January 10, 2014. 5:30 am, humid, 60 ish degrees
Parking / Transportation: Free parking available at Epcot in lot near start. Alarm set for 2:30 am to get a decent spot. If you were staying on Disney property a shuttle bus was available.
Participants were encouraged to gather near the corrals, concessions available, DJ & dance party happening. 30-45 minutes prior to start time we could get to our corrals. Many port-a-potties, coolers with water.
Approx 10,000 runners.
Start: Corral start, lettered A through E. Assigned bibs based on submitted times. We were in corral B. Could start in your assigned corral or a lower letter. After the National Anthem the first corral was off, on time, with a fireworks salute. The next corral started a few minutes later and so on, each with fireworks.
Course / Character stops: Started off on the back roads for a small out and back, was already sweating before mile one due to humidity. First Character stop was from Peter Pan, the characters had switched when we were in line from Peter Pan and Wendy to Captain Hook & Smee. We left them and were on our way back to Epcot, there was a Soldier from Toy Story just before we got to the park, as we were about the next in line for a photo, he went on a 5 minute break. Then entered Epcot near China/Norway. Traveled the world showcase again and made a stop to get a photo with the Genie from Aladdin, only to find out that he was going on a short break. Good thing it was short and we snapped a shot. The course then headed out of Epcot to the Boardwalk. Goofy in football gear was stationed outside the ESPN Zone, the line was long, so we passed. The wood on the boardwalk was wet, so slightly slippery. Even the wet pavement was slippery on the course. We made the loop and approached the next character stop, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, who as luck would have it were going on a break. Upset, we carried on the back roads to Epcot. Water stops only in paper cups. The sun was coming up but it was overcast. Finally a short line, Chip & Dale. We happily snapped a photo. The end was near, but we made another stop for a, action photo with some animated light parade characters, the candle from Beauty & the Beast and the Genie. After this nothing was left except to cross the finish line.
Finish clearly marked with a banner and clock. Medals placed around your neck. Table for water and Powerade. Dopey participants were directed in one direction, changed congestion issue from first race. Received second wrist band. Proceeded to get finishers photo, then on to post race snack box. (banana, corn chips, processed cheese dip, rice cake snack, skittles, Clif bar and Craisins)
We remembered to stay and get post race photos with some characters. This was the “Minnie” race and the line was crazy long. There were also a few concessions available for purchase. No Run Disney merchandise was available for purchase yet.
This race seemed to thin out, wasn’t as crowded
Overall: Flat, fun, laid back. 6.2 miles went by quickly.
Personal: I was once again able to run with Josh, we made sure to have fun. We were disappointed with the character breaks, thought could have been handled better. Also characters that races are in honor of should be more accessible. It was super humid for us.
Dopey Challenge stats: 2 races done, 9.3 miles done, 39.3 to go