10K is such a great distance; it’s long enough to be a good run yet not too draining. The race course for this race made the distance even better. Add to that the amazing 90s theme for 2023 marathon weekend, and I cannot stop smiling! This was probably my favorite race of the Dopey 2023 weekend.
After the 5K, I went to Animal Kingdom with my friend and her boyfriend. We met up with another friend and had a very nice day. We rode several rides, but I only got to meet Donald and Daisy. Since it would be another early morning, I wanted to get back for an early dinner and bedtime. My goal was to have dinner at the Pop cafeteria around 5 pm each night.
After dinner, I made sure to get all of my things together. Based on my super nerdy schedule, I made sure that I:
- Had my morning fuel – a cherry Pop Tart and a caffeine sport Nuun
- Laid out my outfit and bib, along with my shoes. My 10K shoes were the same shoes I was wearing around the park, a different pair for the half, and then the same shoes for the 5K and the marathon.
- Recovery Nuun for when I got back to the room after the race
- Emergen-C. I would take one packet of Emergen-C when I got back from the park and another one before bed. I was determined to not get sick.
- Protein recovery drink. I would fill up my shaker with water, Tailwind recovery powder and put it in the fridge overnight. This was something I would add to my gear check bag for after the race. The sports nutritionist I worked with really stressed the importance of getting protein and carbs within 30 minutes after a hard workout. Because Dopey is so intensive, I made it a point to do this after every race – even the 5K. I think this helped me during the week, so I’m glad I did this.
- Got into bed to make an Instagram post. Originally, I wanted to do my race recaps, but I couldn’t focus enough to type them then.
The 10K course was a different course than I had done at my two previous runDisney 10K events – 2022 Princess 10K and 2020 Dopey – yet it had similarities. Essentially, there was some highway running at the beginning, but by the halfway point, you’re in the park and have a lot to entertain you until the end. On top of the fact that Chip and Dale were the new mascot, I was really excited for this race.
My 2 am alarm came quickly, but I was looking forward to the day. I wasn’t too tired yet, and as I mentioned was excited for the 10K distance. I was able to get on one of the first buses around 2:40 am or so and made it to the pre-race party in time to get a picture with Monterrey Jack! I’m so glad I watched an episode of Rescue Rangers before this weekend since the last time I saw one was when I was a child. That show was one of my brother’s and my favorite shows!
After getting that picture, I waited for my friend, but eventually got nervous and went to my corral. Why do those emotions creep up when I know I’m going to be okay on the 10K? There is no reason I should be scared about getting swept at this point, even with character stops. That is definitely part of the mental game that I need to address!
The race started promptly at 5 am after the playing of the national anthem. This is one of my favorite parts of sporting events, and Disney always has amazing performers! One day was a trumpet or something, and it may have been 10K day, but I can’t remember.
I was in corral C but believe I went off about 30 minutes after the start. My goal for the race was to take it easy with (I think 30:30 intervals). I wanted to go steady but feel strong at the end of the race – and maybe stop for a few characters!
There were a lot of characters on course! I was hoping to stop for pictures with a few of them, but the lines were out of control! If I had more confidence, I should have stopped, but I got so worried about making sure I finished. Once I entered Epcot, they had a photographer with the Figment statue, so I stopped for that since it was a shorter line.
Right before gettingo
Right before mile 6, there was a character I just couldn’t pass up; it was my brothers favorite cartoon – Darkwing Duck! Lucky for me, the line wasn’t too bad when I arrived. Since I was close to the end, I knew I could book it, if I needed to get to the finish. The line added about 20 minutes or so, I think, so it wasn’t too bad. That being said, his was one of the shorter lines that I passed. This was a cartoon I should have watched before coming in for the weekend since I hadn’t seen it in decades. We heard the theme song multiple times, and it always made me smile.
About 0.2 miles to go after seeing Darkwing Duck, and I was done with my second race. But in reality, you are only finished with 19% of the miles. I felt really good after the race and was on a complete high. The music and the course were so good, and there were still two more days of magical miles to experience!
There is something about crossing a finish line that is so exciting. If you’re someone who hasn’t done it yet, please do. Find a local race and traing for a 5K. You will feel all the feels everytime you cross one, and that feeling of accomplishment is just the best! Also, as a side note, this was my first time running wearing ears. This has always concerned me, but it wasn’t a problem at all! They didn’t move, and I never worried about them falling off, so I will definitely do this again!
After crossing through the finish line, I was able to get my medal with Chip and Dale, 2 waters, a snack box, and a banana. It was still dark, and I was so cold! Not sure what I was (or wasn’t) thinking when I packed my gear bag, but I didn’t pack my coat. For some reason, I didn’t see any mylar blankets either, so I had to find a way to warm up.
There was so much energy after the race. I was waiting for my friend to finish, and decided to get in line for the most sought-after character stop of the weekend – Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. They are just so darn adorable. Funny enough, it took me longer to stand in line for this picture than it took me to finish the race – and it was worth every minute!
By the time I got my picture, the sun was fully up and the party area started to clear out. This was an advantage for me because Launchpad McQuack’s line was pretty short (especially in comparison!), so I got a picture with him.
So even though I didn’t get many stops on the course, I was lucky enough to get 3/4 of the characters at the pre/post-race area. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who the fourth one was.
Post Race – Hollywood Studios
After the pictures, I loaded the bus back to Pop Century for a much needed shower and warm clothes. After breakfast and getting ready, I headed out on the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios to roam around for the day. My goal was to find more characters, but also to do some rides in the park that I hadn’t done before.
Character-wise, I was lucky enough to meet Sully (a very, very long wait) and Olaf (not too bad). I’m not sure where all the characters were, but after two days in the park, I was disappointed. In 2020, I met many more characters. For attractions, the new ones I saw were Lightning McQueen’s Race Academy, Mickey and Minnie’s ride in the Chinese Theatre, Frozen Sing Along, and lunch in Toy Story world. One of my favorite shows since I was a child is Beauty and the Beast, which I also got to see. It was really fun, and is another thing that always makes me smile.
I left the park around 3 or so to get back again for my evening routine. It was quite a day and an even bigger day was on the docket for tomorrow. I wanted to make sure I got a good dinner and felt prepared for the half marathon.