COLOURFUL ARRAY: Andrew Aislabie with the medals he picked up in the Walt Disney Dopey Challenge in the USA
COLOURFUL ARRAY: Andrew Aislabie with the medals he picked up in the Walt Disney Dopey Challenge in the USA


TEESDALE AC member Andrew Aislabie took on four runs in four days, including a full marathon, to successfully complete the Walt Disney Dopey Challenge, in the USA.

The challenge, which started on Thursday, January 9, consists of a 5k race on the first day, a 10k race on the Friday, a half marathon race on the Saturday followed by a full marathon on the Sunday.

Andrew had wanted to do this challenge for a few years but knew the training would have to be right and it would take up a lot of time for six months or so.

Having arrived in Orlando on the Tuesday, Andrew attended the expo on Wednesday to collect his race number.

The 5k race was first with a 3am alarm clock on Thursday for a 5.30am race start in the dark.

The weather was pretty warm, the course a bit narrow and very busy through Epcot. Andrew paced himself pretty steady and finished in 30:12.

Friday was another 3am alarm and 5:30am start for the 10k race. Warmer than the day before and finished in 57:42. 1,294th out of 12,572.

Saturday morning had the same alarm and start times for the half marathon, but a different start location and bigger corrals.

Andrew was at the front of corral B, which meant he got away fairly quick.

The weather was hot, about 20C at the start.

Andrew ran this one really steady as he had the full marathon still to do. He finished in 2:07:15 and 1,947th out of 21,661.

Sunday was the big one, a full marathon and an earlier start time of 5am so the alarm was set for 2am.

It was already 20C when Andrew left the hotel and it just got hotter.

The race went pretty well but it was very hot.

The sun came up when Andrew was at the 13 mile point and by the time he finished it was 25C. He finished in 4:42:15 and 2,206th out of 14,106 runners.

Andrew said: “It was good running through the various parks and the organisation and crowd support was fantastic.”

Andrew finished with six medals in total, including the Goofy Challenge for completing the half and full marathons and the Dopey Challenge for completing all four races.

The following Sunday Andrew was in Naples, on the west coast of Florida, and had entered the half marathon.

It was another hot day with a 7am start.

A nice flat course, Andrew finished in 1:56:06 and 494th out of 1,409.

Andrew was really pleased with that considering it was only a week after the Dopey Challenge. There was free beer for all the finishers.

Alan Bray