Charity Miles Champion: Rose Babcock

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Photo from @RosieBabs 

Running the TCS NYC Marathon isn’t enough for this Charity Miles Champion. Rose Babcock is running the NYC marathon on November 1st and the Dopey Challenge in January. The Run Disney Dopey Challenge consists of a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Marathon. One race is run each day for four consecutive days. Have you ever thought of taking on a super endurance challenge? See how Rose is doing all of the running with Team Fox for the Michael J Fox Foundation.

Taking on the Dopey Challenge

I started running the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2009 as a way to get into shape. What I didn’t realize was that it would not be a one-and-done situation. The first time I crossed the finish line and got my shiny, gold Mickey Medal, I was hooked and I’ve run it every year since! Last year while running the Marathon for the first time as a part of Team Fox, I saw first-hand the thrill of my teammates running all four races. When it came time to register this year I thought, am I crazy enough to take on Dopey? So I registered, then the real work started.



My Training Plan: As if Dopey wasn’t crazy enough, yours truly also signed up to do the NYC marathon on November 1st. In preparation for NY, I’ve been using a modified version of Jeff Galloway’s Disney marathon training plan. I just altered the start date to coincide with the NY time frame. I plan on doing a 4 min run:2 min walk intervals and pacing to finish in the upper 5’s. I’ll be running as a part of Team Fox, so I’ll definitely be stopping for a photo op with the cheering section and taking in the sights and sounds of “the Big Apple” as I plod along. Perhaps I should stop for a bagel en route? Ah, carbs….

After NYC, I plan on picking up Jeff Galloway’s Dopey training plan. I will be taking it easy and giving myself about 2 weeks of recovery time following the NYC marathon, in which I will likely only walk the runs, or reverse the intervals to 2 min run:4 mins walk. Once all the soreness subsides, it’s right back into training turtle speed ahead!

As I mentioned before, I’ve never before attempted to try Dopey, so I have no idea what to expect. When I did the Goofy back in 2010, the strategy was pacing for a 15 min mile during the half, so that I would be able to live through the marathon the next day. That seemed to work well, except that Mother Nature decided to make the course cold and wet on the day of the half, leaving my husband with huge blisters on his feet! Day 2 was a balmy 27 degrees; we ended up with what will likely remain our personal worst marathon time ever.


So here’s my plan this year for the races if Mother Nature obliges:

Day 1 – 5k: WALK!!! There will be lots of walking. No running, not even a step! Slow and steady so I can live to see another day!

Day 2 – 10k: Walk again. Luckily some of my friends from Team Fox are planning on walking the whole 10k, so I intend on tagging along with them. I anticipate lots of good conversation and well-rested feet!

Day 3 – Half marathon: I plan on using my reverse intervals, 2 min run:4 min walk. Attacking it this way, I intend on finishing with roughly 15-minute miles. There will be picture stops and bathroom breaks I’m sure! Perhaps someone in the crowd will be handing out animal crackers. Those things are awesome!


Photo from

Day 4 – Marathon day: So by day 4, I expect to be sore and tired. Waking up at 2:30 AM every day will likely catch up with me. This is the day my husband and I (did I mention I dragged him into this mess), will be spending the day with two marathon rookies. I will give every effort to keep to my 4:2 intervals, but I’m sure the fatigue of prior days will not allow me to keep that pace for long. Hopefully, my newbie friends will struggle too so I don’t look like a whimper! I intend to stop for pictures, bathroom breaks, and maybe even ride Expedition Everest. Last year I stopped at La Cava del Tequila during the marathon, so who knows; I may finish Dopey with a margarita in hand. As long as I am still upright, I will be a happy camper!

So to recap, my plan is to give in to peer pressure, train hard, fuel with carbs, pace myself, and finish upright. That sounds good to me!

~ Rose Babcock is a charity runner, carb enthusiast, and 7-time Disney Marathon survivor.

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