Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So you wanna runDisney?

As race weekend gets closer, the more excited I become! (Don't get me started on news about The Disneyland Half weekend. . .more on that later!) The more I think about it and start planning for it, the less blood sweat and tears I remember going into preparing for it (just kidding, that's embedded in my brain forever!). I am by no means a runDisney expert, but I have picked up a few tips over the past year to make my weekend better and I thought I'd share. Luckily, Fred has run Goofy 3 times already, so he gets credit for a bunch of these, too. If you have any and would like to share, I'd be more than happy to update!


Print everything and have it with you. I have a specific Note in my phone called "LIST" and I have everything I need for any out of town race. This includes:

- Race Registration- it will save you time. You'll want to get to the expo asap (or that might just be me!) and having to look up your bib number takes up valuable time I could be buying things.
- Plane tickets
- Hotel Reservation
- Course Map
- The Race Program

Things to pack:
- Dramamine (again, this might just be me ;)

- CAMERA!- If you ever run a race with a camera, make it this one. Most character stops have Brightroom photographers, but not all. 

- This is probably a given, but bring everything with you, you'll need for the race. Then double it just in case. Disney's Expo is HUGE but it doesn't guarantee they'll have your favorite Gu or specific vendor with that headband you wanted.
- If you haven't already, practice eating a breakfast you can travel with. I'm a Luna or Clif bar fan. Unless you're staying somewhere with a stove and a toaster. In that case, please bring me a bacon and egg on a roll, please? 
- Race Day attire and alternates. I had 4 different outfits and alternates depending on how cold or hot it is (i.e. arm warmers, capris and shorts, etc) 3 years ago it was snowing, last year it was hot. It's Florida, be prepared for anything.

-Body glide. I prefer Vaseline (works better and stays longer) because chafing still happens if it's cold. 

- Ziplock Bags in case it rains for your cell phone/ camera/ things you don't want to get wet. Even if it doesn't rain, it's a good place to put money, credit cards or room keys and not get them sweaty. 

- Sunblock!! Even though it's "winter" and you're starting in the dark, it will still get hot and sunny on the course and you will need it. Or you can just imagine what that bottle of Banana Boat is going to cost you in the gift shop.

- Speaking of gift shops items to avoid having to buy: Medicine. I have a ziplock bag with a sample of every medication I could possibly need. Just a few off-hand: Head Cold/Congestion Medicine - DAY & NIGHT, Gas X, Tums, Immodium, Advil, Tylenol, Claritin, Tampons/ Midol, EmergenC. You never know! 

- Want to stay hydrated but hate Florida water? Don't forget your Brita filtered water bottle. Saves my life every time I go.


SAVE YOUR LEGS! and your park tickets until after the race. It's going to be exciting and you're going to want to do a lot as soon as you get there. Try your hardest to chill out though. I promise the New Fantasyland will still be there the day after the race. I'm a fan of hanging out at my hotel the first day, especially if I've never stayed there before. Each hotel is an attraction in itself and there's tons to see! I'm also a HUGE fan of watching the nightly movie by the pool. 


- Leave early. Yes, you will be awake longer and spend a lot of time hanging out in the cold, but Disney does an amazing job of pre-race entertainment (shout out to the DJs! They're awesome!). You can get a good warm up in or just soak up more of the exciting energy. But seriously, this is the biggest race of the year and depending on how popular your hotel is, your bus line might be obnoxious. Better safe than sorry! 

- Have everything you need for breakfast with you. The food court of the hotels might not open in time for the races (I know for a fact they haven't for the 5k, I think they might have for the other races) I need coffee (even if it is the stuff Disney likes to pretend is coffee) and I know they sell it at the 5ks.

- On that note, I don't usually get the preferred rooms, so I usually have a hike to and from the lobby. I usually put my mug in my checked bag. That way when I get back to the hotel, I can grab something to drink on the way back to my room. 

- Layer! It's going to be way cold when you start, but when the sun comes out it's going to get hot. And there is going to be a lot of uncovered course (Oseola Parkway anyone? I don't even want to think about the added speedway this year) and lots of sun. It might feel silly to have sunglasses on your head in the dark at 3am, but you'll need them later. 

