WDW Marathon Weekend: Dopey Challenge Recap

As I sit here trying to figure out how to write a conclusion to the Dopey Challenge, I find myself reflecting over the overall journey. I signed up for this challenge last April with a solid running base, including a dozen half marathons and a full marathon. I was running on average 4-5 days a week and hitting 100+ miles each month. However, I still felt slightly intimidated. 48.6 miles over 4 days with 4 very early mornings sounded very daunting.


I am a weird mix of a planner and go with the flow kind of guy. I think it depends on the circumstances. With running, I have a tendency to be more Type A. I like the structure of a weekly schedule, with mileage goals that build toward the overall goal. Now I definitely wasn’t trying to break any records during these races. I wanted to finish each race safely, have a good time and experience all that the Disney races have to offer. Plus, I was very excited to run with Rachel during her first marathon.

I will say the Dopey Challenge is not for everyone. It takes a lot of time, discipline and money. Disney races and challenges are not cheap. Am I glad I did it? Absolutely! It was an amazing experience! Would I do it again? Probably not.


Now that’s not to say I won’t be running Disney races again. I love the Disney races! My first half marathon was in January 2013 at the WDW Marathon weekend. Rachel and I have been back every year. I think our hope is to run at least the half marathon each January. It holds a special place in our hearts. But I think I’m ready to move towards running full marathons with nothing else attached to them. While I will never say never…I would be surprised if I attempted the Dopey Challenge again.


If you haven’t had a chance to read Rachel’s recap of the marathon yesterday, I encourage you to do it. I thought it was a wonderfully honest look at the marathon. It is a tough distance. There is no way around it. No matter how much you train (and trust me, Rachel was very trained), 26.2 miles is a long way. You have to be mentally prepared for this distance. And Rachel was definitely physically and mentally prepared! It’s why I knew she was going to be ok during that race. She is a fighter. And I am so proud of her.


People keep asking me how my marathon was and I find myself saying it wasn’t the easiest race for me either. But honestly, I was so focused on Rachel that I didn’t pay as much attention to the fact I was running a marathon. That might sound strange, but it’s true. Now the weather was tough. It was very humid and warm from start to finish. I definitely struggled at times myself. But my priority the entire race was Rachel.

It was an amazing feeling to run across the finish line together. I watched my wife get her marathon finisher’s medal and I got very choked up. I’m not sure if she will ever want to run another one. She would tell you right now there is no way. I definitely won’t ever push her to do it again. That’s her call. No matter what, I am and always will be so proud of how hard she fought to finish this one!

(Tomorrow I will close out the WDW Marathon Weekend blog posts with the final few days of our trip. We spent 2 more days after the races hanging out at the parks and with our friends Nick and Ciara. Until then…)

One thought on “WDW Marathon Weekend: Dopey Challenge Recap

  1. I loved your wife’s honest recap; man, I feel for her and been there for sure. It is an amazing feat, the marathon, and then the whole Dopey Challenge is just unreal. You are totally BOSS for doing it! I don’t know if I would do it again either!


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