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Goofy Race and a Half Challenge Race Report (Read 1036 times)

Mile Collector


Abs of Flabs

    continued from marathon report I don't know what possessed me to do the Goofy Challenge. The official name is Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. That sounded somewhat clumsy and everyone just calls it Goofy. The craziest thing I've done, aside from running marathons, was running some 13 miles and then race a half marathon the next day back in March 2006. It was then I knew that I can complete the Goofy Challenge, but that was when I was still healthy. The training plan was to run up to 10 miles the day before the long runs to get my body conditioned. It was pretty much out the window immediately. My hip flexors bothered me enough for me to seek physical therapy during the summer. When I was discharged, I ran the Atlanta Marathon on Thanksgiving Day as a training run to get ready for Goofy. That went pretty well but I developed sciatica soon after, which landed me back in physical therapy. My confidence from earlier in the year changed to doubt. I could barely get through 10 miles of running without getting excruciating pains shooting from my butt to my knee and back. I didn't put in any more long runs and my weekly mileage had a hard time breaking into double digits. The new plan was to run the half and drop out of it if the pain became too unbearable, and then gut out the full the next day. I arrived in Disney on Friday, the day before the half marathon. My friends and I went to the race expo at the Wide World of Sports. There were lines everywhere, except for the Goofy section. I walked up to the booth containing my bib number range and the volunteer asked for my picture ID. After verifying my identity, she locked an orange plastic band around my wrist. It was nearly impossible to take off without cutting it. It read "2007 Goofy Challenge" on it. Her instructions were to keep it on at all times until I have completed the half marathon. I will need to go to the Goofy tent afterwards and they will put on a new band. Should it rip and come off before the race, I need to take the broken band and a picture ID to the expo to receive a new one. Without the band, I will not be qualified to receive the Goofy medal. We went downstairs to get our goody bags. People doing the Goofy Challenge received a dry-fit shirt for each of the two races. The marathon shirt has a picture of Mickey on it, while the half has Donald. My friends pointed out that people doing Goofy should have a Goofy shirt. Their reasoning was if I wore the half or full marathon shirt, someone would ask if I did that race and I have to say that I did both. If it was a Goofy shirt, they wouldn't need to ask. They had a good point and maybe someone from Disney would read this. It wasn't until race day that I realized the Goofy bibs were different from regular bibs. Yeah, I'm kinda slow. Regular bibs had a white background, while the Goofy bibs had an orange stripe cross the half marathon number, and a blue stripe for the full. That came in handy for the spectators and I received extra encouragements from them during the races. The half marathon went smoother than I expected. There was no pain and I was actually feeling good. There was no turning back. I planned on running the full the following day. I received my Donald medal and followed the arrows to the Goofy tent. One volunteer cut off the orange wrist band while another locked on a blue one. Before we leave the finish area, we lined up for our finisher's photo. I started talking with the person behind me. He told me that was his first half marathon and he enjoyed every bit of it. He was really proud of his medal and I knew exactly how he felt. I too was proud of my medal when I completed my first half marathon several years ago. He mentioned that there are nuts in the race that were doing both, and I smiled and held up my wrist from underneath the Mylar blanket to show him my new blue band. He gasped in disbelief and probably thought I was nuts too. When I got back to the hotel, my right leg started getting some pains indicative of sciatica. I limped around and got enough ice to create an ice bath. I also took ibuprofen despite the warnings about taking NSADs before a race. Some of my friends did the half, while others were doing the full. On Saturday, all of them wanted to go to the parks and I went along. My feet weren't too happy and I sat down whenever I got a chance. I know it was nuts that I was walking around, but when you're on vacation, you tend not to do what's best for your body. After I finished the half, I felt like I've ran a full marathon, which was never a good sign. I had no idea how I would do it again the next day. Honestly, I was a little sick of running by that point. Time seemed to pass a little quicker during the full marathon than the half. I can't explain it. It wasn't as humid, and it was a little cooler at the start. Still it got pretty hot when the sun hung over head. The full marathon was definitely better organized than the half and that made it a little more enjoyable. My only problem during the marathon was the blisters. I think there was too much movement in the toe box. Anyway, I'm glad that was the only problem. I rather have blisters than the shooting pains of the sciatic nerve any day. I knew I was going to make it half way through the marathon. I did get a little emotional with a mile to go. I had no idea why. It's not like I ran 100 miles. I received my Mickey medal and headed back to the Goofy tent. Everyone around me was beaming. I wore my Goofy medal proudly. There was also a special photo line for the Goofy finishers. I was holding a whole bunch of stuff and volunteers ran over to take them from me so I can hold up my medals for the picture. For a moment, I felt like a VIP. Now that you've completed the Goofy Challenge, what are you going to do next? I'm going to Disney World! Oh wait. I was already in Disney World. Ok, that was lame. I spent the next several days limping around the parks. Many visitors had their Donald or Mickey medal around their necks several days after the races. I guess they're mighty proud of their achievements I received a tremendous amount of support from my friends from the day I signed up for the race. Many tracked my progress while some accompanied me to Disney and went on the course to cheer me on. The experience won't be the same without them. Thank you, everyone, for your constant encouragements and support! I now have a big gap in my spring running schedule. Usually now is the time I would ramp up my marathon training. I'm toying with the idea of training for shorter races, like 5ks or even the 400 meter. I want to get my speed back and feel the wind as I fly around the track. Before that, I'm resting a little to recover from the pounding accumulated from the last several years. Thanks for reading this. You deserve a medal if you read the entire thing.


