Goofy Challenge, Here I Come!

Last night it hit me. It’s really happening. I am running the Goofy Challenge. Oh. And the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. That’s right, I’m going Coast to Coast in 2014!¬†You’d think it might have seemed real when I signed up, or when I picked out and bought components of my costumes. But, what really made it real was scheduling my flights.

It all started with my insistence that last year’s Disney Marathon wouldn’t be my last. I had so much difficulty with my fibula that my performance was disappointing.

Disney Finish

As soon as I finished, I told my mom that I would run it again the next year to redeem myself. As I walked around the property that afternoon, I saw all the happy RunDisney folks with the Goofy Challenge medals and I was jealous. I wanted that medal. I committed to the Goofy Challenge right then and there. I was less than two hours from my WDW Marathon finish and I was ready for a second one. That’s how it all began.

I signed up for the Goofy Challenge the moment registration opened. I talked about it with my family. My brother and sisters-in-law have been running and they’ve been talking about running their first half marathons. I told all three that I would run with them for their first half marathon, any time, anywhere. And that’s how the slippery slope happened. I’ve long said that running is a slippery slope. You run a 5k and you think, “I could run a little further”. Next thing you know it’s a 10k, then 10 miles, then half marathon. It’s a slippery slope. One day, my sister-in-law called me and said she was in. She was running the half marathon with me as part of my Goofy Challenge. My brother and my other sister-in-law were next. Then the whole family was signed up!

Slippery Slope

I can’t begin to say how excited I was. But that wasn’t the end. My friend from Arizona signed up a few days later. And then another friend signed up for the marathon. It’s amazing! Within days I had a whole crew and we are all running. Then my friend from Arizona and I agreed to do Coast to Coast. Woo hoo! Suddenly, I was planning the running event to end all running events!

So I’m planning a massive family and friends vacation. It’s amazing. My wonderful travel agent, Heather, has set us up with great on-property hotel rooms and transportation. We’re all planning costumes. For those who are curious, I’m running as Rapunzel from Tangled for the half marathon, Goofy for the marathon (thanks to Kelly from Run Team Sparkle for the inspiration), and Ursula from The Little Mermaid (check out this amazing inspiration!) for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. It’s just so exciting!

Last night, I scheduled my flights. Home to Florida to California and back home. And, suddenly, it hit me. I’m running at the Happiest Place on Earth. Coast to Coast, here I come!

Race Recap: The Boom Box Mile

Once a tradition in downtown Willimantic, CT, the Boom Box Mile was on hiatus for several years. The Mile was back this year and I couldn’t wait to participate in this traditional Fourth of July race.

Believe it or not, I had never raced a mile prior to the Boom Box Mile. I asked for some advice from a friend who’s an excellent mile runner. She assured me that the only way to run the mile was to go all out and try to hang on for the duration of the race. If you weren’t suffering, you weren’t going fast enough. With this advice in mind, I signed up for the Boom Box Mile, ready to test my speed in the mile.

Organized by the First Mile Race Management group, in collaboration with The Last Mile Timing, the Boom Box Mile was professionally run and well organized. Runners arrived at the starting location in the late morning of July 4th. Check in was simple and the volunteers were helpful and happy to be there. It was already hot, hot, hot, and runners tried to simultaneously warm up and stay cool.

Boom Box Mile

After a short description of the course (one mile – straight), runners lined up. It was 85 degrees and sunny at race start. Humidity was moderate, but the all-road course was radiating heat. If my mission was to suffer the whole time, it was mission accomplished thanks to the heat.

Boom Box 2

There isn’t much to say about a race only a mile long. The course was well-marked. It was a straight shot down Main Street in Willimantic. Course markings included a starting line, marked quarters on the road, and a prominent and festive finish line. Thanks to the parade that would follow the race, there were lots of shouting, encouraging spectators. The race was professionally timed by the Last Mile Racing. At the end of the course, runners were handed a bottle of water and ushered back to the start for the awards. Awards were presented and runners were sent off to watch the annual Boom Box Parade, popular with regional politicians and lawnmower-riding locals alike.

Dr. Rachel with Senator Blumenthal

Dr. Rachel with Senator Blumenthal

All in all, it was a fun event. If you’d like to test your speed, or start small with a one-mile race, the Boom Box Mile is a great one.