Well, this is my third time starting to write up a race trip report for this past weekend’s Goofy Challenge / Walt Disney World Marathon trip and I think I might finally have figured it out!
Let’s start of with saying that this trip was unique and full of firsts and cool events. I didn’t have a great race but the trip reinforced to me the strength and awesomeness of the runDisney community!
I met some cool runners on the trip starting even before I made it down to Orlando.
In Toronto, during my layover, I had a runner (Mike) come up to me recognizing the Goofy Challenge shirt that I was wearing and we started chatting about the races coming up. He was also on his way down to do the Goofy Challenge. As we chatted, it came out that he had read my packing list posts (which turned out to be prophetic considering how cold the marathon was on Sunday, but more on that later). That was pretty cool – the blog doesn’t get a huge amount of traffic so anytime I run into someone who has read some part of the blog it is pretty amazing to me. He had a pretty powerful story too about having part of one of his lungs removed in Dec 2015 and trained through 2016, running 3 half marathons all culminating for a celebratory Goofy Challenge. Fantastic and very inspiring! Cool start to the weekend meeting someone like that! I didn’t run into him again after we got off the plane in Orlando but if you are reading this, I have got to say, it is a very inspiring story man, and I hope you had a good set of runs over the weekend! Cheers to you!!
Also in Toronto, we chatted with another runner going down and she was running for Team Diabetes.
So many cool, inspiring stories and I haven’t even made it out of the country yet!
On the plane, I sat next to a family from Ontario heading down to cheer their daughter on who was running the marathon. Again, very cool. And it just shows the variety of people that go to the runDisney racing events.
Once down in Orlando, I hopped on the Magical Express and got the ride to the resort. And after taking care of a quick stop to sort out my park tickets, I got on the event bus to go get my race package from the race expo.
runDisney had tweaked the race expo since the last time I was there and I’m not sure it was really an improvement but it worked well enough. Although, I have to say the routing of the runners who had pre-ordered merchandise was very strange and did not seem efficient at all. But I got my stuff, so how bad could it be? Before leaving the expo I caught a few minutes of Olympian and runDisney legend Jeff Galloway’s presentation.
At the expo I picked up a few things like a new running hat and a new set of shoes that were a pretty good deal even after US to Canadian exchange.
After that it was back to the hotel before heading into Epcot to wander around (and have a beer and a pretzel the size of my head). And then I did a wander around the Boardwalk area before heading back to the room to turn in for the night.
Next up Day 2 – spectating the Minnie 10k and some bad news about the half marathon