Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 Walt Disney World 10k Race Recap - Dopey Challenge Race Two

The 10k start was at 5:30am, so I set my alarm clock earlier than the day before, but still woke up well before it went off. I checked Twitter to see if anyone was already up and posting (they were) and got up and showered. I still had a dull headache but it was much improved over the morning before. 

I arrived at Epcot about 3:15am and hung out in the car for about half an hour before making my way over to the Bag Check area where I would be meeting up at 4am with some fellow Team Studios Central members. On the way I saw the legion of volunteers breaking up and heading to their posts.

Thank you, volunteers!
Unlike the morning before, we were immediately directed toward the corral area, so I headed over there and passed by racks and racks of the inaugural 10K medals.

My precioussssss...

Our team meetup moved to the easy-to-spot Fit2Run van near the DJ Stage and we got a great group picture before heading to our respective corrals.

Before too long we were herded from our corrals to the starting area. For the 5k and 10k the start was in the same place, which was quite close to the corrals. In fact, you can almost see part of Corral E at the far left of this picture.

About 10 minutes after Corral A, it was Corral B’s turn to start. Race Chairwoman Minnie was on stage to give us the go ahead.

The 10K race course is very similar to the 5k course, with about three highway miles tacked onto the front, and a slight modification toward the end to include a run on the Boardwalk and past the Yacht and Beach Club.

DJ Overpass what's up?

My plan was to skip most of the character interactions early in the race to hopefully arrive at a shorter line for Dopey, assuming he was still stationed in France as he was for the 5k. It turned out this wasn’t a big issue because there wasn’t really much entertainment in the first three miles, appropriately dubbed “garbage miles” by a friend after the race.

Apparently Peter Pan & Wendy swapped out with  Hook & Smee

A huge TV with cartoons doesn't do much to improve the garbage miles.

Things got a little better after we entered Epcot. Unfortunately, Dopey wasn’t out for the 10K, but I still got a bunch of character pictures.

Mushu looks smaller in the movie.

Genie looks bigger in the movie.

The soft focus makes it artistic.

The sun came up in a hurry! Or was I running slowly?

I was running slowly...

Inaugural 10K bling!
I wanted to like the 10K but the beginning of the race was pretty boring. There was pretty much the absolute minimum of entertainment/characters as they could possibly put on the course to differentiate it from your local 10K. The way it was set up enabled all of the infrastructure from the 5K to be reused (corrals, starting line, finish line) which certainly saves money, but for the price that the 10,000 10K runners were paying, a course that included Hollywood Studios and Epcot seems like a better value. However, I don’t expect any major changes, especially since the race sold out so quickly.

Not really half-way through the Dopey Challenge, but this bib was done!
After the race I drove back to my hotel to shower and change, have some breakfast and a nap, then head over to the Beach Club for a meetup with Michelle Scribner-MacLean, Mike Scopa and listeners of the Mickey Miles Podcast.

I attended the Mickey Miles Podcast meetup before the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in November, and was blown away by how friendly and welcoming the group was. This meetup was no exception. There were WAY more people there (we pretty much took over the Beach Club Solarium) and I talked with so many but not even close to everyone! 

If Michelle Scribner-MacLean is in the photo, there will be Jazz Hands.

Rich Gairing introduced me to Helen Dunn and Joe Weeks, and we talked about how to approach the Dopey. Amanda North and I had spent a little time together in Epcot earlier in the day and she suggested using a conservative 30sec run/30sec walk approach to the Half Marathon as a way to conserve myself for the Full Marathon. Helen, Joe and Rich echoed this suggestion and with all of the peer pressure, I decided that I would give it a try the next day.

At the meetup, Michelle and Mike made the formal announcement of the creation of the Mickey Miles Podcast Running Team, dubbed the “Mickey Milers.” I signed up as soon as I got home, as have at least 40 other people already. I’m so excited to be on a team with such great people!

I wished I could have stayed at the meet up longer, but I had to leave for a dinner and tour at Give Kids the World Village, which I’ll write up in another post.