When I wrote this article for the magazine back in February, I truly was just toying with the idea…but then conversations started to happen, including the famous “I will if you do!” Before I knew it, I was registered.
That’s right, I signed up for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge.
For those of you who haven’t heard of “Goofy,” it is when one runs the Walt Disney World Half Marathon (the Donald) on Saturday of marathon weekend, and the Marathon (the Mickey) on Sunday. That’s 21.1km one day, 42.2 the next, for a total of 63.3km in less than two days.
You might wonder how an event like this would come about. When I was at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in October, I had the opportunity to speak to a number of the people behind the runDisney events, and I asked that very question. Bob Hitchcock, Sports Public Relations Manager for Disney told me that in the beginning, the Donald and Mickey were on the same day. Before long they reached capacity with how many people could do the events – there simply wasn’t enough physical space to raise the caps – so they decided to run Donald on Saturday and Mickey on Sunday so that more people could experience the magic.
In a meeting, someone said, “You realize there will be some people crazy enough to want to do both…” and someone else said, “Hmm. How many, do you think?” The answer? “I dunno, a couple hundred maybe?” And so they decided to make the Goofy an official event. And it sold out that year. And every year after that.
For 2013, there are 2,500 spaces in the Goofy, and it sold out last week. That just goes to show you that there are an awful lot of “goofy” people out there! iRun’s founder, Mark Sutcliffe, did this in 2012, and now, in a little over 17 weeks, I plan to count myself among the Goofy.