10 Things To Know Before You runDisney

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10 Things To Know Before You runDisney

Are you thinking of registering for a runDisney race? There are many different things you should know before you sign up for any of the Disney races from when to register, the bib pick up process, the types of races and more. We’ve got you covered! Here are 10 things you should know before you runDisney!


1. Racing Bibs

In order to pick up your race bib, participants in runDisney races must attend the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at least one day prior to their first event. You must have a valid ID to pick up your race bib. This includes driver’s license, passport, military ID, or government-issued ID. It is important to note that you may not pick up another adult participant’s race bib. 

On the day of the race, every participant must wear their race bib. The letter on the bib will determine your assigned start group. The bib must be centered in front of your outermost garment. Your bib must also be clearly visible on the front of the torso, unaltered and unmodified, pinned in all four corners and not covered with shirts, jackets, runner belts, water bottles, etc. If a runner is seen without their bib, they will be removed from the course for security and safety reasons. Also, all runners must remember to fill out the Emergency Medical Information on the back of their bibs.

2. Waiver Forms

All guests participating in a runDisney event must complete a waiver form for each event in which they are participating prior to their arrival. Disney has now made it easier by allowing guests to complete it digitally! To complete this, you must access your runDisney account, select “View & Sign Your Documents” in the important reminders section. From there, you will select “View Your Registration” and then “View Documents”. Once you have read the waiver, you agree to sign it and you may then download or email yourself a copy. 

As of right now, there is still a Covid-19 Warning waiver. This basically states that there is an inherent risk of exposure to Covid-19 because you will be in a public space where other people are present.

3. Health & Fitness Expo

Disney has dubbed their Health & Fitness Expo as the official race headquarters for runDisney. This is free to the public and draws thousands of visitors including participants of runDisney, spectators and health and wellness enthusiasts. There are activities strategically placed around the Expo venues to encourage a high flow of foot traffic to all its areas. This is the place where participants will pick up their racing bibs, racing packets, gEAR bags and can purchase runDisney merchandise and other race, health and wellness related goods.

4. Fuel Stops

It is very important to keep hydrated during the race. Many people underestimate the impact that the Florida heat and humidity can have on their bodies. runDisney does a great job of offering plenty of fuel stops to help keep runners hydrated. You may bring your own water as well as take advantage of the fuel stops along the way. During the 5k races, only one fuel stop is offered. There are three fuel stops during the 10K races, and nine beverage stations set up that offer water and Powerade during the half-marathon. The stops are placed approximately every 1.5 miles. Additionally, there is one food stop available at mile 8.3. During the Walt Disney World Marathon, there are 19 beverage stops and five food stops located along the course. 

5. Photo Ops

One of the most fun parts of the runDisney races are the fun photo ops and character meet & greets along the way! There are professional photographers from Disney’s Photopass set up in multiple locations along the course. If you are an Annual Passholder and purchased the Memory Maker add-on, you will be able to access your pictures from the race for free. You may purchase the Photopass for the day of the race to access your pictures as well. You are also able to take your own pictures during the race.

Please be advised that due to safety reasons, selfie sticks are prohibited by both runners and spectators. The Character Meet & Greets are a really fun surprise during the race. It is never announced which characters will be there and it is always exciting to spot them during your run!

6. Registration

Registration for the runDisney races fills up extremely fast! In order to secure your spot in the race, you must register as soon as possible. Saving your credit card information is also a big help as it makes the check-out process much faster. Make sure that you set up your account in advance, so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to do so. Another helpful tip would be to set a reminder on your phone for the day that registration begins. If you are registering for multiple events, it is best to register for your top choice first in case the other events sell out.

One of the most helpful tips I can give you is that when you click the registration link and are placed in a virtual queue, do not refresh the page. If you refresh the page, you will lose your spot and will have to start over from the beginning.

7. Transportation

RunDisney Event Transportation is provided to and from all Walt Disney World Resorts including Shades of Green and Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Disney transportation is only available for guests staying on property. Disney Transportation opens at 2:30 am. For those not staying on Walt Disney World Property or those who choose to forgo Disney transportation, self-parking is available. Depending on which park the race begins, is where there will be designated self-parking. Runners may also be dropped off and picked up by using rideshare, taxi services or personal vehicles. There will be signs all over Walt Disney World property directing you where to go.

8. Weather

One of the most important things to know before heading to Florida for your race is that Florida weather is very unpredictable. When starting the race, it could be cool and 55 degrees and then in the 80s once the sun comes up. Depending on the time of year, it can also be very rainy. Another thing most people don’t plan for is the humidity. It is important to dress appropriately and be prepared for any weather situation. Races are held rain or shine! If there is lightning within 10 miles of the event, it will be delayed.

9. Picking the Right Race

runDisney has plenty of different races and events to choose from. Every runDisney race offers different themes, distances and challenges and is done at different times during the year. The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend takes place in January. The races that weekend range from a 5k to a full marathon. There are usually challenges too, such as the Dopey Challenge, where you run a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon. January is the only time of the year that runners can do a full marathon.

In February, there is the Princess Half Marathon Weekend which consists of a 5k, 10k and half marathon. This is one of the most popular race weekends and tends to sell out very quickly! There are lots of other races during the year and all of them usually involve a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. If you are a beginner, a 5k or 10k is probably best for you. If you are an intermediate or experienced runner, the half or full marathon option would be best.

10. Pacing Requirements

Most people want to know if you can walk during the runDisney races. The short answer is yes and no. Yes, you can walk but you must maintain a minimum of a 16-minute per mile pace. A walking pace of 15-minutes-per-mile is the recommended pacing requirement. There are pace cyclists that will be on course and their job is to indicate which runners are falling behind pace by waving a red flag. If a participant reaches a mile marker with a red flag waving, it means that they are behind the 16-minute-per-mile pace and will be picked up and transported to the course pick up tent. Don’t be discouraged if this happens to you, you are still welcome to register for more events in the future!

Images by runDisney.com


Overall

RunDisney races are immensely popular and fun! Whether you are a first-time runner or an experienced runner, it is totally worth it. Running through the parks and seeing your favorite characters along the way makes it a fun and unique experience. All runners also get a medal themed to whichever event they participated in and they make for an awesome collector’s item and souvenir!

If you are on the fence about whether to do a runDisney race or not, I hope this article convinced you to give it a try! Have you ever participated in a runDisney event? How was your experience?

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