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2017 Grumpy Challenge (WDW Marathon Weekend '17)

Discussion in 'Running at WDW' started by Greenlawler, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Greenlawler

    Greenlawler Well-Known Member

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    Well,

    This is going to be long so I will break it into 2 parts....I hope some of you read this part because what happened this weekend is something I just have to share.

    I have been at every Disney Marathon for the past decade and I can safely say this one was the most memorable. I thought it might be cool to allow a space and individual thread for those wanting to specifically talk about this past year.

    The 5k and 10k went off relatively well and the "mini-waves" (something new they tried, by breaking up corals into four distinct starts 2 minutes a part) seemed to help space out the runners, at least where I was. But like I said those two races were not very eventful, little did I know.....

    I got the news via a text at around 8:00 on Friday Night that the Half had been cancelled. This started about a five hour process for me of checking rundisney.com, facebook, and then twitter repeatedly. My wife was sound asleep (after spending about 30 minutes fussing at the weather). As far as I was concerned I really thought it was one big joke, like they would reconsider, especially since all the weather reports I had seen were showing lower chances of storms every time I checked.

    I could not believe they had made the decision so early. In my mind knowing the Florida weather that was a heck of a risk calling the race so early. I did not think it would have hurt anything to just make sure the system came through that morning. Rumor has it (from a really good source) that they actually called the race around 3:00 pm that day. They were just getting things in place. Hindsight, of course they made the right call. A sign actually went up in the AKL lobby announcing cancellation an hour earlier than intended causing quite the stir.

    At 8:00pm they also sent a text saying they would have more info at 10:00pm. With so many wanting to switch their registration, or simply blow up twitter with complaints this caused quite a stir, especially since they did not actually announce anything till almost 11:00pm. The #grumpychallenge movement got a little traction on social media. I for one thought Disney should have embraced it and brought out Grumpy, but I digress...

    They gave the runners four options as most of you know, which I thought was gracious. Although it took a while for them to clarify what Goofy and Dopey participants could do.

    But that next morning I woke up to the sound of cheering. At first I was hazy, I wondered "did they decide to run the half?" Then I looked out our window.

    First I saw lightning in the distance....so good call Disney. The race would have been cancelled regardless, although the lightening that I saw throughout the day was never close. I was kind of relieved for Disney's sake after reading all the nasty tweets. (I will say a vast majority of the runners were supportive of the decision though)

    Second I saw runners, Yes on the Boardwalk at 5:00 am. I was still a little bleary eyed so I wondered if I had dreamed the half was cancelled and I was missing it. Then I jumped on twitter and started reading about all these "unofficial half's".

    There was video from Coronado Springs, which was from what I understand the base for many of the charity runners. So they had hundreds of people running there as early as the night before. There was an unofficial half that drew tons of runners at Art/Pop. I heard about runners running around the Seven Seas Lagoon, the stories just kept coming and honestly it was the most inspiring thing I have seen in a long time, people wanting to earn those medals.

    Those people were not going to take a free medal, they were going to earn it and it was darned near the coolest thing I have ever seen in the running community.

    So I let my wife sleep a little longer then dropped the news on her that I was running. I was earning my Dopey. She was irritated honestly, she did not understand. So I hit the Boardwalk by myself and was blown away, it was around 9:00 am and there had to have been at least 50 folks running with their bibs and costumes on. I ran around the Boardwalk doing the mile circuit and came around a corner and there was my wife, in her running gear. She said after I left she decided I was right. I was all sorts of "more inspired" at this point and for the next couple of hours I had the best run of my life with my best friend. We toured Disney, from Fantasia Gardens, Beach Club, the Swan and Dolphin, the Reedy Creek Fire Station, DHS, Epcot, we saw wildlife without running through AK (saw a wild turkey and some squirrels). There were people cheering all over the place, there were makeshift water stations in front of the Beach Club and ESPN Club. We even stopped for some characters (runners in costume). We really made it one of the best days ever. At one point running on the trail between DHS and Epcot I counted 40 runners just there within view. It was really awesome. I think the zenith was probably around 10:00 am when people who resisted at first were inspired like I was, at that point I would say there was well over 100 hundred people just in the Boardwalk area alone running. We happily ran through rain and wind. Although we took it very easy and did an incredibly slow pace, I think it was the fastest race of my life.

