Running My First Non-Disney Race

Beach to Beacon 10K
Beach to Beacon 10K

Recently I participated in my first race outside of Walt Disney World. I don’t consider myself a serious runner, but have done eight 5Ks previously, so this wasn’t my first race either. My running adventures started after I had major knee surgery five years ago. I set a goal for myself to do a race two years after I was up on two good legs again. I completed this goal by participating in my first runDisney race in October of 2010, doing the Mickey’s Halloween 5K through the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Since that first race, I have completed several more 5Ks, all at Disney, and even did all of the 5Ks that they offered in 2011. This secondary goal was challenging, especially since I ended up running a couple not knowing I had bronchitis at the time. I thought at some point I should continue to test myself by increasing my distance and that I should do a 10K. When I lived in Cape Elizabeth, Maine there was a race that was founded there by Olympic marathon runner Joan Benoit Samuelson who was from the town. In the back of my mind I planted the seed that I wanted to do this race sometime as my first 10K. I had cheered before and seen friends from high school return home to participate in the race as it passed just blocks from my dad’s house.

Fast forward to 2013 and I decided to follow through with this goal and registered for the Beach to Beacon 10K. I have subsequently registered for the inaugural Minnie 10K at Disney during marathon weekend of January 2014. I knew Beach to Beacon was the biggest race in the state of Maine, but didn’t know exactly what I was getting in to. I tried asking friends who had run the race before or knew someone who had. I tweeted at the race account on Twitter and wrote on their Facebook wall to find out things I couldn’t see on their website. I verified that they do not sweep runners and that there was no required pace to participate. This helped assuage my fears a bit.

The race registration is rather insane, even more so than Disney races from what I’ve experienced. It filled up in 4 minutes for the over 4,000 slots that were available and then another 1,950 went to lottery winners. Fortunately, I set my alarm and was up early in March when registration opened around 6am. I’ve gotten up early for races before and even to cheer, but never before just to register. Within a minute I had confirmation of my entrance in the race after I paid the $45 fee. This is one of the major differences between Disney and non-Disney races: the fees. I usually pay in excess of $50 just for 5Ks at Disney, and I think I paid $110 for the 10K coming up in January.

I’ll skip over my training, because I didn’t really do enough of it to say the least. My work schedule has me unavailable from 1:30pm – 12:30am including commute and I’m not much of a morning person. I suffered for this, trust me. I got to Maine the Thursday before the Saturday race. That afternoon the expo and packet pickup were held from 4-8pm at the high school I attended. It was also on Friday from 2:30 – 8pm. This was a similar setup to what I was used to at Disney races in that you got your bib and pins based on your bib number. Based on bib numbers it appeared that over 6,800 runners eventually registered. The odd thing to me at the packet pickup and expo was that I didn’t have to show photo id or present a waiver.

Race packet pickup
Race packet pickup
Picking up bibs
Picking up bibs
Race expo
Race expo
Bib
Bib
Race shirt front
Race shirt front
Race shirt back
Race shirt back

The expo was familiar with shoe and clothing vendors, Cabot cheese, Gatorade gel blocks, massages, people getting taped up, etc. Shirts were picked up in the expo when you presented your bib and they marked on the back that you got your tech shirt. ESPN Boston had a booth present and there were several local news crews there during the expo, which was a little different. Outside the expo a local Italian restaurant was making free small plates of choose your own pasta for anyone who wanted to wait in line. My brother tried this and said it was really good.

When I was at packet pickup I asked if they had the finisher’s medal on display. This is where I learned there was no medal for the race participants, only prize money for the winners in each category. I had spoken with friends who ran last year and got medals, but didn’t find out til this point that the medal was a special thing just to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the race. I have to admit I was more than a little upset/disappointed. Many runners will admit that they continue to run for the bling. While I was doing the race to achieve a new personal distance goal, I was also doing it for the medal.

I tried to rest the day before the race and get to bed early. I woke up every hour pretty much because I was making sure I wouldn’t get dehydrated. Just the week before the temperatures in Maine were in the 90s and had crazy humidity. There had been a half marathon in Portland the previous week where numerous participants were hospitalized for dehydration. I wasn’t going to end up in the hospital on this trip (been there, done that).

Gear ready to go
Gear ready to go

The race didn’t start until 8am, but they recommended that everyone be at the start between 6:30 and 7am, so I was up at 6am ready to go. Like most races, I had all of my gear and clothes out and ready to wear the night before. Start line was a bit before Crescent Beach State Park and the finish line was at Portland Headlight at Fort Williams (hence the Beach to Beacon title). Most runners park at the high school or get dropped off there, and then are shuttled by school buses to the start line a couple miles away. I was warned that the high school parking lot fills up quickly, so I opted to park at the adjacent middle school and walk a few blocks to the buses.

