January 16, 2013

The reason why the Goofy Challenge is so awesome

Reading about the Goofy Challenge and all the prep stories and race recaps in BlogLand got me thinking – Am I the only one who doesn't really get it? I decided to see if anyone else was as puzzled as I, so I pretended to get it and had this "test" conversation:

Me (to my kids on the way into school this morning):  Hey, guys – so I'm thinking of going away for a few days over the weekend.

Older daughter:  No way, mom. I will miss you too much!

Younger son:  Why? Where are you going?

Oldest son (smacking a brother):  Get off of my side! Mmmmoooommmmmm! He is totally ON MY SIDE!

Smacked brother:  OWWWWWW! I am NOT on your side. (Returns the smack. Vigorous and reciprocal brother-smacking ensues).

Me (over what is now a huge brouhaha):  HEY, YOU TWO! KNOCK. IT. OFF. I'm talking here. I'm going to Disneyland next week. Well, Disney World, actually.

(crickets)

Oldest son (breaking the silence):  We're going to Disney World next week? Holy crap.

Me:  Watch your language. No. I'm going without you.

(crickets)

In all of their minds but not said aloud: Why in fuck's name would mom want to go to Disney without us? (That's me paraphrasing. They don't know that word – at least as far as I know)

Me (reading their minds and answering the question because I'm a great mom and all great moms are mind-readers): I'm going to run 39.3 miles in the parks and along the back alleys and down the service streets. It's a special thing that costs about $350.

Younger son: It costs $350 to go to Disney? That sounds like kind of a lot. Is it?

Me: Noooo! It costs $350 to run 39.3 miles through Disney World and around on the side streets and access roads! I'm not going to the park part – except to run through it! Sheesh. It would cost at least another fifty bucks to go inside for fun. But doesn't that sound cool? Running 39.3 miles going into the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT and then through the parking lots and on the secret streets between and around the parks?

Older daughter: Doesn't sound cool. Sounds like a total waste of a trip to Disney to me.

Smacked brother: Why would you even want to go just to run past all the stuff? Without us? That's stupid.

How do I respond to that? How do I tell him it isn't stupid? I somehow don't think it will matter to him, or any of them, that it's

39.3 MILES IN A SPARKLY SKIRT!!!!

That's it, right?



34 comments:

  1. I'm interested to see responses to this. As a non kid owner, I thought, hmm interesting, could be fun with some girl friends, sparkly skirt bonanza and all that. Then I thought, wait, I can never stop and take pictures (because I'm psychotic and can't not compete in any race I sign up for) so the character thing would be wasted on me because I would want to keep moving quickly throughout the entire thing. So I thought, well maybe when I pop out some babies, throw them in the stroller and cart them to take photos with all the characters!! Then I looked at the rules, no strollers on anything over a $65 5k. YOU ARE SHITTING ME RIGHT?! $65 for a 5K, for 3.1 miles, that's like 2 dollars a minute if I were to stop and let my imaginary kids say hello to every single character and still keep a decent pace. These things have got to be hella fun to plop down the money.

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  2. For me, it would be more fun to go play at Disney. Use the $350 to buy the $8 slices of pizza, $10 shitty little hamburgers and $4 sodas with reckless abandon. Maybe a set or two of Mickey ears and NOT get up at ass-30-crack of dawn to run around the back roads and see some characters you can see for $50 between going on rides and shit during daylight!

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  3. Sounds like fun to me, but I have just looked at the sight and I saw a price of $190.00 for the Goofy challange. And hell why not take the kids so they can carry all your stuff and push you round in a wheel chair after the marathon... Oh wait, that wasn't to enter, that was for other unneeded stuff...

    Maybe one day when I win the lotto!

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    1. Read again, good sir. The $190 you are seeing is for JUST the marathon or JUST the half. If you want to do the Goofy Challenge (both of them) you must fork over $380 (unless you hit the early bird timing). That is a fuck of a lot of dough to not even get to go on Space Mountain.

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  4. Just wanted to set a few things straight and add some perspective here. This is an important topic that needs to be discussed.

    Walt Disney was an alien. So was his brother Roy (and Roy's son the "other" Roy). In fact, many years ago I saw (the other) Roy sitting with his lawyer at The Mad Greek Restaurant in Baker CA, which is located next to the tallest thermometer in the world. They were speaking some crazy alien language and they must have been there because their alien buddies were going to be landing their ship in Death Valley later that day.

    Michael Eisner was not an alien, and that's why he was ousted as CEO. However, Bob Iger is an alien.

    This, of course, is why running through Disney Land is worth $350. And by the way, I think a day pass is way more than $50.

    A previous commenter said she would be interested in seeing what people had to say about this topic. I hope my view helps.

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    1. Holy Mutherfucker! It's $81!!!! But I guess Disneyland is more fun than Roswell.

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  5. I loved running in Disney....cost yea a lot....experience...dope.

