Race: 2020 Dopey Challenge – DisneyWorldDopey Challenge Race Report

Runner: Bill M

Race Date: 01/09/2020

Location: Orlando, FL

Results: Finished!

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  • Very well organized and supported events. Buses come to Disney resorts so no driving to/from the race was awesome. Good food available before and after the races, and plenty of Powerade/Water and Sport Beans handed out during. Also had cold wet towels afterwards.
  • Great swag….long sleeve t-shirts and huge medals!
  • Tons of Disney characters pre/post race and along the route.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

  • Early starts….on the bus between 3:00-3:30 AM.
  • Very crowded on half and full marathon days meant 15 minute walk to the start corral.
  • Waited 45-60 minutes post-race for buses on 5k & 10k days.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Running through the back lots of Epcot often meant running right by the stinky dumpsters of yesterday’s trash. Phew!!

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

Running down Main Street and through the Disney Castle with hundreds of people cheering you on at 6AM! Awesome!

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

  • Better to be early than late, definitely stay at a Disney resort if able for transportation alone.
  • Don’t try to PR these races, just too crowded unless you get seeded in the A corral at the front.
  • Be prepared to wait in long lines for portajohns and for long waits before the start. I sat down to save the legs when I could.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

  • Recommend going to the Expo early in the day.
  • Get to the race extra early if you want photos with the main Disney characters.
  • Hydrate, hydrate. Very humid days even when cooler temps prevailed.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Lots of turns, occasional speed bumps, bridges, etc. All very well marked or volunteers shouting warnings though.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Yes, especially days 3-4! Ran through 5 parks during the marathon.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

All flat courses, just several turns. It’s only tough if you do the Dopey, and really only the full marathon was a gut-check.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

VERY well organized.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Yes, lots of Brazilians come in for these races and they won several firsts over the 4 days.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

I would register early and make hotel reservations early also. It sells out every year.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Powerade, water, gels and beans. Lots of medical tents for all races along the route.

Weather and typical race conditions

It was high 50s for days 1-2 and then low 70’s for the starts of days 3-4. Got up to mid 80’s on days 3-4. Also very humid, like 94%.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

My waist belt for gels was perfect.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Not super friendly as it’s hard to know which roads are open or closed along the route. Spectators flooded the start/finish line, and there were many in the resorts we passed by.

How’s the Swag?

Awesome! See medals below.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

4 out of 5. Only downsides are the crowds and early starts

Dopey Challenge Race Report