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Let me chuck my 2 cents in as a goofy runner last year. Advice from my own experience and what my advice would have been based on others experiences (or lack of them)
1. It was bloody cold last year, it was basically a state emergency, quite funny to us but as they do not get such cold temps (talking -2 here) they are not prepared. There are no gritters, pipes freeze, tropical fish farms all the fish die. It was cold at the start and stayed so for the whole race both days, it was cold our whole stay except the first day. So take warm clothes to run in, I didn't do it massively and was runninn in shorts and all 3 running tops they gave me, you couldn't buy a pair of gloves anywhere and I ran in some designed for cleaning. It might be warmer this year, tbh we're obviously a bit more used to cold weather than they are, some people were running in winter coats.
2. Flight Delays - My advice is to make sure that your marathon is one of the last things you do on your holiday. I flew Dec 30th and flew back on the 13th Jan. I had a few days after the race but about 10 days before them. Quite a few people on this forum last year flew out a few days before the race or tried to. Snow delays in the UK meant that they missed the race, with all the preparation and cost involved its not worth the risk IMO.
3. Places to stay - we stayed on I-Drive in a cheap hotel near Universal and rented a car. We walked to Universal when we went there and drove everywhere else. It worked well for us, it works out a lot cheaper than staying at Disney, our hotel was cheaper (and perfectly alright) and we were also able to take advantage of a variety of cheaper restaurants on I-Drive compared to Disney. Also if you stay at Disney, the transport isn;t there to take you to Universal and Seaworld, but it is to take you to Disney from I-Drive. It all depends on your budget and what you want to do.
4. Race Day - I think I got up at 4.30 and drove to the race, there were not many delays in getting parked and parking was free. It was a short walk to the event and then a longer walk to the actual start (i was not prepared for this)
5. Race Retreat - I didn't bother and it fell into the more money than sense camp for me. However if you were staying at Disney the buses left stupidly early and you would have stood around for a long time in the snow without it. I stayed in bed until 4.30, could eat a bagel whilst laying in bed, got dressed, drove there, sat in my warm car until time and gone straight to the start.
It was by far my favourite race of all time and considering it was the goofy and the hardest challenge I have ever done, it is also the only one I would consider doing again and look back with any fondness, not sure I said that as I was staggering around at mile 20 but it really was a nice event. I'd love to go back and do it again, even just to go back to orlando cos I love it.
Good advice there warrior...i have already booked my flights....the day before the race without even thinking about snow issues!!! Oh well, its in the lap of the gods now.
I heard about the weather conditions last year (i had a friend out there on holiday) and think it was more a freak event...i hope lol
Any advice on where best for spectators to go. I will be driving and my family will be getting a taxi and meeting me at the race. Where would you recommend...how packed is the finish line...Can family get into the race if they dont have disney theme park passes...
Do you park in epcot car park?
Thanks again for the advice...much appreciated
Yes you park at Epcot. For spectators I think they can only get in the parks with a pass (might be an exception for MK as you run through there near the start). They can stand in various places on the route though, indeed anywhere on the roads around. I think you could pay some money and sit in a stand at the finish line but it was about $50. People seemed to congregate in the areas around hotels, etc.
I'm sure on the marathon (and you're not super fast) you could arrange to see your family at various meeting points
Read with interest WRW your report. Everyone else has told me to do the race near the start of my hols so i dont spend the 10/12 days before hand worrying about it and eating and drinking too much, and then i can enjoy my holiday after.
Really don't know what to do now, but we are planning on the 2012 one, so will see what happens this Jan weather wise.
Almost forgot I was doing this one as I didnt organise flights yet and it kind of slipped my mind
WRW , great report and thanks so much for getting me back on target for it. what hotel l did you stay at near universal? Is it best to rent car from this side of the pond or just when you get there?
HOw many of us are signed up for it now?
Can't remember the name of the hotel, I just used Expedia and it was on International Drive and I sorted by price. Think it worked out about £18 a night, it was nothing fancy. We had a bed, a TV, fridge and bathroom but considering we didn't really hang around in the room it was fine. We ate out in the local restaurants just walking out the hotel or took a drive somewhere. It was also quite pleasant just taking a walk along IDrive and seeing the souvenir shops (cold tho)
I did an expedia search and think i stayed here at the Days Inn
It is cheaper to stay in Kissimmee than on IDrive, however I think you have the worst of both worlds there. On IDrive you are close to Universal, Wet n Wild, Seaworld and can get there by foot or public transport but at Kissimmee you are closer to Disney but stil a good distance away.
Its a choice with the flights, I had little choice as I had work commitments going later and I did spend a lot of time eating but I also managed to go out for morning runs. We also got to be there for New Years and caught the last of the Christmas stuff at SeaWorld and Disney, the Polar Express at Seaworld was good. I can see the merits of doing the run at the start of the holiday, to be honest I was on honeymoon and being able to do the race was a bonus to me. I hardly set any records and got a personal worst in both races, mostly because I hadn't trained that hard due to the wedding and the weather.
I rented a car for about £200 before we went, we went with Alamo and we took an economy car for a fortnight for £200, they didn't have an economy car and we got a huge jeep at no extra cost. My advice would be to prebook whatever car you need for your size as an upgrade when you get there and jetlagged can cost a lot more than the extra few quid when you are booking online.
