Is a 5k or even a marathon on your bucket list? Maybe it isn’t something you have even considered or think you could do. RunDisney has become a destination race series for runners and nonrunners. They now have races for everyone that can move! Let me tell you my top 5 reasons why you should experience a RunDisney race if you are a Disney fan even if you have never run before!
I am not sure I would run 13.1 miles ever again in a real tiara but I have done it in Disney. I paired it with my sparkly Cinderella skirt and ran like it was midnight! This is your chance to get in character and go through the parks. You won’t be alone either! There are thousands of people that run each race and I am pretty sure 99% of the runners wore costumes. I even saw men dressed as the evil stepsisters and Ariel during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. Get creative and have fun with it! If you don’t have the time to create one before the race you can pick one up at the runner’s expo when you pick up your bib.
This might affect your time but every mile or so there is a character spot. You can stop and grab a photo as they cheer you on during your magical miles. Lines can get long but not everyone is racing for a PR. Most are doing it for the magical experience. The lines do move faster than in the parks because people want to head back out on course. Disney makes sure to provide lots of entertainment each mile. I was so excited to run to see what was next that I didn’t even think about how tired I was. At one point in one race there was a choir singing on the side of the road. The cast members are also out in full force cheering you on giving you high fives or waving their Mickey glove hands at you as you pass.
RunDisney races are an amazing way to experience the parks! The race courses take you in to backstage areas and through hidden entrances. Imagine rounding a corner and finding yourself on Main Street USA with crowds lining the street as you race towards the castle! It was one of those moments you will never forget. Could there be a more magical moment than running through Cinderella’s Castle in the early morning hours before guests arrive for the day?! What parks you get to run through depends on the distance of the race. So the longer you go the more amazing things you get to experience! There are people that run/walk or even walk the courses! You just need to keep a 16 minute mile pace or below!
2. The Bling
The finisher medals are amazing! It actually rivals my Boston Marathon finisher medal. They really are that nice! Each race each year has a different themed medal. Which means you may want to keep doing all of the races just to get the new medal each time. Usually when I run a race I grab my medal and wear it around the finish area and it goes right in to the bag to be hung up at home. Not at Disney! You worked hard for it and everyone takes pride in their new bling and wears them through the parks! You won’t be alone if you sport your bling the rest of the day. Plus cast members will congratulate you on your race and there are discounts at Disney Springs you can take advantage of when you wear your medal.
Okay I admit I run to eat. When running at Disney you are up early to run and have the entire day to treat yourself! Grab that turkey leg or splurge on a big dinner or seconds at a buffet. You worked for those extra calories and Disney has lots of opportunities to use those! Give me all the popcorn and Mickey bars!
Most races do start early in the morning. Very early in the morning! I mean at 5:30am in the morning. That means if you are staying on property you will have to grab the free race transportation bus at 3:30am. Don’t worry because Disney will wake you up the second you step off the bus at the start area. From DJs to character opportunities there will be so many sights and sounds to take in that your adrenaline will get pumping. Runners are placed in to corrals depending on their ability and are released in intervals. That doesn’t mean the first corral gets the most magical start. Each start group will head out on to course as fireworks burst above you.
RunDisney has 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon and challenge races. The kids have the option to participate in RunDisney races from a diaper dash for the crawlers to a one mile run for kids 4 to 13 years old. All of the kids will get their own finisher medal, personalized race bib, participant shirt and of course special Disney treats at the end.
RunDisney races do sell out fast. Currently there is still availability in the following events:
Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Marathon January 11-12th
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and the Dopey Challenge January 11-12th
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon or the Fairy Tale Challenge February 22-23rd
Star Wars Rival Run 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Challenge and Kessel Run Challenge April 17-19th
You can find more information at rundisney.com. This is one magical experience you won’t forget. If you have questions or want help booking a RunDisney race reach out and let me help you make magical memories!
My favorite thing to do is plan Disney vacations and it has been a dream of mine to help others plan their own magical experiences. As they say in Disney, “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow,” and I want to help you see it all!
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