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You know you’ve made mistakes early on in your running career. Or maybe just last week. We’re going to talk about running mistakes at runDisney races and how you can avoid making them!
Foolish Mortals: Mistakes at runDisney Races
I’ve had my fair share of dumb moves at runDisney events. And I know I’m not alone!
Here are a few things to avoid when you decide it’s time to runDisney submitted by my friends, fellow Disney runners, and enthusiasts.
- Don’t start out too fast. It’s Disney and it is easy to get swept up in the excitement. Gene said this happened to him in the 2013 marathon when he started in A corral. Pixie dust will not get you through if you crash and burn at mile 18 in a marathon.
- Find runner friends: they will teach you a few things about etiquette before the race and hopefully help you dress. Because no one wants to run in Florida humidity in cotton. I mean, NO ONE. Jane did it though, twice. Because: no runner friends back then. She was adorable anyway, right?
- During the marathon, be careful about grabbing all the food you see. You could end up like my friend Kirsten on her first Goofy and find her shorts falling down and her phone lost because she stuffed way too much food into her pockets “for later”. That spare banana is probably not worth losing your shorts over.
- Submit a proof of time. For the love of Walt, PLEASE submit a proof of time if you think you will finish faster than 2:45 for a half marathon. Don’t be like Rebecca who forgot to do it and be stuck much farther back than her speed allowed. It will allow you to be seeded as properly as possible and hopefully keep you from stressing out about the balloon ladies.
- Speaking of: educate yourself about the runDisney balloon ladies and know what they are and what they are not.
- When you are in a Port o Potty and decide to use hold the roll of TP under your chin due to costume issues: don’t. Because you’ll end up running the next few miles like Aimee, picking off bits of white paper off your sweaty chest. Ewwww.
- Test those running costumes! Jill ran her first Princess in a tutu and had all the regrets. Chafing happens, especially in glittery tulle.
- Don’t spend too much time in the parks BEFORE the races, like Sandra did in 2014. Your feet and legs will notice. I’m a fan of adding days to the end of the trip for all the park time your legs can handle. Protip: it will help move that lactic acid out too! Walk walk and walk the parks some more. AFTER the race.
- Stay on property at a host hotel for race transportation access. Get on that early bus and leave the driving to the (mostly) competent drivers. On the chance that you end up with someone who doesn’t know where they are going: you’ll be glad you padded in that extra time!
- Consider who you travel with on these race weekends. Taking the whole family or your older parents to Disney is GREAT- but over a race weekend like Dopey, you might have regrets like Beth did. A needy family when you have 48.6 miles to run and 4 mornings of waking up before the sun could end up being ugly. I know you want them to see you run all the races, but just keep in mind that YOU need to be focused and dialed into the task ahead.
- Take all the pictures! But maybe stay on your feet? Because getting down sounds like fun- but getting back up during a distance race could prove a challenge. Janie got the shot but admits getting back on her feet wasn’t easy. Brian executed a cool dive roll in front of the gravediggers- and almost didn’t get up!
- Training is important. See note about Pixie Dust above. If you train for the distance then, seriously, half the battle on race day is magically over. Crazy how that happens.
- If you train in the cold, know that race day will feel very different. Your pace may suffer, and your feet may rebel by creating blisters. Florida is weird when it comes to weather, but you can mostly count on the humidity showing up. Canadian Melissa discovered this issue (heel blisters- ouch!) at mile 8 and had to run the rest of her race on her toes to finish. Or it can be totally freezing like its been the past few marathon weekends!
- Listen to your body: there’s pain to push through, and there’s pain that you should STOP for. Kendra pushed through instead of stopping- and well, 2 years later she’s still rehabbing.
Bottom line: running at Disney is fun. If it wasn’t, you can bet I wouldn’t keep doing it.
It’s not like anything else you will ever see on a race course- but it’s still a race course. Have some shenanigans and take the pictures and enjoy the magic, but also remember that you’ve still got the miles to complete. And Aladdin is not going to give you a ride to the finish on his magic carpet!
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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!