Now, I knew going into this race that it was usually won by elite runners from Kenya who were often Olympic medalists or marathon winners from prestigious races like Boston. I was not prepared for what I encountered on the bus or at the start. While riding from the high school to the start I heard a few ladies in front of me discussing how they were upset at 9 minute miles on their recent training runs. Several of my friends are capable of this, but I typically train at a 15 minute mile. This is when I started to get apprehensive that I was way in over my head. Then we got to the start.

At the start I saw the typical line for bag check, portapotties galore, and then the signs for the corrals, which were self placing. I walked toward the front, since I had over an hour and 15 minutes before the race, and saw the last corral for the slowest time was a 10 minute mile. This did not help my nerves. Like Disney races, the wheelchairs started about ten minutes before everyone else. As I got closer to the start line, I saw that the corral behind the elite runners was for a 5 minute mile. It isn’t that there aren’t elite runners in the Disney races, but this was almost exclusively elite runners. There were no Sunday joggers in this race.

The race was started by a runner who was injured in the Boston Marathon, and we were off. There were no fireworks, which I’ve grown accustomed to, but there was a DJ that I could hear as I approached the start line. I had driven the course the day before and knew it well from living in the town for years. I was on pace for my 15 minute mile, but towards the end of the first mile I pulled my left hip and felt a pinch. I tried jogging some more, but the uneven plane of the road only aggravated it, so I slowed to a walk.

Sun rising before the race
Sun rising before the race
Noticed increased police presence
Noticed increased police presence
Dropped off at the start
Dropped off at the start
In the corral
In the corral
Waiting to start
Waiting to start
Start line
Start line
Mile 1 with the inn I worked at in high school behind
Mile 1 with the inn I worked at in high school behind

I was so discouraged and realized I was in dead last place only 18 minutes and a little over a mile into the 6.2 mile race. Tempted to quit, I came around a bend to people cheering me on. The other runners closest to me were already out of sight, so they were all cheering for me. Dozens of people outside their homes were there waiting just for me. I was completely overwhelmed with emotion since I’ve never been close to a position of being last in a race with my Disney fun runs. Then I went by one of my high school friend’s houses and she and her mom were out there cheering. Her mom, who was our high school nurse, came running out to me and gave me a big hug saying how proud she was of me. It was at that moment that I knew I wasn’t going to quit. No matter how long it took me, I was going to finish.

Shortly after this, I passed my old neighborhood and kids came running up to me wanting to give me high fives as I passed by at my walking pace. I’ve participated in eight races prior to this and never before have spectators and people cheering along the course meant so much to me. Unlike Disney races, which often take place in a park or places where most people can’t cheer, this race is through neighborhoods and through the center of town. There are literally hundreds, if not more, people along the race route standing in groups of dozens at a time at the end of their street or on their front lawn. To have people there still when I was a good 10-15 minutes behind everyone else at this point was so incredible. More than a few times I cried, completely touched by everyone’s support.

There was a truck following me to indicate the end of the race and I slowed up between mile two and three to make sure he wasn’t going to pull me from the course. I knew that I would make it before the road closures listed were scheduled to open back up, but again, I’m used to Disney sweeping on longer races if you don’t keep pace. He said he was there as long as I was moving, so don’t worry. This was reassuring, but I was still in a lot of pain and wasn’t even to the halfway point.

My dad, his wife, and my brother were waiting for me just after the 3.1 mile marker and they asked if I wanted to quit or if I wanted them to walk the rest of the way with me. I was not quitting. I was in pain, but that wasn’t going to stop if I did, plus I’d have to deal with the failure. I declined their offer to accompany me and I kept on moving. As I kept on, the crowds continued to be extremely supportive and called out my name as I neared. Around mile 4 I started seeing runners heading back towards me since it was quicker for them to run back to the start than to wait for the buses.

There is something about the acknowledgement wave or nod of the head from another runner that is some of the best encouragement one can ever get. No matter how slow I was going up and down the winding hills, I was still moving and people seemed to be impressed that I hadn’t given up yet. Between mile 5 and 6 a police officer pulled up beside me to let me know that I could keep going, but to stick to the right lane since they were going to open traffic from the other direction. One of the paramedics jumped out of her ambulance and asked if she could walk with me for a bit, and I let her for about half a mile before I entered Fort Williams and left her behind. As I climbed the last hill, I knew my friend Cindy was still amazingly waiting for me at the finish. She had driven over from Vermont for the weekend for a getaway, but also to cheer me on. She got there around 6am, and was now there at the finish with a homemade medal for me after 10am.

Mile 6
Mile 6
Finish Line
Finish Line
Race photo
Race photo
Medal Cindy made me
Medal Cindy made me

There were literally no other spectators other than Cindy. The photographers were there to capture my finish, along with the medical tent staff just to make sure I didn’t need any medical attention. I didn’t feel the sense of accomplishment that I had hoped, but more perseverance. I had been off of twitter and facebook since mile 1, but had been texting with Cindy to let her know I was still alive. When I finished I was completely overwhelmed by the amazing support from friends near and far who had been cheering me on. I took my time walking almost another half mile or so to get to the bus back to the high school I stopped and had a breakfast of orange slices, watermelon and a lime popsicle.