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    1. See I still haven't had really explained to me why it's so dope. I've only heard that " it’s so magical to run down main street and through the castle" and I feel I must ask where does the money go? I mentioned on someone else's blog that I can justify a somewhat pricey entry to (uck I'm going to say it) LuLulemon half, it's $128CAD, but you get shorts, brunch (really great food), a concert, and group yoga on the beach. What does the entry fee get you at Disney? Proximity to aliens? I'm truly trying to understand because I throw money down for races all year long, and I am interested in Disney, but I'm really curious why it's worth it.

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    2. Agreeing. 'Splain it.

      And MegG, why bother putting that "CAD" in there. With the current exchange rate, it's probably something like $126.45USD. Not much diff.

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    3. I think that's her way of letting us know that Lululemon is one of Canada's national embarrassments.

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    4. CAD for accuracy and evergreeness. And while I kind of get a pit in my stomach about some of the things I've heard about Lulu's business practices, they stuff I buy there is good and that race was the shit (I signed myself and my husband up for it today)

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  6. Precisely why you will not find me running those backroads and sporting that prodigious bling in this lifetime.

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  7. Betcha it's the bling...which is still hard for me to understand. But then again I'm not really into finisher medals.

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    1. Yeah, it's got to be something shiny. The sparkly skirt and the medal. People and their medals crack me up. Another blog post for another time.

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  8. Can you hear me now? You will not find me racing at Disney (unless it's part of free shit), I'm simply not a big enough Disney fan and the prodigious bling, fabulous as it may be, well someone else can have it for the $$$. When the kids were younger I thought maaaaybe if they really wanted to make a trip out of it....but the apple did not fall far from the tree as they are not Disney fans either.

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  9. To each their own. If you don't want to do it, don't do it. I personally won't run RnR races (anymore) because I don't feel they are worth their money.

    Just because you think it is a waste of money doesn't mean other people do. Mind your own business?

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    1. I'm trying to understand why it's NOT a waste of money! It makes me curious. I completely agree with you about RnR races, FWIW. I think Disney in and of itself is an expensive blast. I have always had fun when I've gone. Can you tell me what you like about it? Not being disrespectful. Being sincere.

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    2. I really like Disney. Not sure what more of a "reason" you are looking for. The value I get out of it is clearly not what you would because you are obsessed with the price tag.

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    3. I am one of the rare runners who doesn't nickel and dime the shit out of the sport. I'm not obsessed with the price tag, per se. I don't go for swag or for medals. I go for "experience" or for personal progress checks. Disney is expensive compared to all other races I've ever heard of. Just wondering what makes it different and "worth" the extra cost. Not asking you to defend your choice. Asking what goes into making this one all that for some people. That's all. Now I know. You just really like Disney. Fair enough. Thanks!

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  10. Replies
    1. Not really. I'm really a 400-lb man who has never run a fucking step other than to snag the last Hostess-brand Twinkies off the shelf.

      It's a catchy title. Really.

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  11. I run Disney because I really like Disney. I have fun at the races, I stop for pictures, and I set a PW every time. The medals are nice, but I don't race for medals ever, so eh.

    Unsure why it outrages you so. If it's not your thing, don't do it.

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    1. It doesn't outrage me. It more confuses me. I read blogs where people complain about every single expenditure about their running. But then they buy Lululemon shit and pay over $300 to run the Goofy Challenge. I enjoyed reading your post on the event - moreso than any others. It did give me some understanding why you enjoyed it. What you're saying then is that for you the pictures and the fun YOU have is worth the cost - monetary and otherwise?

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    2. Yes. For ME, it is usually worth the cost. I'm lucky that I live in SoCal, so Disneyland and Tink are local for me - that cuts my out of pocket on those tremendously. While I wasn't a huge fan of the marathon course in FL, I will still do Goofy again for an anniversary year - I just like anniversaries. We ran straight up to the very end of the minimum pace requirements, so I feel like we got our money's worth out of the courses.

      I ran an RnR last year, and was NOT a fan - I traveled out of state, and for me, it wasn't worth the cash. I won't repeat it. But people travel all the fucking time to race RnR shit. Apparently they liked it better than I did. Who cares?

      I just don't really get why it matters why OTHER people are choosing to run. People have fucktons of hobbies that don't interest me, but what they do means very little - not my business, so I don't really care, I guess. Eh. If it's not something you're interested in, I don't see the point in asking people to convince you otherwise. Opinions, man. Like assholes.

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    3. I like Lululemon AND Disney. I am a sucky slow runner, so if I can look cute and have a good time while I run, then it's worth the money to me.

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    4. Becka, I respect that. It's what gets you motivated. Whatever gets people out the door and moving is a PLUS in my book.

      giraffy, I wasn't looking for a convincing when I am not interested. I run. You run. People run. Just curious as to why some choose some races over others. Goofy Challenge was a hot, current topic that I didn't wholly understand. I still don't, but from your and Becka's perspectives, now I do. I appreciate that both of you commented.

