Disney Dopey Challenge Race Review

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The Disney Dopey Challenge features four early morning races during Marathon Weekend: 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. Participants complete 48.6 miles of pre-dawn running through world-famous theme parks during this unique running challenge.

Simpson had never considered himself to be a runner before participating in the Dopey Challenge; however, this experience has taught him much about himself and his body. This year he will train harder in preparation for another Disney run event.


The Dopey Challenge is an arduous race for any serious runner. Participants must run four consecutive 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and full marathons within four consecutive days in order to earn their medal. Completing each race before its start time provides great training opportunity as you improve endurance, build strength and run more efficiently through back-to-back days of training.

If you’re hoping to take part in the Disney Dopey Challenge, it is crucial that you create an effective training plan. Gradual increases in mileage will allow your body to adapt as your training plan includes long and short runs with ample recovery time in between; tracking tools should also help provide insight into progress as you make changes as necessary.

To successfully complete the Dopey Challenge, runners should train by running several miles every day and gradually increasing endurance. Furthermore, at least one long run should be performed on consecutive days to simulate race conditions; longer races could also help improve your speed and endurance levels. It’s wise to practice on pavement and paved surfaces as well as in low light.

For the Dopey Challenge, runners should strive for an average mile time of 16 minutes or faster. While this goal may seem impossible to attain, with proper training it can be achieved. When setting personal records it is also important to factor in any time spent stopping for character pictures and riding rollercoasters.

Doping the Dopey Challenge is an incredible feat and should be celebrated. But be warned – without proper training or preparation it’s easy to become injured or sick and should stop at the first sign of discomfort or fatigue. At that point listen to your body and stop immediately!

Race Day

Many runners sign up for the Dopey Challenge because they want an enjoyable running experience in Disney parks, meeting characters, and having a blast. Others use it as a physical challenge – and should listen to their bodies during training – if fatigue sets in or they become sick, taking a rest day might be beneficial in aiding recovery.

Race day can be exciting and hectic, so it is crucial that participants arrive prepared. Most participants arrive by car or rideshare; parking may present challenges at some locations so give yourself extra time.

If you are staying outside a Disney resort, make arrangements for getting dropped off or taking a rideshare to get to race weekend. For marathoners running the full marathon distance, a long term park pass must be obtained prior to race weekend; additionally a park ticket and reservation might also be necessary if attending a park after the race has finished.


The Expo is typically held the weekend prior to each race and features vendors selling running gear, nutrition and accessories. Your registration fee includes a bib with your name printed on it, finisher medal and dri-fit race shirt from Dri-fit. Plus you’ll gain access to Jeff Galloway training programs as well as downloadable music playlists!

Once you have your bib and shirt, it’s important to store them in a bag or clear plastic container as this will be required for Gear Bag Check and no other bags are allowed into starting corrals.

As part of these races, participants will be able to visit Disney parks and take pictures with characters along the route, while also seeing bands, high school cheering squads and DJs along the route. Even if you can’t participate directly, register for Goofy’s Race and Half Challenge or Dopey Challenge which each cover 48.6 miles and offer six medals as alternative events!


The Disney Dopey Challenge is an epic runDisney event held during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Comprised of four races–5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon–run on four consecutive days over four consecutive days, the Dopey Challenge presents a formidable challenge that even first-timers may complete successfully.

To successfully complete the Dopey Challenge, it is important to both train appropriately and mentally prepare. A minimum of three full marathons should be under your belt before beginning, though many runners have completed it with only two. Also keep in mind that this event requires lots of rest; you will likely wake early each race morning so your body has time to recuperate between marathon distances.

Focus on consistency over intensity when training for Dopey Challenge. One way you can do this is by including some long, back-to-back runs into your workouts to build up endurance and prevent fatigue on legs. If possible, incorporate these into the final week leading up to Dopey.

While it might be tempting to buy all of your running gear at once for the Dopey Challenge, this is not recommended. Make sure you are fully prepared and comfortable in any new gear you purchase prior to racing!

If you are planning on buying new shoes for the Dopey Challenge, it is advisable to put them through some rigorous testing on trails or treadmills first. This will give you an idea of whether they will provide enough comfort over marathon distances.

Before running the Dopey Challenge marathon, it is wise to eat healthily in order to help your muscles recover and have enough energy for completion of the event. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water and sports drinks as well as eating foods high in carbs is advised for optimal performance.


Dopey Challenge runners come for different reasons. Some want to challenge themselves physically; others desire medals. No matter the motivation behind their participation, all Dopey Challenge participants need to mentally prepare themselves for each of four races over four days.

The Dopey Challenge is not suitable for first-timers; rather, participants should have participated in several full and half marathons prior to entering this challenge. This will ensure participants don’t overtrain and increase their odds of finishing successfully while improving performance during each race. Those newer to long distance running should try starting off by running Goofy’s Race and Half or Marathon before embarking on Dopey.

As weeks pass by, staying motivated during training is vitally important. Support from friends and family can make all the difference during difficult miles; those struggling with finding motivation might consider changing up their training regimen by adding yoga or weightlifting sessions into their routine. Running alongside a partner can also serve as an effective way of keeping each accountable while staying on target with goals set for themselves.

Closing Thoughts

Dopey can be an intense challenge, but many runners find the experience worthwhile in the end. Not only will they experience Disney magic while pushing themselves physically and mentally – Dopey offers runners an invaluable chance to build confidence while meeting new people!

Brittany Charboneau embodies someone who finds a deep sense of satisfaction through running. A 2:33 marathoner who has set three Fastest Known Times on difficult trail routes in Colorado and who belongs to The North Face elite athlete team; she is also an ardent Disney fan!

Kayla Swope of Iowa is another inspiring runner. Though visually impaired, she completed Run Disney’s marathon weekend Dopey Challenge during January, running 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon with guide Apryl Tidd – earning six race medals along the way.

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