Portland Press Herald with race coverage
Portland Press Herald with race coverage
Dead last finish, but I did it
Dead last finish, but I did it

This was one of the most humbling and emotional experiences of my entire life. I didn’t know what I was getting in to. I didn’t train well enough, and I suffered for it. I did it, and I don’t ever need to do it again. I finished, but barely. My time of 2:17.34 was a personal record, and I ended up doing about 8 miles all in with getting to start everything. What I think meant the most to me was later that day and the next day getting messages from two friends in particular that said I inspired them. I don’t know that I have ever been an inspiration to anyone before, and this made me feel incredible that I helped them not give up. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. It was an amazing experience I don’t ever care to duplicate. I do look forward to doing better in January and breaking my PR, but with a lot more training under my belt. If I can hobble through this race, anyone can do it! Train properly and reach your goals.

No matter what, always remember DLF>DNF>DNS.

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RunDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend News

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Adds New Race, New Challenge and New Medals

RunDisney

Women-focused event to offer 10K, new challenge and special edition medals fit for a Princess; Special Princess and Tinker Bell half marathon registration available June 11

Annual Passholders and DVC Members are able to register for these runDisney Princess Half Marathon races on June 6th!

Building on the success of its women focused events, runDisney is broadening the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort next year by adding a 10K and a new two-race challenge.

The Princess 10K gives runners of various levels more opportunities to run through Disney theme parks and receive a specially-designed finisher medal. And runners looking for an even bigger challenge can sign up for the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total) to earn the inaugural Disney Glass Slipper Challenge Medal to go along with medals from each individual race.

The Princess Half Marathon Weekend, scheduled for Feb. 20-23, is one of two women focused runDisney events. The other is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January at Disneyland Resort in California. Both races are among the largest womenspecific running events in the country and focus on healthy active lifestyles for women and girls.

For instance, after nearly 7,500 runners ran in the inaugural Princess Half Marathon event in 2009, the popularity of the race has grown considerably with more than 26,000 registered runners for last year’s race.

Some enhancements are being made to this year’s runDisney Princess Half Marathon, and they include:

  •  Lowering weekend capacity by 2,000 runners, mostly in the half marathon
  • Proof of time required from runners anticipating a finish time of 3:15 or less
  • More corrals allowing runners with similar abilities to be grouped together and therefore spreading out the field on the course
  • No corral changes based on proof of time will be made after December 1, 2013.
  • The three-Day Disney’sFit For A Princess Expo will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Also new in 2014 is a special edition runDisney Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge Medal for runners participating in the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January and the 2014 Princess Half Marathon five weeks later at Walt Disney World. Finishers receive the coveted medal featuring the likeness of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse with a pink overlay and lanyard.

RunDisney
New Coast to Coast Medal

Registration for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon opens to the public on June 11 at www.runDisney.com, however Annual Passholders and DVC Members can register June 6.

A limited number of runners will have the opportunity to register for both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon at that time. Those not securing an early registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon will have a second chance when on-line registration officially opens on July 9.

Both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekends include signature runDisney events including a health and fitness expo geared towards women, kids races, a family fun run 5K, as well as featured half marathons for both weekend.

For more information and to register for runDisney events, visit www.runDisney.com.

About runDisney

runDisney is a series of seven event weekends providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks. Race participants earn Disneythemed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, Expedition Everest Challenge in May, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in October and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November. Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend. More than 125,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year.

For more information, visit RunDisney online and follow us on Facebook , and Twitter.

 

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RunDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Adds New Race, Challenge, And Medals!

RunDisney
New Coast to Coast Medal for those completing the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathons

RunDisney Princess Half Marathon New Additions For 2014

Women-focused event to offer 10K, new challenge and special-edition medals fit for a Princess;

Special Princess and Tinker Bell half marathon registration available June 11

Building on the success of its women-focused events, runDisney is broadening the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort next year by adding a 10K and a new two-race challenge.

The Princess 10K gives runners of various levels more opportunities to run through Disney theme parks and receive a specially-designed finisher medal. And runners looking for an even bigger challenge can sign up for the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total) to earn the inaugural Disney Glass Slipper Challenge Medal to go along with medals from each individual race.

The Princess Half Marathon Weekend, scheduled for Feb. 20-23, is one of two women-focused runDisney events. The other is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January at Disneyland Resort in California.  Both races are among the largest women-specific running events in the country and focus on healthy active lifestyles for women and girls.  For instance, after nearly 7,500 runners ran in the inaugural Princess Half Marathon event in 2009, the popularity of the race has grown considerably with more than 26,000 registered runners for last year’s race.

Also new in 2014 is a special edition runDisney Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge Medal for runners participating in the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January and the 2014 Princess Half Marathon five weeks later at Walt Disney World.  Finishers receive the coveted medal featuring the likeness of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse with a pink overlay and lanyard.

