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Goofy / Dopey Challenge Training

Timeline Tips and Advice

Smiles and Miles: Running Reflections and Suggestions

Staging Area and Starting Corrals

Disney Post-Race Details

Post-Race, What Should I Do/Eat?

Past Years' Goofy Challenge Videos

Additional Disney Race Videos

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13 Rules of Marathon Training

Navigating Your Water Stations

Disney Racing Etiquette

Tapering Before Your Disney Race

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CONTACT

Lee Hoedl
6155 16th St. South, Fargo, ND 58104
Cell: 701.306.1266
Email: leehoedl@yahoo.com
 

DISNEY WORLD MARATHON TIMELINE TIPS AND ADVICE

For any annual Disney World Marathon Weekend there is much to plan for and to remember. Below are helpful tips and advice to aid you in mentally and physically preparing for your Disney race experience.

SPECIAL NOTE

This section of the website is highly fluid. As Disney World advances its racing program. protocol and procedures, this section is continually being updated. If you find any information that needs to be revised or you have additional tips and advice, feel free to contact Lee Hoedl at leehoedl@yahoo.com.

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TIPS AND ADVICE

Registering for your Disney World Marathon Weekend experience is just the beginning. Here are some important tips and suggestions to help enhance your experience, should you be staying on Disney property and running either the Half-Marathon, Full Marathon, Goofy or Dopey Challenge at Disney World.

Print out this page and check off your list as you go along. Should you have any questions, feel free to email leehoedl@yahoo.com. Also, revist this particular page as additional suggestions are added as they are remembered.

PRE-FLIGHT AND PRE-REGISTRATION

13 RACE PROGRAM, IDENTIFICATION AND PAPERWORK

Before leaving on your flight or travels to Disney World, double check that you have all the necessary materials (race program, personal identification, printed maps and any other pertinent information/paperwork).

DISNEY MARATHON WEEKEND RACE PROGRAM

CLICK HERE to download the sample 2014 Disney Marathon Weekend program that was posted on the Disney Marathon website for runners and families to download. It has all the necessary general information about all the weekend races and the program (pdf file) is usually posted online in early December prior to the upcoming races in January.

DISNEY MARATHON WEEKEND CHECKLIST

Also, click on the image on the left to open up the Disney Marathon Weekend Checklist that outlines all the items (racing clothing and accessories) you should consider bringing for your race experience. Please note this checklist is created to accommodate those runners competing in the Goofy Challenge. Those running the Dopey Challenge should consider bringing additional running shorts and jersey.

13 HOTEL RESERVATION (CONFIRMATION) AND DINING RESERVATIONS

With so many runners and family members attending each annual Disney World Marathon Weekend, it is beneficial to call ahead at least two weeks prior to your arrival to Disney World to confirm your room reservation. You can call (407) 939-7675 to confirm your present reservation.

If you are planning to eat out a Disney restaurant during the Disney World Marathon Weekend, be sure to make your dinner reservations well in advance (at least 90 days or more). You may make reservations online at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining, or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.

 

ARRIVING TO DISNEY WORLD

13 SHUTTLE BUS SCHEDULE

Take a moment, when checking in, to see when shuttle buses will be running (from your hotel on Disney property to the EPCOT parking lot) on the day of your race. In 2007-2013, the shuttles typically ran from 3:00 - 4:30 am, from Disney World hotels to the EPCOT parking lot (runners' staging area).

13 GROCERIES SERVICE

When checking in at your Disney World hotel, check with the front desk as to how you can secure basic groceries (fruit, bagels, juice. etc.) or where you can find your pre-marathon food/snacks on Disney property. Even if you have to take a shuttle to another Disney World hotel complex on property, the ride doesn't take that long. Friday or Saturday (if you're running the marathon) is a good time to secure your food items.

 

RACE REGISTRATION AND PACKET PICK-UP

13 MAKE SURE YOUR PLANS ALLOW FOR PACKET PICK-UP

All runners must attend the Disney's Health and Fitness Expo for their racing bib and packet pick-up. If it is possible, it is recommended that you attend packet pick-up on Thursday to avoid expected long lines on Friday and Saturday.

