It's been a week since I finished the Goofy Challenge (in my case, the unofficial Dopey Challenge) and I still can't quite believe that I was able to finish the marathon portion in a time that qualified me for the Boston Marathon. The more I think about it, the more I realize how lucky I am.
With all the stuff that was going on these last couple weeks, I sort of had to set other things aside to focus on remembering all the details of my races. There were a couple other awesome things that went on during the race and a couple days after the race. Before I get to those, I got my hands on copy of another view of the finish line. I'm the one with a white long-sleeved shirt that crosses the line, yells, and puts his hands up.
One of the awesome things that happened during this trip was that my dad finished the Goofy Challenge as well. My dad has done plenty of races in the past, including marathons and triathlons. Unfortunately, he's had a string of bad luck with the last bunch of races he's signed up for. Without going into too much detail, he's had to drop out of a couple of races for various reasons (including injury and a death in the family), and he's even had a slight medical scare after his most recent race, which was in September of 2010. Since that September race, he's been in and out of the doctor's office, trying to figure out what was wrong, and he was basically told not to run. So, as determined as he is, he trained to walk the 39.3 miles of the Goofy Challenge.
If you ask me, I think that walking the Goofy Challenge is more difficult than running it. To be out on the race course for such a long time, by yourself, and to continue to stay focused enough to stay on pace for 39.4 miles is crazy! I am pretty sure that if I was in my dad's situation, I may have been a DNS (Did Not Start). I saw a shirt during the race which pretty much sums up the way my dad viewed this race, and really the way that every race should be viewed. It said "DLF > DNF > DNS". It meant Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish which is greater than Did Not Start. Because getting to the starting line is really the biggest obstacle to overcome, the reward for all the training is the race! It doesn't matter if you come in first, last, or anywhere in between. The race is really each participant's celebration of all the hard work they've put in.
So on that note, I'm very proud of my dad and how much he went through to not only make it through this race, but just to even make it to the starting line. It's been a while since he's had a successful race. And even though he didn't set personal time records, this was the first time he'd done anything like the Goofy Challenge, and he finished with plenty of time to spare! And not only did he finish strong, he stole the show during the final straight-away leading up to the finish line. Here's how it went down:
And here's a picture of my dad and mom, after my dad finished the marathon:
The rest of the week was pretty phenomenal, but there was one other thing that really stood out. A couple nights after the races were all over, we went to the Spirit of Aloha luau at Disney's Polynesian Resort. At one point in the show, the hula girls picked out two guys to come up to the stage and have a little hula dance-off. Luckily for us, my buddy Justin, who also completed the Goofy Challenge, was selected. Now, Justin is a very enthusiastic individual, and doesn't get embarrassed very easily, or at all. He's definitely a joy to be around. Anyway, Justin was going head to head with some Joe Schmoe from the other side of the luau. All they had to do was do what the girl in front of them was doing, and do it better than the other guy. If you watch closely, Justin is doing such a great job, the girl that is leading the other guy is laughing at Justin! So who do you think won this battle!
And here is Justin and his wife after Justin finished the marathon:
And Justin sure made an impression. Him and his wife were in one of the theme parks the next day and Justin was recognized by another family that was at the luau! They told him that he was by far the highlight of the show (I'm not sure if that is a knock on the show or just some high praise for what was obviously some fantastic dancing). And I'm not going to say how many adult beverages were consumed before the dance. Let's just say it was all you care to enjoy, both food and beverage. Ha!
I'm not quite sure when the results of this trip are really going to set in. Maybe some time later in the year, like October, when registration opens for the Boston Marathon. Or maybe not even until April of 2012, when I'm hopefully running the Boston Marathon. All I know is that I'm very grateful to even have to opportunity to possibly register! I have some more stuff about the Goofy Challenge coming in the next day or two. Mainly some lessons, or tips, that I learned that I want to write down so I don't forget them. Because if I don't, I most definitely will!