Registration for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon opens June 11 at www.runDisney.com.  A limited number of runners will have the opportunity to register for both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon at that time.  Those not securing an early registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon will have a second chance when on-line registration officially opens on July 9.

Both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekends include signature runDisney events including a health and fitness expo geared towards women, kids races, a family fun run 5K, as well as featured half marathons for both weekend.

For more information and to register for runDisney events, visit www.runDisney.com.

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2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Gets An Upgrade

dopeyRunDisney

For years, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend combination of receiving medals for the 5K, Half Marathon, and Marathon was a 42.4 mile challenge unofficially dubbed the “Dopey” by fans.  Now with the addition of the new Walt Disney World 10K, the name “Dopey” becomes official with an additional new medal for the Dopey Challenge, but with one small change.  Instead of being 42.4 miles, Disney is including the 10K into the mix for a grand total of 48.6 miles.  That’s right, the old fan based Dopey was only 4 medals (5K, Half, Full, and Goofy), but now Dopey challengers will receive 6 medals total adding 1 for the 10K and 1 extra for doing all 4 races.

The cost to participate in this new challenge? $495 for participants who register before June 18, 2013.  This price includes all 4 races.

The new 10K will cost $95 for registrants by the same date.  With the 5K being $60, the Walt Disney World Full & Half Marathons costing $160 each, and the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge weighing in at $340.

Price increases for the Walt Disney World Marathon races will occur on June 19, 2013 and again on August 14, 2013.

Additional information can be found at runDisney.com

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runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Half Registration Open

Registration Opens for Runners’ Ultimate Night Out at runDisney

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Field of 20,000-plus runners expected to push runDisney to record year of more than 175,000 registered runners in 2013

 

All runDisney runners can now register for this year’s Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, Nov. 8 – 9, by going to www.rundisney.com.

More than 20,500 runners are expected to register for weekend races, including 14,000 for the nighttime half marathon, increasing the number of registeredrunners for runDisney races in 2013 to more than 175,000 – a single-year record for runDisney, which has seven event weekends.  Last year more than 125,000 runners competed in runDisney’s seven event weekends at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

The 13.1-mile Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon course takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  After crossing the finish line runners can join family and friends for a special ticketed post-race party inside Epcot until 4 am (friends and family must purchase party ticket for entry).   The Finish Line Party features more than 25 kiosks offering fine cuisine and wine from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, plus Disney characters, music and the opportunity to ride various attractions such as the newly reimagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet and Soarin’.

New this year is the Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste on Friday, Nov. 8, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  This special ticketed event offers runners and fans a private reception on the set of Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, featuring food and beverages from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, music and Disney characters.

In addition, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend features the runDisney Kids Races, Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K and the half marathon which starts at 10 pm at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

There’s also Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 – 9, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  The expo offers the latest in running apparel, technology and a speaker series featuring running experts such asrunDisney official training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus.  Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo is free and open to the public.

To register for Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend races and to purchase tickets for the Disney Wine and Dine Pre-Race Taste and Finish Line Party at Epcot, visit www.runDisney.com.

 

Schedule of Events

Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo

Nov. 8 – 9

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

 

Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste

Nov. 8, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

 

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K

Nov. 9, 7 am

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

 

runDisney Kids Races

Nov. 9

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

 

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Nov.9, 10 pm

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

 

Finish Line Party

Nov. 9, 10 pm – 4 am

Epcot

 

About runDisney

runDisney

runDisney is a series of events providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks.  Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.  The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, takes place in January followed by theDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, Expedition Everest Challenge in May, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in September and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend.  More than 125,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit www.runDisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @runDisney.

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Wordless Wednesday – RunDisney #Run3rd

Wordless Wednesday – February 27, 2013

RunDisney Run3rd
For this week’s Wordless Wednesday I wanted to share something a little more personal. This year when I ran my second RunDisney Princess Half Marathon, I wasn’t alone. I dedicated my run to two special people and carried them with me from start to finish. It definitely added a new perspective to a solo sport.

For more information about #run3rd visit their site.

Please take a second to really look at the Mission Statement, because it is definitely something that means a lot to me.

RunDisney Run3rd

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RunDisney Princess Tips and Reminders

RunDisney

Walt Disney World RunDisney Princess Weekend is almost here so I’ve compiled a list of tips and reminders to assist you as you prepare.

The Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K takes place Saturday, February 23 at 6:30 AM and the Princess Half Marathon will be held Sunday, February 24 beginning at 5:35 AM.  With just a few days before the race it’s very important to take care of your body by getting as much rest as possible, eating nutritious meals, and hydrating with water and/or sports drinks.  If you’re visiting the theme parks before race day, it’s best to take it a leisurely pace, take in the shows and sit down attractions and try to limit the time walking or standing in the sun or heat.  Take breaks at the resort to enjoy the pool or take a nap.

Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  The Expo hours are Friday, February 22 9:00 AM- 7:00 PM and Saturday, February 23 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM.  If you are staying at a WDW resort other than Coronado Springs, you will need to utilize bus transportation, labeled with a RunDisney sign.  If you are staying off property, park at Downtown Disney Westside to catch the RunDisney bus transportation to Coronado Springs.  Parking and guest drop-off during Expo hours is not allowed at Coronado Springs.  Be sure to complete and print your race waiver prior to arriving at the Expo and bring your photo identification.  At the expo you will pick up your race packet which includes your bib with timing chip, race shirt, and goody bag.  This is also the time to pick up any commemorative items you purchased during registration.  Be sure to hold onto the large, clear plastic Run Disney bag you are given as this is what you will use for bag check during the race.  Expo is a great time to check out the vendors, see new products, visit with fellow runners, and get into the spirit of the race weekend.

Here’s a quick check list of things to do the day/night before the race:

  • Fill out the back of your race bib with emergency contact and personal information and attach it to your running shirt with provided safety pins
  • Lay out your entire running outfit including every item you are planning to wear and carry during the race
  • Prepare your clear plastic Run Disney bag for bag check by affixing your number sticker
  • Plan your pre-race/early morning breakfast or snack such as a bagel with peanut butter, cereal bar, or fruit
  • Decide where to meet friends and family following the race
  • Set your alarm and/or order a wake-up call
  • Go to bed early and dream about the bling

On the day of the race, give yourself plenty of time for driving and parking or riding WDW transportation.  Race transportation including monorail and buses from WDW resort hotels will begin at 3:00 AM and you must board no later than 4:00 AM and in your assigned corral by 5:00 AM.  If you are checking a bag, it must be at the bag check area no later than 4:30 AM.  There will be food and beverages available for purchase in the Wonder and Imagine lots of Epcot the morning of the race.  Give yourself plenty of time to get to your corral and prepare yourself for race.

You’ve trained, prepared, and waited and it’s finally here.  Enjoy it!  Disney races are full of fun, friends, and surprises…..and there’s a beautiful medal and an amazing sense of accomplishment awaiting you at the finish line.

Happy running!

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RunDisney Roundtable

For this week’s Roundtable, I thought it would be a lot of fun to look at all of our different thought on the RunDisney Events we have participated in!

I hope you enjoy!

1. What made you start participating in RunDisney Events?
Aurora –  My Husband, Brother and Best friend VoluntEARed at our first event MANY years ago and it is something that my Husband and I have continued. We started off doing the Special Olympics events and now we try to do Marathon Weekend and Princess every weekend. We are running people but we LOVE VoluntEARing!!!
Beth – Just a whim actually.  Sounded fun so I signed up for the Family 5k during Marathon Weekend 2012.  I met some great people and got hooked!
Betsy – I set a goal for myself to do a 5k two years after I had major knee surgery.
Cheryl – My husband started running
Kelly – I figured it would motivate me to want to get out there and complete some races myself. And also to see everyone completing goals.
Shalon – I was never a very athletic person and never thought I’d be able to even complete a 5k. After seeing the wide array of people who ran a 5k at Disney I knew it was a goal I wanted to set for myself.  After doing a 5k I decided to train for a half marathon as it was a bucket list item and was incredible to accomplish that goal at Disney!
Shelley – I have never been an avid runner, but after hearing people talk about how much they loved the RunDisney 5K’s I thought I would give it a shot…and I haven’t really looked back since!

2. What is your favorite Run Disney Race?
Betsy – I think the first race I ever ran is still my favorite. It was the inaugural Mickey’s Halloween 5k in October of 2010. It is the only 5k to my knowledge that ran through the Magic Kingdom. It was absolutely amazing! I wish they still had 5ks in that park.
Beth – Princess Weekend is special to me because I ran the Royal Family 5k in 2012 with my best friend Jaimee & soon to be best friends Mike and James.  That weekend solidified my addiction to Run Disney and my desire to move to Florida.  Plus you get to dress up like Princesses!!
Cheryl – Magic Kingdom 5k – sad that I never got to run this!
Kelly – I’ve only volunteered for the marathon weekend events, so I’d have to go with that.
Shalon – Princess weekend is my favorite since it was my first 5k and first half marathon.
Shelley – I am obsessed with the Princess Half Marathon Weekend activities! I love how even the guys get in the spirit of dressing up and having a great time running.
Aurora – Marathon Weekend every January is my favorite! So many costumes and creativity! A lot of people use this first race of the year as a tribute race for someone or a first time race for themselves.

3. Do you prefer night or day RunDisney races?
Cheryl – day
Kelly – To volunteer, either. If I was completing a race myself, day. I would think it would throw my schedule off to run a race at night.
Shalon – I prefer day races, its hard getting up that early but was much easier to adjust to than staying up later for a night race. Once a day race is over you can walk around the parks to work out any soreness and of course show off your bling!
Shelley – I prefer day races, because I love being able to walk around the parks and eating whatever I want…you know cause I just ran and it won’t count…right???
Aurora – I prefer voluntEARing at the day time races so I can see my friends faces and costumes lol!
Beth – Having run one night race and the rest day races, I prefer day.  Night races are tough to prepare for especially the day of in terms of resting and eating enough prior to the start of the race.
Betsy – I think I prefer day races even though I am not a morning person. It is easier to rest up and prepare for the races than night races.

