I’m done! It’s off the bucket list. Disney’s Goofy Race and a Half Challenge where you run a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday is now in my personal history book. When I tell people about the Goofy Challenge (whether they asked about it or not), their faces invariably scrunch up as if to silently question, “Why?” I simply tell them that it was a lot of fun and with all of the photo breaks, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.
Here’s a recap as to how the full marathon went on the Sunday:
Having done the half marathon the day before, the logistics for the marathon felt like déjà vu as everything was setup in the same logical format as I parked, checked my bag, got some water, used the portapottie and got to the start just like the previous day.
The first 8 miles of the marathon course are identical to the half marathon as you leave Epcot and head to the Magic Kingdom where Cinderella’s castle was once again beautifully lit. This time, however, we detoured into the Walt Disney World Speedway where we did a loop around the track with classic automobiles and Pixar Cars characters along the course.
We then made our way through Disney’s Animal Kingdom with many characters, volunteers and aid stations along the way. The race provided many amenities with multiple food stations which had gels, bananas, and chocolates. Next was the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where we circled through a spectator-filled baseball stadium and amused ourselves as were displayed on the jumbotron.
As this was the 20th running of their marathon, Disney worked hard to make mile 20 extra special with an area lined with giant puppet characters along with a photo opportunity with Mickey Mouse. We then headed towards Disney’s Hollywood Studios and then back to Epcot for the finish. One of the nice details about the race shirts is that they have icons representing the different parks you ran through for the course.
My primary goal for the Goofy Challenge was to enjoy the experience and I did this mostly by running at an “I’m-not-going-to-kill-myself” pace while dreaming up the best poses to take pictures with characters. I did, however, have a combined, “self-respecting”, time goal for my half-marathon and full-marathon total to be under 6 hours. With a half-marathon time of 1:52, I had 8 minutes in the bank. Heading into Epcot I was nudging over 4:04 which meant I wave to Snow White instead of taking a picture with her as I headed towards the finish (sorry Snow). I ended with a 4:06 and I was very relieved with a total time of 5:58. Phew!
At the finish line, I quickly got my marathon and Goofy medal, had my picture taken (with a special Goofy challenge background) and grabbed my post-race meal box. After some refueling, I headed over to the massage tent where it was $1 per minute of massage. What I loved about the massage is that there were two masseuses assigned to every table which made every dollar worth it.
Thank you Disney for a race well done and for making running fun again!