The Goofy Challenge – Doing the “Donald”

As mentioned before, the Goofy Challenge is a series of two races. The first race, that takes place on saturday, is the half-marathon and is credited to Donald Duck.

Since I continued to take lots of naps, I wasn’t tired at all the night before the half-marathon. So I used the time to watch many episodes of “The Amazing Race”. When I finally felt tired, it was already time to leave for the race. Since I wanted to avoid the big herds of people coming all to the same parking lot in front of the Epcot center, I left my hotel around 2:45am to arrive at the start area around 3:00am. There I had a small breakfast and was hoping that the race is over rather quick, since I felt really tired 😛

At 4:30 I started to walk towards the start line – almost all other participants had the same idea, so it took quite some time to walk the 800m or so to get to the start corals. It was a bit cold so early, so I decided to run in long clothes. At least I wasn’t freezing while standing there, waiting eagerly for the start.

After the handicapped athletes started at 5:30, it was time to get ready and with a small firework my first race of the season started. As always my bladder told me that I had to do a short bathroom stop as soon as I started to do a race. When I stopped after 700m, a few others followed me off the street. I guess they were just waiting for the first one to stop 😛

Except for the long walk to the starting area and the strict times to be there, the race organisation was perfect. I have never experienced anything like that before.Each mile was clearly marked and had a watch, so you knew all the time how you were doing. At the water stations they used paper cups, that were only half-filled, so you were able to grab the cups without spilling the fluids across your hands and also drink without any problem by pressing the cup together 🙂

Also there were many bands and DJs along the course to make some noise and cheer you up. And then there were also many Disney figures along the course, where you could stop to take pictures. It was always nice to wave to Eeyore (the donkey from Winnie-the-Pooh).

The fun part started when the race course finally went through the Magic Kingdom theme park. Running along Main Street, seeing the castle in the early morning hours is just great. After a short loop through Tomorrowland you ran through the castle before leaving the Magic Kingdom through a back exit and heading back towards the EPCOT center.

On the way back I realized that it was a mistake to run in long clothes, since it was getting warmer and I was sweating more than usual. So I knew, that I would be running in short clothes the next day. But the same time I was happy that I was able to change my start coral, since I was almost 7 miles ahead of the people who where placed in the last coral. That wouldn’t have been fun at all to wait in the cold for so long first and then sweating even more.

Before crossing the finish line, you made a short detour through the EPCOT center. Then you left the official park through a side exit and went straight onto the finish line. Mickey and his gang were standing at the finish line to greet me there 🙂

I was happy with my time, as it was several minutes faster than my half marathon time in Angkor Wat in Cambodia in december and due to the bad weather and missing luggage in Germany, I wasn’t able to do a lot of training in the month between the two runs.

After recveiving my Donald medal, I quickly left the area to get back to my hotel to get a good and well earned nap 🙂

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