Is this your first time ever doing a runDisney race or are you a seasoned runDisney runner? There are a few key things to know about that will help you have a smooth and fun runDisney race.
The expo is not just for bib pickup. It has so much more to offer. You can find official runDisney merchandise there, but that’s not all.
Other vendors will be there, with all types of merchandise from clothes to medal displays.
Also available are special activities. Activities being offered at 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are:
- Ask Jeff with Jeff Galloway
- Runner Pints and Pours
- Animation Academy
- Foam Rolling and Stretching presented by AdventHealth
- Pin Trading
- Go the Distance: Race Day Tips and Information
2. Walking to and from Start and Finish lines
You have done the training and are ready to run your race, but did you know the buses don’t drop you close to the corrals? Do not be surprised to walk 1-2 miles from where runDisney transportation drops you off until you get to the start line.
There are staging areas that you will need to go through to get your specific corral. Once you are in your corral, you will have a walk to the start line before you start your race.
There are several corrals and several waves for each corral. Your exact start time will most likely not be the official race start time. There are about 2-3 minutes between each wave.
At the finish line, you will have a chute to continue walking through. You will receive your medal further down the chute, this keeps the finish line clear for other runners. It is still a walk to get water and powerade, your snack pack, and official race pictures before getting back to a bus stop.
Maybe thinking of these walks as warm-ups and cool-downs will help!
Disney enforces a 16 minute/mile pace. However, this pace is enforced starting from when the last person crosses the start line. If you are in corral D you have plenty of wiggle room if there are a total of 8 corrals. There are also multiple waves in each corral as well.
You may have heard of the “Balloon Ladies.” These are runDisney runners just like you and me; they are not Cast Members. They are not to be feared. They start at the back and maintain a 16-minute mile. Your goal, stay ahead of them to not get swept by runDisney Cast Members.
The races are very crowded. It adds to the fun atmosphere. This may not be the race to get your personal best in or try to qualify for Boston. Some people can, but it also can be very challenging with the number of people present.
With the crowds, it may be hard to navigate certain sections of the race. At certain points in the race, you may have to walk even if you don’t want to.
Celebrate it as a victory lap and enjoy yourself versus trying to achieve a personal best. There is so much on-course entertainment to take in.
From the beginning of race weekend to the finish line, runDisney provides entertainment like no other. Meet and greets with characters at the Expo, start line, and finish line.
You will find opportunities to take quick pictures with rare characters along the course as well! Also along the course are DJ’s pumping out music and cheering runners on throughout. It is an amazing experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
6. Runner Etiquette
Some runners have been runners for years, while this may be a first race for others. runDisney does educate runners on some important runner/race etiquette.
Jeff Galloway has great training plans with run/walk intervals. I use these myself and recommend them. I got my personal best in a local half marathon and my legs felt great when finishing! It really works.
With many runners using the run/walk intervals there are people running and walking at all different speeds. There are also pace groups on the course, find one of these if you are trying to finish in a certain time. A few things to look out for when you are out there on the course:
- Run/walk no more than two people across
- When walking stick to the right of the course
- When your run interval check is behind you, raise your hand, and move to the right before slowing down
These few tips can help make the race more enjoyable for all!
It is not required to dress as your favorite Disney character, but it is fun. Even just a themed shirt can add to the Disney marathon experience. You will see some people really get into their costumes.
Make sure if you wear a costume follow runDisney rules with a safe and appropriate costume. Check out this video from runDisney for Costume guidelines:
8. Have Fun
Relax and enjoy yourself! You have done the training and are now running through the Happiest Place on Earth! It is an amazing experience so be sure to take it all in!
Smile for that camera because “Every mile is magic!”
9. Show Off That Bling
Don’t forget to wear that medal – you earned it! You will see lots of other runners wearing their medals. Congratulate your fellow runners on a great accomplishment! Plus, you will get some great pictures!
Heading to 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend? Check out important runner information HERE.
Not sure what to pack for your runDisney race-cation? Check out my five must pack items.
Have you done a runDisney race? Do you find these things helpful? What would you add? Let us know by heading over to the KtP facebook page or using the Facebook button below!