It seems people have a love/hate relationship with runDisney. Most of the people I talk to about this fall into one of two categories: the I love RunDisney and want to run all the races category (spoiler alert: that’s me) or the Disney is way too overpriced and I can’t believe people spend that much money on a race category. Whether or not you agree with the pricing structure, there’s no doubt Disney puts on an amazing experience for first time runners and veterans alike.
1. Great for beginners or runners who want to complete a new distance. Moving up to the half marathon distance can be intimidating for many runners. Even more intimidating is contemplating moving up to the marathon distance. What’s great about runDisney is they make that distance possible for all runners, regardless of ability. There’s a generous 16 minute/mile pace limit for every Disney race, which enables almost anyone to finish these events, even walkers. I completed my first double digit race at Disney- the Tower of Terror 10 miler (who remembers that race? I miss it!) I probably never would have attempted that type of distance had I not done it first at Disney. My friend just registered for her first 10k at the Wine n Dine weekend. Disney encourages people to step out of their comfort zones!
2. The entertainment on course is paralleled by none. I firmly believe it is impossible to beat runDisney for entertainment value. Between the characters stationed usually every mile to the high school and college bands and cheerleading teams they employ to encourage runners and motivate stragglers, Disney makes running one of the most enjoyable experiences ever, even for non runners. I had a blast at my first challenge event taking pictures with R2D2, Chewie, Darth Vader and more characters we don’t normally see inside the parks!
3. The Race Expo: This is probably one of the best expos I’ve ever been to. There are plenty of vendors selling everything from hydration and nutrition to running skirts, headbands, tervis tumblers, runDisney memorabilia and more. Insider tip: make sure to get to the expo on the first day. It’s typical of the official Disney merchandise to sell out fast during the expo.
4. The swag is awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by runDisney swag. They offer long or short sleeved technical shirts depending on the season, plenty of discounts and samples in the swag bag and after the races you get a giant snack box full of plenty of snacks and recovery items. Anyone who has done a Disney race before knows it’s all about that cheeessseee!
5. Medals…need I say more? Disney has the best medals, hands down. They are huge, heavy and high quality. (They should be for what we pay for them). You can even get them mounted and framed by several vendors from the expo. Along with the individual race medals, there are challenge medals that come along with completing some of the many challenge races (typically the 10k and 1/2) in the same weekend.