The happiest 5k on earth!!! We definitely had a blast running through the color zones…4 to be exact! PLUS a bubble zone, color blast after party, and cleaning station. It is recommended to arrive early to allow time for parking. This is a very popular event and traffic gets quite heavy. Runners have the flexibility of picking up the run packet the day before the event or morning of. We chose to pick up the day before at the CHECK IN PARTY and it was as easy as 1, 2, 3 and no wait! Plus you get first dibs on all the cool race swag! Found at the COLOR RUN RACE SHOP. Make sure to have the QR code for all runners, no QR code no bib. On race day you will have the opportunity to take pictures with the best mascot ever Runicorn! This character experience was quite fun. We danced together, hugged, and jumped for joy. Super cool! ALSO, There are several photo opportunities and back drops set up for the perfect race day photos. Definitely must do before and after the race. As you maneuver through the course you will be blasted by a rainbow of colors, Our fave was pink and blue, or was it yellow, no GREEN, definitely purple and orange! I suggest you run to the far left or right of each color zone to get the most color. And have fun! WE spun around, danced, even made color angels in the color dust.
At the end we each got our very own UNICORN finishers medal.
WOOT WOOT! But Of course nothing makes the Color Run more fun then running it with family. YES! THE COLOR RUN is fun for kids of all ages. Although I have to admit we walked most of it. Simply because the course was a bit dippy and weaved in and around it self. This is the only downer. The Color Run Hero Tour Orlando was held at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, FL and weaved in and around the grassy parking area. To ensure no one twisted their ankle we walked.
All in all a fun experience! Don’t forget to snap this iconic photo!
Thank you to my friends at THE COLOR RUN HERO TOUR 2018 for the complimentary race entries for my children and I. We had a great time and for a great cause!
The Dole Whip Press family is super excited to participate in The Color Run Hero Tour 2018 this spring. This is our first year running this psychedelic 5K and we hope to see you there! Register now! Follow this link to find a city near you: THE COLOR RUN
Thank you to THE COLOR RUN HERO TOUR 2018 for this opportunity to run the happiest 5K on the planet! A full layout of our personal experience will be posted soon. We run on April 14th at Osceola Heritage Park.
Ken (Mousehacking.com) and his wife Emily (LattesAndRunways.com) blog about Disney and world travel. They’re here to share their tips for running the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge.
In April, Holly wrote about her first 5K, the Disney Princess 5K. As with all Disney things, once you get a taste, you’re sure to want more. The ultimate RunDisney goal? The Dopey Challenge. 48.6 miles run over four days—a 5K (3.1 miles) on day one, a 10K (6.2 miles) on day two, a half marathon (13.1 miles) on day three, and a marathon (26.2 miles) on day four. Having each run six marathons and two Dopey Challenges, Emily and I are here to give you 10 Steps to Your First Dopey Challenge.
1. Get Excited
Even before signing up, get excited. You’ll need that excitement to get the courage to sign up. A Dopey Challenge is an amazing (but grueling) experience. You’ll have four straight days of running through the parks, cheering fans, snapping pictures with sometimes-unique characters, and accomplishing something you probably didn’t think you were capable of. It’s going to be a Magical time, and you should be excited.
2. Sign Up As Soon As Possible
We always sign up for major races as soon as possible, usually at the moment they open. The Walt Disney World Marathon is one of the most popular races in the United States (and the world, for that matter). The past few years, Dopey Challenge availability has been a little better, and RunDisney has opened up more slots as time went by, but if you are certain you want to run the Dopey Challenge, plan to be at your computer when registration opens.
3. Try to Compartmentalize This Trip
For most of us, a Dopey Challenge comes with an additional Magical challenge: planning a great Walt Disney World trip. If you’re running the Dopey Challenge, the first priority of your trip should be the Dopey Challenge. You could run the Dopey Challenge and have an amazing four days filled with parking hopping and new restaurants, but it would exhaust you across the board.
If you can make an extended stay of it, splitting your stay between park-focused and Dopey-focused days is a good plan. Combining Dopey with New Year’s Eve is ideal. If you can’t make an extended stay of it, that’s okay! Consider a resort day, a guided tour of one of the parks, or anything you don’t usually do (Fantasia Gardens, anyone?).
The caveat to this is that 5K day and 10K day you’ll be done with the races in time for a full day of adventure. So you will have time to enjoy the parks. But remember, you’re waking up near 3AM and you have two big races ahead of you—don’t go overboard.
4. Run a Half Marathon Race
Yes, there is running involved in preparing for the Dopey Challenge (sorry!). You can’t run a marathon if you can’t run a half marathon, and running a half marathon race, not just a training run, is a great way to understand some of the basic challenges of long-distance running. You’ll learn about how your running gear handles over longer distances (good 5-mile gear might not be good 10-mile gear). During a half marathon, you’ll get some early tastes of how your body holds up over longer distances. You might start to learn about fueling on the run.
