Ooh la la!
Who else was watching the inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris weekend on social media? By most accounts, it looks like the races themselves were deemed BEST. RACE. EVER!
While Paris was a huge dream for me this year, I always knew deep down this one wasn’t going to happen. Alas, there’s always next year and 365 days to save up.
As information came out leading up to the race, I kept thinking this was going to be a huge mess. A cluster #$%@, I think were my exact words.
And there were issues; that’s true. The pasta parties served frozen food you needed to microwave yourself (um, for $80? Are you kidding me?) And the expo had crazy long lines and some issues with the Castle to Chateau confirmations. So this part wasn’t so great.
The merchandise was also not the best which was a huge disappointment for some runners.
If you are a Paris runner and still want something cute to commemorate the race, be sure to check out Designz by Michelle Lynn. She’s re-opening her Paris line (see some below!) to make sure everyone who didn’t get something at the Expo can find something they love.
I was so happy to hear the mostly glowing reports from the US runners about this one! In one of my Facebook groups, Heather Murray told us that while there were issues with the expo, the race itself was fantastic.
“Even after standing online at the expo, we were so frustrated, but the race was over the top amazing. It is our favorite race to date. The hands down best part was the excitement of all the workers, they were genuinely so excited to have so many visitors,” Heather said.
Here are a few tidbits from runners who were at the race weekend. Oh- and some pictures. You know we can’t do this without pictures!
3 for the 5K and 4 for the half. That might not seem like enough spacing, but each corral let off in waves of people.
In Paris, the early bird will get the early wave release! Most folks are saying this allowed for very little crowding early on and made the start seamless and fun.
One complaint was that the 5K was based on alphabetical order (maybe?) and therefore it did cause some faster folks with a last name at the end of the alphabet to get stuck in crowding. I could see that being an issue and hope that it’s addressed in the future.
All the characters! ALL. OF. THEM.
Reports say 13 character stops (some with multiple characters at the stops) in the 5K alone.
The big problem was, once again, the back of the packers getting hosed with the ops. Paris did not cut the lines off, so many stood in line for a bit only to see their character leave and never return.
This meant wasted time and no pictures for many. #whompwhomp Note to self: if you want to run Paris, you need to get the speed under control!
The quality of characters was a step up for sure! Many of the rare folks never seen on a US runDisney course were present at Paris.
I know I would have screeched to a halt for this picture of Mr. Fredrickson, Doug, and Russell.
How AWESOME is this?!
Boring and blah?
Most people are reporting that it was scenic and lovely. I think I can see why!
They were excited to have so many runners there!
I have only heard positive reports about the excitement levels and kindness of the cast members during the race.
Disneyland Paris Hotel even took things a bit further: check out the flower delivery post-race!
Both ladies allowed me to share their Facebook posts about the race. Enjoy!
From Heather: Wanted to share my thoughts on today’s race… I have said it, in my opinion, the DLP race was the best Half ever run, by far the best RunD event I have done. I know that is a bold statement, but here is why.
The area around the resorts here is highly secured, once you are inside, you are in a safe zone, so no line for security checks (though there were random checkpoints throughout the safe zone ).
You get a free breakfast with your hotel stay.
The hotels added a Runners Breakfast so you could grab a coffee, fruit, cereal before the race (for free).
Everything is within walking distance, so we left at 6, to meet the group for a picture (which we missed). The walk over was very easy.
Some restaurants in Disney Village (Starbucks) opened early.
After going into the runner area, we headed to corrals. Once in the corral area, there was no wait for portajohns. We were delayed a bit at the start (they said for security).
Once we started, the CMs were amazing, you could tell they were excited! Cheering loudly!
We ran through The Studios and then DLP.
I was nervous once we left DLZ it would be boring, it was the opposite. The French Countryside was beautiful! There was never course crowding. For snacks, they gave out Apples and Special K bars. Every water station also had power aid.
The finish was super easy, got our medals, goodie bags and headed on our way. The walk back was a breeze!
CONGRATS, Heather and Doug!
From Michelle: What a day! runDisney Paris Half Marathon was today….holy emotional.
The race started later than it should have. We then stood around forever for our corral, and it was FREEZING. Sandra was nice enough to wrap me in her blanket with her. Finally start, everything is locked up due to being so cold.
Started right into the park, so that was amazing. The character stops the first four miles were amazing. We were making really great time (even with the boot), so we stopped for a few.
Now fast forward to right before NINE. We are in the French countryside….we look across the field…hmmm… No runners. Well, that’s odd.
Walk up a bit and no more than .25 miles behind us is the balloon ladies. How is that possible???
(Yes- runDisney had balloon ladies, bikes, and a sweeper van on the course. Just like home.)
Well, I’ve never moved so fast in my life. Mile 9 and 10 were the hardest I have ever had in my life. But no way we were getting swept.
So I start pressing them with questions….(since they are literally feet from us).
Apparently due to a late start, they were told to massively pick up the pace. They were pacing in the 14s ? Were told there were two more hard sweeps coming up.
I’m pretty much having a nervous breakdown right about then. I have no idea where I found the strength but somehow mustered through. We are told one more hard sweep….thank goodness we were about to stick with them.
Once we hit about 11.6 they told us we were safe. I forced myself to slow down. EVERYTHING hurt. Good leg. Bad leg. Everything.
Finally finished at 3:49 about two minutes behind the balloon ladies. Whew.
The medals are gorgeous. Huge thanks to Sandra (for literally almost dragging me these two miles so j didn’t fall flat on my face)!
Way to go Sandra and Boot Girl! Guys- Michelle completed DDD and both Paris races in a boot! She’s hardcore!
Did you make it to Paris? What were your thoughts on the race? If you have a race recap, I’d love to add it to this post! Share in the comments.
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!