Going Long

Disney 5K (Dopey Challenge)

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Garson - Sudbury,ON,Canada

Member Since:

Apr 20, 2013



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I ran my first marathon in 1998: "The Friendly Marathon" in Massey, Ontario.  I was 32. I had never raced in a shorter event, and I trained really poorly - ended up running it in 4:00:30.  After that, I gave up running for the most part for 6 years.  I got into karate a bit more seriously, until I got my knee kicked out and had ACL surgery.  Then I became a 'fair weather runner' and started to run half marathons every so often.  As a priest, entering weekend races always meant having to book a holiday, so it just didn't happen much.  My holidays were primarily focussed on various canoe and kayak trips.

At some point, I started training more consistently, and started to think of myself as a runner.  I guess doing that in your 40's is better than never doing it at all.  I even started to wonder if I had it in me to qualify for Boston.  Well, I did - twice.  First time didn't count, I suppose, since I didn't make the "cut".  But the second time was a charm, and on my sixth Marathon, run in Chicago in 2015, I beat my BQ by almost 6 minutes.

Through it all, I've made tons of mistakes - and have had lots of injuries to show for it.  Hopefully, now that I'm in my 50's, I'm a bit wiser and can use that to my advantage to continue running for a very long time.

My PRs:

5k (11 run):      Guelph, ON.     October 10, 2016   (50 yrs.)   20:10

10k (9 run):    Collingwood      October 5, 2013  (47 yrs.)  43:37

Half Marathon  (22 run): Cleveland   May 18, 2014  (48 yrs)  1:33:08

Marathon (8 run):  Chicago       October 11, 2015   (49 yrs.)  3:24:07

Ultras (3 run):   

Run for the Toad 50k Trail   September 30, 2017 (51 yrs.)  5:31:23

Niagara Falls 100k   June 17, 2018 (52 yrs.)  12:26:30

That Dam Hill 24 hours   September 15-16, 2018  Completed 100 Miles in 23:20:44

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Pacing my sister in her 1st Half Marathon.

Short-Term Running Goals:

The Disney Dopey Challenge in January, 2019.

Sulphur Springs Trail Ultra (50 miles) in May, 2019.

The Haliburton Trail (100 Miles) in September 2019.

The Toronto Marathon in May 2020 (qualify for Boston).

The Sinister 7 Trail (100 Miles) in July 2020 (big maybe).

125th Boston Marathon on April 19, 2021.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Run until this old body of mine won't let me run any more.  I was inspired in the Spring of 2016, watching the start of the Ottawa Marathon.  Near the back of the pack was an 'old man', running with his walker.  I loved it!  I thought ... there's me in 20 years.  Maybe.  


I am a Roman Catholic priest of 25 years, ministering in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.  I spent 8 years ministering in the small town of Wawa (where I helped establish the annual Blackfly Run) and 9 years in Sault Ste. Marie.  I have been in the Sudbury region now for 8 years.  Currently I Pastor 2 small Parishes:  St. John the Evangelist in Garson, and St. Bernardine of Siena in Skead, covering the area just Northeast of the city, surrounding the Sudbury Airport.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 18.00 Month: 128.17 Year: 128.17
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Lifetime Miles: 234.00
Brooks Cascadia 11 Lifetime Miles: 167.50
Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Lifetime Miles: 357.08
Brooks Glycerin 13 Lifetime Miles: 340.23
Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 283.37
Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 18.00
Total Distance
Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 59.37Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 38.80Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Miles: 12.00Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Miles: 18.00
Weight: 159.55
Total Distance

My final strength workout (on the treadmill):  6 x 1 mile repeats at 7:30 pace with 400 recoveries.  It's all easy running now until Dopey.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 11.00
Weight: 159.00
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Total Distance

Easy treadmill miles; 9:20 pace.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 6.00
Weight: 156.50
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Total Distance

Goodwill Route; 9:14 pace. 

I took it outside because it was so mild, at 0C/31F, but who knew the city decided to give up on plowing the roads this week?  It was a run through mashed potatoes.  A harder workout than I would have wanted in my taper period.

Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 6.00
Weight: 159.00
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Total Distance

Slow and easy on the treadmill; 9:50 pace.

Good thing, as the power went out for a second or two at mile 3 - just enough to kick off the treadmill.  Glad I wasn't going fast.

Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Miles: 8.00
Weight: 158.50
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Total Distance

9:10 pace on the treadmill.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 5.00
Weight: 159.00
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Total Distance

Easy treadmill run; 9:10 pace.

Flying to Orlando tomorrow afternoon.  

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 7.00
Weight: 161.50
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Total Distance

Easy treadmill run; 9:50 pace.  Flying out in a couple of hours.

Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Miles: 4.00
Weight: 161.50
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Race: Disney 5K (Dopey Challenge) (3.107 Miles) 00:24:05
Total Distance

First race in the books. 

Good thing for my cold weather training.  It dipped to around 7C/44F at start time.  For me, not so bad in shorts and long sleeved shirt and gloves.  Lots of complaints around me about the cold from others, however.  They should train in Ontario!

Official time of 24:05; 7:36/mile pace.  Probably too fast, given that my marathon pace is slower than that.  Ah well - this is all one big experiment, and I have no time goals, so all is good.  But I think I'll go a bit slower for tomorrow's 10K.

Spent the afternoon with the Gators at Gatorland.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 3.17
Weight: 0.00
Race: Disney 10K (Dopey Challenge) (6.214 Miles) 00:50:26, Place overall: 502, Place in age division: 27
Total Distance

Part 2 done.  Pretty much the same temperature to start as yesterday:  7C/45F.  I brought my mylar wrap today though, and I was toasty warm in the corral.  Tomorrow will be a bit warmer to start - low 50's.

Made a pit stop just before mile 2 which cost me a minute.  Did okay with the pacing to start:  8:37 and 9:36 for the first miles, but then gave in to my urge to go faster and ran mile splits of 7:48  7:41  7:28  and  7:14.  I'm really going to pay for that over the next 2 races.  In my defence, however, it's really hard to resist the urge not to pass that lady in the Tutu, or the one with Fairy Wings on her back, or the guy in the Flash costume.  

First half was basically on the highway, and the second followed yesterday's 5K route, which I really like.   Around the lake with all the characters cheering, lamp fires burning and music blaring.

I see they have my official pace as 8:07/mile.  My GPS shows me running a pace of 8:00/mile, but that was due to the extra distance run (lots of twists and turns on the course).

Going to take an airboat ride on Boggy Creek today.

Edit:  Official Results posted now... 

502/11940 Overall

411/4882 Men

27/553 in Age Division


Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 6.30
Weight: 0.00
Race: Disney Half Marathon (Dopey Challenge) (13.1 Miles) 01:46:45, Place overall: 629, Place in age division: 29
Total Distance

A bit warmer this morning at around 12C/54F.  Actually broke a good sweat.  What a LOT of walking to get to the start line!


629 of 18,415 Overall

511 of 7,801 Men

29 of 908 Age Division

Again, I really didn't know what pace to run.  It turns out my first mile kinda set the tone.  That was an 8:22, and the first 8 miles all ended up being in that range.

I had to make a quick pit stop at that point, and I guess in my mind I tried to make up the 40 seconds I lost, cause I started running in the 7:30 range.  So, I finished with an average pace of 8:09 officially (8:05 on my watch).

Never felt I was really pushing it, but I know I'm going to feel it in my legs tomorrow.  And I still don't know what pace I'm going to run the marathon.  I guess I'll just play that by ear.  I'm toying with pushing for a 3:45, but I'd likely be quite happy with a 4:00, especially if I stop for a beer along the way.

Again, nice fireworks as each wave began - larger ones than the previous 2 mornings.  

Basically ran up to Magic Kingdom and through it, including through the Castle (which others have noted, is cool).  Then back to Epcot.  So, a lot of the route is along the highway.  Tomorrow's Marathon will follow the first 8 miles exactly, and then go into a few of the other parks.

