How to Survive Your First runDisney Race

Confession: I don’t race. In fact, I’ve never run anything longer than a fitness class-mandated mile before, nor do I envision a 5k or 10k or, God forbid, a full marathon anywhere in my future.

(If I really think about it — and I really don’t want to — the only thing that comes to mind when I imagine running again are the anxiety-fraught mornings I spent jogging around a soccer field in college, trying desperately to prove to my professor that I deserved a passing grade for the 18-minute mile I reluctantly completed in a class called “Fitness for Life.”)

Last year, though, my fiancé decided to take up running on a whim. The day-in, day-out grind at the local gym was wearing on him, and he used his newfound hobby as motivation to explore our nearby suburban neighborhoods and jogging trails. The experiment lasted a good four or five months before the days became too short for post-workday runs, but he successfully completed the Couch-to-5K program during that span and even entertained the notion of competing during the biannual half-marathon in Walt Disney World.

We never got quite that far, but if there’s anything I gleaned from hours of helping him research training methods, equipment, and appropriate footwear, it’s this: There’s no such thing as over-preparation.

“Welcome to runDisney races—the Disney Parks’ most cherished tradition for runners of all ages and experience levels. Twice a year, usually in late spring and autumn, the parks play host to a race-filled weekend, beginning with a relaxed “fun run” for the kids, working up to a standard 5K and 10K, and topping off with a half-marathon. This isn’t your neighborhood Color Run, however. Each runDisney race gives runners a chance to participate in select character meet-and-greets, earn colorful Disney-themed medals, and catch a glimpse of some behind-the-scenes areas of the parks—well before the sun comes up over Cinderella Castle.

For beginning runners, or those who simply have yet to sample a full weekend’s worth of races at a Disney resort, the event can feel a tad overwhelming. Wondering where to get started? Let’s go over some tips and tricks to make your first race experience a doozy (in the best way).”

Find the rest of the article at Theme Park Tourist here.

Post Author: Ashley Varela

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