Love Disney? Love to run? Why not enjoy both…at the same time. Here are the top 5 things to LOVE about runDisney: Logistics, Volunteers and Race Support, Character Spots and Unique Route, Medals, Family Friendly. runDisney really does cover it all. Maybe you will fall in love with runDisney as much as we have.
First of all, it is to be expected that when you do a running race with Disney in the name that it will be run well. On the opposite side, for a large race you would think that things would feel a little bit clusterish. runDisney has this down to a science. The logistics have changed over the past 6 years for sure. All have improved the flow of both the expo and the race itself. When you arrive at the ESPN World Wide of Sports it can feel a bit overwhelming, but the staff and volunteers are more than happy to lead you in the right direction. The one thing that will make your life easier is to read through the virtual race packet. runDisney really does lay everything out in an easy to follow manual. The best advice is the part about how to use the transportation if you are staying on Disney property (bus or monorail) and cheer areas for family/friends. It lays out how to get to those areas along the course. It also estimates travel time so you don’t miss your person. So read your race packet!!!
Volunteers and Race Support
A good race is only as good as the volunteers. And Disney has some of the best. From water stops (includes sports drink too) to local entertainment you would be hard pressed to find a more supported race out there. One thing you can always count on when you runDisney are the amount of water stops. They are absolutely perfect. So whether you like to carry your water while you run or prefer to get liquid on the course it’s good to know the water stops are spaced out almost every 1-2 miles. So you are not going to run out of water or go thirsty. I will advise you to carry your own nutrition as there is only 1 station on the half marathon races to pick up a traditional gel and it is around mile 7-8ish. Then when you finish runDisney provides something to nosh on while you make your way back to your resort. Most of all PLEASE don’t forget to THANK your volunteers!!!
There are some differences between the Disneyland races and the Disney World races. Despite their differences the one thing that holds true is the entertainment. Characters, Characters, Characters!!! Oh and some recognizable cast members. Some you can take pictures with (if you are willing to wait in line…yes there are lines during a running races). And some you cannot, but you can wave and enjoy as you go by (think Anna and Elsa…can you imagine the line for them?). My favorite part is running through the parks. When you do the Walt Disney World Marathon in January you get to run through all 4 parks + ESPN Wide World of Sports and see parts of Disney you didn’t even know they had. Did you know Disney World has their own the water treatment plant? From back stage areas, to running through Angel’s Stadium in Anaheim, to local classic car clubs you won’t care about the miles you’ve run. And nothing beats running down Main Street U.S.A towards Cinderella’s Castle with spectators cheering you on!!! Chills every time!!! Now you don’t even have to bring a camera as all character spots have official Disney photographers to snap your picture.
Yes its been mentioned before but really the main reason some people run are the medals. And Disney doesn’t disappoint. Disney starting in 2011 really stepped up their game using their graphic artists to design specific. The medals for each race that are similar yet unique year to year. If you are lucky enough to race on an anniversary year, the medals are in color and are extra unique. Sometimes they spin other times they sparkle!!! And yes even the 5k finishers receive a medal. You don’t want to miss out on getting one of these amazing additions to your collection. Want to see an inside look at the design process? Take a look at this Disney Parks YouTube Video about the making the Star Wars Dark Side Medals!!
As always Disney has found a way to insure everyone in the family is having fun. So if you have little ones that can’t quite run a 5k the Kids Races are the way to go! The distance is based on the age from crawlers to 8 year olds. And your biggest supporters can sign up and register for the ChEAr Squad at the Disney World races. They will receive a t-shirt and a special reserved spot to watch your loved one out on the course and finish and even a place to hang out before the race and get some food. There is a gold package and platinum package. The platinum has a character meet and greet and more. There is literally something for everyone.
Check out runDisney’s YouTube Channel for recaps of events. It is fun to relive those races…even if you haven’t participated.
Have you ever participated in a runDisney event? If so let me know what you love about runDisney? Which events have you done and why you love which one? Let us know in the comments section below. Want to connect with runDisney-holics like me, head to the Disney Express Lane for more in-depth discussion on many Disney topics.
photo credit: shared with permission from Kacie Darden
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