Happy Top 5 Tuesday everyone! Congratulations to those that competed in the Boston Marathon yesterday. You all are super heroes in my book! Today’s Top 5 Tuesday topic is RunDisney tips for Beginners. I felt like this was a appropriate topic since I just ran a RunDisney Star Wars Half Marathon this weekend. If any other runners who have experience with these events have any more suggestions than what I have listed, please comment below! I think everyone, including myself, would benefit from everyone’s input!
RunDisney tips for Beginners
- Registration: The key to registering for these popular races is to do it early. Most of these races sell out within hours. I would recommend signing up for the email alert on RunDisney.com to be notified when the registration has opened. Also, put it in your calendars. The registration starts at noon online, and you want to be ready to register then. That means create an Active.com account, be signed in, get your credit card, and have the browser up for the registration ready before noon. Last Spring, I did all of these steps and it was still no guarantee I would be able to register for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2015. (I couldn’t register due to sell out!) Just try not to be discouraged!
- Expo: The Health Expo as you can imagine, is extremely busy, but also one of the best parts of a RunDisney weekend. Print and sign your race waiver before you leave home, so you don’t have to worry about printing it at the Expo. It’s usually not a big deal if you don’t print it before hand. Just something I like to do to feel prepared. Oh and you must have a photo ID with you to pick up your race packet! I would recommend going to the Expo the first day it is open if you can. Bear in mind, my friend, last week went the morning of the first day the Expo opened, for the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend, and she said she had to be bused to the Expo because parking was full! Maybe it’s worth it to you though if you are looking to purchase limited quantity RunDisney official merchandise. I know I myself am a sucker for the RunDisney race Sweaty Bands. This brings me to my next tip.
- RunDisney New Balance Shoes/Commemorative items: When you register for your race, you can also order commemorative items like pins, jackets, mouse ears, etc. Each RunDisney weekend, Disney comes out with exclusive Dooney & Bourke handbags for runners. I am not sure of the process for the handbags, so I won’t say much about it. Sorry! Also, each year RunDisney has exclusive New Balance designed sneakers each year which are usually a top seller. Get on the wait list if you are serious about buying the sneakers at the Expo. You can sign up to be on the wait list here: NBvirtualqueue.com.
- Running Costumes: What makes those magical miles at RunDisney race events is most runners dress up. It is a ton of fun, and personally I feel, unique to the Disney races. Half the fun, in my opinion, is running the race course and seeing all the creative Disney themed running costumes. It is one of the only, if not the only time adults can wear Disney character costumes in Disney parks. Make sure you follow the running costume rules for your race beforehand. The rules can be found online, and in your event guidebook.
- Corrals: Make sure you submit a proof time for these races, and pay close attention to the deadline to submit the time on your Active.com account. For the half marathons they can have corrals all the way from A-P, in my experience. You really want to submit a proof of time so you are not in the back of the pack. I cannot stress this enough! My first half marathon ever, and at Disney, I was in corral O, and it took an hour for my corral to get going after the first gun fire. Big help: If you are in a better corral, you have less of a chance of seeing the dreaded balloon ladies. For those of you that don’t know, the balloon ladies are suppose to be in the very back of the last corral, and they keep a strict 16 minute pace. They actually have balloons attached to them. If you fall behind these ladies, you have a chance of being swept off the race course.
Don’t forget, take pictures with characters along the race course if you feel you need a break during your race. It’s the perfect opportunity to catch your breath, and show off your running costume! I wish I did this in my first RunDisney race, but I definitely did it throughout the Disney Star Wars Half Marathon. I hope this post helps someone out there new to RunDisney. For more information out there besides the RunDisney website, is a great blog I like to refer to about all things RunDisney: runningatdisney.com.
[Disclaimer: This is all my experience at Walt Disney World RunDisney race events in Orlando, Florida. There may be differences for Disneyland RunDisney race events in California].