Do you runDisney?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Do you runDisney?

There's something about a Disney vacation that's a great motivation to get up off the couch and get moving. Most folks walk a little further to get ready for the distance that they'll cover just doing the parks, but for many Disney has provided an opportunity to focus on health and fitness by beefing up their runDisney events program.

The runDisney program has made getting fit fun, and offers a great reward at the end of a program. Watching the videos from the races is inspiring as there are people of all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles at Disney races. Disney even gives medals and very generous pace allowances to the 5K participants. I find that really important because it's the "gateway" distance for many people that gets them hooked on participating. Disney also offers training & nutrition tips from world renown coaches and athletes. They put on a no hold barred fitness expo before each race creating community, and supporting the goals of all their participants, runners and walkers alike.

Do you runDisney? If not, what's stopping you? Which of the great Disney races appeals to you most?

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I don't run, I walk. I tried jogging a few years back, but my knees complained so I went back to walking. At my age, I'd rather walk knowing my knees can handle it rather than try running and end up not even able to walk for a while because I injured a knee.

So, what are the options at these races for walkers? I can walk a 5K any day of the week - and frequently do that or farther.

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Disney races are fantastic for walkers! I've done two Disney 5Ks as a walker, and I have friends who have walked the Marathon.

runDisney Events always put out a pace requirement for each event that is usually about 15/16 Minutes a Mile. If you are slower then that, you can be "swept" at any point during the race. That essentially means that they pick you up at the point you fall behind, stick you in a van and drive you to the finish line.

I know that for the 1/2 Marathons and the Marathons that the pace requirement is in place and isn't too flexible. That's because they have to close roadways. My experience with the 5Ks however is that the pace requirement is more of a guideline because the routes are largely through Parks. My usual pace is about 18 minutes and I've had many people behind me every time.

Race walkers register for the events the exact same way that the runners do. During registration it will ask you to estimate your pace. When you line up at the start walkers just make sure that they're in the back. Walkers get the same swag package that the runners do (Tshirt, race bib, finishers medal, optional pins) the same access to the Expo, CheEAR Zone, pre & post race activities. There are a LOT of people who walk the Disney races.

The only real down point to being a walker in a Disney race is that you may not have as much time to get your picture taken with the Characters along the way. That's entirely up to the pace that you're keeping, it's just a numbers game. If you're running a 12 minute mile, you have more time to stop and wait in line for pictures than if you're doing an 18 minute mile.

My daughter and I are going to attempt the 2014 Princess 1/2 Marathon as walkers. Well, she runs/walks, I'll probably just walk. I may get swept, but as long as I make it to mile 6 (through MK) I'll be pretty dern happy.

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Could you clarify that pace requirement? Should it read "15/16 minutes per mile?"

Thanks for the info! As I said, I know I can walk a 5k easy peasy. I do longer than that all the time. I could also handle a 10k with no difficulty - I've walked close to that distance. 10 miles is longer than I've ever walked nonstop but I think I could handle it. I'd have to work up to a half marathon, assuming I'd be allowed to walk the whole course without getting swept.

The pace would be an issue for me if it's strictly enforced. You've met me, you KNOW how short my legs are! I can walk a 20-minute mile up to about an hour and a half, but after that I slow down a little - my best time for 5 1/2 miles (my longest nonstop walk) is 2 hours. This is at a brisk pace, but not racewalking pace. I could work at trying to pick up the pace. But honestly, missing the character photo ops wouldn't be an issue for me. I'd be there to walk. I can get character photos in the parks.

I'm sure there are water stops along the way; what about portajohns?

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crazycatperson wrote:
Could you clarify that pace requirement? Should it read "15/16 minutes per mile?"

The pace would be an issue for me if it's strictly enforced. You've met me, you KNOW how short my legs are! I can walk a 20-minute mile up to about an hour and a half,

I'm sure there are water stops along the way; what about portajohns?

rolling Yes... 15 or 16 minutes to cover 1 mile. I went back and edited that.

So you could finish a Disney 5K no problem at all. There are water/powerade stations and porta-potties on the course. While running/walking through the parks the flushies are also available for use. For the 1/2 Marathons they also add "goo" stations for energy boosts.

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I did the 5K at the Wine and Dine last year. It was awesome! This year we are planning on doing either the Tower of Terror 10 Miler or the Wine and Dine Half. Haven't decided which one yet confused

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I'm actually planning on doing the Tinkerbell Half Marathon next January in Disneyland. I really wanted to do the Disneyland Half that is late August/September, but registration was sold out in 24 hours! But I've already started training and my goal is to have around a 13 min/mile pace!

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macdamron wrote:
I'm actually planning on doing the Tinkerbell Half Marathon next January in Disneyland.

