Tag Archive for Gear

Dopey Challenge packing list / to take list posted #dopeychallenge

With about a week and a half to go before I get on a plane to Orlando for the 2015 Disney World Marathon and Dopey Challenge I figured I should review what I need to take with me! If I need to rush out and buy anything it would be good to do that now instead of say just before I get on the plane…

I am posting the list here but also over on it’s own “to take list for Dopey Challenge” page so it is easier to find through the site’s pull down menus at the top of the site header.

A few years back I made up a packing list for the Goofy Challenge but as I have started thinking about what I will need for the Dopey Challenge I have realized that that original list needs to be expanded.

(If you like you can also check out my list of Top 5 things to NOT do at the Walt Disney World Marathon for additional ideas.

I still think the Goofy Challenge list is solid for what it is – covering 2 days of running back to back. But with the Dopey Challenge’s 4 days straight of running, more gear will be required. Beyond the obvious things like needing gear for 4 days there is the fact that the Florida weather can change quickly and runners will need to be ready for cold weather, hot weather, rain, fog, sun, etc – this means I am going to need to pack a big variety of items to cover all contingencies.

I have managed to do a Goofy Challenge trip with only carry on bags – that is not going to happen for the Dopey Challenge (at least not for me – if you can pull it off, let me know how because the physics of that must be incredible). I will need to check a bag if just because this trip requires me to be at Disney World 2 days longer than that previous trip did.

So with that in mind this packing list will include items specifically required for the runs, recovery and making it through package pickup.

Let’s start with package pickup:

  1. You are going to require your passport or some form of government photo ID to get your bibs.
  1. You also need your signed waiver available off of the runDisney / Track Shack sites (2015 Walt Disney World Marathon waiver / bib # look up) – you can also print a copy at the race expo but that cuts into shopping and exploring time.
  1. Currency – lots of shopping to do at the race expo – I believe last year the runDisney areas would take the magic bands to charge to your room but the other vendors aren’t likely to. So have some cash or credit card available for the expo.

Now for the races a lot of what will be required will heavily depend on the weather. I did my first Goofy Challenge during the infamous freeze out of 2010 (it snowed the morning of the half that year and it was actually warmer in Winnipeg that day) but I also did 2013 where many runners dropped out of the full due to the heat and humidity. You can get sun, you can get clouds, you can get fog, you can get rain – and you really don’t want to be spending time the day before the race running around trying to find what you need for the next day. I go into these races with more than I probably need but I like not having to scramble to find stuff (it takes away one of the stressors of the races).

I could reduce the list below by planning on doing laundry during the trip but I would rather go to a park instead…

So on to the list for the races:

