Are you ready to log those magical miles in a RunDisney race?
Believe me when I say the experience racing in Disney is like no other I’ve run into so far J We know that Disney World is a place for great memories, superior customer service, and the chance to feel like a kid again. RunDisney takes those ideals to heart and provides a very enriching experience from packet pick up to crossing the finish line.
Here are some tips to make sure you have a successful RunDisney race.
1. Mark Your Calendar for Registration
Registering for a RunDisney race is half the battle. Forget about the 6 or 26 mile run, your first challenge is to make sure you can sign up. Registration is quite competitive so you’ll want to make sure you try as soon as it opens. Registration dates are posted at www.rundisney.com and all registrations begin at 12:00 Eastern time. If you are a Disney Vacation Club member you have early registration options so be sure to take advantage of those.
2. Schedule your arrival accordingly.
All RunDisney participants have to attend the Race Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports and pick up their own bib and runner packet. No longer can friends or family pick up your packet for you. Each runner needs to appear and pick up their own with ID.
Therefore, you will need to arrive at least the day before your race with enough time to get to the expo. The expo usually opens on Wednesday or Thursday leading up to race weekend and remains open through Saturday. For example, if you are running the 10K for the Princess Marathon weekend, you cannot fly in Friday evening… you’ll have to arrive early afternoon at the latest so you can get your race bib.
The Expo has fun RunDisney merchandise along with fitness retailers, photo opportunities, food & beverage, and coveted New Balance sneakers. Plan enough time to browse everything and really take in the Expo.
3. Dress the Part
One of the fun perks of a RunDisney race is the opportunity to get dressed up. Are you running the Star Wars Dark Side? Maybe you’ll go all black for Darth Vader. Wine and Dine weekend? Maybe you’ll dress as a chef. The possibilities are endless so let your creativity roam free. Of course, remember you are running after all so you want to make sure your attire is breathable, secure, and doesn’t interfere with hearing or visibility. I wouldn’t recommend going for a Chewbacca costume in April! Think of outfits that are “inspired by” your favorite characters rather than going for a full-on costume.
4. Plan Out Your Race Morning
All of the RunDisney races start bright and early, or shall we say dark and early! The last thing you want is to be rushing or late for the race.
Race transportation is provided from select Walt Disney World resorts. If you are utilizing the buses make sure you plan plenty of time to get from your room to the bus. If you are driving check if there are road closures or limited parking availability to be aware of.
You will need to be in your corral 30 minutes prior to the race starting. This is important especially if you’re in the front corrals A & B as they start bringing you towards the start line shortly after the 30-minute cutoff.
Characters are out ahead of the race so if you are there early enough you can grab some keepsake photos before getting sweaty. There is always a great DJ to get you pumped for the race and plenty of time to get stretching in.
The bottom line is always plan more time than you think is needed and get to the race early. Your adrenaline will wake you up and you’ll be more focused once your run begins without having had rushed there.
5. Take Advantage of the Character & Water Stops
If you’re not from the south, you won’t be as accustomed to running in the heat or humidity you’ll likely encounter. Take full advantage of the opportunity to take a quick break and wait in line for a character photo. You can catch your breath and get a memento of the race. If you are an avid runner, you can always use your GPS watch to track ‘real race time’ pausing while waiting for the characters.
Don’t pass by the water stops either. I usually grab one water from the front, drink it, and grab a second towards the back before getting back on pace. Your body will thank you for the hydration and it will help your recovery after too!
There are so many more tips for RunDisney races but these are a few of my favorites. Maybe I’ll see you out on the course in 2017. What races are you running in Walt Disney World?