By the way, when Emily and I finished our first half marathon, she immediately said she didn’t want to run a marathon. This is a classic reaction—you’ll get past it. A few weeks later, we had signed up for two marathons, including the Dopey Challenge.
5. Run a Marathon Race
People do the Dopey Challenge without marathon experience, so it can be done, but I don’t recommend it, especially if you want to fully take in everything Dopey has to offer. Training runs, even up to 20+ miles, don’t give you a true sense of how tough the marathon can be on race day.
Training runs (if done properly) are also useless for understanding your limits. Almost all first-time marathon training is broken into two concepts—running long and slow to know what running for hours and hours is like, and running short and fast to know what running at your goal speed feels like. You combine these only on race day. This means until race day, you don’t really know what you’re capable of, and that’s going to matter when it comes to enjoying the Dopey Challenge, as we’ll see.
Training runs also don’t give you any sense of how enjoyable a marathon can be. The energy of the other runners, the cheering of the crowds, the hilarious signs, and the joy of finishing—a training run has none of these. At several marathons I’ve wondered during training why I do it, only to be reminded during the race of how truly great it is. You’ll want those memories when training for Dopey.
6. Plan Your Costumes
Costumes are a much bigger part of RunDisney 5Ks and 10Ks than half marathons and marathons, but plenty of Dopey Challenge runners wear costumes all four days (Emily does, I usually do 2-3 days). This takes major planning. You’ll need to include the costumes in your packing plans. You’ll need to make sure the gear is acceptable to run in (a bigger issue for the longer races). You’ll need to account for weather (we’re Chicagoans with 6 total marathons behind us, and the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon starting feeling under 30 degrees was our coldest). And you’ll likely need to make at least two costumes from running hear (Halloween attire simply won’t be good for running a half or full marathon).
7. Expect to Take it Easy…
If you read Jeff Galloway’s marathon training program and Dopey Challenge training program, you might notice a big difference between the two — Dopey Challenge has only a single training plan for the goal of surviving. There is no “run your fastest marathon” or even “run your fastest Dopey Challenge”, your goal for your first dopey, at least, should be to survive. Race-by-race, this means:
• The 5K and 10K are going to be especially boring. From the front corrals, you can easily walk the 5K, including character stops (more below), and finish with time to spare.
• For the half marathon, run your first 10 miles a little slower than your Dopey marathon pace, or at marathon pace, treating it otherwise exactly as you will the first 10 miles of the marathon, including when you’ll walk, how many character stops you’ll do, when you need an aid station or bathroom, and when you need to fuel.
• For the marathon, plan to run slower than your typical marathon pace.
8…But Not Too Easy
Character stops. They’re a huge part of a RunDisney race. They’re the most important part for some runners. They also can take a long time. The longest we waited in line for a character stop was 15 minutes for patriotic Mickey, Goofy, and Donald at the 2017 10K. That’s over 30 seconds per mile added to our pace if the race were a marathon. Most lines are only three minutes, though. RunDisney doesn’t announce stops ahead of time, so you won’t know when they occur or who will be there, making planning for them impossible.
The easiest way to deal with the uncertainty of character stops is (1) to understand your capabilities and marathon plan ahead of time (see steps 5 and 7) and (2) to adjust your plan as you go through character stops. The second part of this is critical. If you wait in line for 15 minutes at miles 9.5, don’t then take a walk break at mile 10!
Character stops are partly why we think running a marathon prior to Dopey is so essential. You do not know what to expect for a marathon until you’ve done one, and if you don’t know what to expect, you won’t be able to adjust it for the added complexity of character stops.
9. Stay Loose at the Parks Between Races
There is a lot of Dopey debate about this one, but we’re fans of staying loose at the parks between races. You’re at Walt Disney World, enjoy the scenery! Walking a few miles will not ruin you for marathon day (don’t exhaust yourself, though), tight legs will. This shouldn’t be a big problem if you follow the above tip for taking it easy the first three days.
10. Have Fun!
Your goal for Dopey is to survive, not to survive miserably. During a Dopey Challenge, you can take photos with characters, enjoy treats handed out my generous fans, spend time with live animals, give high-fives to kids with mickey gloves cheering you on, maybe ride rides, and stop for Disney treats along the way. One of my favorite Dopey moments was Snow White having to ask me to put my beer down at mile 25 of the marathon before taking a picture with her. That happened, and it wouldn’t happen anywhere besides the Walt Disney World Marathon.
Few marathons are setup to offer you a better time than the Walt Disney World marathon. Even if you’re pressed for time, take a minute to snap a picture while you’re in Animal Kingdom. Grab a Mickey Ice Cream bar from a vendor during a walk break in Hollywood Studios. Do something you can’t do at any other race! Because it’s not a true Disney experience without just a touch of Magic!
Do you have RunDisney Dopey Challenge or marathon tips or questions? Sounds off in the comments!
Mahalo, Ken (Mousehacking.com) and Emily (LattesAndRunways.com) for sharing your experience and tips on how to prepare for the Dopey Challenge! It has been an honor to have you both as guest writers on my blog! Hope to see you on the course at the next Run Disney event.