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  12. I really don't care for the whole Disney thing and don't understand it myself. But I know other people don't understand why I have spent lots of money on mtn bikes, pool cues and motorcycles in the past. I can say that so far - running has been my "cheapest" hobby. hmm...maybe Disney would be cheaper than my previous hobbies...yeah - still don't want to run it. To each his own!

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  13. I definitely think to each their own, but as someone who was/is legitimately interested in running one especially because people seem to have a lot of fun, I wanted to know more about why they are special, but also why they're expensive. From what I was reading it's great to get dressed up (I've run as a pirate at a SeaFair 8k!), and it's fun to take pictures along the way (something i mentioned I'd have a really hard time with, stopping for any reason beyond injury is not in my current world, but maybe that would be the challenge for me, run as fast as freakin possible to get to the character take the pics and speed off, like an obstacle course!!) I think some you guys have given some good answers. I'm off to go read giraffy's post.

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    1. To be honest, I don't understand people who run Disney and want to race or pr. If I'm paying THAT much for the experience (and that's exactly what you're paying for), I am going to take advantage of ALL of that experience - picture stops, roller coasters, all of it.

      Also, a lot of the Disney World courses have narrow sections, and can be hard to navigate if there are any people around. I'm sure it's easier if you're up in the front, though?

      tl:dr - i wouldn't try to pr at a Disney race. Not worth the cash if you're not taking advantage of the course offerings, IMO.

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    2. When I read your post and saw that you rode a roller coaster that almost sold me! I LOVE roller coasters and if I got to ride one for free while running a race, that's like double the awesome. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not the type to run all my races for PRs, I usually have one or two goal races a year where I want to PR and the rest are for training, fun or whatever.
      But yes, I almost always show up to a race, to race. Depending on the field, I sometimes hope to place. I'm never terribly disappointed if I don't PR in a random race, I've been running for too long to think that a PR makes an event fun. I would probably hate running races if I thought that way.
      My thought is that if I'm paying that much for a race, there better be some major perks, getting pictures taken along the way is not a perk for me, but I can see how it could be fun, especially if you are running with friends. I now see that the money goes towards paying the cast members, and not towards big perks for the runners (unisex tees?) but the characters are what makes these events special for so many people. I feel like I have a better understanding and I thank you for that.

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  14. Just came back from running the Goofy. I absolutely think it was worth the money, if you are willing to make a vacation. Or, if you live in Orlando. I would not fly down there just to do the run, though.

    Here's what I LOVED.
    1) I grew up loving Disney characters. Having Mickey kick off the race, taking my picture with Donald at the castle at mile 6, getting a high 5 from Goofy at the finish line. All totally RAD!
    2) The entertainment along the course. Bands, characters, choirs, etc. There was a gospel choir at mile 26. I wanted to stop the race just to keep listening to them.
    3) The triumphant music blaring through Epcot as you run your last mile. I am not an Olympian. But, they made me feel like one. Or at least a hero.
    4) The Disney employees/cast members. Being a slower runner, in a typical marathon, most of the crowd has dispersed by the time I am getting to the upper miles. There were always people cheering you on throughout the course.
    5) Bragging rights. I ran a marathon and a half!
    6) Experiencing it all with my son. Watching him light up when he sees my picture with Buzz Lightyear. Getting to hang out with him afterwards and smile with pride every time a Disney employee or character congratulates his daddy on completing the race.

    It's about more than just running through the castle. It's about the experience and the memories. Would totally do it again!

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    1. This. I see the appeal still more clearly. Thanks, Jason!

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    2. I just ran the Goofy Challenge and agree with many of the reasons Jason gave for why the Goofy Challenge is so much fun.

      For one thing, I do not have kids, and this was an excuse for my husband and I to take a little vacation.

      The entertainment along Disney races is much better than others I have run. I love Disney characters too, and if you go to the parks you can wait in some very long lines to get just one character picture. Throughout the Goofy Challenge, I got pictures with 23 characters, with minimal wait time (0-5 minutes). I run these races for fun, not for time.

      Like others have said, I think it depends on your expectations for the Disney races. I would never try for a PR, but when I slow down and run for fun, it is worth it to me.

      Also, the bling is awesome, I like their long-sleeve tech shirts, and they offer a good amount of food and water/powerade stops along the way, plus awesome aid stations. For a type-A person like myself, I find these races to be incredibly well organized, and I appreciate that.

      Finally, in my opinion, Disney race spectators are by far the best. I felt so much love from complete strangers on these courses.

      Everyone has to decide what they value, and whether the price tag is worth it or not, but these are some reasons that I love Disney races.

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  15. LEAVE DISNEY ALONE!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Say it. But if you can't own your shit, don't dump it on me.

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