I'm enjoying this whole experience.  Disney does put on a good show.  The support along the route is very good, and the music blaring along the way is inspirational - especially the 2 bands and the choir singing today.

It's easy to see the effect on pacing.  At some point around mile 9, they were belting out "Let it Go" from Frozen.  The woman in front of me, who I was following for a quarter mile or so, suddenly began waving her arms and doing all the moves to go with the song.  She really got into it, and took off like a jack rabbit as she was doing it.  I didn't try to keep up.  But as soon as the song was out of earshot, she faded and had to start walking.  Burned her.

My official splits were:

5K  26:06  (8:25)

10K 52:24  (8:28)

15K 1:18:05 (8:16)

21.1K   1:46:45  (7:34)

Met a family from Canada at the pool this afternoon who are running Dopey as well.



Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 13.20
Weight: 0.00
Race: Disney Marathon (Dopey Challenge) (26.2 Miles) 03:48:36, Place overall: 689, Place in age division: 38
Total Distance

And to think this whole thing is my reward to myself for completing a 100 miler in September!

As I mentioned yesterday, the first quarter and a bit of the course today followed that of the Half.  So, no surprises along the way.

In Corral B, a pacer set up shop beside me.  3:40.  Run Walk Run.  Gallagher style.  I figured that was useless to me, cause I don't walk and so haven't trained that way.  And I was pretty sure a 3:40 was beyond me today in any event.  I was starting off pretty tired.  Further back in Corral B was another Gallagher pacer.  3:50.  I thought I might try to stay between the 2 of them.

I ended up doing exactly that, with an official pace of 8:44/mile.  I am actually pretty pleased with that, all things considered.

It was the warmest of the 4 race days.  Start time temperature was 16C/61F.  So, just pleasant.  And though it felt warmer when the sun came up, when I finished it was still only 18C/65F.  So heat wasn't much of a factor.

At mile 5, I made a quick pit stop.  That allowed the 8:50 pacer and his group (good sized group) to catch up to me.  Turns out to be a bit annoying (just a bit - it wasn't that bad).  The pacer stuck like glue to the right side of the course - which is the proper thing for him to do.  I was running the tangents.  I'm not sure what the timing was.  Maybe run 5 minutes/walk 20 seconds.  So, in the running phase, it was a touch faster than my pace and they would pass me or just come up on my tail.  And in the walking phase I would pass them or come up on their tails.  And the pacer would announce loudly "WALKING IN 20 SECONDS" and then he would count down from 5-4-3-2-1 WALK.  Same thing in reverse when it was time to run.  What begins as a novelty becomes a grain of sand in the shoe over time, it seems.

Anyway, I never really felt in a grove.  It's different starting off a Marathon on tired legs.  And it took me a long time to finally decide that yes, I WAS going to finish this thing running.  But even then, I was just waiting for the bottom to fall out.  That's why I was pleased that my pace was pretty even throughout.  I also decided somewhere in Animal Kingdom to pull ahead of the pacer group.  Maybe not "decided", but it just sort of happened and so I intentionally took advantage and picked up the pace just slightly.  

That was good, as I never heard them again until I hit the track at ESPN.  I had ducked in for another quick pit stop somewhere in the complex (mile 18, give or take), and I guess that allowed them to close the distance.  So, going around the track, with me up on the big screen, the announcer said "And here is Michael Williams from Canada, looking great", which really made me feel great.  And right after that "And here is the 8:50 pace group".  Drat! :)

The only real hills on the course are the overpasses.  But there is a doozie around mile 22.  That Toy Soldier guy was doing his best to inspire people to dig in.  But when I got over it and was on the downside, I really noticed my legs were not happy with me.  I considered just coasting in for the final 4 miles.  But then, the pacer passed me.  A much smaller group with him by now.  And something kicked in.  I just decided to come in before him.  I could see that he was on pace for an exact 3:50, so at mile 23, I finally made up my mind re: goal time.  It was going to be under 3:50!  :)

