Oops, I did it again… I signed up for the Dopey Challenge during Walt Disney World’s Marathon Weekend (January 7-11, 2015).
I wasn’t going to register, but as I was perusing the Boston Marathon Expo the boys at the runDisney booth reeled me into their world of magic. I visited the expo on Friday afternoon; the official registration for Marathon Weekend opened the following Tuesday at noon. Registering for a runDisney race can be anxiety ridden. Some races have sold out within 45 minutes. You have to be at the computer exactly when registration opens if you’re seriously considering joining the thousands of lucky, race day bib holders. All it took for me to blow $530 on four consecutive days of early morning risings and 48.6 miles of running were these alluring words from the runDisney staff, “if you sign up today, you won’t have to sit in front of your computer on Tuesday.” In an emotionally driven decision, I shelled out the money, of which I am now busting my butt to recoup, and received a free backpack. Thanks boys!
But why did I sign up? I participated in the inaugural Dopey Challenge in January 2014. I didn’t really need to shell out that much cash to run the same race. again. I know many people listened to the voices in their heads saying, “one and done” or their wallets saying “I don’t think so buddy.” But with the angel and devil sitting upon my shoulders that day, I had to follow my heart above all else. I actually enjoy arriving at the Epcot parking lot before the sun, greeted by energy sparking tunes blaring through speakers and a sea of fellow runners heading towards the corrals. I welcome a challenge to push my body to its limits. Last time, I was blinded by the number of shiny medals I’d receive (six total). This time, I know what awaits me daily. I’ll be running it alone this year, but that’s how I usually run all of my races, that’s how I run my life: to the beat in my own headphones.
But the main reason I registered to continue my “perfect” Dopey status is that I don’t know where life will lead me by now and then. I may be right here in Massachusetts, I may have moved back to Orlando, or I may be someplace else in the vast country. I just don’t know the answer to that, but what I do know is that I didn’t want to regret not signing up for something that I enjoy more than words can express. Running releases endorphins. Endorphins make people happy. Running four races in four days releases a combination endorphins and Pixie Dust…obviously. What else can explain the Dopey Challenge runner’s high? Plus, once a Disney kid, always a Disney kid.
Maybe I’ll skip Dopey in 2016 and try a different race like the Big Sur in California or the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. Maybe I’ll even try my luck at the Paris Marathon lottery! I’ll let future-Kristin worry about that when 2016 grows a bit nearer. For now, I’ll leave you with today’s common response for irresponsible decisions: YOLO!
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– If you’re interested in signing up for a race during the 2915 WDW Marathon Weekend, check out the runDisney website. The Marathon and Goofy Challenge (half and full marathon) are still available to purchase.
– A “perfect” Dopey would be anyone who runs every single Dopey Challenge from inception on.
– YOLO means You Only Live Once.