    I finished my 13.1 at Epcot at the International Gateway, Amanda polished off her 13.1 at the Boardwalk Bakery.

    We lumbered up to the room feeling better about ourselves and sharing an incredible run. I looked out our window and people were still running. All day people decided to do their 13.1.

    Of course I would pay for that the next morning :).....
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  2. Greenlawler

    Greenlawler Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Part two The Marathon.....

    Well not much to report on here, but I will say kudos to Disney.

    From what I understand they got pretty much anyone who wanted to run the full that had a cancelled half registration in the race :)

    I also know of at least one person who finished her first full because of this, respect!

    I did okay, not a great time, but I did beat last year by 5 minutes. I need to drop some weight if I am ever going to get a sub 4 again.

    I intentionally went out slow and stayed at a steady 9:30 pace for the first 14 miles. I thought I could sustain that pace at least till mile 20 but I just could not. However I will say this was the first marathon I have ever run where I conserved my energy for the first half and I did have a little more in the tank for the second half, I just did not have 9:30 pace energy.

    It went south at AK.I have never liked running there and I did not like the out and back they had in front of AK. I will concede though, it was better there than where it used to be.

    By the time we got to DHS I was hobbling, not because of any injury, but I just did not have the energy. I think it was mental in hindsight. I mean my mile 26 time was a 10:15 which was the best mile I had run since mile 16.

    I still managed to get a respectable time and the race announcer John Pelkey always gives me props at the finish line for wearing my Titans gear.

    Not many rare characters, for those of you who run for the meet n greets.....Big Bad Wolf, and Oswald were the highlights, but I had met them before. Nothing like 2010 when they had Zorro, Tom Sawyer, and Davy Crocket out.

    I was relieved to finish marathon number 10, and Dopey number 4, and while I had thought all year this was my last Dopey.....I bet I fork over the cash in February.
     
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  3. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom Active Member

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    We were also there Marathon weekend-DH was one of those who got cancelled from the half-marathon. But he's got his medal, his shirt, and lots of souvenirs for family-all compliments of Disney, so he's OK. Hope you didn't freeze in the corrals before the marathon.
     
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  4. surfsupdon

    surfsupdon Well-Known Member

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    Very nice report. And congratulations.

    I have run many race weekends, and always follow along with social media. I too was inspired by the unofficial runs, the unofficial meet n greets, the water stops, and the cheerings that I read and heard about. It's such a nice community.

    When my W&D was cut, in essence, by half....I finished the race portion blisteringly fast, collected my medal, put it away, and ran the remainder of my race in the Epcot lot before heading into Epcot to party and wear the medal that I earned! Felt great!
     
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  5. LAKid53

    LAKid53 Well-Known Member

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    I like your wife's idea of a race finish...

    I live in North Florida - the storm that came through late Friday, early Saturday was pretty spectacular. I was getting ready for bed, heard this extremely loud rumble, thought a plane was flying waaay to close to my house to land at the airport nearby, then realized it was thunder...in January...and it was pretty cold that night. Highly unusual weather for this time of year.

    Agree, runDisney made the right decision - runners and volunteers safety is No.1. It was encouraging to read that runners decided to go ahead and run their 13.1 miles. And guests were cheering them on. Sounds like a better race than the official one!
     
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  6. Greenlawler

    Greenlawler Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I was on a podcast last week talking about the races.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
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  7. mickeymatt

    mickeymatt Active Member

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    I ran the Dopey Challenge but I did not get to run the half unofficially. After receiving the news from RunDisney that the half had been cancelled (a call which I agreed with), We decided to return to EPCOT for the night and eat dinner. So we went to Tutto Gusto wine cellar. I decided to get the corkscrew pasta with lamb. Baaaaaad decision. Got to bed by 11pm and by 11:30 I was vomitting until 4 in the morning. I have never been so sick in my life. So I spent Saturday in bed rehydrating. I felt weak but better by Sat night. I did run and complete the marathon on Sunday and felt better than I did when I just ran the Marathon in 2015. I did have thoughts of giving up sitting in the freezing cold in the last corral. Glad I didn't! Although I didn't officially earn my Dopey by running the half, I feel that I earned it by being sick all night. My wife says that I puked 13.1 miles worth;-)
     
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