And I did it.  My final 3 miles I ran at 8:28, 8:17 and 7:55, with the final half mile push clocking in at 7:18.  Half mile, because despite my best attempts at running the tangents, I STILL ran a quarter mile longer than required (at least, according to my GPS).  And I can honestly say that the surge was not because I had too much left in my tank.  It was a combination of really wanting to beat 3:50, the crowds, the nearness of the finish line, knowing I didn't have to run tomorrow, and simple adrenaline.  Oh, and some upbeat songs along the boardwalk too!  Still, I managed a 'jump' at the finish line (still waiting for the pictures to be posted to see if I actually pulled that off - it wasn't easy).

Speaking of upbeat music, I really reigned myself in at mile 20.5 when they blared out "Footloose".  That's my "you run hard, boy" song, and I knew it was way too early for that.

And speaking of pictures:  for 4 days, I watched runners pull off the course and stand in line to have their pictures taken with Disney characters.  And I mean, some of the lines were like 20 people long.  I just shook my head.  I guess I'm not a huge Disney fan - can't understand why you'd want to do that in a race.  And I mean, it was happening every mile (I don't know if the same people stopped - or do you just stop at your favourite characters?)  Plus, last night I looked up the prices for buying those pictures.  OUCH!  $17/picture, or $200 for all of them.  And for this Canadian boy, that would be more like $260.

Too bad - some of the photos I've seen of me are really good ones.  Ah well.

Anyway ... I'm rue to admit ... I stopped for a photo with a character today.  Twice.  But only because there was nobody in line at the time.  It was a whim.  The first time was with some dudes dressed in mouse and duck costumes.  The duck spit all over me when it talked.  The second time was with The Incredibles.  Now, I DO have a weakness for Elastic Girl.  But I found her cold and distant during the 2 second photoshoot, so I think I'm over that now.  And no, I will not be paying for the pictures.

My official placement hasn't been posted yet, so I'll add that as an edit later today, when I get back from Church.

My official splits were:

5 Mile        44:43  8:44/mile

10 Mile   1:28:26  8:45/mile

Half        1:55:17  8:39/mile

20 Mile  2:55:38  8:46/mile

Final 6.2 3:48:36  8:31/mile        8:44/mile average

So, I ran negative splits, telling me I started off with a pretty well chosen pace for this race.

EDIT - official placing:

Age division:      38/684

Men:     552/5,984

Total:    689/11,960


Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 26.50
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

Easy treadmill miles; 9:50 pace.  The only post races issue seems to be my right big toe, which I'll lose.  It never fully recovered from the 100 miler, so I'm not surprised.

Trip home from Orlando yesterday went smoothly.  Flew out at 7am and was taking a nap in my own bed by 1pm.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 6.00
Weight: 160.00
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Total Distance

8 easy treadmill miles; 9:10 pace.

FRIGID outside!!!  With the windchill, it's -43C/-46F.

Yes, that MINUS in both.  You just know it's way past cold when it's the same minus temperature in both measuring systems.

Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Miles: 8.00
Weight: 159.00
Total Distance

Treadmill run.  First 3 miles at 9:10 pace, then dropped to a 9:50 pace for the final 7.

My legs were feeling wonky somehow.  I think I'm just tired.  Not a lot of hours of sleep last night, with late funeral preparations and then the funeral celebration this morning.

I've switched back from a 6 days/week training schedule to 5 days/week, with my focus now on the May 25th 50 mile ultra, which is 18 weeks away.  So, less days of running, but further distances.

Oh, and it warmed up all the way to -30C/-22F this morning.  Quite an improvement from the day before when it was the same minus 40 in both Celcius and Farenheit.

Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Miles: 10.00
Weight: 161.50
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Total Distance

Treadmill.  Still really cold.  8:30 pace.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 8.00
Weight: 159.50
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Total Distance
Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 59.37Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 38.80Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Miles: 12.00Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Miles: 18.00
Weight: 159.55
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