Through racer-specific email (which allows online access and print out), participants will receive an official race number / athlete waiver. All runners must bring the signed waiver and and photo I.D. and present them at the Expo in order to receive a race packet.

There is usually a location on the Expo floor to print out a new waiver for you if you forgot yours, but it takes time; so don't forget to bring your identification and signed waiver.

Below is the 2014 viewing of the Disney World Marathon Weekend Expo and Packet Pick-Up area.

In an area just below and to the right of this picture is the parking area where the Disney buses will drop you off at the Packet Pick-Up/Expo venue.

A (HP Field House) - This is the location where you will first go to show your race waiver verification form and receive your racing bib(s) and your timing chips/strips. Once you've received these, you will then go to the Jostens Center for your race shirt and gEAR bag pick-up. There is a general area on the complex floor that will sell a large mount of Disney Marathon Weekend race memorabilia.

B (Jostens Center) - The Jostens Center is where you will go to receive your race tech shirt(s) and your race goody bag - it is the site of the Disney Health and Fitness Expo. The complex floor will host lrace-related vendors.

Race packet pick-up is held at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex. The hours for race packet pick-up have typically been:

10:00 am - 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdayt, Jan. 8, 2014

9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 9, 2014

9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 10, 2014

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, 2014

Double check the official Disney World Marathon Weekend website for specific packet pick-up times during these three days of the marathon weekend. If you are running the Goofy Challenge, it is recommended that you attend the Expo/Packet Pick-Up on Wednesday, Thursday or early Friday morning, as it gets very busy, very quickly beginning on Friday morning. If you are running the Dopey Challenge, you will need to get to the Expo on Wednesday!

13 OFFICIAL RACE MERCHANDISE

A wide variety of Disney Marathon Weekend merchandise will be available for purchase at Disney's Health and Fitness Expo.

Following the Expo, there is limited race souvenirs and merchandise that will be sold in the runners' staging area of the EPCOT parking lot prior to the race, but after that, you won't find souvenirs or merchandise for sale. Be sure to get your merchandise at the Disney Health and Fitness Expo.

13 BE FAMILIAR WITH THE RACE ROUTE(S)

Take some time to review the Disney World Half/Marathon routes the day before your race. That way you have a better mental idea of the mileage placement within the Disney World property. Click on the images below to see the larger route maps(pdf file) for 2014 - the most recent individual race route video is below the map.

Directly below is a general overview of the 2014 half marathon and marathon routes, with some helpful tips along the way as to what you can expect. Below this video you will find the specific video overviews for the Disney World 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon routes. It is a great way to visually see each route and what lies ahead for you. In the lower right hand border corner is the YouTube icon - click on it to take you to YouTube and a larger viewing of that particular video.

WDW 5K and 10K Route Map and Videos

 

 

WDW Half Marathon Route Map and Video

 

WDW Marathon Route Map and Video

 

 

PRE-RACE SUGGESTIONS

13 BE READY FOR YOUR SHUTTLE BUS

After you have found out what time the shuttle runs from your hotel to the runners' staging area, be sure to call desk service on the night before the race and leave a wake-up call. It also wouldn't hurt to bring a portable alarm clock so that you have a back-up alarm... just in case you are a hard person to wake up.

Shuttles have typically started picking up racers at 3:00 am and stop their service at around 4:00 am. A wake-up call for 2:00 am should leave enough time for a carbo-load breakfast, prep and out to the shuttle pick-up location at your Disney World hotel's entrance.

13 BRING A BLANKET / TOWEL, WARM GRUBBIES, AND CASH

When you arrive to the EPCOT parking lot, there will be a short walk to the runners' staging area. If it holds true to the 2007-2013 races, the staging area will be a large compound where you can (1) listen to outdoor music, (2) purchase limited marathon clothing and souvenirs, (3) purchase some food items (i.e. energy bars, coffee, water, juice, fruit, etc.) and (4) store your personal belongings in the Disney bag drop-off / pick-up area.

The runners' staging area is a large parking lot area that is completely bordered by vendors and porta potties (enough for everyone) - see image below (click on it for a larger view). It's important to know there are NO benches, chairs, bleachers or stands to sit on - there is only graveled parking lot. Having said that, it is recommended that you bring an oversized towel (and/or better yet, a disposable blow-up air mattress) to sit on and to have space to stretch out. This towel will easily fit in the bag given to you by Disney World, which you will drop off prior to the beginning of your race.

