WDW Marathon Weekend; or, A Tale of Three Dinosaurs

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The time has come for another Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Specifically, the 25th running of the full marathon, coupled with the 5th anniversary of the Dopey Challenge and (if we’re being realistic) the 20th running of the Half Marathon.

Refer to last year’s nonsense for what I mean by that.

We attended the expo yesterday to pick up our bibs and whatnot and, if you follow anything related to RunDisney on social media, you’ll know it was an absolute shit show of nonsense.

I was fully prepared to go on a rant regarding my frustrations with what occurred yesterday but I’m going to restrain myself. It’s not productive and, at the end of the day, isn’t going to accomplish anything.

I will simply say that there is looking like a good chance that my RunDisney career may be coming to a swift end unless some serious changes are made to the institution as a whole.


I will likely do a full weekend wrap up at the end of the challenge. I won’t be doing a post per race like last year because that ended up being redundant and exhausting.

Instead, I want to share what has become one of my favorite traditions for marathon weekend.

It all started in 2016 on opening day of the marathon expo. Erica was running her Dopey Challenge and I was getting prepared for my first ever marathon. Naturally, I was an emotional mess. I cried picking up my bib. I cried buying my marathon jacket. I cried a lot.

We ended up grabbing lunch with Carmela and Gabby at T-Rex at Disney Springs. T-Rex is basically a morbid dinosaur version of Rainforest Café. I say morbid because their version of the rainstorm is the meteor shower that killed all the dinosaurs… every 15 minutes.

Calm down Disney.

After lunch we wandered into the gift shop where they had a dinosaur build-a-bear.

Who could resist?

I ended up falling in love with one of the dinos and immediately adopted him as my own.

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While I was going through the birth certificate process, I messed up and accidentally hit enter before giving him an official name.

So his name is Blank.

We were instant besties.


He was basically my comfort animal while I was going through the emotional hell that is tapering.

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He also sometimes travels with me when I’m stressed out and even made an appearance on my second trip to Chicago for the marathon in 2017.

In early 2017 I was going to be running my Dopey (turned Grumpy Challenge after the half was cancelled) and Erica and I returned to the scene of the crime: T-Rex.

This time, I built my new friend Bruce.

A tradition is born.


I will say that it has been really sad not having Erica here for this weekend especially when it came to my favorite tradition of heading to T-Rex.

I enlisted the help of fellow runner and friend Heather and her daughter to join me on my little adventure where I found and fell in love with my new taper-buddy: Bert.


I have no explanation for sticking with “B” names but a standard was set and I’m sticking with it.


He will be taking care of me this weekend and then will join Blank and Bruce in their place of honor on my bed where they hang out during the day. I don’t sleep with them just because the cats already take up too much room but they have a special place in my room.

Cause I’m an adult.

So there it is, my favorite tradition for marathon weekend. We really didn’t have much else that we made sure to do other than having fun in the parks and stuffing ourselves silly.

This weekend is a bit up on the air with plans which I’m okay with since I have a million things I need to do… including cleaning my house. I don’t know how it keeps getting messy…

Best of luck out there runners!

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