  1. Disney Pieces of Magic – these are basically tokens I take with me on every race to help remind me of my family and why I am out there running. Not everyone will have this kind of a thing but they are important to me.
  1.  GPS watch – Garmin Forerunner 201 – a little old but still works well.
  1. Smart phone and headphones – Samsung S4 – music and gps apps as well as photos, Twitter, etc. If things go to hell I also have a run/walk interval timer app installed to get me through the full. I will have the phone in an armored case and on a belt clip. I will most likely have a spare battery with me on the full as well.
  1. Point and shoot camera and case – Canon 300HS – a nice little camera that is easy to handle and can take a bit of a beating. I could use the phone for photos but in the environment of the races it will be nice to have an independent camera.
  1. 4-5 pairs of running shorts – one for each day of racing – I prefer ones with pockets for carrying a variety of items within easy reach (like Kleenex or a bag of candy)
  1. 4-5 pairs of running underwear
  1. 4-5 pairs of running socks
  1. 3-4 pairs of running shoes – I will be bringing a fairly new pair of Nike Pegasus 30s that I will use for the 5k and 10k for sure and maybe the half marathon. I will also have some well used but still good Hoka One One Cliftons for full marathon (and maybe the half). Beyond that I also will be bringing a set pf well used but still solid set of Nike Pegasus 30 LE’s as a backup pair in case there is an issue with one of the other pairs or they get wet, etc
  1. 2 thermal running undershirts – to only be used if it is quite cold out – if the weather forecast looks to be cold before I leave home I could pack more
  1. 4-5 short or long sleeve running shirts – a mix of short and long sleeves and the actual numbers of each will depend on the weather forecast. You could supplement or reduce the number by using the race shirts you will get at the expo but there are couple problems there. First some old school runners get pissy if they see someone using the race shirt before it has been “earned” – that falls back to when the race shirts were given out after the race was done and they were specifically “finisher” shirts. Now the shirts are for “participants” so that argument seems to fall more along the lines of either elitism or superstition. But there is a more practical reason to not wear the race shirts on the day of the race and that falls to the old mistake of using something new on race day – the race shirts could chafe or bind where you aren’t expecting and could really wreck the experience. It really is best to used tried and true gear on race day if you can.
  1. Running hat – humidity during the races can be wicked and even if the sun doesn’t make it up until after you are done racing you will most likely be thankful to have something wicking moisture away from your eyes.
  1. Arm sleeves – I only have one set and I will be bringing them but will most likely only wear them if it is going to be cool. Basically I will use them as an extra layer of warmth if required.
  1. Calf sleeves – I will be bringing the 3 pairs I have – I don’t tend to use them on shorter runs so I intend to use 1 pair on the half marathon, another on the full and the last one will be used for recovery after both of those races
  1. Leggings / running pants – I will be bringing 2 pairs of these but with the same proviso as the thermal under shirts – I will only use them if it is cool enough.
  1. Running gloves – I will be bringing a couple pairs in case it is cold
  1. Toque / knitted hat / balaclava – I will be bringing one or 2 in case it is cold but it will have to be near 2010 temperatures before I will use them.
  1. Nipple protectors / anti chafing stuff – bleeding nipples suck and will ruin your day.
  1. Running bib belt – I got into using one of these last year and I find it much more convenient to use than the safety pins. You do have to be careful with it to ensure your number is visible for photographers but that is a minor inconvenience for me compared to trying like 3 or 4 times to get a bib pinned on a shirt correctly. With having 2 bibs for the Dopey Challenge, with each one needing to be used for 2 races, the bib belt makes even more sense since you don’t have to move the bib from shirt to shirt.
  1. Water bottle belt and bottle – I use this as something to clip my phone on, to hook my camera pouch to, to store some of the stuff I carry with me like wipes and Kleenex…and to carry a water bottle. For the 5k and 10k I will most likely just have plain old water in this but will have a glucose drink of some sort in there for the half marathon.
  1. Hydration backpack – I will use this on the full. I have lots of tummy troubles when I drink Gatorade or PowerAde in races so I need to carry my own fuel and I have had good success with the hydration backpack on several of my long training runs. Mine holds 2 liters of liquid and in this case I will essentially be drinking flat Coke for the full race. I had good success with that on the 12 hour run (Lemming Loop – I completed 49.2785 miles) I did back in early October.
  1. Wipes – happy bum = happy runner – not sure who first said that but it is a valid statement! Several in a small ziplock sandwich bag for easy transport.
  1. Kleenex – several in a small ziplock for easy transport – I have used them for everything from cleaning my sunglasses to covering a chafing area to actually blowing my nose…
  1. Spirulina algae – lots of runners swear by EnergyBits when running but I have never had a chance to try them. I have however tried and have had success with other name brand spirulina algae tablets (the same ingredient as in the EnergyBits) in some races and on many long training runs. Gels disagree with me the same way Gatorade does so I need another method of fueling on longer runs and the algae tablets seem to be working for me. If you don’t use these kinds of things then substitute the fuel you are used to. Don’t count on finding anything you specifically want at the expo – bring it with you so you have it!
  1. Large black garbage bags / thermal emergency blankets – to stay warm before the races – it can get chilly waiting around in the staging areas and the corrals and these help you retain body heat. A bonus with the garbage bags is that they can also be used if it is rainy.
  1. Toss away warm up sweaters – for the same reason as the item above – if it gets cool, that Florida humidity will sink in and really make you feel cold. This is something even runners from northern climates need to watch for – a temperature that looks like it would have been fine at home can quickly feel very cold because the humidity makes it feel even colder. Remember we are talking potentially hours of standing / sitting around between when you get to the staging area before you get to actually run.
  1. Sunglasses – The timing of the 5k and 10k is probably such that sunglasses aren’t needed for those races but if it is sunny then you will definitely want them for the full and the half (unless you are super speedy). I am also bringing some different lenses to try out on a pair of sunglasses I have, a clear (no tinting) set of lenses that would cut wind to the eyes if it is really windy and a blue set that could be useful on hazy days to get better visibility (and probably improve my mood).
  1. Blister kit / bandages – might not bring this on the actual runs but good to have with you in the room to take care of any blisters or hiccups from the various races
  1. Painkillers – Tylenol – they hand these out at a few of the medical tents but it might be good to have some in the hotel room. Ibuprofen would be good to have as well but do some hunting around the net to see when it is safe to have in conjunction with running.

