by Character Diva
So it’s that time of year again where everyone is making their New Year’s Resolutions…. And also breaking them. We all mean well, but somehow life happens, and we get derailed… after all, if it’s something we need to make a resolution for, it probably isn’t an easy task to do. One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to exercise and get back into shape. And if this happens to be one of your resolutions, training for a RunDisney Race may be a great way to keep you on track. But in case you do need some extra motivation to help you out with your goals, here are the top 10 reasons (in no particular order) you should participate in a RunDisney Race. Disney Diva Tip: If you’re truly a novice beginner, you can find some great running tips here to help prep you for your first RunDisney race!
- It supports charities! If you’re going to run, and doing it for “fun” isn’t your thing, I can’t think of a more motivating factor than knowing that all of my hard work, effort, and training, (and I’m sure plenty of sweat and tears… hopefully no blood), will be going to help those in need.
- You get plenty of fresh air and exercise! Yes, you need to wake up ridiculously early, but that also means the weather is cooler, so you are not only spared the heat, but all that running will keep you nice and warm…. Or at least you won’t be completely dying and melting away.
- The scenery! I mean, come on… you’re at a Disney theme park! All of the courses make their way through the various parks (the routes are constantly changing, and seeing as there are so many different races, there’s always something new to see. They even begin each race with fireworks! Disney definitely knows how to kick off their races. One thing is for sure: You can never be bored at a Disney race, and you know the view isn’t bad either.
- You can get discounted admission into Disneyland and into the resorts! If contributing to charities and improving your health isn’t motivation enough, why not consider taking advantage of one of the packages for those who participate in one of the Half Marathon Weekends? Added bonus… your family and friends can lock in this special rate too! Everything is subject to change, so I encourage you to look for more current information here, or you can always talk to our endorsed travel agent, Patricia, and she can take care of all of the hassle and set it up for you.
- You can dress in costume! Everyone loves a theme… whether it is running through mud or being chased by zombies, runners all over the world try to stay on theme and outdo each other with their creativity. Part of the fun of racing is coming out with themed outfits… and who doesn’t love dressing up as one of their favorite Disney characters? While dressing as princesses, fairies, and various other characters are always popular, occasionally you come across someone whose costume is so original and unique that it blows you away. I’m sure many of you have seen the image of the man dressed as Kronk (and carrying Yzma no less) who participated in one of the RunDisney Races. As someone who is a HUGE Kronk fan, this was one of my absolute favorite race costumes I’ve seen. But there are also lots of fun ideas you can find through a Google search or on Pinterest if you need a little extra inspiration. And let’s not forget the accessories! Disney Diva Tip: You are not allowed to wear a face mask, and and if RunDisney officials deem that your costume is inappropriate, questionable, or offensive, you’ll be asked to either change or leave.
- There are character meet and greets along the way to cheer you along. This reason alone would be enough of a motivational factor for me to participate. I love the characters! And as always, they are great about interacting with you. Tangled Diva dressed as Rapunzel on one of her recent races, and not only was her costume and frying pan a hit, but she also caught the eye and attention of Flynn Rider (aka Eugene Fitzherbert). Who does’t love extra attention from characters? And who knows? You may even get a smolder out of it! Disney Diva Tip: My aunt is an avid runner, and has run in several races over the years, including many of the RunDisney Races. When it comes to photography, she says, “When I ran my first 1/2 marathon I was looking at the pictures that the photographers took after they were downloaded a few days later. I looked “intense”. I didn’t look like I was having FUN. So after that I started to practice smiling and looking relaxed when I run…I started with my daily runs…..If I’m doing a speed run or I just get caught up in it and am running strong, I think I still manage to look like I’m having fun. Candace has problems sometimes with side aches…..But when she ran her first 5K (Cars/ Disneyland) I told her- when you see a photographer ahead- smile like you are having a blast!! She DID and she looked awesome!! Later, when you see the results, you look at the photos (and your family and friends as well) and you think “it was fun….” NOT Dang that was hard! I was miserable!! ” It’s kind of like childbirth….. after the baby is born part of you is saying- I’m never going through THAT again!! But as time wears on, you think less about the pain of labor and more of how sweet and wonderful the baby is! Photographing the runners is HUGE at the bigger event!! The photographer will naturally gravitate towards runners that are unique and looking like they are having fun……. (my thoughts because it seems Rachael always has more photos than me even though we are running together!) With that being said, it’s IMPORTANT that you wear your bib where it can be easily seen (the back is not a good idea!) It’s how they identify you when they send you the link to look at your photos! Plus it’s in the rules!”
- The bling! Who doesn’t love a souvenir? Especially when it is not only Disney-themed (always an added bonus), but it highlights one of your accomplishments? If a RunDisney Race is on your Bucket List, or if you simply want to prove to people that you actually stuck to your resolution this year (good for you), than bringing home that medal (not to mention all of the pictures, t-shirt and iGiftbag) is a great way to commemorate your milestone.
- The comradery! Odds are, if you are participating in a race, you most likely are there with someone. Whether it is a “training buddy”, or just another friend or family member who is there to support you, it is always nice to share in that moment of triumph and accomplishment… especially if you do it together. It’s definitely a positive bonding experience (and who knows? Maybe you’ll even get an inside joke or two out of it). But even if you show up to a race by yourself, there are thousands of Disney loving enthusiasts (not to mention all of the characters, bands, cheerleaders, runners, and the rest of the people who have come to watch), cheering you on as you achieve your goal and finish your race.
- The sense of accomplishment. Most people never finish their New Year’s Resolutions. Most people never finish their Bucket Lists. And most people never finish reaching all of those little “personal goals” that somehow seem to make life more meaningful. Instead of looking back on life, regretting that you “never did everything you wanted to do”, why not cross one of those things off your list? Not only will you have that sense of accomplishment (as well as make some steps towards improving or maintaining your health), but you can look back at it as hopefully a positive experience. And even if it’s not, at least you can say you did it, and that in itself means a lot.
- Lastly, if you are a veteran runner, have discovered a new found love of running, or just really want to embrace your resolution and really challenge yourself, they have all kinds of extra challenges, such as the “Dumbo Double Dare”, the “Glass Slipper Challenge”, “Goofy’s Challenge” and the “Dopey Challenge” to inspire you to give it that little extra ounce of energy and determination and test yourself even more. These challenges will definitely push you to the limits… for example, the Dopey Challenge is a whopping 48.6 miles and is a combination of the 5K, 10K, the half marathon, and the full marathon… yikes. But at the same time, you can imagine how accomplished these runners must feel afterwards… and going back to the bling, you receive a total of six medals if you manage to survive all of that.
So while I am not a natural-born runner, and really do love my sleep, there are some great advantages to participating in a RunDisney Race, and I figure it is worthy of adding to my Disney Bucket List. I mean, really, what kind of Disney fan would I be if I didn’t? Plus I’m not going to lie… part of my motivation is to get lots of cute pictures of me running and posing with the characters. Because again, if I’m putting in all that effort to run, I may as well be sporting a cute Disney outfit and posing with Disney characters, which is my favorite thing about Disneyland. But whatever your motivation, I encourage you to add it to yours, because it does benefit charities, and bringing others happiness is what Disney is all about.