I can second WRW advice on arriving well before the race, and take your winter running kit as well. I was one of those poor sods who got caught up in the snow.
Thankfully we did make it, after 2 cancelled flights, and a bit of aggressive conversation with the BA staff we maanged to get them to fly us to Altanta and we made our way from there.
Travel insurance people!!!! very important. Travel insurance re-imbursed us the cost of the flight from Atlanta and the 2 nights in hotels at airports.
I foolishly didn't bring winter kit, and was very frozen, the second race was actually colder.
I did do runners retreat. I was staying at a disney hotel, and I didn't have a hire car, so the ability to sit down for the 1-2 hours wait for the start was wonderful.
Added bonuses, very short queues (sometimes no queue) for toilets. free hot chocolate, coffee and tea to warm up! and the best thing, the private baggage claim. On the day of the first race everyone was able to grab there bags to get their jackets out when it started sleeting!
I'm looking forward to doing goofy again this year, and hubby has decided to join me and do both races too (last year he just did the half).
good luck to everyone doing it this year.
Madaussie , I was sure you were a bloke !
In all honesty it was only a couple of degrees below zero, but somehow it felt a lot colder than it would do in the UK. Add to this you are taking on drinks with ice in them, leaves you pretty chilly. I'd been warned that it started cold and was warm by the end, but in the weather we had it just stayed cold all the way through the race. As I am from northern england, all I had was shorts and short sleeved shirts. I wore two shirts and my shorts, and I think I may have got a hat from somewhere. Either way it was cold.
With insurance check it covers long distance running, I went with a Virgin annual policy for £50 for wife and I. This covers running as standard along with a lot of other sports. Better safe than sorry!
I really wish I was doing it all again in January
Boots travel insurance covers organised events
WRW - here is one for you, not quite Disney but Four villages Half in Frodsham
Fizz, common assumption. Don't worry about it.
We have M&S travel insurance, with independant traveller add-on (as we book things ourselves rather than do packages).
They didn't quibble at all.
also, lots of people were grabbing the discarded clothing and ended up wearing it all the way through.
I took the blanket from the plane, and wore that for the first 3 miles!
I was tempted to pick up some discarded clothing, there was a nice Disney hoodie discarded that tempted me!
Thanks for the 4 Villages link, I did it 2 years ago I think. Good event.
What kind of training do people do for this> Im sure these questions have been asked a hundred times already.
Im comfortable at marathon distance so do I just start adding longer runs in the day before?
Note to self. BUy flights this weekend .!!!!
I train only for the marathon and treat the half as a training run My fastest half for the half is 2hrs 5h and my slowest about 2hrs 20. I stop and take plenty of photo's on the half
All I would say is the day before a long run do a 5/6 miler at a very easy pace but training for the marathon will be enough to get you round in the time limits which are very generous
Not sure over such a distance you can go for a good time, not entirely sure its the point really. So the best advice is to take the half very easy, you have three hours to do so. Walk a bit, stop for photos, drink a lot on the way round.As for training what I tried to do was make my weekend long run into two longer runs, you could do half the distance the day before but I found doing two equal distances were better for me, slowly building up. Its fine doing a shorter distance, but you want to turn up at the marathon feeling fresh, which means building up to where you can do a half marathon one day, and then feeling fresh enough to do twice as long the next day
Fizz - Very exciting! I'm sure you'll find something to do new years eve. Where did you decide to stay?
Hubby and I have now signed up for the 5K fun run as well (ie we are now unoffical Dopey runners). We're hoping to wear Woody and Jessie costumes for the 5K, just need to work out the hats!
All the parks have New Year Eve parties but they come as a supplment to the usual park fee
There are some events in Kissimee/Celebration which are free but where ever you go you can expect to enjoy yourself
Give serious consideration to booking your car beforehand as the car hire rates are about 15 to 20% more when booking in the US If your staying on Disney property and are happy to stay there you won't need a car but otherwise you will find you need a car
I got a deal for the best western orlando gateway on/near I- drive.. For three of us for 12 nights we got a reduction of 800$. It is very close to the Universal park where we havent been before. I wouldnt know for how many days we would need a car. Will need it to get to disney for the marathon but really not sure how much moreo we need it. Do you have to pick up car rentals at the airprort or can you get them elsewhere?
Are the entries sitll open for the fun run? MY teenagers do absolutely no exercise whatsoever and I think if they got a buzz from doing this that they might just take up theh odd bit of running.
There are plenty of car hire firms on I drive you will no doubt get free transport from you Hotel to the Disney parks and the I drive bus will take you to SeaWorld . You may be able to book a taxi to get you to the marathon start but never booked a cab so cannot comment
If your happy with these parks then you may get away without a car
None of the races are at capacity yet
This is a great thread,great info ,I plan to do the goofy challenge 2012
So lease come back with any tips or hints
Hi LYnne. welcome to the thead. Think we are just getting up and running again as we approach training times for it.
There is a Family/Friends zone which has a grandstand area Tickets can be bought via the website Have a look at the Cheer zone for the full details. If they don't want to pay for the Cheer zone I suggest they drive to Epcot park and wait in the reunion area There is normally a band and the characters hang around for photo's so its not empty
There is no admittance to the parks afterwards even for runners. However this year there is a free ticket to the parks on the Monday morning but only for runners