Thursday, January 24, 2008

Goofy Challenge: Final Thoughts

Part I: Check-in and Expo
Part II: Half Marathon
Part III: Full Marathon

This is the final segment of the award winning recap of the 2008 Goofy Challenge.

Okay, so, final thoughts?

Overall, this is a really fun event. It's great to see other runners walking around the hotel and the Disney parks in the days leading up to the race. It's neat to get random "good lucks" and "congratulations" from various Disney workers.

The course for both races is entertaining enough to overcome the lack of crowd support. You simply don't get the throngs of folks cheering you on like you do in Chicago or other big events. However, there are very hearty cheering squads set up along the course to keep you moving. In the dull periods between theme parks, there are bands and DJ's set up strategically to give you something to concentrate on. This is the first marathon in which I didn't wear my MP3 player and I never missed it.

The course is difficult to get to for spectators to cheer you on along the way however. Basically, if you have people wanting to see you on the course, they may need to pick one spot and then make a run for the finish line as the course makes a big circle that is not conducive to jumping to several spots.

I'm very happy to finish this challenge. I've never run back to back distances like this before so, for that, I'm thrilled to complete it.

However, I'm also very competitive with myself and can't help but be disappointed with the end of the marathon.

I can't believe I cramped out again. This thought has been consuming me since the race conclusion. I have Boston next. I absolutely do not want this to happen again. I will be studying up on the best ways to prevent a repeat (or three-peat. Sorry, no royalties for you Pat Riley). After completing my first 2 marathons in fine condition, these last 2 have been very trying. I did the training. I felt great going in and even during the event. What is happening?

Of course, in both events, there have been extenuating conditions. Chicago: oppressive heat. Goofy Challenge: an accumulation of miles I wasn't familiar with coupled with a warm, muggy heat.

Are both of these "outside of the norm" conditions? Not sure. Boston should really tell the tale.

For those looking to run Disney, I give my humble endorsement. It's fun. It's exciting. The course is well designed, not too hilly, and stocked with plenty of aid stations, food, and Biofreeze! (Thanks to NWGDC for the correction. It is not Biocool as I mistakenly referred to it.)

The race itself is not as competitive as other races. It doesn't draw the top runners (winner was in the 2:20 range while 2nd and 3rd place finishers were in the 2:35 range!). The field is largely made up of "fun" runners just looking for a neat medal and a story to tell. So, the entire feel of the race is a bit different. In the starting corrals, folks aren't talking about "PR's". They are talking about what rides they went on with their families the night before.

Take a trip with family and/or friends and Run Disney. It's worth it.

Final note for potential Goofy Challengers: This race fills up super fast as it is limited to 3,000. I checked for 2009 and it is ALREADY nearly 70% full!! Registration opens the day after the race ends for the next year. If you want to do the Goofy run, you'll need to sign up at least 11 months beforehand! If you want to get in for 2009, you better stop reading this and sign up right now.

Thanks for reading the recap. On to other things...


nwgdc said...

Great recap! Definitely award-winning. Get rested and ready for Boston. I think you've earned an uncontrollable-variable-free run!

Mir said...

Maybe it was a vitamin deficiency? That's what jumped into my mind. Anyway, I hope you figure out what's up. Hopefully Boston will be back to "normal" marathoning for you.

I loved your recap. Totally worthy of awards! :)

L*I*S*A said...

I wonder if your electrolytes are off whack. Sometimes being deficient in potassium can cause cramping.

Yes, Biofreeze is a beautiful thing. We use it in the hospital all the time.

Spartan7 said...

Was good to read your report from last year. I'm getting ready for WDW '09 and the info I'm getting from everyone, including your report, is of great benifit.