IMG_0413As well as being our top legal brain and land expert, Katherine Gray, Land Manager, also likes to test herself with other challenges, such as running marathons.

Her latest challenge is an amazing feat in a truly magical setting, here is what she had to say;

“In the spring of 2015, my sister and I thought it would be good idea to enter the Dopey Challenge at Disney Orlando, Florida which took place between the 7th and 10th January 2016. The Dopey Challenge is a four day running event running though the Disney Parks, each day getting progressively harder… 

The four runs were a 5k (3.1 miles), 10k (6.2 miles), Half Marathon (13.1 miles), and a Marathon (26.2 miles). You are able to enter the events separately, and many people did.  However, as we were flying to Florida to run, we wanted to do them all.  My sister and I have run 7 half marathons, and two marathons in the past (amongst other things) so we knew we could train to do the distance.  It was just doing the runs back to back that would be the tricky bit.

IMG_0416The runs themselves started very early in the morning. The 5k run started at 6.00am, and the rest at 5.30am.  This meant getting up at 3.00am every morning, inhaling some food, and walking in a sleepy but excited state to the shuttle bus that took you to the start line.

The 5k and 10k course took you through Epcot, around the lake and back to the finish line. The 5k was a ‘family’ race, it was nice to see children running with their parents and enjoying the experience.  As these races were relatively short we finished before sunrise and were able to enjoy the rest of the day around the Disney parks.

The Half Marathon course took you from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom, and back again. Because we were positioned in the middle corral we were able to run into the Magic Kingdom before sunrise and see Main Street USA and the Cinderella’s Castle all lit up in fairy lights (I assume from the Christmas period).  The crowds of spectators were defining.  The spectators were using anything they had to make noise such as bells, whistles, horns etc.   Along the way we also saw many Disney characters where people would stop to have their photo taken, hot air balloons, marching bands, gospel choirs and even clowns on stilts. 

The weather for the first three races was lovely running weather. A bit chilly, some rain, lots of rain in the case of the 10k, and slightly overcast.

We were not so lucky with the Marathon. 23˚C and very humid at 6.00am is not running weather… 

The Marathon Course took us from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, to ESPN world, Hollywood Studios, around the Epcot lakes and into Epcot. Again we managed to get to the Magic Kingdom before sunrise so saw Cinderella’s Castle lit up for a second time.  The crowds of supporters for the Marathon were easily three times that of the Half Marathon, which was great to see, and a good boost.  The temperature and humidity started to rise and the water stops became our new best friends.  Before we entered the Animal Kingdom they volunteers were handing out bananas to everyone, which I thought was quite fitting. Upon entering ESPN world we ran around an athletics track and then a baseball stadium.  When the fine gravel gets in your shoes it is not fun…  The last four miles of the course were running around Hollywood Studios and the Epcot lakes.  The crowds gave you a tremendous boost at this point and really do help you across the line.  We finished by running past the gospel choir, along the finishers straight across the line feeling truly exhausted. 

It was a magical experience and one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys running. We finished in high spirits with wonderful memories, very tired, but not broken.  I don’t think we could ask for much more than that”.

I’m sure you’ll agree, that is an amazing accomplishment.

Katherine is now back in the office, so if you would like to discuss land or development opportunities with her, whether it is a piece of land you are looking to sell or to find out what land is available to purchase, please don’t hesitate to contact her on 01252 762007 or land@mackenziesmith.co.uk.