Run at Your Own Risk

This past weekend, as I mentioned in my last post, was Walt Disney World’s Marathon Weekend. Runners from all over headed to Orlando to take on RunDisney’s various races. There are many bloggers posting about their experiences this morning, and I am sure as they recover and head home, there will be even more running bloggers sharing their experiences.

I was home this weekend, because I am running the Star Wars Rebel Challenge this coming weekend, but I was monitoring race activities on social media. I saw a lot of people talking about the Dopey Challenge. For those who are unfamiliar, the Dopey Challenge is where runners compete in all four Disney races over the course of marathon weekend; this includes a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon for a total of 48.6 Miles. I was incredibly surprise to see that for many of those posting about it, this challenge was going to be their first marathon, and in some case first half and full marathon!

Being someone who has run both a half and a marathon, your first time at each is definitely a unique experience. Trying to function as a normal human being the next day is something to prepare for just as much as the race. Walking, using the stairs, and moving from standing to sitting (and vice versa!), can be challenging. For people who have never run these distances before, I have some concerns for them regarding their attempts. I’m sure these people are not going in blindly and I hope they are doing substantial training to prepare, but it is something I wonder about. Should the race coordinators put a mandate that if you plan to compete in one of these type of challenges, that you should have already attempted at least a half marathon? or do you think it is ok for runners to just runner at their own risk on these types of things?

The other question that I always ask with these sort of events is, if you don’t cross the finish line, do you deserve a medal? Now I am a strong believer in no finish, no medal however, there are other’s that disagree with this school of thought and say, if you tried you should get it. RunDisney is of that mentality. I believe in a FINISHERS medal not a PARTICIPANT medal. I mean, if it is for participating, why not give it out when you pick up your bib at the expo, rather than the finish line. Participants get a t-shirt. Thanks for showing up, here is your shirt. Get those miles done, get a medal. What do you think?

I want to give a special shout out to my buddy, The Flash who is a Dopey Challenge Finisher as of yesterday afternoon! She dominated the first three races, but hurt her knee pretty bad during the half. She still went out and limped her way through the 26.2 miles of marathon and FINISHED!! It doesn’t matter when you get there, as long as you get there and SHE DID! I know how hard she worked and how much training she put in to these races, and I’m so proud of her for not giving up. Wear your medals proudly, Flash… all six of them!


11 thoughts on “Run at Your Own Risk”

  1. I was swept in 2012 at mile 7.5 of the Tower of Terror 10 miler race. I was so devastated and didn’t want a medal. When the bus dropped me off at the finishers tent and I was greeted by runDisney volunteers I had tears streaming from my face and refused the medal. They were so kind and encouraging when reminding me that I too deserved a medal because I was out there doing what many people never attempt. So they place the medal around my neck and sent me to the medical tent for ice. It was beyond my control that I was injured. If wasn’t for their kindness I am not sure I would still be chasing the dream of running races. This fall, 3 years after being swept, I will attempt my first race of distance since that day. I will kick ass at the Wine and Dine half and I have the courage to do so because of the hope I was given.

    I know everyone looks at medals and rewards differently, but at the end of the day I am running my own race and am on my own journey. Just like every other runner out there. What one medal means to me might not be the same to the next person.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you didn’t give up on running and continue to go the distance. I agree, everyone has their own journey and it is possible if I were on the other side of the finish line (so to speak), I would feel differently. I am going to try to get in to Wine & Dine this year as well. If I do, I want to meet you at the finish and give you a big hug for sticking it out and kicking the #$%^&* out of that half!

  2. I am a bit torn here. I see the point of a Finisher medal and also for a medal to hand out for people who give everything but just can’t finish. But then, the medals clearly have to be different. As a motivation as well.

  3. As someone who has never run before, I give kudos to all participants! I think a Finisher’s Medal and a Participant’s acknowledgement are both good ideas…I think I would like a T-shirt to show that I was there, even if I didn’t cross the finish line!
    Look forward to your post on the Jedi race! And hooray for your friend who finished the Dopey Challenge…the name is cute!

  4. Interesting I don’t see the need for a medal when people haven’t even finished… I don’t even see the need for a medal if we don’t win or place, to start with. Maybe just for the marathon because it is such a huge deal but I don’t need bling when I finish a half. I just don’t really see the need for all that stuff when we didn’t win anything.

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