    Needs more cowbell!

      I always thought you were a little goofy, but you've confirmed it! WOW...that is truly a feat! And I think this is the best race report, ever--even Trent's never went beyond a single thread. What a fantastic experience...I can't even imagine doing a half and then a full marathon the following day--heck, just a full one freaks me out at this point! You deserve that medal. Good work, man! Big grin k

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      dillydoodles


        Ooooooooooh! We get a medal for reading your report! Wow! Thanks. Very enjoyable account of your goofy challenge. Congratulations on completing both events. Amazing accomplishment. Enjoy your rest. ~ Arlene
          Uff! You tired me out just reading that! Oy! What an experience! Congratulations on finishing both! And thank you for letting us race vicariously! Big grin

          Roads were made for journeys...

            Wow! It took me a couple of tries to get the order right (okay it took a few tries to figure out this was a 3-post report but I'm not th sharpest tool in the shed) but I'm glad I made it through that. Congratulations, MC! Well done.

            Runners run.

              Ooooooooooh! We get a medal for reading your report! Wow! Thanks. Very enjoyable account of your goofy challenge. Congratulations on completing both events. Amazing accomplishment. Enjoy your rest. ~ Arlene
              Ditto! Amazing report, amazing run. Almost makes me want to run a marathon, but I think I'll keep to my HM training for now. Congrats! Gayle

              "Nothing's better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you." Aaron Douglas Trimble

                Congratulations, MC! Smile The Goofy challenge has always been on my must-do list (probably on most runners' lists, or should be) - although hearing all that 3:00 a.m. stuff just bumped it a couple places down the list. But still ... 2 runs, 3 medals? Who could resist? Now here's a few questions for you: 1) The big one - are you glad you did it? Did you enjoy it? Was it worth the time and money? I read all three race reports (and enjoyed them immensely), but at the end I still wasn't sure what your overall impression was. 2) Were things really as disorganized as they sounded? I'd sort of expected a Disney race to run like clockwork. The crowding sounds like it kind of sucks. 3) Why the early start times? Was that just not to mess with the park visitors? Were the parks actually open during the run? 4) And the important question - any advice or tips for future Goofy-ers? Did you run the half too hard? Do people race both runs? Is it even worth pushing hard, or should you just take your time and check out the scenery?
                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                Mile Collector


