Dopey Challenge 2020
January 31, 2020

The Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World was amazing.

We got to Disney World on Tuesday in time to hit the Expo early on Wednesday morning. There was a bit of a line to get in but we got in there pretty quickly and ran into a lot of familiar faces there.
I wasn’t that impressed with the merchandise and the stuff I did like was way too expensive, like the Dopey zip up hoody for $95. I got my medal replica pins and the Dopey and Mickey statue, but kept it fairly descent with the shopping this time. The Expo hall was great. I would love to see something like this in Paris. We spent some time checking out the vendors and picking up some important things like sport jelly beans.

Spending the rest of the day in Epcot with Gert was a lot of fun and of course to bed early so I could get the early bus to the start of the 5K.

The 5k was a lot of fun. In our classic Disney character costumes we got a lot of reactions from everybody. Running Pluto’s race dressed as Pluto was probably the first time my costume matched the race theme. It gave me some great shots with Pluto so that was fun.
The race started of a bit strange when there was a bit of a false start of the disabled runners that were supposed to start behind us, but for some reason started running just before our count down started. Other than that it was smooth sailing and we had a great. The glasses took some getting used to but I got the the finish a lot quicker than I initially planned.

The 10K was great, I love the distance and the course. Plus running in the witch costume really made it a lot of fun. It was uncomfortably hot, but the reactions from everybody made it all worth it. After the race we did some fun group photos and a lot of people wanted to take photos with us so that was fun too.
I had a couple fast passes for Magic Kingdom, so we spent some time there and then went to the Meet up at the boardwalk. There were a lot of people there and it was great to finally meet a lot of people in person. It was so much fun. All throughout the weekend people who recognised me from my videos would come up to me and talk to me, I really enjoyed that. The one person that really blew my mind was at the Expo, I was walking along and somebody called out my name, I look over and I see somebody wearing a ‘RunArnoRun shirt, that just blew my mind. That was really cool and really made my day. I just want to thank everybody for coming up to me, for saying hi, for letting me know you appreciate the videos or cheering me on when you saw me running, it really meant a lot to me and I really enjoyed it. So thank you.
The meet up went by really quick, it was a short 2 hours, there were a bunch of people there that I was looking forward to seeing and talk to, but just didn’t get around it, time just flew by.

The half marathon on Saturday was again a great race, our costume group had a Ducktales theme, so in the corral we had some fun with the DJ who seemed to enjoy our costumes, he even played the Ducktales theme song for us. That was what the little dance in the video was about, I just can’t use the music in my video.
There seemed to be a lot of characters on the course, which of course I loved. Also plenty of water stations, so even though it was a hot day the race went pretty smooth.
The rest of the day we spent at Animal Kingdom, it was kind of a short visit, late at the park and back to the resort early to get to bed early. But we did have fast passes for Flight of passage, so that was cool, I love that ride.

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The big one, the marathon was on Sunday. The day where they predicted 86 degree weather without clouds. And I’m not even talking about the humidity yet. In 2018 for the marathon it was 33 degrees while we were waiting in the corral for hours, so I was happy that this time we weren’t cold and we could walk around in our costumes without having to cover them up. But during the race it was very hot. The plan was from the start to take a slower tempo than normal and to run with Wayne and Michael so that we could make sure we would keep our tempo lower. From the start Michael was struggling with the heat. As you could see in my video, he had a rough time and the further we got into the race the worse it got. We still had a lot of fun though. We got some really great photos of us running and posing with the characters, so that was amazing. I really enjoyed it. And even though we didn’t run as fast as normal we never really had long lines at the characters. Some still didn’t have anybody there or sometimes maybe just a couple of people, so we stopped at every single character.
I’ve never run a race together with somebody else before, but I really enjoyed this, specially with the matching costumes we got a lot of great reactions, so I might do this more often in the future.

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Overall the races were really great, very well organised, plenty of water stations, very nice volunteers and cast members to help and cheer everybody on. If you think about it they are standing there handing out cups of water to people who rush by and just grab them out of their hands while they run on. Yet they seemed to be having just as must fun as we were in most cases, which is great to see and makes the atmosphere of the race a really fun one. So next time you run a race don’t forget to thank your volunteers.

We celebrated finishing our races by taking some photo’s in Magic Kingdom and having dinner with some friends at the Crystal Palace. Now this is what makes these races so great. I met Cody because he booked my first Disney race for me, he is a travel agent. I met Michael and Wayne because we were all in Corral A and we were some of the few people there in costume. Chris has been at most of the Disney races I’ve been at. Now with the costume group I got to meet Ray and Kacey, Taylor and Jennifer. I met Nicole through Michael. I’ve met Gert in Paris. I saw Gerald’s videos online and then met him in Orlando and in Paris he introduced me to Meredith. I met Consueel at Paris sitting at a restaurant next to her. I met Jeff who came up to me in Paris and now in Orlando we talked a couple of times. At the meet up this year I met a whole bunch of people. And all of this is because of Disney races, our love for running, for Disney runs, It’s an amazing thing to me and I love that I’ve met so many really great people in the last couple of years because of these Disney runs. I only wish I could run more of them.

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After Dopey we went down to Miami for a couple of days I’ll share a run with you that I did down there in another video. We spent most of our time there driving around, shopping and eating. But we also visited the Wildlife heritage foundation. Now I haven’t posted anything online yet about this because of the interaction with animals there. I’m very aware that there are a lot of places where they make money from interaction with young animals that end up being mistreated or slaughtered once they get older. So I’m very careful with where I go to visit animals. At the wildlife heritage foundation they do care about their animals. We visited two years ago and met little lion cub Max there and we actually saw him there now as a big grown up lion. We got the big tour of the park to see all the animals and also had some interaction with some of the younger animals which was really amazing. I’ll be posting more videos of the animals there on my other channel where I post all my animal and zoo related videos, the channel is Keep it Wild and there is a link in the description.

After Miami we went back to Orlando and spent about five more days there. I did a 5K run at a vet convention where I ran with a shelter dog. That video is also coming up still. We did a lot of shopping again and paid a lot of visits to the outlet Disney store. I managed to get the 10K zip up hoody that was $95 at the Expo for $28 and the 5k and Goofy I did it shirt for $12 a piece which is a lot better than the $40 they were asking. Is it just me for have T-shirt prices just gone insane? T-shirts used to be $10 if it was a big brand or special souvenir item it was $20, but $40 for a shirt. I have to really like it and want it to buy it at that price. But if a shirt is 10 or 20 bucks I might just buy it just cause I want the souvenir. Like now, I probably never would have bought the 5K shirt, but at $12, yeah, why wouldn’t I buy it. Disney think about it.

It’s a long wait until the next Disney run, but I can’t wait. Now until next time, get out there and run.

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