- There are portapotties by the corrals. Don't wait in the obnoxious line by bag check if you can help it. You have a 20-30 minute walk to the corrals from there and the ones by the corrals have always had little to no lines.

- On that long walk, remember to pay attention to your surroundings, just because you're in a huge crowd of humans traveling very slowly, doesn't mean you're safe to be dumb. I've heard of people tripping on cones and other randomness.


- Don't sit right away. Wander around a bit. Stretch.

- I travel with a mini foam roller and stick everywhere I go. Invest. If you really don't have room, bring your stick. I've heard of people getting theirs taken away in carry-on luggage; So, if you have room, check it. No slacking on recovery efforts! It will help you walk around the parks the next day.

- Bag check bags can double as ice bath bags. I ice bathed both days last year- after the Half on Saturday and after the Relay on Sunday. Anything over 10 miles, I always ice bath- I swear by them. A lot of people say Epsom Salt baths help, too but ice is always better for me. 

- Bag check bags also double as dirty clothes bags. I highly recommend you separate your running clothes from the rest and seal the bag closed. 

- Make reservations for a buffet, seriously. If not that day, the next. Runger is a real condition. 

- Wear your medal for the rest of the trip! The ribbon will be annoying though. It will scratch the back of your neck. I don't have a solution for this. Fred says a collared shirt works for this. If it's cold enough, maybe a hoodie and put the ribbon under the hood? 

- Enjoy yourself! You just rocked a race many will never attempt. And you're in the happiest place on earth. What could be better?!


  1. Please, please, please say you're considering Dumbo Double Dare! I was sold on it the minute I saw it. Good list- even though I've run WDW a couple of times now, but I may need to refer to your list so I don't forget anything!

    1. I was already planning on Disneyland Half for my C2C, this is just an added bonus :)

      I have to look at the list, too. For ToT, I forgot sunblock. That was a pretty penny and I couldn't even bring it back with me bc I didn't check a bag. UGH!

    2. Yay!!! I'm more excited for Dumbo than Goofy. Maybe because it seems to much easier. I'm getting to the worried stage of my training. lol!

    3. I am too! I'm a total fan of the 10k. It's my favorite distance and I'm glad Disneyland is getting more races.

      Don't be nervous. I'm sure I'm going to hit that soon too. But we totally got this!

    4. I am so ridiculously excited about Dumbo!!

    5. Right?! It almost over shadows the one coming up. I'm excited I'll have a "goofy" I can do!

  2. Great post! I need to start thinking about stuff like this. Goofy will be my first runDisney event and also the farthest I have ever travelled for a race. Lots to think about and remember when it comes to packing and being prepared! Getting so excited!

    1. Honestly, you sparked this post with a comment a few posts back.

      No worries, it'll be awesome and you picked a great year to do it. I'm excited training is over and I can look forward to the packing!

  3. Sunblock!! I forgot that one time and regretted it!! This is a great list and a list is such a good idea - I almost forgot my breakfast one time and would have, except I happened to look at a packing list someone else had posted. Whew!! I echo the travel foam roller or stick - I finally invested in a travel stick for Vegas and it was so nice to have with me. I can't believe I waited this long!

    1. Right?! It's always the random insignificant thing like sunblock that will mess you up.

      I was forgetting stuff too, that's why I put the list in my phone so I always had access to it.

      I left my foam roller home but brought the stick for the 1st time. I still need the roller :( Boo!

  4. This really made me want to run a Disney race! I don't think I'll be able to justify the vacation time and plane fare anytime soon, but it's on my bucket list for someday!

    1. Definitely a bucket list thing to do! It combines my favorite things.
      Hope to see you there one day!

  5. I've just bought some new tops to take down and race clothes are already set aside just waiting to be packed. I cannot wait!!!!

    Oh, and don't let Fred get all food crazy and eat every single bad thing the night before the marathon this time!

    1. You're better than me. I'll start packing this weekend after I do laundry. It's so hard to know how to pack though with that crazy weather.

      haha. I have no control over what that man does.