In February I ran my first Disney 5K with my children. After months of training along a quiet, rustic trail, I jumped into a crowd with thousands of runners and quiet was far from heard. Throughout my training my children earnestly tried to prepare me for the change in terrain and other environmental changes as they were learning to run my “slow speed” and how to manage my weaknesses. But, what I learned on race day is: running in an event with thousands of people is incredibly different than training as a trio. There is a plethora of emotions from anxiety to excitement as everyone awaits for their corral to be called to the starting line. Once the race begins runners turn on their defensive running skills as they make their way along the track. Some runners head straight to the finish line while others make their way from character to character. I must say stop for the characters! You have plenty of time to enjoy all photo opportunities. Disney invites many rare characters to cheer you. They are stationed every half mile or so and are a huge part of the fun.
I am not a professional runner by any means. I basically went from couch to 5K in less than 3 months of every now and again training. My children are the runners. And I will be honest we walked most of the 3.2 miles because I just couldn’t handle it. At mile marker 1 I was out of breath and my throat was on fire because I have not mastered breathing while running. My only accomplishment thus far was running for 5 minutes straight. As we crossed into Mexico I told my daughter I was done and would wait at the finish line for her and her brother. She grabbed my hand and dragged me through the rest of the winding track. I can proudly say that I crossed the finish line and I can’t wait to do it again.
I could not have survived my first 5K without a few runner essentials.
KT TAPE: KT TAPE is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. This is a Godsend for anyone who suffers pain from running. I tend to get shin splints within the first 5 minutes of running. I easily taped my shin area and soles of my feet the night before with the help of a KT TAPE YouTube video. I was amazed at how easy it was to tape myself and even more amazed when I finished running without any shin pain. KT TAPE will last for days and withstands sweat and water. So if you are running a series of events over the weekend you will only need to tape yourself once. I still don’t understand the science behind KT TAPE, but it works like magic and I will never run again without it.
Shoe Charms: Running on the Wall motivational shoe charms will inspire any runner to climb mountains. Just as my body was giving up I looked down at my shoes and read the words, “Keep Running- Hebrews 12:1” and “She Believed She Could and So She Did.” This was at the same moment my daughter grabbed me by the am and said, “Mom, your doing great you are almost there. You made it to Mexico.” I knew I couldn’t give up. Having that little push really helped me gain momentum and motivated me to “Keep Running.”
Fruit DropsFruit Drops: Skratch Labs Fruit Drops are made with real fruit and will give you a quick boost of energy that will get you flying to the finish line. Fruit Drops are an easy and convenient source of carbohydrate to help maintain blood sugar and performance during prolonged exercise. A single pouch contains ten ‘drops’ comprising two 80 calorie servings. I found the Raspberry Fruit Drops by Skratch Labs a need to start kick my early morning. They are sweet and provide lasting energy. My children and I shared the raspberry fruit drops before the race and we were on a high for hours after the race. But be prepared to crash hard when the energy runs out.
As a new runner I am learning with every race I run. My body is still adjusting and I can’t run an entire race, but perhaps one day I can. I watch other runners and think to myself, “they make it look so easy.” For me, running is made easier with my top 3 runner essentials.
Do you have a product that you just can’t run without? Share below in the comments.
Don’t reach for that safety pin! Secure your race bib with RaceDots; a magnetic race number attachment system. They stay in place so you don’t have to. This magnetic attachment system is a revolutionary idea that is changing the running world one runner at a time. RaceDots are made from extremely strong rare-earth magnets in a thin metal shell. The patented design allows the two magnetic pieces to nest inside one another making for an extremely strong, hard-to-break bond. RaceDots hold fast through clothing, so you’ll never pierce or tear your favorite dri fit tee.
There is no material to thick for the magnetic power. Plus, the RaceDots shell is nickel-plated copper, so they will never rust and leave ugly stains no matter how much you sweat. Not to mention they are easy to use. They go on in a snap and slide for the perfect placement. No more bunched up race numbers.
Absolutely perfect for junior runners. My daughter hates being pinned up. I pricked her once and ever since she goes into panic mode when I have to pin her race bib on. No more worries! I was amazed at the strength behind this little magnet. The attraction is so strong they attach themselves. They stay in place~ during the Wine and Dine One Mile Kid Race my son was knocked over by some aggressive runners and he slid through the grass. RaceDots stayed put and he was able to get back up and continue for the finish line. No tears or rips in his Buzz costume and most importantly no wasted time pinning the number back on. Honestly these lil guys are a genuis design! It has me wondering how did I ever function without RaceDots?!
RaceDots come in a variety of colors and designs. We favorite the American Flags and Captain America designs. If your team is looking for something with a personal flare? No problem! RaceDots can be customized to just about any design or color. However,the minimum for customized orders is 100 packs of 4 or 50 packs of 10.
RaceDots is more then just a magnet it is a revolution. Say goodbye to pricks, rips, and rusty pin stains with RaceDots! Order yours today! Visit RaceDots