4. Costume or no costume when you’re running?
Kelly – For me to run in, no costume, but I love seeing everyone else in their costumes. It adds additional time on top of their training schedules for everyone to make their costumes, so to see everyone’s hard work is so fun!
Shalon – Costumes are a blast to create and show off during races!  Just make sure to try them out beforehand to make sure it all fits well and won’t bother you during the race.
Shelley – I LOVE all the costumes, and I have really enjoyed the races when I have dressed up!
Aurora – As a spectator/voluntEAR I love the costumes! Have fun with it!!!!!
Beth – Costumes ABSOLUTELY!  That’s one of my favorite parts second only to the bling!  Be creative and have fun with it.  Just make sure its comfortable and allows your skin to breath while running!
Betsy – I have never worn a costume while running, but I do enjoy seeing the costumes.
Cheryl – No Costume

5. What’s your best tip for visiting RunDisney Expos?
Shalon – Take you time to look around all the booths and companies there.  You may not buy something that day but gives great ideas for running gear later on.  Always take business cards of booths you enjoy so you will remember them after race weekend.
Shelley – Keep your eyes on the prize or you will find yourself walking out with TONS of cool stuff that you might not necessarily need!
Aurora – Do not go in there with a time limit set. Give yourself time to get your packet and have time to look at all the booths. There are SO MANY things to look at that if you only have an hour or whatever, you will end up skipping one that you probably wanted to see really bad!
Beth – I like to go as early as possible the very first day.  It can be crowded and hectic but it’s a great time to see new products and meet up with friends and really get into the spirit of the race weekend.
Betsy – Definitely get there as early as you can and plan on allowing at least an hour or two. For larger race weekends like marathon, Princess and Wine and Dine, it can get crazy long lines. Take time to wander around the expo after packet pickup and see what the vendors have to offer. I’ve found some great deals on shoes, running belts, etc.
Cheryl – Go there early, it gets crowded!
Kelly – Go the first day, as early as possible. I’ve seen numerous products (if not all of them) sell out so quick.

6. What is your favorite RunDisney memory?
Shelley – This is such a tough one! But the memory that always makes me tear up is when I was running the Princess Half last year. We had just crossed the start line, and out of the blue I could hear Zoe yelling ‘Go Mommy! I’m so proud of you’ and I found her in the crowd jumping up & down blowing me kisses. Just knowing that I am setting an example of being healthy and reaching goals makes me push myself harder.
Aurora – Medaling my Best Friend Nicole when she on a whim ran her first full marathon! Nicole has never been a runner. She is more of a mosier! She decided to run at the pressing of her soon to be husband and did the full marathon in about 3 and 1/2hours! I have never been so PROUD in my life! She beat some people who are real runners and she had a blast doing it! I cried and cried and cried when she crossed and have never been so happy to see someone cross in my life! Putting that medal around her neck is something that will stick with me forever!
Beth – One of my favorite memories is running the 2012 Tower of Terror 10 Miler with my best friend, Jaimee, on both of our birthdays.  It was a night race and started at 10pm on her birthday and we were still running when the clock struck midnight signaling the beginning of my birthday.  We made shirts to go with our costumes that celebrated this.  It was so fun running and having so many people wish us Happy Birthday!
Betsy – My favorite memory was running my first race since there was such a great sense of accomplishment coming off of my knee surgery. I have great memories from most all of the seven races I’ve run, but I think that the first was the best.
Cheryl – Running across the finish line
Kelly – My very first 5k was a RunDisney event and it was such an emotional day for me, so crossing that finish line and being able to see my parents and boyfriend cheering me on is definitely my favorite memory. Also, putting medals on a couple of the 20 year ‘Perfects’ this past marathon weekend was very cool, along seeing people get really emotional after finishing their first half marathon/marathon and being able to celebrate with them.
Shalon – Even though completing my first 5k was very memorable, completing my first half marathon Princess weekend 2012 was an experience I’ll never forget.  I had such an incredible time running and sharing that memory with Shelley.  I’ll never forget how we both burst into tears as we crossed the finish line…and again as we cried like babies as Aurora gave us our medals!

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RunDisney Savings Plan

If you are like my family, you have a runner doing multiple RunDisney events in one year so it is necessary to have a RunDisney Savings Plan.

Here are some things to consider if you are running in the RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

First let’s look at the costs of entering the Wine & Dine Half Marathon

  • $175 by June 18, 2013
  • $190 between June 19 and August 13, 2013
  • $205 on or after August 14, 2013

So it’s easy to see that if you know that you are planning on running in a RunDisney event it is best to register as soon as possible!

The next big expense to consider is booking a room!

