runDisney is on a to-do list for lots of people, but lots of people also “aren’t runners.” Some people say “if you run, you’re a runner” and I think that is a wonderful sentiment, especially for those days after you sign up for a race and you *know* you should go out and run, but you are having a really hard time convincing yourself to do so.
I was wanted to do the half marathon, but for those who aren’t interested or don’t feel ready for a longer distance, don’t forget that runDisney weekends include 5k and 10k distances as well!
Before really looking into it and joining a few facebook groups to find out more information, I thought there was no way on in this lifetime that I could RUN an entire half marathon. I was always in complete awe of people who ran these races. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s an amazing accomplishment, but I have discovered a crazy piece of information. Many many many people do not run the entire race. There are some people who even just speed walk the entire thing.
I always thought everyone who ran the half and full marathons ran every step of them, and that’s just not true. While there are definitely people who never walk, most do. And actually if you look at the (free) training found on the runDisney site, it is interval training. That means you run for ___ amount of time and walk for ____ amount of time the entire length of the run. There are even pace runners in each corral on race day that you can stick with if you really like the intervals and want to stick with them on race day.
I was an athlete my entire life and always absolutely despised running. I would complain so much (I’m sure it was super annoying) whenever we had to run even a little bit for conditioning. I started to run more to work on something I am bad at, and I know I do better with goals when I have a big goal to work towards. I love Disney, and have always wanted to do a runDisney race, so I signed up for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in November 2019.
This was my first half marathon and I’ve only ever done one 10k before with a handful of 5ks sprinkled in there. When training, I’d hit a wall around 6 miles, so I tried the intervals on the runDisney website and I actually loved them! I thought it was a great way to keep moving, but I think it’s easier to push through the “PLEASE STOP!!!” going through my head when I know that there is a walk/rest coming up soon.
Before race day, the farthest I’d run was 9 miles (I’m not saying this is an ideal training model, just being honest about what I personally did). I was in a corral in the middle, so I wasn’t overly worried if I might have to walk for a few minutes, especially at the end. It turns out that I had nothing to worry about though, because runDisney does an absolutely amazing job of making sure that there was always something going on. You didn’t go more than maybe half a mile without something going on. Half the time, you could see or hear the next thing coming up before you fully passed the current entertainment. There are character meet and greets, water and gatorade stations, giant speakers playing music and sometimes a jumbotron that shows the part of the movie with the song, running through the parks, multiple live bands, people cheering, and even just bathrooms or medic tents break up the monotony of running for close to 2 hours or more.
Even if you aren’t a “runner,” these races are so fun and the energy around you is so high. I won’t sign up for any half marathons except for runDisney races, and this will not be my last race. I had high hopes of it being fun, but it surpassed all of them!
If you’ve ever wanted to participate in a runDisney race, you should definitely do it! They can be costly, but if you plan to stay on property for race weekend, booking with a travel agent can usually save you a little money! I’d love to help you plan your runDisney race weekend/vacation =) Email me at Jill@ThinkTheHappiestThoughts.com or fill out the form under “Free Quote” at the top of the page for more information!