Princess Half Marathon Weekend is fast approaching! There are some things all runDisney runners should know before the big race!
Knowing these ten key things will help you to have a fun and smooth runDisney race. Let’s get started!
The expo is not just for bib pick up. It has so much more to offer. You can purchase event specific and general runDisney Merchandise.
Other vendors will be there with helpful race gear. If you forgot anything for your race day, you will most likely be able to grab it here!
The Expo also offers special activities. Activities that are being offered at the 2020 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Expo are:
- Ask Jeff with Jeff Galloway
- Runner Pints and Pours
- Animation Academy
- Foam Rolling and Stretching presented by AdventHealth
- Pin Trading
- Card Creation Station Supporting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
2. Walking to and from the Start and Finish Lines
You have done the training and are ready to run your race, but did you know that the buses don’t drop you close to the corrals? You will find that you will walk 1-2 miles from where runDisney transportation drops you off to where the actual start line is.
There are staging areas that you will need to go through prior to getting to your corral. There is a walk to the corrals that looks similar to the Marathon Weekend walkout this past January. That walk out felt LONG, so be prepared!
There are several corrals and several waves in some of the larger corrals. Your exact start time will most likely not be the official race time. There are about 2-3 minutes between each wave.
Once you have reached the finish line, you will have a chute to continue walking through. Race volunteers keep runners moving through this chute to keep the Finish Line clear.
You will receive your medal further down the chute. It is still a short walk to the self-treat medical tent, but it’s even further to the water and Powerade. The snack box was almost at the very end of the runner walk out.
Maybe thinking of these long walks as a warm-up and cool-down will help your tired feet!
Disney enforces a 16 minute/mile pace. However, this pace is enforced 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. Don’t forget that there are multiple waves in these corrals 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, but to be used as a visual reminder of the 16 min/mile pace. Your goal is to stay ahead of them so you don’t get swept by runDisney Cast Members.
The races are very crowded. The amount of people does add to the fun atmosphere.
This may not be the race to get your personal best or to try and qualify for Boston. Some people can, but it also can be very challenging with the number of people.
With crowds, it may be hard to navigate certain sections of the course. At certain points, you may be forced to walk because of the congestion. This happened to me at the half marathon during Marathon Weekend.
Use this race as a victory lap from all your training. You did it! Celebrate by soaking up every moment while you run through the Most Magical Place on Earth! There is so much on-course entertainment, you won’t be disappointed.
From before the race even starts to the finish line, runDisney provides race entertainment like no other. Meet and greets with characters at the Expo, start line, and finish line.
You will find the opportunities to take quick pictures with rare characters along the course as well! These are quick pictures. There is no real interaction or autographs during these meets.
Also along the way, there are DJ’s pumping out music and cheering you on. It is an amazing experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
6. Runner Etiquette
Some runners have been running for years, while this may be a first for some. 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 amount of 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 has ended check who is behind you, raise your hand, and move to the right before slowing down.
These three 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 race experience. You will see some people really get into their costumes.
If you need some costume inspiration, check out Donna’s article about her costumes for the Princess Half Marathon!
8. Lay out your race items the night before
Having all of your race gear and attire out and ready the night before, leaves less of a chance of forgetting something. Nobody wants to get to the race and realize they forgot their body glide or fuel.
These races are very early in the morning. I was up at 1:30 a.m. and heading to a bus around 2:30 a.m. I wanted to be on the first bus out of my resort, so I was able to meet several characters prior to getting into our corrals.
9. Have fun
Relax and enjoy yourself! You have done the training and are now running through the Most Magical Place on Earth! it is an amazing experience so be sure to take it all in!
Don’t forget to smile for that camera because “every mile is magic!”
10. 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! You all have done something amazing! Plus, you will get some awesome pictures with your bling in the parks!
Don’t forget to check the Digital Event Guide to get all your race weekend information. This guide holds all the information for the Expo, transportation, spectators, runner info, and maps.
Not sure what to pack for your runDisney race-cation? Check out my five must-pack items.
Are you participating in the Princess Half Marathon Weekend? Do you find these tips helpful? Let me know below or head over to the KtP Facebook page. Share with friends by using the blue Facebook button below!