2015 Walt Disney World Marathon – Sucked in and back for more…

Old Wethersfield 5K

Old Wethersfield 5K, August 2008

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.

One, done & all-done at the 2009 WDW Marathon

One, done & all-done at the 2009 WDW Marathon

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.

With Alison before the 2011 WDW Marathon

With Alison before the 2011 WDW Marathon

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.

With JoLynne 2012 WDW Half Marathon

With JoLynne 2012 WDW Half Marathon

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.

With Janice before the 2013 WDW Marathon

With Janice before the 2013 WDW Marathon

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?

7 Comments on “2015 Walt Disney World Marathon – Sucked in and back for more…

  1. I do it for the friendships!! I look forward to hooking up with, reuniting and making new friends! And the bling is fun too! I also love going shopping at the expo and meeting the runDisney celebrities and getting some autographs! 😉

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  2. Love your story! I so wish that I lived closer to Walt Disney World. It would make trips for runDisney events so much easier. I had a blast at the Walt Disney World Marathon this year! I will be back sometime in the future. Not sure when. But, when I do, I’ll do so to take on that Goofy Challenge. I do the runDisney races to run through theme parks and because it’s the only time I can get pictures backstage at Disney. That’s a big no-no for cast members Can’t wait for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

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  3. This year I’m going with friends who are doing their first Dopey Challenge, so I feel like I have to do it again… you know… for them. Plus, honestly, I really enjoy it. It was my first marathon, it was the race that started me running, and despite the before dawn wake up calls I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH.

    See you January!

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  4. You absolutely need to come back and run Goofy! I see it in your future! I too cannot wait for Disneyland Half! I love that race and the weekend! It’s a “must do” for me!

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  5. Thanks for sharing! I thought I was only going to do Goofy and got sucked into Dopey! I love reading your time improvements, feel like there really is hope for me to get faster…..nahhhhh not at Disney. LOL! 😉

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