Before I was a mom, I enjoyed working out and running. The gym was a fun place to be, especially since I had a really awesome trainer. Looking back, I wish I had never stopped exercising because my body is definitely paying for it. One thing that I can still do however is run. I have always wanted to enter a RunDisney Half Marathon, it’s been a dream of mine for years. Who wouldn’t want to to run through the parks in the wee hours of the morning?
In march, I signed up for the Disneyland 5k and Half Marathon, with every intention of training for it. Well, long story short, the run snuck up on me and I didn’t train once…NOT ONCE. I ended up deferring my Half Marathon for next year (which I may or may not train for) and just running the 5K.
I had no idea what to expect when I arrived on Wednesday for packet pickup. Since I frequent Disneyland Resort a fair bit (okay a lot…a lot, a lot) I wasn’t afraid of getting lost. I went to the Disneyland Hotel to pickup my race packet. So well organized, I was in and out in about 10 minutes. I then headed to the RunDisney Expo to pretend I knew what I was doing. I visited all the booths to inquire about socks, and race fanny packs, energy gels and body glide. BTW, those of you who run just to run, how many of you knew about body glide? Am I the only one who didn’t know what the hell body glide is?
I also found something that was more my speed, FASHION! Sparkly headbands, skirts, and shirts. Disney and running inspire shirts, pink and purple socks, hats and visors with tiaras. I knew this was a place I wanted to be.
After leaving the expo, I went out to get something to eat. My mind said eat something healthy, but my feet and hands drove me to In and Out. That’s healthy right? Fresh cut fries and freshly made hamburger patties, and a milkshake is a part of a food group right?
When I got back to the hotel, I chatted with my husband for a little bit and decided it was time to go to sleep. I laid out all my running gear and my outfit on the bed and laid in bed for a good hour before I actually fell asleep. Too much adrenaline, too much excitement. I woke up at 4AM to get ready and was out the door by 445. Race started at 6AM. I went to the meeting area and there was a GIANT stage with the characters and hosts playing music and dancing. It was a great way to get started for the race. At about 530 we went to the staging area and at 6AM, we were off.
By half a mile I was huffing and puffing. Just kidding, I was wishing I had brought my inhaler by mile 1 though. By 1.5 miles I hit my groove. The first half mile of the run is completely uneventful. However I will say that I was amazed at the amount of people out at 6AM cheering on all the random people in the race.
My first run disney event was a blast! Characters are scattered throughout the course cheering you on and ready to take pictures. There are Cast members along the route who will gladly take your picture. What’s so awesome is that COMPLETE strangers are lined on the outside of the parks cheering you on at 5AM when they could be sleeping! It’s really the most magical run on earth. Disney knows how to throw a shindig.
If you have never been in a RunDisney event here are a few bits of information:
- The 5K is not timed. Which means, you have approximately 3:30 to complete 3 miles, that comes down to a 1hr mile. So you could be THE SLOWEST walker in the world and still complete this course.
- Make sure to put a time down for your estimated completion. Most people won’t put a time down for the 5K, but you SHOULD! This will determine your placement corral. And if you want to witness the confetti canon start, you should put your fastest time possible.
- Just because you put down a fast time does not mean you need to complete the race in that time.
- There are cast members along the route who will take your picture for you with your phone.
- There are professional photographers who will also take your photos during the run. So SMILE while you’re running!
- Please dress up, it will make the run that much more fun!
- The races sell out quick, so be sure to sign up ASAP!
- As soon as you book your race, book your hotel because they will fill up QUICK.
If you’ve ever been on the fence about doing a Disney Run, jump off and do it. You will not regret it. These races are so well organized that you will forget you are in a race and think that you are just taking a scenic walking/running tour of anaheim.