Keeping in mind that we are using the RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, you can find onsite pricing from Disney directly for value resorts is $121 per night for a 2 night stay,
this price does not include park admission.  You may find cheaper pricing by contacting a Travel agent, booking your flight and travel together via travel websites or your airline website, or by taking advantage of any special offer that may come your way.

Another option is renting points from a Disney Vacation Club member. We don’t have an article on this yet (we promise it is coming soon) so we recommend you search the web on Disney Vacation Club point rental.

Renting Disney Vacation Club points can save you money on a room for the race! For example For the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon cost of the Disney’s Beach Club resort is $389 per person for a 2 night stay.  For 2 people your cost would be $778 depending on the Disney Vacation Club point cost: a Studio at Beach Club would run you between $310 and $410.

So far Costs are:
Race:  $175 or $190 or $205
Hotel:  $121 or $778 or $310-$410
Flights:  For this example we are assuming  $250 round trip for 1 person so $500 for 2 people

Which then brings us to the cost of tickets. You’ll find that a 3 day ticket from Disney Direct (without the Run Disney discount)  is $636.88 includes tax, note this includes Park hopping.  A 3 day ticket without park hopping is $515.46. Please note this is the current price of tickets, like any other product, prices can change; we recommend you call Disney or search the internet to confirm current pricing.

So now it’s down to the nitty gritty! Time to calculate all of our costs: $205 + $410 + $500 = $1115.00, if you need tickets that cost increases to $1630.46.  Food costs differ based upon needs, so add in your own food costs.

How can I save: Starting now you could put away $408 a month and have enough time to save $1630.46 by June 18th. If you already have tickets you could save $279 a month. You will need to add in extra savings for your food costs but this should give you a good guide of how you can plan to save to race.

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Wordless Wednesday – RunDisney Princesses

Wordless Wednesday – February 20, 2013

RunDisney
For this week’s Wordless Wednesday, I thought I would post a picture of Shalon and & I celebrated finishing the RunDisney Princess Half Marathon last year. It was our first Half Marathon, and it was an amazing experience to share with such a great friend.

 

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Cheering for a runDisney Event

princess_half_logo_2013

My addiction to running didn’t start with the running itself, it started with the cheering.  Back in 2009 I made some friends, and not long after I learned that they were running in a race.  A race at Walt Disney World.  I honestly had no real concept of what this meant, but I had always had it in the back of my head that running was something I wanted to try.  So I made a decision to seek a little inspiration, and go cheer for them. That day I learned one solid thing: cheering for a race isn’t easy. Now that’s not to say that it can’t be, like anything else it’s all about how much, or how little you want to throw yourself into it.

This upcoming weekend, February 22-February 24, 2013, runDisney is hosting Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  There are two races that you could be cheering for, the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K, and the Disney’s Princess Half Marathon.

Some Fun RunDisney Facts about Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend:

  • More than 26,000 runners in the half; 8,000 in the 5K and 1,700 in Kids Races; many from throughout Central Florida

  • The half marathon includes more than 24,500 female runners and 1,700 male runners

  • Runners represent all 50 states and 32 countries

  • The youngest participant is 14 and the oldest woman is 78

  • There are 98 RunDisney runners celebrating their Birthday during the race

If you have runners running either of these races you should sit down with them and talk with them to find out some information that will make cheering for them easier:

What corral are they starting in?  For each race, runners are split up into corrals that have staggered starting times.  These corrals are typically lettered.  Runners in B will start the race before runners in C.

What is their pace per minute? Runners don’t all run at the same speed. You’ll need this knowledge for longer races if you’re going to travel between points to cheer.

Will they be stopping? Disney races are designed for fun. Along the course there will be various special areas, characters, and photo opportunities for runners to participate in.  This means that despite their pace, your runner can take longer if they’re planning to stop to take a picture and have to wait in a line.  If you didn’t expect your runner to be stopping you might find yourself getting worried when they don’t show after an expected period of time.

What will they be wearing? In case you’re not going to see your runner before they enter the corral in the morning, they should definitely send you a photo of what they will be wearing so you can easily spot them on the course.

Regardless of which race you’re cheering for, I can’t stress enough that the right time to head out to cheer is when the runners head out to run.  The 5K starts at 6:30 am on Saturday, and I recommend getting to the starting line of the race no later than 5:45 am.  This will give you time to meet up with friends, watch your runner head to their corral, and find a good place to cheer from at the Start.  By contrast, the Half starts at 5:30 am, though depending on where you’re cheering from (more on that below), you might have some wiggle room.  Transportation options are explained in the Official Race Program.  Whether you’re busing, taking the monorail, or driving yourself – everything you’ll need to know is in there.  Just turn to page 42.

Cheering for the 5K itself is fairly easy.  If you look at the course map you’ll see that the race starts and ends in Epcot.  In fact, it starts and ends in the parking lot of Epcot.  Spectators will not be allowed into Epcot during the race, this means you will only be able to see your runners at the start and end of the race.  Knowing their pace is important here.  A 5K race is approximately 3.1 miles.  This means that when you see your runner at the start of the race, and their pace is 10 minutes per mile, that you can expect them to reach the finish line in about 30 minutes.  If they’re planning to stop, even one photo opportunity can increase their time by 5 minutes or even more.

