By Michelle Perkins

With Marathon weekend here, I thought I would do a little blog about my run Disney personal experiences.  What is it really like?  Have you ever thought of doing one of these races?  Well I did my first run Disney race in 2015 and I am hooked!! The runDisney experience really begins with the sign up.  Now, registration opens up about 8-10 months in advance. They usually have two days, a week apart (AP holders and DVC members get to sign up a week early) to register. The registrations are linked to your Disney account which is new this year.  We used to sign up through active, but I personally like that its all through Disney now.  Registration can be a little bit intimidating because there are a lot of people that actually want to run (yes people do this for fun, I’m one of them) and only so many spots.  When I signed up for the Princess races this year, I had two computers and my phone in the cue to make sure I got what I wanted. With the sign-up you get a shirt to wear too! The shirts are really meant for you to run the race in if you choose, but I like to kind of dress up for these races, so I use it to just wear around.  They also have to option to let your kiddos run too! They have a one mile run for older kids and small runs, 100 meters or so for, little ones (they call it a diaper dash how cute is that).  The kids get a medal and a race shirt!! My little girl is running this year I cannot wait to see how she does.  Anyway, back to the point. So, you signed up now what? Well, it depends on what you signed up for. The 5K is great! It’s not timed, which means you can walk the whole thing and not get swept (we will talk about that in a minute). Plus, you can feel more relaxed about stopping and taking photos with characters, some of which are rare, and you can dress up and run in costume! I love a good 5K.  Now the runDisney 10K, half marathon, marathon are a little bit different.  These races have a pacing requirement of a 16-minute mile pace and if you cannot keep that up, you get swept.  Here is what I mean, once the last people cross the start line, you do not want to get in a position to be behind them.  They make it easy to spot these people because they have big balloons tied to their waste.  They are literally the balloon ladies.

So as long as you are in front of them, they will let you finish the race.  Even if you get slightly behind them, they have people in golf carts telling you to keep going. If you fall too far behind though, they put you on a bus and you get brought to the finish line.  Now, the good part is you still get you medal, unless you signed up for a challenge. You won’t get the special challenge medal, but the rest of the medals are yours! Personally, for me, I don’t stop for pictures or anything when I run anything but a 5K because I don’t want to lose time. Many people do though and finish just fine! I know what you are going to say…. I only run if someone is chasing me. Yeah that was me too.  I signed up for the princess 10k and half marathon in 2015 and I have run them ever since! I just love to run.  I mean, I don’t run the entire thing without stopping. I am not that type of runner! I do what is called Galloway intervals; I run then walk then run again, makes it much easier.  I have heard people who have walked the entire 10K or half marathon. If you are a fast walker, go for it! The runDisney events are fun and there is even a huge runner expo with great merchandise that opens a day or so before the first event where you can get all sorts of stuff. As a bonus, you get your AP discount on the specific runDisney gear!! Do me a favor and try a 5K! You don’t have to run, just walk and let me know what you think?

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