Are you interested in running a RunDisney race but have no idea where to start or what to do? Run Diva is here to help! Here are the top 5 questions most people have about a RunDisney event.
1. How do I sign up for a RunDisney race?
This is an excellent question because it’s not as simple as one might think. It’s about the same difficulty as getting your hands on the new Harry Potter book circa 2000. But in all seriousness, it’s not so bad, you just need to be prepared. Races go on sale usually 9-10 months in advance. These races have become so popular over the last three years that some can sell out in a matter of 20 minutes. So here is my strategy for you:
– Find out the day the race goes on sale by looking at the RunDisney.com site. Races go on sale at 12pm EST or 9am PST if you’re in California like me.
– Sign up for the FREE active.com account. This helps when you’re filling out all of the race registration information, it will automatically fill in your address, phone number, etc.
– Be at your computer five minutes before race sale time, log in to your active.com account and keep refreshing the rundisney.com page until registration time starts.
Seems like a stressful, crazy process I know but there’s a reason these sell out so quickly…they’re AMAZING.
2. How do I pick which race is right for me?
Well there are many different ways I can answer this: one being distance and one being theme. Let’s talk distance first. If this is your first ever race, I would start with the 10k. I would definitely sign up for a few local 5k fun runs, then maybe one or two 10k races at home first within the 9-10 months between registration and race day. I personally love the 10k courses at Disneyland. Six miles is the perfect distance to run in the parks, and depending on what time of year you go it should mostly be in the dark with all the lights on! If you are already in excellent shape or want a new challenge, why not do the half? Even for beginners, there is plenty of time to train for a half marathon with a little dedication, and pixie dust! If you’re more of an experienced runner I highly recommend the challenges. They consist of a 10k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. They are exhausting and challenging but so rewarding! Plus you get three medals!
Now let’s talk theme. So for Disneyland you have four wonderful, fun races to chose from: Star Wars race weekend (January), Tinkerbell half marathon weekend (May), Disneyland half marathon weekend (September), and last but not least Avengers race weekend (November). Most of the themes for these races are self explanatory and their theme is in the title except for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. Part of the excitement for me when I register for the Disneyland Half Marathon is finding out what the theme is (they usually don’t release it until 8-10 weeks before the race weekend). Whatever that theme is for the weekend, it’s reflected in the 10k medal. So far the themes have been Alice in Wonderland, Lilo and Stitch, and this year the theme will be Villains! I think you really can’t go wrong with which Disneyland race you choose. If you’re not a hot weather person, I highly suggest you don’t do the Disneyland half marathon weekend. It’s still very hot and sunny very early in the morning. Tinkerbell falls on Mother’s Day weekend so that’s always something to consider as far as family travel plans.
For Disney World you have the Marathon weekend, The Princess Half Marathon weekend, Tower of Terror 10 miler (currently on hold), and the Wine and Dine half marathon weekend. The Marathon weekend has the most options in terms of distance. Listed below are the races you can try:
Goofy’s race and a half challenge (running the half marathon and then the full the next day)
The Dopey challenge (running the 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon in four days)
The Princess half marathon is in February, princess themed and has the Glass Slipper Challenge if you plan on running both the 10k and half. I’ve only seen the Tower of Terror 10 miler in pictures but it is all Halloween themed including the 5k medal which shows Minnie and Mickey trick or treating. The Wine and Dine half marathon starts at 10pm and ends in Epcot at the Food and Wine festival. The 5k for this race is Christmas themed as it is in the middle to end of November. You do run at night and some people don’t stop until about 2am, so if you are not a night owl and don’t do well with staying out late, I would really think about this one. At the end you do get to sample delicious food from all of the different countries as well as beer and wine. What a great reason to run!
3. Are strollers allowed at the race?
Unfortunately, no. The races have become so popular as is that crowd control is a concern for the staff. Adding strollers would be a bit too much stress on the crowds.
4. How do I train for a RunDisney race?
Located on the RunDisney site, Jeff Galloway has put together a training plan for beginners and advanced runners. You can easily download the schedule to your phone’s calendar and keep track of how many miles you should be doing for the week. I highly recommend doing two short runs during the week, even if you have to walk, and one longer run on the weekends. Being consistent during the week I believe is what has keep me being strong for the races. As a trainer, I always recommend that people balance their running with strength training. Try to do 2-3 sessions of a weighted workout a week to keep your hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings strong for running.
5. Can beginners do a RunDisney race?
YES! In fact, I wish I had done a RunDisney race for my first half marathon! Everyone is so excited, friendly, and it just makes the whole experience magical. Whether or not you’re running alone or in a group, you feel like one big excited family. People line the streets to cheer and send good wishes, and if you’re lucky they might hand out a snack or two. There are many different beginner training plans you can follow as well. As long as you stay dedicated to your training, you could do any distance! Even the marathon!
I hope this helps everyone who had questions about running at Disney. It’s defiantly one of my favorite hobbies and keeps me focused on a healthy goal!