I think that is about all of it but if I think of anything else I will add it. Also check out the Goofy Challenge to take list for other ideas and more explanations of why I bring what I do.

It is also good to note that over time I have changed what I bring with me to these races – as I do more races and continue to learn what works best for me I will continue to adapt the list.

Shopping trip to Fargo/Grand Forks yields 3 sets of shoes – #Nike pegasus 30 (love), pegasus 31 and structure 17 to test out!

Late Tuesday afternoon I, my wife, son, daughter and my brother hopped in the van and went on a bit of a road trip. We headed down to Fargo from Winnipeg for a quick supper and some shopping at Scheels for running shoes. Then we headed back to Grand Forks to grab a hotel before shopping away the day yesterday (Wednesday).

My main goal on the trip was to grab some extra shoes. My outdoor pair will probably be topped out on the mileage by next week and my current treadmill pair will be done by the end of August. I do have one pair of Nike Pegasus 30 LEs in reserve but they will go in service shortly. With the mileage I have planned for the Dopey Challenge training, I will need new shoes by the end of September for sure. The Nike’s I usually wear (Pegasus – have gone through 6-7 pairs in the past year and a half and probably 20 in total – love them!) are $30 cheaper in the US versus here in Canada – with Nike making significant changes to the Pegasus shoes for version 31 I wanted to make sure to pick up a pair as cheaply as I could in case the changes did not work for me. Scheels quite often has discounts on previous model versions as well so I have sometimes found my shoes for half the cost of what I would pay in Winnipeg.

Unfortunately this trip they didn’t have any Pegasus shoes in the discount area but they did have a pair of Nike Structure 17s in my size. After some quick research I realized that those might be a good idea to try – the added support and slight over pronation correction as well as similar cushioning to what I am used to with the Pegasus could really help my knee issues I have been having lately without overly changing the type of shoe I use. So I picked those up for about $60 cheaper than the Canadian price. I figured the reduced price would make these shoes a worthwhile experiment.

I also wanted to try out a Nike Pegasus 31 – the toe to heel differences and other changes they have made from the 30s could significantly change the shoe and the 20% shoe sale Scheels had on top of the difference between US and Canadian prices means I was able to pick up a pair for $55 less than the current Canadian price.

Interesting thing with the 31 over the 30 was that the toe box was a lot tighter – on the 30s (and many previous versions) I use a 12 and can work with a 12.5 but with the 31 the 12s were just way too tight around the toes for me. Unfortunately Scheels didn’t have a 12.5 to try but they did have a 13 which might be a bit big but seems ok. So it looks like the 31s run 0.5-1 shoe size tighter than what they had been for the 30s (so you could need 0.5 to 1 shoe size greater than previous versions).

I walked into the store wearing a pair of 29s and I could immediately notice the changes for the toe – heel height – I am very interested to see how this will affect my runs. I will be testing these soon.

Scheels also had a new store opened up in Grand Forks (in the Columbia Mall) just recently and they were running grand opening specials there that included 20% off shoes – and they had a pair of Pegasus 30s in my size (12 for this version of the shoe) …so I picked up a pair of those as well. Funny thing this pair is now my 4th set of the exact same colour pattern – 3rd pair is my current treadmill set, 2nd got me through Goofy Challenge in January (and are now my yard shoes) and first set was for training last fall (and my Goofy Challenge backups / walking around pair).

So I came out of this trip with 2 shoes to experiment with and a known quantity…all for less than 2 pairs would have cost me in Canada – in the end the price difference paid for the hotel room for the night (and my wife got to do some shopping as well).  All in all, a productive trip!

If both the Pegasus 31s and the Structure 17s work out, this gives me enough shoes to make it through my summer and fall training into the Dopey Challenge with some room to spare. So shouldn’t need to buy any more until after the Dopey is done!

Nike Pegasus 30, 31 and Structure 17

Nike Pegasus 30, 31 and Structure 17



5 miles in 36:16 – now just a 2k family fun run on Sat before WPS Half Marathon on Sunday!

