Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dopey Challenge 2017 - Race Number one: the 5K

I'm getting ready, following my usual prerace routine which I have typed up so that I don't have to think and just have to do whatever is next on the list when there is a knock on my door. It's 4 am and it's Paula looking distraught. "My alarm didn't go off, my phone is dead, I just woke up!" I say don't worry, here's an extra charging cable, go get ready we have plenty of time. And we do, we're on the bus only a few minutes past 4:30. But I know that must have been an awful feeling....poor Paula!

Paula has done a Disney race before so she knows what to expect. The race staging area is just huge, however, and for the 5k it's a mixture of more experienced people doing Dopey, and a lot of newbies, kids, and non-runners that like Disney. But we find the bag check and meet some friends of Paula's. There are zillions of portapotties and no potty lines, so that makes me happy.

At around 5:45 they have us get into our corrals. We are in the D corral so it takes a good 40 minutes from the time the first wave starts until we finally cross the starting line.

Lots of people wear costumes for Disney races. We don't exactly wear costumes but we are "dressed up" nonetheless. I have a sparkly pink visor and a sparkly pink skirt over my running shorts. I have a pink shirt on, and hot pink calf compression sleeves. I won't wear a Dopey or race shirt until the race has been completed; I'm superstitious that way. But I don't have a problem wearing the little Dopey pin Paula gave me, I think it's for good luck!

Paula looks friendly, I look bossy. 

We have told ourselves that we're walking the 5k, but we're just so excited so yeah, we run a little. The 5k mostly goes through Epcot, which looks beautiful in the predawn air, all lit up. We stop for a few pics, but I think we're both a little anxious about this first race. It's takes us 47 minutes, so it's my slowest 5k ever, but that's fine. We're not thinking about it as a 5k. It's really just the first 3.1 miles of a 4 day, 48.6 miles race!

After the race we get our medal and our water, take our picture, get our snack box. We find our bus and before too long we're back at the resort. We're starving and head right to the food court for breakfast and the Disney bounty platter. Eggs, bacon, sausage, a biscuit and a Mickey waffle! Mmmmm!

We go back to our rooms for a bit. I get cleaned up, rest, stretch, roll my muscles. We're dressed, on the bus and ready to go just in time to meet Amy and Bill at Hollywood Studios and ride the Tower of Terror with our fastpass reservation. They didn't have fastpass 24 years ago, but it's a way to avoid the long long lines. Most of the weekend we walk right up to whichever ride we're scheduled to go on, bypassing all other people waiting for hours to get on the ride.

Tower of Terror is SCARY. First you walk through this area that looks like an abandoned hotel. You enter an "elevator" and you're strapped into your seat. It is supposed to be like the old Twilight Zone TV show. The elevator climbs up up up into the air and suddenly goes crazy. Lots of climbing followed by lots of sudden scary drops. It's a good thing I didn't really know what I was getting into before we got on it because I don't think that's something I'm doing again any time soon!
Tower of Terror - Aaaiiiiieee!

From Tower of Terror we walk right over to the Star Tours ride. This was SO MUCH FUN. I think it might be my favorite ride we went on, mainly because it was so clever. It's supposed to be C3PO from Star Wars trying to drive a Starship, with comical results. You don't really physically move, except for some shaking from side to side, but the visuals give you the sensation of moving. My brain was split, part of me was totally into the experience, and part of me was standing outside of it going "this is so cool! It seems like we are really moving but we're not!"

Amy C and Chris arrived right before Star Tours. Chris has never been to Disney World so the Star Tours ride was his first experience. He is impressed. Amy C is pretty anxious about amusement park rides so she is happy to just go get a drink with Amy D for now. In fact after Star Tours we all stop for a drink. I can drink Wednesday and Thursday but then I need to be good until after the marathon on Sunday. I have a pomegranate margarita. There's sugar on the rim instead of salt. It's delish!

We have one more ride scheduled today, the Aerosmith Rockin Roller Coaster. Amy C goes shopping for mouse ears while we do this ride. Another very clever premise...the band recording, we're watching them record, their manager comes in, says they are late for a concert, they want to bring us, their fans, along, so they get a loooonnnng stretch limo that fits us all and away we go!

Rockin' Roller Coaster - Yikes!

Beyond that is is a fairly standard roller coaster ride which is supposed to be the limo ride. I don't like going upside down, which we did, twice. I mostly kept my eyes closed but would open them just in time to see some looming neon sign pretending to be a highway sign of some sort and them WHOOP off we'd go again. Its funny...right after the ride I was like "I'm never doing that again!" but once I had a few days of separation from the event I started to wish I could ride it again. If I ever go back to Disney I will!

We all went shopping for mouse ears after that, and I bought pink sparkly ones of course. They looked great, but after awhile they hurt my head. I have a large head, unfortunately.

From Hollywood Studios we took a boat to Epcot. That's one of the fun amazing things about Disney. Once you're in the resort you really don't need a car. You can take a bus or a boat for free just about anywhere you want to go.

It's Italian and pizza for dinner tonight at Via Napoli Ristorante in the Italian part of the Epcot World Showcase. It's good, and very filling. After dinner everyone else wants to walk around and maybe get drinks but I've got to go to bed. I have to walk forever it seems to get to where the buses are, but finally I do and soon I'm back at our resort and in bed nice and early again.

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