Guest Blogger Goes Goofy

This is on my list of "must-do-races" and I'm hoping to run it in 2013… but for now, let's all live… er, run, vicariously through our guest blogger, @liz_smc.

If you are unfamiliar with the Goofy Challenge, here is a Brief Description:
Are you looking for the ultimate test of endurance? Then compete in Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge where you will run the Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and then the Disney World Marathon on Sunday. If you finish both races in the time limit, you will be awarded the coveted Goofy medal.

Goofy and a half challenge plus another half Challenge

18 years ago as a very “know it all” teen I remember my mom and her friends running the Disney marathon. I also remember saying to them, hours after they had finished and were sore and beat up , "I am never going to run a marathon! Why would you put yourselves through this?” And here I am almost 20 years later running the Goofy Challenge and 6 days after that The AZ RnR half marathon.

I am not sure what possessed me to try a Goofy challenge. I have run quite a few half marathons but only two successful marathons up until the Goofy. I also managed to convince one friend to join me in this adventure. Two more friends ran the half marathon portion and another two ran the full marathon. Let me make it clear for those that don’t know me, I love Disney. So it seemed like a great idea to run a Goofy and go to all of the parks in the same weekend.

I must admit that getting up at 3 AM two days in a row was not fun. I also made certain I was on the very last shuttle to the starting line (4AM) both days. I learned from my 2010 experience not to get there too early especially if its cold. Although nothing like the sleet and wind of 2010, it was still cold this year. My strategy for the Goofy was to just do an easy run for the half in order to save my legs for the marathon. Since my friends and I all lived around the country, I decided I would start in their coral G versus my Coral C so I could hang with them and not take off too fast. This was a very bad decision on my part. I failed to realize how many non-runners actually participate in the half marathon. From the beginning it was elbow- to- elbow people and a lot of the time 5 people across walking! Needless to say I was very frustrated. The course itself for the half is very narrow. I don’t remember it being that narrow previously. So in order for me to actually jog (no chance of running at this point) I had to try and get to the outside of the pack which meant running on an incline in the dark with risk of twisting an ankle or falling. And it never opened up. I kept thinking, “ok, by mile 6 all these runners and walkers will spread out.” Nope. I still had fun. I still stopped for an occasional photo (not too many since I figured I could get some the next day). And after I finished in a record slow pace I quickly got back to my room and then hit the parks.

The Marathon portion was by far the better of the two races. It was not wall -to -wall people like the previous day. And it covered all 4 parks. I called it my back lot tour with no shuttle service. The only problem was that I got sick the previous night. At first I thought it was nerves. But when I spiked a fever I knew it was not going to be pretty. I didn’t tell my friends how sick I was. I went to the start shivering, nauseated and running a low- grade fever. By mile 9 my friend Diann looks over at me and says, “Are you ok Liz? You look awful.” At that point I fessed up. She replied “ no problem, we will just walk it in if we have to”. I responded, “How about we stop for every photo op and we run /walk?” So that was our plan. I have some great pictures. I had a lot of fun chatting with the other runners on the course and I finished. By mile 18 my fever had broke. I knew because I got my appetite back . I was starving. Thankfully a nice spectator was passing out pretzels right around mile 20. I managed to run the last 4 miles in with strong legs. And I can proudly say I finished a Goofy.

For those considering the half versus full , I would say run the full. Do not waste your money on the half marathon. It is just too crowded. But if you’re going to run the full you might as well go for a “Goofy.” It is well worth the sense of accomplishment you’ll have at the finish line. Oh, and the medals (all 3) are super cool. If you’re feeling overly ambitious then run the 5k on Friday and do an unofficial “Dopey.” Or be like me, and 6 days later, run another half marathon. I was not happy about being sick with the flu (yes that’s what I had) but it made my accomplishment that much sweeter. It also forced me to rest and that’s probably why I was able to run my fastest half marathon the following weekend. (that's right, she PR'd six days later at RnRAZ)

Next year is the 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney Marathon. I am hoping to make it back there to run. Only my goal is to help my mom participate in it. If you have read any of my previous guest blogs you will know she has dense hemiparesis (left sided paralysis) from a debilitating stroke. So if you see a “Goofy” girl running and pushing a wheelchair at the same time in 2013 chances are it’ll be me.

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Thanks Liz. Excellent job on a back-to-back fabulous weekends. Feel free to give Liz a shout out in the comments below… she ran a full marathon and 2 halfs in 2 weeks with the final race a PR.



Kirsten said...

I am planning on Goofy in 2013. I ran the full in 2011 and had a blast. Seeing all the Goofy medals made me want 3 pieces of bling for the price of two! I'm sort of a bling whore. So maybe I'll see you there!

Christian said...

Very nice recap!

BikramYoginiRunner said...

Nice recap. I am doing the Goofy in 2013. My 4th Disney race but my first in Disney World.

David Otunga said...

Highly vigorous blog, I liked that much.

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