Guest Post by Mallory Lentz
Disney is by far my favorite place to run! Personally, I love a RaceCation; but besides earning some extra bling while on vacation, Disney goes above and beyond in every aspect. From the day you sign up for a Disney race to crossing that finish line, there’s so much RunDisney has to offer that makes it one of the best places to run!
Races and Themes for All:
Throughout the year Disney has 4 race weekends to choose from in the US, and 2 Disneyland Paris weekends.
January kicks off the year with Marathon Weekend. There are 4 races distances to choose from: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon; it’s the only time of year a Full is offered at Disney. But why stop at a marathon… There are 2 challenges available during this time. Goofy’s Race and a Half, has participants running both the Half Marathon AND Marathon. The other challenge is Dopey, so appropriately named, gives you the ultimate challenge by running ALL 4 races. I have yet to tackle that challenge but have done Goofy, which surprisingly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
All other race weekends throughout the year offer the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and challenge featuring the 10K and Half Marathon.
Princess Weekend is in February, followed by Star Wars in April and Wine and Dine in November. The races are so unique each year that you never run the same race twice!
Training and Accountability:
Disney offers training plans created by the legend himself, Jeff Galloway, so you know it’s a tried and true program. He has plans for both beginners and experienced runners, as well as for each challenge. The training plans are easy to follow, realistic, and they aren’t overwhelming. I have used his training plans for every Marathon and Goofy challenge, and everytime I have felt more than prepared.
As for accountability, if you’re on social media you’re bound to find a fellow RunDisney fanatic. We offer each other support during training and hold each other accountable. A few years ago I created a Facebook group called Disney Marathon Weekend (In Training), and from the months of July-January we check-in with each other, see how training is going, offer words of encouragement, and advice. Runners are always supportive of one another, add in a love for Disney and you have a great group of people that’ll be by your side and cheer you on.
On Course Entertainment:
For most people a Disney race is not a time for a PR, it’s a race to enjoy the entertainment provided and have a magical time. As a runner it’s typical to have goals for the race, and at Disney my goal isn’t about time, it’s about how many characters I can get a picture with!
Disney has been upping their game lately on the character front, and unique and rare characters have been making their debut at RunDisney events, which makes it even more fun when you spot a character you haven’t gotten a picture with.
Not only does Disney provide characters on course but the course is lined with volunteers and cast members that are so excited to cheer you on! There are also bands, choirs, and dance/cheer teams from local schools, DJs, and Disney performers throughout the race.
Costumes and Bling:
Costumes, the one and only time I run in costume, but it is so worth it! Seeing the different costumes while running is part of the fun; people are so creative and come up with some really unique costumes ranging from simple to elaborate. I try to keep things fairly simple, runner friendly, and easy to modify since FL weather is ever changing.
Do you have to run in costume? Will be the only one not in costume? The answer to both are no! It’s not a requirement to run in costume, but it’s highly encouraged.
Disney continues to make their bling better at every race. Each year the medals are more and more detailed; something Disney is well known for, the attention to detail on the medals are awe inspiring. Once you run your race, you head to the parks wearing your medal(s). It’s so fun to see everyone walking around proudly displaying their medal(s). It’s a conversation starter, a great way to meet fellow runners and learn each other’s story.
Just a few of the many medals Mallory has earned at Disney races over the years!
Racing through the Parks:
Each race takes you through at least one Disney park and if you’re running the Full Marathon you hit all four parks. Running down Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite parts of the half and full, the anticipation leading up to Magic Kingdom, seeing Main Street lined with spectators, and the castle is absolutely amazing! You can feel like magic when you run through the parks!
There’s so much to RunDisney, Disney is a place magic is made and every person that runs it has a story to tell; it’s very cool to be a part of it, at least once.
Have I convinced you to run Disney yet? If so, feel free to contact me about booking a RunDisney package for yourself.