Inspiring Southern Indiana Couple Complete Ultimate Disney Challenge For The First Time
Let me tell you about my friend, John Perkins. I've known him since he was in grade school. We both took karate at Wade's Karate in Ft. Branch. He was like a little Chuck Norris! Fast forward many years, and now John is basically the Chuck Norris of Disney, and his amazing wife Shay is just as amazing.
Disney Family Goals
John and Shay have three beautiful kids and their second home is the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. I basically live vicariously through them every time they head to Disney World. Well, almost every time. This month the superhero couple took on the ultimate Run Disney Challenge: The Dopey.
What is The Dopey Challenge?
The Dopey Challenge is probably more running than I will do in four years, packed into four days: 5K (3.1 miles), 10K (6.3 miles), Half-Marathon (13.1 miles), and a Marathon (26.2 miles). Allow me to do that math for you = 48.6 magical miles.
This is what 48.6 miles looks like on a local map.
So. Many. Questions.
Watching their adventure-filled extended weekend left me with a lot of questions, and my first one had to be WHY? So, I reached out to John, and here's what he told me about their huge accomplishment, and what they learned as a couple.
What inspired you to run over 40 miles at Disney?
"My wife, she was registered for the 2022 Disney Marathon and couldn’t go so she ran it virtually all 26.2 miles on our treadmill - seeing her fortitude to never quit regardless of the obstacle, just no greater leader by example And of course, running through the parks and castle is a nice bonus."
What is your day-to-day regimen to be able to attempt this?
"I started Peloton Road to your 26.2 18-week program 16 weeks prior to the race. This consisted of 4 running days a week with 3 running days being intervals, speed, and pace training and the 4th a ‘long run’ that progressively gets longer and longer - 2 days a week are runner strength training days, and the 7th remaining day being an active recovery meaning you can stretch or just take the day all the way off - that all said I was about 85-90% solid on this plan with a few tweaks of my own doing some hill training here and there."
How do you feel now-Mentally & Physically?
"Mentally - wonders! I had some anticipation from friends I’ve known who have run a marathon that ‘it develops you’ but I had no idea how much! I had no idea the impact this would have. Running a marathon is something that roughly .01% of people worldwide do; let alone running a marathon after 22.4 miles from the three previous days. Further doing the 48.6 miles side by side with one’s spouse. I feel it developed us closer as a couple by being there to help encourage one another."
"Physically, I feel great. We went in with a game plan and stuck to it. The pace was not the challenge at all - in fact mentally there was a challenge to hold back the strength that was developed from the training. I love running fast and in particular, beating my own records. This was not a race about time though. Could we have run any individual race faster? 100% but mentally holding a 48.6-mile pace throughout - that was an amazing test and practice of self-discipline."
Best Disney pre-run meal?
"We had dinner at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - the Lefse with Cardamom-Cinnamon Butter these are like thin flatbread shells - I think I ate about 17 of those the day before the marathon!"
Best Disney post-run treat/meal?
"Gatorade! So actually my post-run craving was actually from the ‘box of snacks’ provided at the end of runDisney races - the Honey Stinger Energy Waffer - fortunately, I had stock pulled and collected from those who didn’t like them. I probably ate 4 or 5!"
What’s your favorite ride & why?
Guardians of the Galaxy - I don’t want to spoil the surprises but that is just a unique exhilaration thrill
Favorite resort & why?
Beach/Yacht Club - love that how easy it is to get to the Skyline, monorail, or just walk into Epcot - and bonus, it’s my favorite resort to run at in the mornings before park days."
"Goofy, Gaston, and Rafiki."