Dopey Challenge: The 5K

The morning after the expo (recap here, in case you missed it), I got up bright and early to run the first of my Dopey Challenge races: the Disney Family Fun Run 5K.

It started at 6:15am — which is late for a Disney race! — so I was up by 5am to get dressed up as my favorite Disney pooch (and the mascot for the 5K race).Screen shot 2014-01-16 at 11.45.02 AM

Quick shout-out to Todd’s mom, Nancy, who made all of my costumes! Including my Pluto collar, Goofy vest, and Dopey shirt and hat! (And Todd’s half marathon Donald Duck shirt). :-D

*Note, I WILL be purchasing all photos from MarathonFoto, and will replace them here once I’ve successfully located all of my unidentifed images…still missing quite a few, unfortunately.

I made it to the staging area at Epcot in plenty of time, and hung around enjoying other people’s costumes and soaking up the excitement of the Dopey Challenge. I couldn’t believe it was finally here!


My plan for the 5K was, of course, to TAKE IT SLOW. Normally, I bust it in a 5K (as much as I can, anyway), but I wanted to do everything I could to save my legs for 26.2 on Sunday. When we lined up and they sent Corral B off, I had to force myself to bring it down a notch — my excitement tends to take over when I start a race, and I notoriously go out too fast. I decided to make a concentrated effort to keep my pace no faster than an 11:30, which was actually pretty easy to do since there wasn’t much room to run, anyway, until we made it to Epcot.

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Of course, my other plan was to take pictures! I passed up the first character, Flik from A Bug’s Life (if I’m remembering correctly!), because I’m not a huge fan. But as we made our way into Epcot, I did have to stop for Norwegian (I think?) Daisy.


As I made my way into Germany, I was greeted by the sight of a RIDICULOUSLY long line. I mean it. We’re talking at LEAST 50 runners standing around. And before I even spotted the character, I knew who it was for.

They REALLY put Dopey out in the 5K?! The folks at runDisney HAD to have known that everyone and their mother was going to stop for this particular photo opportunity, with 7,000 Dopey Challenge runners participating in the 5K that morning!

I really, really didn’t want to stand in that line (I’m not the most patient person in the world in general), and I almost made the executive decision to just keep going…but my efforts to resist were fruitless. I figured I’d get in the line for a few minutes and see just how long it was actually taking.

Five minutes went by…then 10…then 15…and the line was moving soooo slowly. A runner ran by and shouted, “Don’t forget you need a 16-minute/mile pace for Dopey!”

Crap. I had totally forgotten about that. A bunch of people around me started talking, and basically came to the consensus that there was no way that runDisney was going to disqualify people in the 5K, especially since it was because of a photo opportunity with Dopey. But I was still freaked out! The line had now cost me 20 minutes, and with my 12ish-minute pace to begin with, a few stops for photos with the Epcot ball, and a 5-10 minute line for Daisy, I figured I was already screwed no matter what. I had waited that long, I was getting my picture with Dopey. But if I saw any of the dreaded “balloon ladies”…my plan was to run like hell!

Then another runner ran by and said something to her friend like, “wow, these people must think they’re really fast runners to be able to spend so much time in line for a stupid picture.”

Really? What’s with the snarkiness in a race where people are wearing tutus and tiaras and I’m dressed up like a giant yellow dog? And wearing a freakin’ collar, for crying out loud?

Anyway, I DID finally get my picture with Dopey (and, not gonna lie, I was still really hoping I could get one with him during the marathon). I then decided to hightail it to the finish line.

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I ran as fast as I could, weaving around the walkers and slower runners, and passed up a photo opportunity with Remy in France.

Screen shot 2014-01-16 at 11.39.31 AMI was surprised (and disappointed) to see that there weren’t more characters out, but in the end, it made it easier for me to just focus on getting to that finish line and completing the first leg of my Dopey journey.


I made it to the finish line in a little over an hour. For a 5K. Dopey had cost me at least 25-30 minutes of time, if not more.

