Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

Goofy Race and a Half Challenge: Part I

Thursday, January 22, 2015

For the past 5 years, January has meant one thing to me, and no, it isn't New Year’s Resolutions.  January means Disney Marathon Weekend! 

Every January, for 22 years and counting, Disney puts on a huge event for runners and fans of the Big Mouse. Each year it has gotten bigger and more popular than the year before with most races selling out six months before the event.  Geared towards runners and their families, the celebration offers both fun runs and certified races over the course of four days, culminating in the Mickey Marathon. Ten years ago they added the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge and last year they added the Minnie 10K and the Dopey Challenge, which I was fortunate enough to run its inaugural challenge last year.  You can read about it HERE.

This year, I ran the Goofy Challenge with my best friend, Hope.  We have run this marathon every year for five years straight. Each year, the goal has been to PR but this year was different. Circumstances had altered our plans. 

Five months ago, Hope had a freak accident during a cross fit workout.  She had been rope climbing, misjudged how high up she was, and jumped down from five feet, landing on part of the rope causing a crush fracture of her right tibia.  This is a very painful fracture because it doesn’t heal like a normal hairline or clean break would.  As a result, she rehabbed her ankle, lifted weights to strengthen, and due to the pain of impact did little running. 

Not wanting to waste the race ticket, she chose to run and just see what she could do.


Disney really knows how to put on a race.  The Expo is always huge, but somehow seemed to have more booths this year. Personally Raw Threads was my favorite, containing great Disney themed gear. We ended up getting our Goofy tanks for the race from them.

New to packet pick up this year was the added “mug shot” taken directly after receiving our bibs.  This was done for both the Goofy and Dopey challenge participants to prevent “shared effort” for the challenge.

Apparently, Florida got the memo I was coming down, since the cold front came with me and stayed while I was there.  Good and bad for me.  Good for running, but bad for wanting to get some Vitamin D and sun therapy while I was there. 

The half and the full marathon both had a 5:30am start, meaning arriving to the race area one hour before.  Once you get through security, there is a huge area for the families and loved ones of runners to head too as the runners make their way to bag check and the approximately one mile shuffle to corrals.  There are 17 corrals separating over twenty thousand runners by pace. 

Of the two days, the morning of the half was the colder and since we were less worried about time, we weren't complaining much. You could definitely see the difference between the northern and southern runners in their tolerance to 40 degree weather. Despite arriving later than planned due to new traffic patterns, we made it in plenty of time to the start and headed on our way. 


Prior to this race, Hope hadn't run more than a 5K at one time, so it was a good gauge for how tomorrow would go.  We set out at a decent pace, a balance between racing and holding back.  Her leg was painful but manageable and figured out things like sharper turns and the banks in the road aggravated it more.  We put those thoughts in our memory banks as we would need them tomorrow. 

A little more than half way through, I was having some – well – “issues” and was mentally deciding the better of two options: the spot a pots on the course or wait till after the race.  Since the half was less about time and more about getting a feel for how tomorrow would play out, we took a pit stop between miles 9 and 10.  Time for Hope to stretch her foot and time for me to get rid of some “unwanted baggage.” We picked the pace back up. Minus my pit stop, we had navigated all the water stops successfully without stopping to walk.


We finished in 2:00:33 - faster than the year before but with less effort. 

Hope was in considerable pain. Our post-race goal was to get back, get breakfast and get her off her feet. 

Once rested, stretched, and foam rolled, we took it as easy as possible. We met out cheering crew, Danielle and Shannon, (who drove out to cheer us on in the morning) and had dinner.  After tons of talking, we parted ways for us all to get ready to do our part in the morning. Flat Cindy and Hope laid out, hydrated and fed, we did our best to rest, knowing 2:30 would get here quickly.

We had no idea how tomorrow would hold.

Love, Cindy
2 comments on "Goofy Race and a Half Challenge: Part I"
  1. Replies
    1. It really was! Since we were not focusing on time and just running, I was able to just let go and have a great time. It is an added plus that Disney really knows how to put on a show! :) Thanks for reading!

      Delete