For the Half Marathon, cheering can be a bit more involved, or relatively the same.  The Starting line for the race is out on Epcot Center Drive, you can actually walk out to the road from the parking lot through the woods.  Just look for the signs when you’re there.  The Finish line is in the Epcot parking lot.  Many people never go out to the starting line, because it is extremely difficult to spot runners at this point.  The Platinum level ChEAR Squad Race Retreat spectator package might be a good, albeit expensive, option.  You can relax in luxury while your runner is rounding the corner in Tomorrowland.

If you want to be more active you’ll need to consider using the Online Spectator Tool.  With this tool you can try to determine the best places to watch your runner along the path.  There are many options to choose from.  But my preferred choices are: Mile 0 at the Starting Line, Mile 5.3 on Main Street, USA in Magic Kingdom, Mile 12 at the bus depot in Epcot, and Mile 13 which is just before the Finish.  Other popular places to cheer from are at the TTC, at the Contemporary across from the Magic Kingdom bus depot, and on the Western side of Polynesian Resort.  The runners will run by (or through in the case of the TTC) all three of these. You can find this information on page 43 in the program.

In this era of high tech, you’ll want to consider one of a few options for tracking your runners.  For starters, each runner is tagged, and runDisney provides a means to track your runners via this tag using the Runner Tracking tool for the event (tool changes per event, but your account will remain between events, and be good at all future races).  Here you can receive alerts via text or email and auto-post updates to Facebook or Twitter.  I will be honest, this tool is not the most reliable of systems, but it has gotten better than it used to be.

There are plenty of other ways you can track your runner.  For example, if they take walk intervals, and have their phone with them, a simple text message stating where they are can work wonders.  If you and your runner both have an iPhone I suggest using the Find My Friends app that Apple puts out.  You’ll want to set it up before the race, but with it you’ll be able to use the mapping features of your iPhone to locate your runner.  If a runner wants to broadcast their location to multiple people across multiple devices, I suggest using a WhatsApp group to do so as it’s available across multiple phone types.  Applications like RunKeeper are very popular with runners for tracking their runs also have additional functionality that lets others track the runner on their phone.

The last, and most important thing, is that the person you’re there to cheer for isn’t the only person out there running that day.  While you’re out on the course waiting for your runner, you might notice that most bibs will have a name on them.  If you can read a name, shout it out and cheer for that person too.  I can not begin to tell you how much it will mean to that person.  There are plenty of people out on the course who otherwise have no one to cheer for them.  And who knows, you might end up cheering for one of us here.

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RunDisney Costumes

You’ve signed up for a Run Disney race, trained physically and prepared mentally. You have the perfect running shoes and you’ve picked out your race day running clothes, a basic running shirt and shorts. Ok, so it’s practical, it will be sufficient for running, but you could have so much more fun. What about wearing a running costume?

RunDisney Costume
Tower of Terror Birthday Shirts

Costumes for Disney races are becoming increasingly popular and creative. The easiest and most popular thing to wear is a tutu. Runners wear everything from a simple one color tutu to a detailed specific character inspired creation. It’s a fun way for anyone, of any age, shape and size to add a little kick to their running attire. There are Minnie’s, Tinkerbell’s, Pirates and lots of Princesses, especially for the upcoming Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon. And RunDisney Costumes are not just for the ladies!

RunDisney Race

Wondering where to start to design your costume? Start with a good moisture-wicking running shirt in the color of the character you are trying to emulate. For example, to dress as Rapunzel, I purchased a lavender running shirt and attached pink ribbons to give the laced up corset effect. I also added tulle and ribbons to the sleeves. I made a lavender and pink tulle tutu and decorated it with ribbon, rhinestones, and flower accents. Top it off with a sparkling tiara and it’s an easy princess look.

Tutu’s are great for running because they are practically feather weight and can be worn over any running skirt or shorts. Tutu’s aren’t the only option when it comes to running costumes but an important thing to consider is materials and fabrics. It’s always a good idea to do a practice run in your costume before race day to be sure it’s comfortable and doesn’t inhibit your ability to run properl

RunDisney Costume

Run Disney does have a few guidelines when it comes to costumes so be sure to follow their specifications. A really fun thing to do is to run in costume with a group. This is an especially popular idea for the upcoming inaugural 10k in Disneyland this summer. The race is rumored to be themed to Alice in Wonderland so lots of participants are planning groups of Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and the Cheshire Cat.

Go look in your closet or visit your craft store for inspiration and supplies to make a unique running costume. If you aren’t crafty, let someone design and create it for you. Be creative, have fun and let your imagination run free!

Beth has taken her passion for RunDisney Costumes, and she’s built a business

around it with Beth’s Bowtique!

She makes all sorts of bows & tutus, and she posts her creations on Twitter all the time!

RunDisney Costume

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