Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Register For and Run a @runDisney Race

Bucket list: Run a Disney race. Some day, somehow...I'll make it happen. But for this Michigan girl with a family, it's just not an easy thing to pull off right now. Because, you know, it takes time and money. For now, it's something that's always in the back of my mind. I'm keeping a pulse on all things runDisney, just in case I get the perfect opportunity to swing it. And I'm totally noting these tips from Denise of Healthy Disney Family. She breaks it down and tells you everything you need to know about running a runDisney race at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Who else is listening?

RunDisney races are awesome to participate in and are inclusive of absolutely everyone. Whether you run, walk, or do a combination of the two like I often do, you will find other like minded people who are out there to have a blast and celebrate their love of Disney. Planning to participate in a runDisney race requires some careful timing and planning ahead. These tips can help you get registered and be well prepared to have a fun and exciting runDisney race weekend!

1. Be ready to register early.
If you’re even just toying with the idea of doing a runDisney race right now, check their website for the registration date and time of the race you’d like to do. Make note of it in your calendar and set a reminder. Registration is several months before the actual race date and the races sell out fast!

Be ready to sign up the minute registration opens as runDisney races are extremely popular. I set a goal to run the runDisney Dopey Challenge—the 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon all run over four days at Walt Disney World. I took note of the registration date and time and made sure my calendar was clear for the minute registration opened. It was a good thing I registered immediately because the Dopey Challenge, along with most of the other races, were sold out within hours. When you register for a Half Marathon or longer distance, be prepared by knowing your qualifying Proof of Time from a recent race.

2. Have proof of time.
If you’re planning to do a runDisney Half Marathon, do a 10K or longer distance race in the months before your race. Especially if you haven’t done one within the past year or so. It will qualify you for the right corral placement for your pace and estimated finish time. At registration, will request the race name, city and state, date, race distance, and finishing time when you register so have it ready. There is also a window to submit a future race’s proof of time via e-mail to Track Shack after you register for your runDisney race. Check on for details.

3. Find a good training plan that you like and stick with it. 
I followed runDisney Running Coach Jeff Galloway’s training plan to do the Tinker Bell Half at Disneyland. I had a great first Half Marathon experience because of it. His training plans are available for free on and for sale in the App Store if you’re an iPhone user.

4. Train at a 16:00 minute mile pace or faster. 
The 16:00/mi pace must include all water stops, character pictures and bathroom breaks. If you do not keep the pace, you risk getting swept and not being able to finish the race. The runDisney people wait until the very last possible minute to sweep. The time limits are in place to ensure the roads and parks can reopen on schedule. 

5. Costumes are not required but they can be fun! 
If you choose to wear a costume, remember to do at least one long training run in it to find any problem areas for chafing, pinching, etc. If you’re looking for costume ideas, there are many different Disney themed running costume pins on Pinterest. 

6. Take character pictures in the parks after the race.
There will be many stops for character pictures along the race route, no matter which race you do. There are a few schools of thought on pictures: Some people like to stop for all of them. Others like me only stop for one or none. I really like taking my character pictures in the parks after I’ve showered, rehydrated, and am wearing my medals. We buy the Disney Memory Maker package (formerly PhotoPass). With the Memory Maker package, the professional Disney photographers take your pictures in the parks at certain scenic areas and at character stops. You have digital copies as well as the ability to print them as you’d like. There are also fun overlays and borders you can add in to your digital pics like the Very Merry Christmas Party one we used here after last year’s WDW Wine and Dine Half. 
Hope you will find these tips useful when planning to run or walk a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and/or Marathon at your favorite Disney park! Be sure to check for any changes or updates to their races.
You can check out my blog, Healthy Disney Family, for upcoming runDisney race and training info as well. Feel free to follow along as I train for next January’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Dopey Challenge and February’s WDW Princess Weekend Glass Slipper Challenge.

Princess Weekend! That's SO the runDisney race weekend I want to participate in.

Before you answer the following question, don't forget to enter my Cuppow giveaway! If you have a stock of canning and/or random jars, you'll want to check it out. Tomorrow, we talk about my upcoming race schedule. So excited to get back into it.

Question: If you've ever done a runDisney race, what tips can you add to the above?

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