RunDisney

Hear me out.  I don’t care if walking up the steps makes you want to pass out from exhaustion.  Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will make you want to become a runner more than the RunDisney series.  A few weeks ago, I did my second RunDisney race, the Enchanted 10K, which takes place over the Princess Half Marathon weekend.  (I’ve done one half in my life, and that was plenty.  13.1 is more than a little too far for me :(.)

Both years (2015 and 2017) I ran to benefit Special Olympics Florida, which is such a great organization!  I highly recommend running for a charity if you’re doing a Disney Race.  It fosters a spirit of team work, and you get some fun swag too.  Yes, it requires fundraising, but most of these organizations people are more than happy to donate to (St. Jude, Save the Children, Wounded Warrior Project are frequent RunDisney partners).  If you ever decide to do a Disney race without charity, figure out when registration opens, and register the second it does.  These babies sell out FAST.  The reason I initially did the race to benefit SOFL was that I didn’t get in to the registration in time.

A few tips for RunDisney first-timers:

  • Rent a car.  There’s plenty of free parking for the race, and you won’t be at the mercy of (albeit efficient) Disney transportation afterword, when all you want to do is get back to the hotel and sleep.  Most races start at 5:30 AM.  Oy…
  •  Take the snack box at the end of the race.  Don’t throw it out!  You’ll be starving for the remainder of the day, and you’ll want the grub.
  • We stayed at the Radisson in Kissimee and I can’t recommend it enough.  While staying on Disney property has its merits, let’s be honest, you’re really only there to sleep, and the Radisson was waaaay cheaper than the Disney hotels. Oh, and it’s an eight minute drive to Epcot, which is actually closer than some hotels on property.
  • If you rent a car, there’s not major reason to get to the race super early.  If you’re in one of the later corrals, you’re not going to start right away.  While I don’t necessarily recommend cutting it close, Disney tells you to get there a like, 4 AM, and there’s no reason for that.  As long as you’re there 30 minutes beforehand, you should be more than fine.
  • If you’re only there for the weekend, it IS still worth it to do a park (or in our case, three) the day of the race.  I’m, of course, speaking of the 10Ks.  I don’t get how people function after 13.1, but I suppose it happens.  The one-day park ticket IS expensive, and there’s no way around it (unless you have property in Florida, which I’ll get to in a minute).  So, do your race, take your pictures, go back to the hotel, nap for an hour or so, and get back to the parks.  Magic Kingdom closes the latest, and will be mobbed.  Go there last, so the little darlings are on their way to bed, and you can explore the park.  After the firework show (or parade, or whatever is happening), the park is MUCH less crowded.  We walked on to It’s a Small World (which I still have stuck in my head…), which had a HOUR LONG wait when we first arrived before the fireworks show.
  • Disney concession stands have to give you water if you ask, and for the LOVE, take advantage of that.  You will feel very dehydrated all day, so guzzle up.
  • Oh, and get a Dole Whip too.  You earned it.  Heck, you earned two.
  • Florida tip (not necessarily a RunDisney tip..).  If you live in Florida OR if you have property in Florida, Disney offers a pretty hefty discount on park tickets, which is awesome.  If Florida is not your primary residence, that’s OK.  All you need to do it have a bank statement sent down to a Florida address and bring it with you when you buy your ticket.  Pretty cool.  Your driver’s license doesn’t need to match either because they know that not everyone who has property in Florida is a permanent resident.
  • Don’t book any flights without substantial time after your race.  I saw some girls on our flight back on Sunday who had done the Princess Half Marathon that morning..  I can’t imagine the pain they were in!  It looked miserable!

I think every woman should do a RunDisney race.. They’re amazingly fun, and make for a great excuse to raise money for charity, or just to visit the parks.  For the Enchanted 10K, you run through Epcot, and there’s plenty of Princess music playing..  Simply magical.



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stellabritt@gmail.com

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