My knee was aching for most of last night after my run so I decided to switch out my running shoes earlier than I had planned. The pair from last night were at around 320 miles and I figured I should be able to get 350 or so based on my last pair but the knee ache was a call for a change.

So I switch out to another pair that are sitting around 260 miles – knee felt remarkably better. So I will run these out for another 60+ miles probably and then retire them as well.

Those are my treadmill shoes – I am running a newer pair outside which are sitting at around 60 miles right now. Nice and broken in but still lots of cushion going into my runs this weekend.

Going to be a busy weekend for the family overall. Kids’ swimming lessons Friday night – as soon as that is over I have to go to packet pickup for my Sunday half marathon and then there are 2 races to do this weekend.

As a family we have a 2km fun run at the kids’ school called the Run at the Ridge – that takes place Saturday morning. That run will count as my leg stretch before a half marathon race the next day.

On Sunday then I have the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) half marathon – looking forward to this one if just to see where I am after the winter. I would still love to break my PR of 1:46:11 on that race but with the weather and not being able to run enough outside I really have no idea where my time will be. Treadmill says it is possible but who knows? Should be interesting.

Weather for the weekend has temperatures below freezing at the start of both runs – yay! At least I shouldn’t overheat on the half marathon.

So run tonight was good – I was concerned going into it that my aching knee would give me issues tonight but after the first 3-4 minutes it was good and settled in and I was able to run pretty strong. A very respectable time for 5 miles – 36:16 with a 1% incline and no walking. Knee feels good now after the run as well so that is very positive. But I will still be resting it tomorrow to give it a chance to recover from any damage from last night.

We made it! Race packages are picked up for Goofy Challenge and money was spent at the expo!

My apologies if the following post isn’t very exiting – super tired right now after a very early start today – it may not come across below but I am extremely excited and happy to be here at Disney World and completely wired to have the races begin!

So with that said on with the day’s recap:

Early start this morning – quite possibly earlier than many doing the 5k family race this morning at Epcot.   We were at the airport in Winnipeg going through security at about 4am Central time.  I think in the end due to worrying about possible flight delays and cancellations I only got 2 hours of sleep.  This meant I spent most of the day with a headache which was lovely but I survived.

Our plane left Winnipeg about 20 minutes late due to it requiring de-icing.  We ended up with good seats though – exit row with 3 seats for the 2 of us which was pretty awesome.

Because we didn’t check any bags we were able to get through US security in Toronto much more easily than we have in the past.  In the end our plane in Toronto was about 30-40 minutes late taking off and we managed to get exit row again.  We had to juggle seats as the air crew sorted out where some kids were on the plane but that worked for us as well.  We still got the exit row seats but in the one single row where there are 2 seats instead of 3 – meaning my wife and I got to sit nicely together without us imposing on anyone else’s space or them on ours.  Was very nice.

Got off the plane about an hour late – disappointing but much better than what others went through in the past couple days and definitely better than I was expecting.

About 15 minute wait at Magical Express before heading to the Pop Century resort – check in was easy and they had our Magic Bands for us.  We then had a real quick bite to eat and then headed to the Expo to grab all of our stuff for the weekend.  I noticed some folks from the Pacebook Running Club in the cafeteria area which was cool.

From the crowds at the expo I am convinced that getting to the expo around 5 pm on the Thursday is the way to go if you want to avoid crowds!  Not very busy at all and grabbing our stuff was quick and easy.  I did have to go back and get a second clear bag for bag check as my first one started to rip along a seam.  I do have to say though that the runDisney merchandise available was a bit disappointing – just not to my personal tastes for colours and shirt styles, etc.

Lots of other shopping was done though – my wife got one of the Dooney & Burke purses and I ended up with a couple shirts from InkNBurn that look awesome.

Then had a quick snack and beer back at the Pop Century before heading back to our room to get some much needed rest!

Updated my packing list for Disney World Marathon / Goofy Challenge

Unfortunately I won’t be making it to the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon, Goofy Challenge or Dopey Challenge but below are links to my packing lists for those races.

Goofy Challenge packing list: Goofy Challenge to take list / packing list

Dope Challenge packing list: Dopey Challenge to take list / packing list

For comparison the post originally linked to Manitoba Marathon to take list.