Yes, yes, yes, I’m still on my Disney kick. I was actually inspired to write this post based on a conversation I had with my best friend, Mert, following the Princess Half Marathon. She’s no newbie when it comes to half marathons and had been trying to do the Princess Half for a couple years, but it always fell through. After I ran my first half marathon, I told her I’d love to do the Princess Half. We signed up when registration opened and she was about to run her first runDisney race.
After we finished the race and were making our way out of the park we were talking about the experience. This is what she said that stuck with me, “This was my slowest half marathon time, but it felt like it went by the fastest.” That’s when I realized what makes runDisney so special. It’s an experience, not a race. I’ve never done a half marathon outside of Walt Disney World, so I can’t speak for what its like running a regular half marathon, but I have done other races. And although those are fun, they’re not the same as what you get from Disney.
Disney offers the chance to run through parts of the parks guests don’t normally get to see; there’s a lot of entertainment along the course between the characters, music, and ChEAR Zone spectators; and you get to dress up as your favorite Disney characters! I’ve said to a lot of people that ask me about runDisney that I don’t know if I’d be able to do a half marathon outside of the Disney Parks because then I start focusing on the running and the race. With Disney, I don’t focus on how fast I’m going or what my time is; I focus on the moment and the experience.
Yes, I went into the Princess Half with a goal time in mind, but didn’t care when I didn’t achieve it because I would have rather stopped for pictures with Captain Jack Sparrow and Princess Atta. The races are meant to be entertaining.
I even had a friend that commented on a picture of my Princess Half medal that she was so jealous and wished she was a runner to do these races too. The first thing I said was you don’t have to be an intense running to runDisney. I mentioned she could start small with a 5K and go from there like I did. You still get the runDisney experience with the shorter races. There’s barely any pressure when it comes to the race (other than the 16:00 minute pace you’re required to keep based off the start of the last corral).
Even with the pace requirement, you don’t runDisney to record a PR. You go for the fun Don’t believe me? Hear it from others.
Last month Shape Magazine posted an article called, “Why runDisney Races are Such a Big Deal” and outlines why people flock to the Disney Parks to take place in this magical running journey. It includes everything from the bling, to the unique race challenges, and the after-hours parties.
On the WDW Fan Zone blog, Mary Jo Collins lists out ten reasons she does the runDisney races. She mentions how well the races are organized, that there’s fun for the whole family, and there’s such a welcoming environment.
David’s Vacation Club Rentals also wrote a post about why you should get your Disney fix in by doing a runDisney race. Among the reasons outlined above, reasons from this blog include the race shirts, the expo, and race announcers. I have to agree; the race announcers are hilarious and they add to the enjoyment of the events.
And to conclude, runDisney races have gained so much popularity they’ve begun to add more. in 2013 they added the Double Double Dare where runners can do a 10K and a half marathon on back to back days to receive a special medal. They did the same thing in 2014 with the Glass Slipper Challenge. They also added the Dopey Challenge this past year, which means runners could receive an additional medal for completing the 5K, 10K. half marathon, and full marathon all during the Walt Disney World marathon weekend. Most recently. runDisney added the Avengers Half Marathon weekend in Disneyland, which will take place November 14-16th. Rumor has it, Disney will also be adding a Star Wars race weekend. That has not been confirmed, but if the races keep selling out the way they have been, I’m guessing they’ll be adding something.
So are you ready to runDisney?