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So you want to runDisney? I am totally behind this idea and hope you get to experience the most magical miles during one of the runDisney race weekends. Here’s some basic information about the runDisney races that can help you understand how a runDisney event is different from other road races.
Original post shared on May 22, 2013; Edits and updates made on July 6, 2018.
A friend posted a blog talking about what she’s learned this year about runDisney races. I thought Erin wrote an excellent post summing up the main points a new Disney runner might learn.
With her permission, I’d like to share and comment on some of her points.
A Primer on runDisney Races
From Erin’s Road to the Princess
1. Some Disney races sell out REALLY FAST, while others do not.
There are some things to note about this. At one time, the races sold out lightning quick. You needed to be as fast as Dash from the Incredibles to get in.
Hopefully Disneyland races will be back, and hopefully, they will come back with more than 2 race weekends. When there were only 2 races, the Disneyland registration process was INSANE.
2. Disney races are EXPENSIVE
But there are things that are special for Disney. How many races have character stops along the course and fireworks for each starting corral?
Shenanigans says: My Visa is still laughing at me for the last runDisney race weekend. Yep. It just is. You are paying for quality medals, entertainment, shirts (yay for women’s and men’s options this year!) and first-rate on course support. Fireworks happen at the Disney World property, not at Disneyland however.
3. runDisney Corrals
The starting corrals at runDisney races are a source of confusion and anger for many people.
Disney requested an estimated finish time. You must submit proof of time if you plan to complete a half marathon race faster than 2:45.
Also, time must be submitted by the deadline since no time estimates will be taken at the expo.
Shenanigans says: My first race, this was a huge issue- the whole corral placement drama. I was freaking out. I think that’s a normal concern, so I get it. Submit your proof of time, and get to the corrals early if you are placed in the back!
4. Pacing and the runDisney Balloon Ladies
Disney does require you to maintain a 16mm pace otherwise they will remove you from the course. The runDisney balloon ladies are real and start as the last people and walk at 16mm.
If you fall behind them, a bus will come and get you and you will be taken off the course. You do still get a medal as of 2018 even if you do not finish.
Shenanigans says: The funniest thing was listening to Jeff Galloway talk about the balloon ladies.”Think of them as the real Disney Villains on the course!” I met them on the course once at the tail end of my one and only runDisney Marathon.
5. runDisney Preregistration Perks
Disney does often have preregistration for certain runners. This is usually Annual Passholders, Disney VISA credit card holders and Disney Vacation Club (DVC members).
This means you can often beat the rush when it comes to registering for runDisney races.
6. Bib transfers and deferrals
This can be confusing with runDisney races. But it’s been simplified: you can’t transfer or defer a race anymore. WhompWhomp. Once you bought the bib, you are either running or eating the cost of the bib.
Shenanigans says: Unless you book with a runDisney travel agent. And here’s why you might want to do just that!
Thanks for the great insight Erin!
For more runDisney information, check out these additional posts!
Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but most of them are pretty full of pixie dust at Disney!