Packing for the runDisney Dopey Challenge

A few years ago, I wrote a post about packing for runDisney’s marathon weekend. I even included a fun video to help be your guide, and I thought packing for TWO races (Goofy) would be the most I would ever pack for. Check out that link if you want a super extensive packing list! But today we are talking about the runDisney Dopey Challenge.

packing for rundisney Dopey Challenge

Fast forward to 2014 when I ran the inaugural Dopey Challenge. I felt pretty prepared going in but learned a few tricks that may help you pack and be prepared for 48.6 miles. When running the runDisney Dopey Challenge, remember you will need FOUR of most things. This can get quite confusing when you may also need park clothes, nice clothes for dinners, etc. Here are my best tips for packing for the runDisney Dopey Challenge itself.

1.) Ziploc Bags:  You will need four sports bras, four pairs of socks, four outfits, etc., and it can get confusing as to which you want to wear for what race. To minimize confusion (and a messy suitcase) pack the items you need for each race in a ziplock bag or two, and label the bag with a sharpie. Be flexible. The year I ran one race ended up being way hotter than another, so I ended up switching up what days I wore what costume because one was cooler than the other.

2.) Carry on your shoes: If you are flying, be sure to carry on or wear your running shoes. Most other items are replaceable, but you don’t want to run (especially four races!) in new shoes if your bags get lost! I also carried on my costumes, but feel I would have been ok had I not had them now that I have done the challenge.

3.) Extra running shoes: I brought three pairs and rotated them out for the races. This helped me not get blisters badly on the early days, which would have made the full miserable on day 4. Also, in case one pair gets soaking wet, muddy, etc. you will want to have a backup pair for the other races, or for going to the parks.

4.) Lots of fuel: I take fuel/GU every 4ish miles, so between my husband and I we consumed a lot! (They also sell GU etc. at the expo but don’t try anything new for the race!) Also, keep in mind your hydration. I think runDisney does a great job of providing liquids on course so I have never brought my own water bottles, but you do you if that’s what you are used to doing!

5.) Recovery aids: In between each race there are certain things you can do to minimize stiffness and aches for the next race. I brought my traveling stick/foam roller, ibuprofen (do not take ibuprofen before a race, take Tylenol if you must!) compression socks and pants, and Biofreeze. You can also bring extra Ziploc bags for ice at your hotel or just take an ice bath.

6.) Gear for multiple weather scenarios: It’s Florida in January. You literally never know what it will be. I have run in 17 degrees and snow flurries, and ran an 85-degree marathon, all the same weekend in January a few years apart! Bring throw away gear just in case, as well as rain gear (related: tips for running in the rain.) and make sure you have layers especially if you have certain costumes you are wearing. Don’t plan a costume that only looks good with long pants in case it’s hot, and vise versa, don’t only plan one with tank tops or you may freeze! have options just in case.

I hope everyone has a wonderful race experience in January at the runDisney Dopey Challenge!

For information on runDisney events, registration, and dates be sure to check out

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  1. Great tips! I’m “only” running the marathon so packing for me should be relatively simple. We are flying as well and I am *trying* to get away with only a carry on suitcase but as a notorious overpacker I’m not sure if that will happen 🙂
    Safe travels and hope to see you there!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

  2. Between the two posts, I think you covered it. I know I referred to your list for last years marathon weekend — even though I was only running the 5k.

    PS- so many runDisney posts in my reader. I am quite jealous that I am not running this weekend. Dopey 2015, or bust!

  3. OH!!
    great point about carrying on the SHOES!!!!

  4. I can’t even imagine packing for four races! Best of luck to you!

  5. Love this! I actually can’t imagine packing for 4 events! So awesome. Can’t wait to hear all about the weekend. I will be watching with envy on instagram from snowy, freezing cold, Canada.

  6. Man I’ve got to start packing!!!! 😉 Don’t forget your Body Glide!!! 😉

  7. Ugh, this is what I’ll be doing all day today! I have to admit I’m totally dreading it! Hope to see you later this week!

  8. I started packing yesterday. I’ll be there Thursday thru Tuesday, and I’ve packed 9 shirts for the parks… too much? :-p I do have my race costume packed, but I won’t finish packing until laundry is done on Wednesday.

  9. I pack up each race outfit in a ziplock bag, too. I used to think it was kind of overkill, but have come to realize it’s a really great tip.
    If you have each outfit prepared, it’s a really easy way to be confident that you’re not forgetting something (4 races = 4 bags) and once you’ve squished the air out of them they don’t take up a ton of room. Plus, the bags come in handy as ice packs if you need them later.
    We’ll have laundry in our 2 bedroom villa, so I’m going to try and under-pack and bring things that serve a double duty when possible.

  10. Love your idea for packing each race’s outfits in Ziploc bags. What a great way to make sure you have everything AND have an organized suitcase!

  11. I am also packing in Ziplock bags and after each race, once my clothes are dry, I’ll re-use the bags for stinky outfits. I’m hoping to not pack as many shirts, and be able to use some of my finisher shirts. I too am flying and I’m hoping to get by with a carry on.

  12. Great tips! With running and racing, I agree with you and I always recommend carry on all your running gear:) Good luck this weekend, have fun!

  13. I usually end up packing Ziploc bags so I can have ice packs after races, but I never actually thought to put my race outfits in them! I’m only (ha) doing the 10K and full marathon but that’ll definitely help keep things separate; thanks for the idea!

  14. Have a great time and enjoy your races!

  15. Best of luck to you! Safe travels

  16. Thank you for this post! I am finishing getting everything ready, I will be running Tinkerbell in 2 weeks! I love the ziploc & the wear your shoes on the plane tips! Can’t wait for pictures!

  17. “Do not take ibuprofen before a race, take Tylenol if you must!) ” why is this?

Mentioned elsewhere:

  1. runningwithsass says:

    Packing for the runDisney Marathon Weekend/Dopey’s Challenge

    Last year, I wrote a post about packing for runDisney’s marathon weekend. I even included a fun video

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