After a reasonably early night (reasonable for Disney park visits) I woke up early for the 10K. Race day number 2 and the debut of another Disney themed costume. Today I would be running as ‘Buzz Lightyear’ and hoping that running with a jetpack wouldn’t be as annoying as I thought it might be. So I climbed into my one piece Buzz body suit (developing an irrational fear of needing to go to the bathroom during a race) stuck on my jetpack and headed to the elevators hoping that no one would actually see me and headed to EPCOT for day 2 of the Dopey Challenge and the inaugural ‘Minnie’ 10K.
Upon arrival at EPCOT I headed over again to the bag check area hoping that today I would be in the right place at the right time for the Team #runDisney meet up. I got there a little early and not many people were there at the time, at least not where the meet up was to occur. Having second thoughts about the jetpack attached to my back I walked up to a complete stranger and asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking some safety pins and pinning my jetpack on me. The things you can only get away with at a runDisney race. Having taken a couple of towels from the hotel to I made a place to sit down outside the race retreat and waited for folks to turn up for the meet.
Today I was in the right place and folks started turning up. I met Marc (who makes those great slide shows for the Team #runDisney Facebook page) and Greg from ‘Why I Run Disney‘ and his wife Brooke, Megan from ‘Running Toward The Prize‘ (also the co-author of ‘Magical Miles: The Runner’s Guide to Walt Disney World‘) and her husband and Matt from ‘Dad’s Got The Runs‘ who is also the Team #runDisney page administrator. A nice bunch of folks to meet.
After the photo I headed to the corrals and again met my fellow Autism Speaks team-mate Rob and also Jonathan who I help administrate the ‘Goofy Challenge 2014’ Facebook group. Again, I was easy to spot today.
Minnie was there at the start line to get us going and counted us down to the fireworks. Once we were given the word to go we headed out onto this new 10K course. I didn’t quite know what to expect as I really could not picture from the map how the course would turn out. I knew there would be an out and back and thought there would be a repeat of the 5K course but that’s pretty much it, so here is my recap.
Firstly, running with a jetpack takes time to get used to. At first the flapping was getting a bit annoying and I was going slow so as not to aggravate the situation but I soon settled in to the rhythm and the fun began. The first two miles of the course were an out and back from the EPCOT parking lot to the back of World Showcase. I didn’t mind the out and back but I heard complaints from others that it was a bit boring and that they did not like the hairpin turn which lead to in incline. I probably didn’t notice this too much as I had decided to stop for a character photo opportunity just after the turn. I also stopped as it was very warm and humid that morning and I hadn’t helped the situation by dressing in a polyester jumpsuit.
At the character stop I bumped into these two fine gentlemen from Saskatchewan, Canada dressing (for both the 5K and 10K) as Dopey and Grumpy. Awesome costumes although they admitted that they were a bit warm. They were running the Dopey and said they planned (like me) to run the first two days in costume. They also told me as it -50 degrees back home they hadn’t really trained this year but as past Goofy runners they were relying on ‘experience’. I am not sure what happened over the course of the weekend but I hope they had fun and finished.
There was not much to see during the second mile back towards EPCOT except for a giant TV screen showing Minnie cartoons set to modern music. It would have been nice to have had another character out there during that stretch.
Once back into EPCOT I assumed we would follow the same course that we had for the 5K the previous day but had we done that our course would have been about 5 miles so I was interested to see how we would get that extra mile in. As we made our way around World Showcase we took a turn out of the park just after the France Pavillion through the ‘International Gateway’ which took us on a loop around the Boardwalk past the Yacht and Beach Clubs and then back into EPCOT via the United Kingdom Pavillion. From there it was back to the finish line but going through Innoventions West and then to the finish line area rather than a circle around Spaceship Earth as we had in the 5K the day before.
I really enjoyed my time on the Boardwalk. I had only ever run this partially as part of the Marathon course and today, even at this early hour, there were crowds out there to cheer everyone on. They had characters out on the Boardwalk and that allowed me to cool down during the last couple of miles as I was beginning to get warmer and warmer dressed as Buzz (consideration of costumes will be given greater scrutiny next time). Due to the humidity and warm weather the Boardwalk was pretty damp which also caused me to run a little slower as I didn’t want to slip and get hurt with two more races to go.
As you can see from the pictures I really had fun out there. You can also see from the ground how wet underfoot it was.
There were plenty of folks out there cheering for Buzz. Many shouts of ‘To Infinity And Beyond’ were being traded back and forth. I was having a blast out there. As I rounded the corner to the finish line I heard someone call my name and was pleased to see Rhonda who I had met the day earlier. Again, I was easy to spot in costume. We took a quick photo together and headed on to the finish.
Coming up to the finish line I heard the announcer say over the PA system that ‘Here comes Buzz Lightyear’ to which I responded with outstretched arms and ‘flew’ over the finish line. The announcer then said that if I was caught flying and my feet had left the ground I would have to be disqualified!!! That made me chuckle 🙂
Heading through the finish line area to pick up my second wrist band today was much smoother. This time they had set up aisles to pass through where at the front a volunteer marked your 5K band with a Sharpie and a second volunteer at the end of the aisle put on your 10K finisher band.
So now I had two wristbands and two medals. I was building quite a collection of memories so far.
After a quick shower I headed back out to spend a day at EPCOT where for the first time (despite many visits to EPCOT) I rode the following attractions: ‘Soarin”, ‘Test Track’ and the ‘Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros’ as well as seeing for the first time: ‘Captain EO’, ‘Ellen’s Energy Adventure’ and ‘The Circle Of Life’. Talk about keeping myself busy without the family in tow. I spent the day in EPCOT as that evening there was the Team Up with Autism Speaks team dinner being hosted at ‘The Living Seas’. This was a really cool private dining area behind the aquarium in ‘The Seas with Nemo and Friends’.
At the dinner that night I sat with Rob and his family and got to meet up with other Team Up runners. This year they had 100 runners for the weekend including 40 Dopey runners. It was announced that as of the date of the dinner the team had raised approximately $140,000 with a final total expected to be approximately $165,000 (Go Team Up!!!) I was awarded a certificate of appreciation for being the second biggest fundraiser this year. I came in second place last year to the same person who beat me out of first place the year previous. I’ll beat him for sure in 2015!!!
After the dinner (and quite a lot of dessert) I headed home for an early night to get ready for the Half Marathon tomorrow. A quick look at my Fitbit stats (I shouldn’t have looked) showed my daily mileage to be 17.22 miles. Oops. 11 miles more than I actually ran that day 😉