Goofy or Dopey in January 2015? Time to decide!

Kinda pumped here – early registration for Disney Annual Passholders for the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend opens tomorrow April 16th at noon eastern.

I am an annual passholder and I am going to register as soon as I can tomorrow for my 5th Goofy Challenge (the 10th anniversary race no less)….but I have been having a tough time deciding if that Goofy Challenge should be part of a Dopey Challenge or not.

This will be my fifth Goofy Challenge either way (4th year in a row!) and it will likely be my last one for a while.  But I am torn on how I want to go out…do I want do the Goofy and take it a bit easier and just have fun or do I want to amp up the challenge a bit and go out with a bang by doing the Dopey?

It really is a hard choice and I have been trying to do the pros and cons either way for a while in my head and I can’t really seem to reach a conclusion either way. I was working on a bit of a matrix to do a comparison of things like additional cost and time away from the family versus the additional bling and bragging rights, etc.

Every way I played with the numbers or looked at things objectively I kept coming back to the Goofy Challenge as the set of races that makes the most sense for me. (hell the blog name has Goofy right there in the title)…….BUT….it looks like I will be signing up for the Dopey Challenge instead. I might like to think I’m smart but some days proof is a bit scarce.

My brother will be going as well to do his 3rd Goofy Challenge and he has made the argument that he is going to probably be wrecked after the full no matter what so he wants to make sure he has several days before the full where he can do fun stuff.  And the early morning races on the Thursday and Friday will just make sure he doesn’t sleep in.

All my math and matrices really can’t counter those arguments when it comes down to it.

So Dopey it is!

I will need a bit of a game plan though on how I want to do the runs and I suspect that what I will do is run the 5k and 10k with my brother and then do the half at a comfortable push. Basically do the half in a strong time but not so hard that I have trouble the next day.  Then on the full I will try to hit as many character stops as I can and just have fun with it.

So with that all in mind I will be looking at changing up my training schedule as I go along to get myself ready for running decently 4 days in a row. I suspect I could drag myself across the finish line of a Dopey right now considering where I am in training but the idea will be not to drag so that I can have more fun.  So I will continue on my current training schedule to get to the Manitoba Marathon in June 2014 shooting for a new PR there – after that I will be building up endurance and strength through the summer in the pool.  I think I will probably also sign up for several half marathon races in the fall around home just like I did last fall and push up my speed through September and October.  Then November and December will be all about building up more endurance again.

Well, there you go, I made a plan – which means I have committed myself mentally to it. Now I just have to wait 9 months or so to give it a go.


  1. sue says:

    so it looks like you are a pro at the goofy challenge. Can you give me any training tips. this is my first year and i am looking forward to it. Also, i am confused as to what is the dopey challenge to the goofy challenge. it doesnt matter because dopey is closed but i was curiious.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Ted says:

      Hi Sue

      Congrats on deciding to go with a runDisney race – you couldn’t ask for a friendlier atmosphere to run in. I’m not quite sure from your comment but are you doing the Goofy? If so – awesome! Congrats.

      The differences between the Dopey and Goofy are both simple and complex – the Goofy is the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on the Sunday. The Dopey includes these races as well – so if you do the Dopey you do the Goofy too so you get the medal and the credit for doing the challenge. On top of that though the Dopey includes doing the family 5k on Thurday and the Minnie 10k on Friday as well. So 4 races instead of 2. On paper Dopey is “only” 15k or 9.3 miles more than Goofy but from a logistics stand point it is a lot more. You have 2 more days worth of racing to consider for gear and fuel, 2 more days of extremely early wake up calls (I haven’t done the Dopey yet but this seems to be that this would actually be the worst part of it), etc. The differences start out as being only a couple more small runs but even though the runs are shorter, it is still 2 more days of racing to contend with. I am very interested to see how I do with the Dopey in January.

      For training – you can check out my training program linked at the top of the page – there is a bunch of info in there on what I did for training versus actual running for the past couple Goofy Challenges I was in. There are also links on that page to folks like Lee Hoedl and his training plan (watch his videos on youtube for a great overview of the experience of the goofy challenge) and Hal Higdon (I base my training on his intermediate marathon training program). Also don’t overlook Jeff Galloway’s training program linked off of the runDisney website – I don’t do the run-walk-run method he endorses but it is a great training tool and something I will fall into if I am falling apart on a run.

      My number one piece of advice is “consistency” – put in the effort in a consistent manner and the results will come. You can miss a run here or there but as long as you are putting in the miles you can make it happen!

      Good luck Sue! and please let me know if you would like more info.

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