                Abs of Flabs

                  The Goofy challenge has always been on my must-do list (probably on most runners' lists, or should be) - although hearing all that 3:00 a.m. stuff just bumped it a couple places down the list. But still ... 2 runs, 3 medals? Who could resist?
                  I admit it. I ran because I wanted all the medals. If you've seen them, then you'll know what I'm talking about. They're big and shiny. I like comparing the Mickey medal to sewer caps, because they're really that big. Even though the Goofy medal is not as cool looking as the Mickey medal, it's actually a lot nicer. It's heavier, and shinier. It's also the only medal that has the date on the back.
                  1) The big one - are you glad you did it? Did you enjoy it? Was it worth the time and money? I read all three race reports (and enjoyed them immensely), but at the end I still wasn't sure what your overall impression was.
                  For starters, the races weren't cheap. If you're doing only one, I highly suggest doing the full instead of the half because it was only $10 more. Hey, I like looking at dollars per mile. I'm sure Lynn will say I should be running ultras because they're cheaper than a 5k, but I'm not that crazy. I think I would enjoy it more had I been healthy and not constantly have to worry or check for injuries the days before the races. Like you said, it's something that's on everyone's must do list and I'm glad that I did it. My plan is to do a marathon in every state and then vacation there for a week. It's a way for me to see the country that I otherwise won't do. In that sense, it's worth the money and the effort.
                  3) Why the early start times? Was that just not to mess with the park visitors? Were the parks actually open during the run?
                  I'm answering this before question 2. My impression, and I think many people would agree, is that Disney didn't create these races because they like running or want to create that magical first half/full marathon experience. Actually, I've gotten quite sick of hearing the word "magical". January is their slowest time of the year and these races help them close the gap until the busy season. You figure that an average runner will bring two other people along and just like that, you have parks full of people. The early start has nothing to do with the warm Florida temperatures since the average high around this time of the year is around 60-70 F. The earlier the start, the sooner the finish, and the quicker they can resume normal parks operation. I'm not sure if the parks were officially open during the half, but there were plenty of spectators in the Magic Kingdom with their signs. For the full, the time limit was 7 hours, which puts the end of the race at 1 PM. Both MGM and Epcot were open at the time. Employees were directing traffic at intersections. Most visitors don't seem to mind the waiting at the cross walks.
                  2) Were things really as disorganized as they sounded? I'd sort of expected a Disney race to run like clockwork. The crowding sounds like it kind of sucks.
                  The full was definitely better organized than the half. I too was expecting Disney to have better organization, especially since this is the 14th year they're doing this. The half marathon came across as half hearted. Most of their attentions were focused on the full. If you've never ran a race before, then you wouldn't notice anything that's out of ordinary. If you've ran marathons before, especially the big ones like NYC, Boston and Chicago, then you'll notice all the little things. There is no purse with the races so there aren't any elite athletes there. There were some really fast runners though. These races are geared toward first time half and full marathoners. To many of them, it could also be their first race ever. My gripe is that the seedings at the corrals weren't done properly, especially in the half, so I ended up constantly weaving through the crowd. The problem was compounded by having narrow roads, often times just one lane. If the corrals were labeled clearly and if there were more corrals, then many of these problems will go away.
                  4) And the important question - any advice or tips for future Goofy-ers? Did you run the half too hard? Do people race both runs? Is it even worth pushing hard, or should you just take your time and check out the scenery?
                  Not to trivialize anyone's efforts, but I think if you have several marathons under your belt, or if you've done the Monkey marathon, then Goofy is pretty easy *if* you're running to complete instead of racing it. The bonus of running to complete is you can enjoy the race more. If I have to do it again, I would bring my camera along and have my picture taken with every character I saw along the way. If you like that sort of thing, there's no better place to do it than enroute. You have more character sitings, and the picture line is much shorter (2 or 3 people instead of 10 or 20 in the parks). On the flip side, Disney is pretty flat. There are hills in there so it's not completely flat. There's a major overpass toward the end of the half. There were some hills in the full too. Still, it's flat enough for you to race both events. Obviously, you won't set PRs on both events. If I'm racing it, I would probably run about 30 seconds slower per mile than my PRs for both races. Immediately after the half, I would refuel with lots of carbs and protein. An ice bath would definitely help after the half in getting ready for the full. That said, a more realistic plan is to race only one of the races. If you got more questions, just ask away.
                    A most excellent report, MC! Although I had to block out time for lunch, dinner, a run, shower, etc while reading your report (just kidding, of course), it was well worth the read. Congrats on a noteworthy accomplishment! I'm envious.
                    My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48


