Recently, I crossed paths with an old friend, as we proceeded to catch each other up on major events in our lives she mentioned seeing my endless FB posts about runDisney and was thinking about giving it try. Well, Cindy as promised here what you need to know…
1. All Magic Comes at Price
runDisney events are not cheap. While a local half marathon registration will cost you $50-100, a runDisney half marathon registration will be in the range of $200. That is a lot of money for a t-shirt, medal and bandana. Then when you factor in the cost of making it a run-cation the expenses go up significantly. But trust me after you finish your first race, you will never have sticker shock again and somehow your eyes will never even gaze at the price, your finger will just click on that registration link.
2. Lots of Runners Want in on the Magic
runDisney events have gained significant popularity the last years and many of the event weekends and distances are likely to sell out VERY quickly, some within minutes. You need to make sure you are aware of registration dates & times, as well as be familiar with the registration process. runDisney races are also huge events in the terms of participants, in 2016 almost a 250K runners took part in a runDisney race. The 2016 Princess Half Marathon had 37.000 registered runners.
3. Races are not Sleeping Beauty Friendly
Most runDisney events have a start time between 5-6 am, which means a 2:30 am walk up call is in order so that you can get dressed, make it to the bus on time, take care of your personal needs and get in your race corral ready to start by race time, all in the dark. Most runners compete in the challenges (multiple races over the course of the weekend) and will repeat the early mornings 3-4 days in a row. Princesses are off to bed early and have to limit times enjoying the parks. You have to get in the mindset of you are here for “work” first and play afterwards.
4. Hi-Ho Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Train I must Go
Pixie Dust will not get you through a runDisney race. You must take your training seriously and put the time into it to have a successful and enjoyable race. There is no room for excuses, only commitment. A great motivation for training is to pull out your registration and remind yourself of how much you are paying for this experience.
5. Magical Race Experience for Everyone
Whether you are a serious or causal runner, runDisney races can be magical for both skill levels and everyone in between. With Jeff Galloway (leading running mousekeeter of the run/walk method) as the official race trainer, expect there to be a lot of run/walkers out on the course making a runDisney event a race that most everyone can be successful in. Also, it is perfectly acceptable to stop occasionally and take in all the magic around you, including running through the castle or underneath Spaceship Earth. If you are brave enough, riding Expedition Everest in the middle of your full marathon, my personal goal. For those really wanting to celebrate the finish line, cross with a margarita in hand from the Mexico pavilion. Also, make sure you take pictures and selfies along the way, documenting the magic you are having. runDisney uses Disney Photopass photographers to capture the magic as you are running, but don’t be afraid to hand your camera off to a Cast Member too to help you capture the magic. As long as you keep a 16-minute mile pace and are ahead of the “balloon ladies” you will finish the race.
6. Red or Blue?
While costumes are entirely optional, you will want to get in the spirit of a runDisney race after you see everyone else around you. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but it does need to be runner friendly so make sure you try it out during a run BEFORE you wear it for a race…chaffing is not fun.
7. Like Chocolate to Elsa & Anna, an Addition
Okay running is not fun or most people, me included. But something happens when you compete in your first runDisney race and that medal is around your neck…. you suddenly forget about the training runs in the middle of summer (or winter), the blisters, the sweating, mile 9 when you are ready to die…all the bad stuff is erased and you begin thinking about the experience of running through the castle and only hear the clinking of your next medal.
So Cindy, are you ready to runDisney with me…