So after 18 weeks of training, the first race of the Dopey Challenge finally arrived. Just a brief 5k to ease me into proceedings.
A slightly later start at 6am, with the buses running from 4, meant being on the cautious side that I was up at 3. I don’t usually eat anything before runs less than 10miles, but as this is part of a bigger picture, I tucked into my usual porridge and a banana and kitted up.
The full bus left on time, taking about 10mins, with a 5 min walk the other end to the staging area. Despite the early start it was already pretty crowded. It was also a bit chilly, so I was glad of the disposable jumper I’d brought along. Around 5.15am I made my way to Corral A and began to warm up. In typical Disney fashion the start was accompanied by fireworks, having previously had the Star Spangled Banner sung to us, then at 6.00am we were off.
The start was still pretty crowded so I sped up a bit to try and find some space, before settling into a nice steady pace. The first mile or so was pretty uninspiring, winding round the staging area and Epcot parking lot. The first highlight being when I passed Paula Radcliffe! Ok she was running with her daughter, but still not many people can say they’ve overtaken her in a race!
We then turned into the World Showcase of Epcot, running right round the lake, passing through all the countries. This is what it was all about. The benefit of Corral A now paid off, as I had space and time to appreciate where I was running, not your usual 5k course. Even at night it was pretty impressive.
The course looped back through Future World and round Spaceship Earth, before all too soon it finished back in the parking lot. I probably ran slightly faster than planned, finishing in around 25 mins, but it felt good to stretch the legs.