Welcome to the runDisney community. We’re glad you’re here looking for runDisney advice. You may be a seasoned road racer and have a good idea as to what happens at most races. But you’ve never run Disney before: and that is a whole different beast! We’ve got some excellent runDisney tips for race weekend for newcomers.
Guest Post By: Ashley Saunders, withashleyandco.com
runDisney Advice For Newbies
So you are registered for your first runDisney race and you have no idea what to do.
I was in your running shoes for the Springtime Surprise 2022.
Up until then, I had run all my runDisney races virtually. So this was going to be a big change.
Luckily I had some great friends and runDisney experts to hold my hand along the way.
If you’re on this site then you’ve found the right place.
But when you’ve been doing these events for so long you might forget some of the things we newbies will be curious about. That’s where this post comes in.
Here are all the tips for race weekend and advice I have for runDisney newcomers.
Tips For Race Weekend: runDisney
1 MERCHANDISE. If you want the best selection possible for merchandise you need to head over to the expo early. Think rope drop for a special event. Trust me, if you care about merch, it’s worth it.
2. EXPO DETAILS. With that taken care of it’s time to pick up your bib, shirt, and clear bag at the runDisney Expo. What’s the bag for? Glad you asked. I had no idea either. I was all “I don’t need a bag for my stuff I’m only running with my phone.” Because you see, the bag is for your stuff if you want to lock it with the runDisney people. But if you’re like me and don’t need it for that it’s great for dirty, nasty, sweaty running clothes. No one wants that smell seeping into everything in their suitcase.
3. VENDORS. Aside from merchandise, you can spend some time on the expo floor shopping for running-specific items. Check out the vendors. If there is something you’re looking for – maybe you need extra socks or some additional Gu) chances are there is a vendor for it. Goodr sunglasses and the glittery lipstick booth were two stops I didn’t make because I was just too busy wandering around that I regretted later.
4. VISIT A THEME PARK: But with caution. After you’ve left the Expo with the bib, shirt, merchandise or any additional running needs you have: relax. Whatever that looks like for you! Go enjoy your day at the park or go relax poolside at your resort. It’s up to you but be mindful that your legs may hate you if you shut down Magic Kingdom just to turn around at 2 am to go run through there again. Yes, 2 am is an accurate wake-up time. I suggest skipping late-night fireworks and shenanigans the night before your race.
5. NUTRITION. Carb load before the race. A good pasta dinner is usually perfect for runners. Make a reservation at your favorite table service restaurant for runDisney race weekends and get your bread on. It’s also Disney so calories don’t count anyways. Gotta love that magic.
6. SLEEP. Get some sleep, or try to. It’s going to be an early morning.
7. TIME TO RUN! Wake up time! We drove over to the parks which I think is faster but there are also buses available to transport runners from resorts to the races. Be sure to get on an early bus so you don’t get stuck in traffic. It happens.
8. FIND YOUR RACING BUDDY. At the race, like Crush tells Nemo, find your buddy. The race can still be fun solo but it’s more fun to ham it up for photos and celebrate victories with your people. Speaking of pics, if you want great ones then look for the bright lights and mini tents. That’s where the race photographers are sitting. Slow down your pace, decide on a pose, and there you go, your pic doesn’t look too crazy.
9. Stop for characters. I know some people want to just set a PR but you’re paying a lot of money to be there. Enjoy the characters! Some are rare and others are dressed in outfits you never see them in at the parks. Oh and trust me even the long lines move quickly.
10. Get your medal, take your pics, and eat the cheese! Or don’t. I didn’t. But my friends wanted it lol
Bonus: Before you run, and especially if you do not know anyone running, join a FB group like No-Guilt Disney where Patty and others are there to help with any questions you may have.
Also, chances are someone in there is running and I bet you can find a buddy!
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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 with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguiltlife.com and noguiltfangirl.com