Awesome! Yes, that one sold out crazy fast. I think Disneyland is going to have to look into adding another couple of races soon.

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Kristen, I am now inspired to do one of these!! The problem is that they tend to fall during the school year, so I would need to plan for a day or two of leave. Like crazycatperson, I too can walk a race, but also like her, my knees and ankles can no longer handle the jogging I once put them through. My best walk time can even get to a 12 minute mile or better if I train, but 15 is a comfortable pace for the long haul. I would totally LOVE this. Must look into it. mickey

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disneydoc wrote:
Kristen, I am now inspired to do one of these!!

That's awesome! I hope that you do, they're really fun.

They are usually held during the school year, and I think that's for two reasons, one to draw crowds at slower times of year and two because of more comfortable weather conditions. I'm sure you could do it with just a day or two of leave! For the Princess 1/2 I know several people who have flown down Friday night, done the expo and packet pick up on Saturday, run the race on Sunday morning, and headed home that night. People really just have that much fun at the Disney races!

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Sounds very doable. So when is the next race?

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we plan on doing this at one point

both my wife and i were quite over weight at one point, she is down almost 80 pounds, i'm down 15 ish
and this is one of goals at the end. the sweeping thing has always worried me, i have never been a fast runner even when i was in shape in high school, i'd be awful upset if i trained hard for a whole year, paid a vacation to come down and do the 5 or 10 k, and not be able to complete, cause i'm running a bit to slow

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Thehowells wrote:
i have never been a fast runner even when i was in shape in high school, i'd be awful upset if i trained hard for a whole year, paid a vacation to come down and do the 5 or 10 k, and not be able to complete, cause i'm running a bit to slow

First, congrats on the weight loss!

I completely understand about the sweeping, that scared me at first too. I've haven't been able to get down under and 18 minute mile yet. Though the time requirement for a 5K is usually published at a 16 minute mile pace requirement I can tell you that for my first Disney 5K I finished at 1 hour 3 Minutes with a LOT of people still behind me. For my second race, even though I had been training at an 18 minute mile I slowed down (a lot) to stay with a friend and coach/cheer her through to the finish. She (we) crossed the finish line at 1 hour and 20 minutes and we were close to last, but there were still a few people behind us. For the Disney 5Ks I personally feel "safe" from being swept if I know I can finish in under an hour. I wouldn't want to push it past that again though.

The longer races (10, 13.1 & 26.2 Miles) are a completely different story. You *have* to be on the published pace for those. I've had friends swept during the half marathon, I've also had friends who reached their limit and climbed into the sweeper van because they were just plain done.

Check out this video from the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and the story of the girl who finished last. It's pretty fantastic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5vwIjXwYGqo

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no worry about the longer race, i have no false idea of running a full marathon or anything like that

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Oh I'm so glad you posted this!! You guys always have such great info (I don't post much, but I read all the time!) I just signed up (in a total impulse decision) for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler!! I've already made my resort reservations (CBR) and my excitement Disney obsession is beyond out of control!! It's motivating me to eat cleaner and run more. clapping I'm seriously considering signing up for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon the following month. I'm turning 35 this year and I've always wanted to run the Disney races, so I decided what better time to do it and why go half way?? Let's do 'em all!! But I do have a couple of questions:

1) When I registered it asked me if I was a DVC member (not yet!) or an Annual Pass holder. Are there benefits to being a pass holder when you register for the race (do you get something special or a discount on the entry fee?) or are they just collecting metrics??

2) As a follow on the the above, if I do register for multiple races (and unless I get furloughed from work I will probably sign up for Wine and Dine 2013 and Princess 2014), clearly an annual pass makes the most fiscal sense (although they do discount the tickets nicely for race participants!). What's the best way to buy an annual pass?? Do it now (I've heard prices may go up for tickets starting in April) and activate it in October - if you can do that? Or just wait until I get down there?

3) For the ToT I will most likely be a party of 1. Can you make ADRs for just one person? Nothing to exciting, but I'd like to do the princess breakfast at Akershus.

I hope to see some of you out there!! This looks like a super friendly race for "back of the packers" like me. Can you tell I'm excited??

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JMUDukz wrote:

3) For the ToT I will most likely be a party of 1. Can you make ADRs for just one person? Nothing to exciting, but I'd like to do the princess breakfast at Akershus.

I've made several ADRs just for myself the last couple of trips.

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JoAnn C wrote:
JMUDukz wrote:

3) For the ToT I will most likely be a party of 1. Can you make ADRs for just one person? Nothing to exciting, but I'd like to do the princess breakfast at Akershus.

I've made several ADRs just for myself the last couple of trips.

Awesome. Thanks!!

