My thoughts on Dopey…

Since this little blog is called “Running With Mickey”, you’re probably wondering about my thoughts on the newly announced Dopey Challenge.

My thoughts? In a nutshell, it’s summed up in three words.


Ok, I’ll elaborate. For those who don’t know what this insanity is, it’s this:

5K on Thursday
10K on Friday
Half Marathon on Saturday
Full Marathon on Sunday

48.6 miles in 4 days. And I should add that each of those requires a very early wake-up call to get there on time. (Personally, I think there are going to be a lot of “Double Dwarfs” walking around on Monday – the Grumpy Dopeys.)

All for the bargain price of $495!

Yes, you get six shirts and six medals (well, if the 5K tradition holds, 5 medals (10K, Half, Full, Goofy and Dopey) and 1 PVC medallion), but that is a heck of a lot of money to plunk down. And if you’re not local (which most of us aren’t), you’re also looking at lodging and travel expenses – and food and all that comes with a vacation.

The sheer amount of time meant I was out to begin with – I can’t take that much time away from school. The expense isn’t in my range right now. And frankly I don’t WANT to run that many miles in those few days. I’m still not 100% that I’m doing Goofy in 2015. And if I wasn’t convinced enough that this lovely challenge wasn’t for me, the fact that the 10K is Minnie themed clinched it. Next to Ariel (don’t even get me started on what a horrid role model SHE is!), Minnie is my least favorite Disney character.

So on April 9, I’ll just be signing up for Mickey 21. 🙂 And I’m fine with that.

Of course people are all freaking out about how quickly it will sell out, and it may well sell out quickly, but there are several factors to consider.

1)There is NO pre-registration for Marathon Weekend this year. Dumbo (the 10K/Half combo out in Anaheim) pretty much legitimately sold out during Marathon Weekend pre-registration and they had to add slots. Clearly runDisney learned their lesson and isn’t doing and pre-reg until they figure out how to limit the number of people allowed to pre-register (seems like an easy thing to do in my opinion, but I may be wrong). So every slot that’s open will be available at the start of registration.

2) The Florida races have greater capacities than the Anaheim races largely because Disney controls all of the roads in Florida whereas in Anaheim they have to work with local authorities for the off-property sections of the races.

3) Because there are so few races in Anaheim and so many people in California don’t want to travel east (weird to me since so many people on the East Coast have no problem traveling west), they scoop up any slot they can. Apparently at one time rD even limited the number of people from CA who could register so that other parts of the country could have a chance, but that’s been lifted at least for now.

And then the fourth thing is something I hope will happen. I hope that people who are all “ZOMG!!! THE DISNEY BLING!!!!” who may not have run a step yet will think about exactly what this entails and talk with other runners. That is a lot of miles to run, even for well-trained, experienced runners. I honestly worry about people who jump in simply for the bling and don’t think about their ability to complete the challenge – either complete it in general or complete it safely. Then again, runDisney has made no secret of the fact that they will still give the medals out even to those swept – at least in the individual races – and from reports from friends, they haven’t been verifying anything other than your bib before handing out the bonus bling, so I suppose that for some who know of this, their thinking is “I’ll go for it, and if I get swept, it’s ok because I’ll get my medals anyway.” (I’ve already had my rant about this practice, so I’ll just leave it at I would NEVER take a medal I didn’t earn by crossing that line after completing the entire distance under my own power as I understand they are called FINISHER’S medals, and the t-shirt is the sign of my participation.) Time will tell, but I am predicting fuller than even this past year in the heat medical tents as many people who have no clue what they are getting into will go in way under-trained and completely unready for that challenge. I hope I’m proven wrong and people come to their senses before plunking down the money – but I’m not holding my breath.

As to how fast this thing (and the weekend) will sell out? Probably faster than normal. I don’t know that I’m willing to say hours as we don’t know the capacity for Dopey as opposed to the other events. But I do think it will be quicker than normal years.

And I certainly plan to be online to reserve my marathon spot on April 9.


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