Attempting the 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon and Marathon, on consecutive days, is considered the Dopey Challenge at the Walt Disney Marathon race weekend in Florida.

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Joao Marcelo Avelar winning the half-marathon on Saturday. Photo: Walt Disney Race Weekend via the Orlando Sentinel.

Running four races in four days is a challenge in itself but winning four races in as many days is a whole other feat.

On Saturday, Joao Marcelo Avelar, 31, of Brazil won the Walt Disney Half-Marathon in 1:10:17 and is now just one victory away from sweeping the four event — 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon and Marathon — series.

Doing all four events at the Orlando, Fla. race is known as the Dopey Challenge.

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“Winning was a big surprise,” Avelar told the Orlando Sentinel. “At five or six kilometers, there were a group of runners with me. At 10 kilometers, there were only two runners. After I got past 10 kilometers, there was nobody there.”

Avelar, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, won the 5K on Thursday running 16:04 and proceeded to win Friday’s 10K in 32:35.


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The race is surely in contention for best finish line experience as well with confetti, spotlights, and Disney characters greeting runners at the end of each race.

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The Orlando Sentinel also reported that marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe is participating in the race weekend to celebrate the Disneyland Paris Half-Marathon later this year (Sept. 25).

Radcliffe completed a portion (results display her name as “Paula Radcliff”) of the half-marathon on Saturday.


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