I ran the Disney World “Goofy Challenge” the weekend of Jan 6-7. The “Goofy Challenge” consists of running the Disney 1/2 Marathon on Saturday followed by the Disney Full Marathon on Sunday. Finishers of both races get a Goofy medal in addition to Donald Duck (1/2 Marathon) and Mickey Mouse (Full) medals.
On Saturday, I ran the 1/2 marathon hard to finish 1:22 which is a good time for me. On Sunday, I evenly split the marathon to run each half in 1:23 for a total time of 2:46 (averaged 6:20 minutes per mile) to finish in 9th place overall out of more than 12,000 runners. Not only was this a PR for me by 7 minutes, but I also ran it on tired and sore legs.
I give a lot of credit for my success to Bikram yoga as follows:
– First, Bikram has kept me practically injury free in spite of ramping up my running mileage and intensity significantly in the three months leading up to the race. I have never been able to sustain as much running volume/intensity in the past due to Achilles issues, knee tendonitis, etc. I believe that Bikram helped me through core and joint/ligament strengthening.
– Second, the temperature at race start was 60 degree with high humidity rising to 80 degrees, which is obviously not ideal for racing a marathon. I strongly believe that practicing Bikram in a hot, humid room helped me acclimatize to the race conditions. Like in class, I sweated significantly during the race, but I was able to maintain my pace throughout the race.
Net/net: I set a PR in the marathon and finished the Goofy Challenge in 2nd place overall but with the fastest marathon time and only 38 seconds behind first. Plus, I got three medals, a plaque (2nd place age group in 1/2) and a really cool Mickey Mouse trophy (1st place age group in full)