The average temperature when arriving to the runners' staging area is in the low 50s, with the race time temperatures ranging in the low 60s. Again, this is ONLY an average. In 2007, 2008 and 2013, it was 60-65 degrees when arriving to the staging area and it reached temperatures into the mid 80s of the marathon, with humidity over 50%. Inversely, the 2010 Disney World Half-Marathon and Marathon witnessed temperatures in the low 30s, with blowing snow and sleet throughout the races.

If temperatures are in the annual average range, it is always helpful to bring a pair of grubbies/old sweats that you can discard at the start of your race. Disney World staff and volunteers will collect all clothing and goodwill the items to local shelters. Keep in mind that you will be in the staging area from at least 3:30 - 5:00 am, until you walk about a quarter of a mile to your start line. You will wait there until the 5:40 am start of the first wave of runners, so it can get cold while you are waiting. And it never hurts to throw a 35-gallon lawn bag into your luggage - cut a hole in the bottom center of the bag (at the fold) and place your head through the hole. This will keep you warm at the starting line until you run!

In 2007-2013, there were concessions available for purchase in the runners' staging area. Bring money for these items (coffee, tea, snack bars, etc.) and for any souvenirs you might want to purchase.

 

RACE SUGGESTIONS

13 PACE YOURSELF AND ENJOY THE OPENING CEREMONIES

There were over 16,000 marathon runners and over 16,000 half-marathon runners in the 2008 and 2009 races and many more in recent years, so it will not only take time to get to the start line but also it will be slow moving in the first few miles. Be patient with yourself and all other fellow runners. Use those first few miles to WARM UP.

With all Disney World events, there are fireworks to kick off the half-marathon and marathon - you can check out video footage of the runners' staging area, walking to the starting line, the race start and along the route of the past several Disney World Half-Marathons and Marathons by going to Past Year's Goofy Challenge Videos.

13 BRING A CAMERA AND FEEL FREE TO TAKE PICTURES

One of the greatest mistakes of running the Disney World races is getting back home and then saying to yourself, "I wish I had stopped to take some photos." Bring a small digital camera that can be put in a fuel pack pouch on your waist. Take the time, if you have it, to add on an extra half hour so that you can pose with all the premiere Disney characters - you won't regret it. There are characters galor along all the race routes.

 

 

POST-RACE SUGGESTIONS

And what will the post-race area look like and what should you do? Great question! Below is a link to some suggestions and recommendations for you once you've finished your Disney race(s).

SPECIAL NOTE: For those staying on Disney property, the shuttle buses to take you back to your hotel will be waiting (look for the specific hotel sign by the bus) for you in the general area where you previously left the staging area to begin your race. It will be - as you exit out of your race and into the staging area again - to the right of the music stage, beyond the bag-check tents.

DISNEY POST-RACE DETAILS

13 BE SURE TO GET A FINISHER'S PHOTO

In the area just out from where you receive your finisher's medal, there will be opportunities to take your official finisher's photo. Don't forget to do so - just in case you want to order a copy when you get home!

13 CELEBRATE AND PAMPER YOURSELF

After completing such a memorable and wonderful feat, be sure to celebrate and pamper yourself. Go out to a Disney World dining experience - but be sure to wear your medal. If you are running in both the half and full marathon (Goofy Challenge), be sure to get back to your room and take a quick ice bath to bring down any swelling and begin the healing process. Click on the links below to see what else you should do and eat after your Disney race:

FOLLOW THESE HELPFUL TIPS: WHAT DO I DO AND EAT AFTER MY DISNEY RACE?

13 DISPLAY YOUR MEDAL(S) PROUDLY WHILE AT DISNEY WORLD

It is customary and expected that you wear your Disney World finisher's medal(s) while in the parks. Don't be at all surprised if you are congratulated by a number of other park visitors - it's not only an honor to participate but also to finish any of these Disney races.

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Finally, my friend, remember that the overall goal of the Disney World races is to have fun. Visit with people from all over the world, take pictures with Disney characters, wave at all the spectators, make some great lifetime memories and simply find that child within you... because in no time at all, it will be a distant and glorious memory.