t resist.
In 2014, I bought my family and my BFF’s family to Walt Disney World Weekend! We ran the 5K as a family in 1:09:38. I ran the 10K with my daughter in 1:56:01. I ran the half in 3:44:26 and the full in 7:24:32. During this weekend I made two more lifelong Best runDisney Friends.
So yes, in 2015 I’m registered for Dopey and back for more Walt Disney World Marathon fun. My pal, Perfectly Goofy Gail will be celebrating her 10th Goofy Challenge and I wouldn’t miss that party for the world!
What makes you keep going back to Walt Disney World Weekend? Is it the new bling? The Perfect status? Or the friendships you’ve made along the way?