                    Dog-Love

                      If you got more questions, just ask away.
                      I ran the Disney HM last year and did not enter a race report because I thought it was one of the worst racing experiences in my life. But 2 months later as I rethink the event.and admire my ducky medal...I should have brought my camera and just had fun. Here is my question. I was put into Coral H (back of the line) and it took 28 minutes to get to the start line. It wasn't until mile 9 that I could actually "run". Is it OK to size up the crowd and go into the coral that contains more people that look like runners and less people that look like walkers/cell phone addicts/ cartoon characters/ and party revelers??
                      Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)
                        cell phone addicts
                        People who talk on a cell phone while running should be shot. People who talk on a cell phone while running a RACE should be shot twice, brought back to life, and then shot a few more times, while their cell phone is inserted into the most uncomfortably body cavity available. --------------------------------- So it sounds like from both of you (correct me if I'm wrong) that judged just as races, the Disney runs aren't so great? But that it's worth doing for the medals and the photo-ops? I guess the question is - if you'd already run a marathon in Florida, and the medal wasn't so impressive ... would you bother with Disney? Out of curiousity - anybody done the new half marathon in Disneyland CA? Wonder if they do a better job ...
                        E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                        Mile Collector


                        Abs of Flabs

                          A most excellent report, MC! Although I had to block out time for lunch, dinner, a run, shower, etc while reading your report (just kidding, of course), it was well worth the read. Congrats on a noteworthy accomplishment! I'm envious.
                          I would print it out on toilet paper. It might make a good bathroom read. If not, you can always flush it down the toilet with the rest of the crap Tongue
                          Mile Collector


                          Abs of Flabs

                            Here is my question. I was put into Coral H (back of the line) and it took 28 minutes to get to the start line. It wasn't until mile 9 that I could actually "run". Is it OK to size up the crowd and go into the coral that contains more people that look like runners and less people that look like walkers/cell phone addicts/ cartoon characters/ and party revelers??
                            How did you end up in Coral H? I provided them with my best HM time and they placed me in the front of the first corral. Granted I didn't go there because I wanted to run with my friends, but I could have. In my opinion, you should always stick to whatever corral you were assigned. In reality, many people do not obey this and we end up having to weave through them. If you found yourself in a slower corral, then it's up to you to decide what you want to do. One thing I noticed was that the cartoon characters or people that dress up tend to be pretty good runners. They might not be fast, but they are strong. Why else would you run a marathon while lugging along a squirrel suit that adds an adidtional 20 pounds?
                            Mile Collector


                            Abs of Flabs

                              People who talk on a cell phone while running should be shot. People who talk on a cell phone while running a RACE should be shot twice, brought back to life, and then shot a few more times, while their cell phone is inserted into the most uncomfortably body cavity available.
                              Hey! I thought about bringing my cell phone along!
                              So it sounds like from both of you (correct me if I'm wrong) that judged just as races, the Disney runs aren't so great? But that it's worth doing for the medals and the photo-ops?
                              The medals definitely make the difference. If you start in the first corral, which you will, then you won't have many of these problems, other than having to wake up real early. Maybe the RD wasn't prepared for the warm temperature and didn't order enough water. Maybe the marathon ran smoother because they learned from their mistake the day before. It's one of those races that you go and enjoy the sport of running. It's probably the only race I would plan for frequent stops to take pictures.
                              I guess the question is - if you'd already run a marathon in Florida, and the medal wasn't so impressive ... would you bother with Disney?
                              Probably not. There weren't much spectator support along the highways, and you spend ALOT of time out there. Like most things in Disney, the races were hyped up. I probably came across as more negative about the races than I really am. All in all, it was a good experience. I probably wouldn't do it again. To put things into perspective, I said the same thing about NYC Marathon.


                              Dog-Love

                                How did you end up in Coral H? I provided them with my best HM time and they placed me in the front of the first corral. Granted I didn't go there because I wanted to run with my friends, but I could have. In my opinion, you should always stick to whatever corral you were assigned. In reality, many people do not obey this and we end up having to weave through them. If you found yourself in a slower corral, then it's up to you to decide what you want to do.
                                Well, I hadn't had a recent HM time to enter and they said they were ging to check on submitted times. I think I even wrote down 2:00 for a HM time but they did not accept it and stuck me in "H corral". In response to JK...I would not run it again...it wasn't very pretty, flat and pavement and there are more great races out there. But I love my medal and wear it whenever appropriate.
                                Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)
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