But, at the end of the day, I had no regrets. I never saw any sweepers and I did, in fact, earn my Pluto medal.

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Which I then promptly took to stand in ANOTHER 45-minute line for a picture with actual Pluto.

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(If you haven’t realized that I’m absolutely insane just yet…stay tuned)! :)


After the race, I went back to the resort to collect Todd and change, and we spent the rest of the day at Hollywood Studios!

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Next up: The Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K!


  1. No idea what runDisney was thinking with that one! Your costumes are really cute (as always!) and it definitely seems like runDisney didn’t enforce the 16 minute/ mile thing at all – glad you got your Dopey picture!

    • RIGHT?! They had to have known that was going to happen!

      Aw, thank you! I wish it was made a little clearer whether or not people would actually be “swept” in the shorter races…it would have saved me a lovely panic attack, that’s for sure. Haha

  2. That picture of you and Goofy with your ears out is ADORABLE!!! I love it!! :)

  3. These pictures are killing me! You two are just too cute and I LOVE that Todd’s mom made your costumes :) I love the recaps, but you know I am dying to read the marathon recap, right?

    • Aw, thank you! I know — she’s very crafty and creative and loves this kind of stuff, so I think it has been sort of a bonding thing for us, which has been really great. :) I know, trust me…I’ve been mentally writing the recap ever since I finished the race! I can’t wait to share all of the finer details with you guys, haha. Sorry to keep you in suspense, it’s coming soon — promise! :-D

  4. Sometimes I don’t think rD really thinks things through. I’m glad you did get your picture with Dopey though and enjoyed the 5k.

  5. Congrats girl! Can’t believe the line for Dopey was sooo long! Wow! And I just LOVE your Pluto costume! So cute!

  6. LOVE the Pluto collar! That’s amazing.

    Minnie’s line at the end of the 10k was insane as well, but I liked that they weren’t on the course- so if you wanted a picture you could wait without freaking out about time. Kind of like what they should’ve done with Dopey.

    • Thank you! Yep, I spent quite some time in the Minnie Mouse line, but like you said, it was nice that they were out at the end of the race. AGREED on how it should have been with Dopey — although I was pleasantly surprised to find him in the last two miles of the marathon with a very short line! :)

  7. christi in ma says:

    You take the best race photos – always with a big smile and looking so fresh and happy! And I love seeing how happy you and Todd are in photos. You guys are a great pair!!!

    • Aw, thanks! We appreciate that! :)

      I definitely don’t always feel fresh, LOL…but during these Disney races, I AM always happy and having a great time. :)

  8. Great recap! I am shocked they put Dopey out on the 5K course. There isn’t nearly enough mileage in a 5K to evently distribute the runners to minimize lines. They should just put Dopey out there twice each on the half and full!

    Love your Pluto costume – matches that adorable medal perfectly! That is impressive that y’all still went out to the parks that day. Did you stay out there late, or take lots of sitting breaks – maybe extra long meal times? lol

    • TELL ME ABOUT IT! It was insane. They HAD to have known that was going to happen, right?

      Aw, thanks! Yeah, so, we were basically in the parks from the time I was done with the race in the morning until they closed, except the night before the half and full — we had an early dinner and then went home to sleep. I definitely booked a sit-down meal for each park, so it was a good 90-minute rest, and then we also made sure to do lots of the shows and various other sitting-down attractions on the days prior to the longer races. And, yes, anytime I had a chance to sit, I made sure to get off my feet! I still don’t know how I did it, but, it all worked out in the end. :)

Mentioned Elsewhere:

  1. [...] Hope you guys had an awesome weekend! I thought I’d kick off the week with my recap on the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K! If you missed my recaps on the expo or the 5K, you can find them here and here. [...]

  2. [...] Marathon! Just in case you missed my previous Dopey Challenge recaps, you can find them here: expo, 5K, and [...]

  3. [...] course, if you missed my previous Dopey Challenge recaps, here they are: expo, 5K, 10K, half [...]

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