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Hi I have been really inspired by the Run Disney events and other members positive feedback on this site too. My husband and I are hoping to do the wine & dine 5k ( I am in recovery from a serious illness so don't want to do the half marathon as my first event, however the aim is that we do the 5k to see how it all works and then do a longer race the following year - there is another thread where Spook gives info about this as she did 5k last year and I was asking her about it). It keeps snowing here so I have only been able to go running 3 times since Xmas, but I have until November to train and I really, really want to do this!

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Miss Mikki wrote:
Hi I have been really inspired by the Run Disney events and other members positive feedback on this site too. My husband and I are hoping to do the wine & dine 5k ( I am in recovery from a serious illness so don't want to do the half marathon as my first event, however the aim is that we do the 5k to see how it all works and then do a longer race the following year - there is another thread where Spook gives info about this as she did 5k last year and I was asking her about it). It keeps snowing here so I have only been able to go running 3 times since Xmas, but I have until November to train and I really, really want to do this!

It is so hard to run during the winter. I'm definitely a warm weather runner, I see a few snow flakes and I'm back in bed. Good luck with your training. Check out the Galloway method. I think it's one of the best programs out there and I still use it for every race I do. See you in November at the Wine and Dine!!

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Well hello there! stars Welcome stars to the forum and thanks for joining in the conversation! DIsney races are crazy amounts of fun, especially in the back of the pack, where you'll frequently find folks singing and dancing down the road as well as running.

JMUDukz wrote:

1) When I registered it asked me if I was a DVC member (not yet!) or an Annual Pass holder. Are there benefits to being a pass holder when you register for the race (do you get something special or a discount on the entry fee?) or are they just collecting metrics??

There are! I can't speak to the AP, however there has been in the past a discounted registration fee for DVC members on many of the races.

JMUDukz wrote:
2) As a follow on the the above, if I do register for multiple races (and unless I get furloughed from work I will probably sign up for Wine and Dine 2013 and Princess 2014), clearly an annual pass makes the most fiscal sense (although they do discount the tickets nicely for race participants!). What's the best way to buy an annual pass?? Do it now (I've heard prices may go up for tickets starting in April) and activate it in October - if you can do that? Or just wait until I get down there?

My personal opinion is that yes, you should buy the AP as soon as possible and activate it in the fall. Ticket rates went up in June both 2011 & 2012.

JMUDukz wrote:
3) For the ToT I will most likely be a party of 1. Can you make ADRs for just one person? Nothing to exciting, but I'd like to do the princess breakfast at Akershus.

I loved the Akershus breakfast when I did it last year, it's fantastic. Yes! You can totally make an ADR for one person.

JMUDukz wrote:
I hope to see some of you out there!! This looks like a super friendly race for "back of the packers" like me. Can you tell I'm excited??

I know we've got at least two other people besides myself planning on the Princess 1/2 in 2014. Perhaps we'll have to arrange a meet up for the "Grown Up Princesses!"

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I ran the WDW half this past January and it was my FAVORITE RACE EVER (and I've been running for...oh...25 years or so). I had so much fun and we planned a family trip to last the following week, so it was an amazing kickoff to an amazing week. I DESPERATELY want to do the Goofy next year, and I'm hoping we have purchased our DVC property by then so we can vacay again.

I also signed up for the Disneyland Half on Labor Day weekend so I can get the Coast to Coast medal. Smile I think everyone should do a Disney race, especially non-runners, because they are so well-organized and so fun.

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Congrats taratru and good luck in the Disney Half.

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Run? I thought that was something you get on your pantyhose ?? wink I don't run and I've got the body to prove it!

Best wishes to all the other runners and may the Running Gods keep you fit to complete your goals! awesome

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mimi wrote:
may the Running Gods keep you fit to complete your goals! awesome

The best blessing someone can give me right now!

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I have been doing the runDisney races for a couple of years now - I love them!

I too am thinking about getting an annual pass since I am going so often for the races now. Good to know they usually go up in June so I'll do it sooner rather then later and activate at Wine and Dine in November. I have a couple of additional questions about the annual pass that I can't find via google. Hoping someone can help me out on the answers!

If I get an annual pass, can I still book my room through the runDisney group? I know those room rates are usually cheaper then the normal rates. Anyone know?

Does everyone in the room need to have an annual pass? I go with different groups of people to the races and some don't/won't have an annual pass. Wondering if I can still book a park ticket for them and do the dining plan?

Any help would be appreciated!

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welcome sapodzio! I don't know much about the annual passes but I'm sure someone here will be able to answer your questions!

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sapodzio - You can get room only rates through runDisney so I don't see a problem with having an annual pass. I don't believe everyone would need one either. You might however find better rates through having your AP than through runDisney depending on the time of year. It would at least give you another discount option to research!