As I mentioned yesterday, I've asked a couple of my previous runDisney running partners to share with the group their experiences at The Disneyland Half. Today's post is brought to you by Ronda, who was my very first runDisney running partner for my very first runDisney race! If you didn't know already, Stacey's must-dos are on Ronda's TV 24/7 while she's in Disneyworld, so I thought it only fitting she share with us her must-dos for the Disneyland Half marathon!
Top 7 Must-Dos For the Disneyland Half Marathon!
1. You won't win. The odds are not in your favor, so relax, HAVE FUN... you're in Disneyland! Finish times don't matter here. Remember this for the duration of the list. *If you are reading this I would be willing to bet money that you won't be THE winner, and that's okay!
2. LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD. You can race anytime, but this is Disney. Cameras and spectators are everywhere. Is this the time to pull out an old sweaty t-shirt and ratty shorts? NO! My personal motto is, "I'm not going to win, so I may as well look my best while not winning!" Plus, don't you feel better when you look better. And ladies, feel free to wear make-up. I will NOT judge you ... you'll see me at the finish line still in lipstick. *MAC long-last lipstick is the best, and gets me through every race of every distance!
3. Porta potties. Does anything sound more appetizing than using a little plastic box that's been baking in the Southern California sun? Uh, yeah. A lot does. You'll be running through theme parks for the first few miles. If you have to go, take advantage of real toilets, air conditioning, soap and water! And remember #1 on the list - you're not going to win so there is no need to pee yourself! Trust me, it happens. We witnessed it before we even hit mile 4 - which there is no excuse for considering you are surrounded by bathrooms in the park! DON'T PEE YOURSELF!
4. RUN WITH FRIENDS, if you can. I've raced with runDisney 8 times so far, and only 2 of those have been solo runs. The 2011 Princess Half was my first time ever running with someone - and had she not been with me who would have helped me fix my hair before I threw myself on Captain Jack Sparrow?? And while you're at it come up with a team name! "Pineapple Express" was the name for the 2012 WDW Half Marathon's most dysfunctional group (but we finished together, dammit!!!), "Tew Legit" is my team name with my husband (we're Tew Legit to quit!), "Sister Witches" was my Tower of Terror Team (sung to the tun of "Sister Christian), and the most infamous is Team Jam. In 2011 we set a new precedent on how to run the Disneyland Half Marathon!
5. Who says Halloween is the only time to wear a costume? Remember, we are running Disney -- if you can't race in silly costumes here then where can you?? But think smart and remember temperature! For the 2013 WDW Half "Tew Legit" ran in cowboy hats as Woody and Jessie ... and we were soaked 3 miles in. Dedicate yourself to your costume and be prepared to sweat! *For the marathon the next day I ran in a black cotton t-shirt with a cape as Batgirl. My costume commitment almost killed me during the last 10K - but the photos were worth it. DON'T DO COTTON!!
6. BRING A CAMERA! Photogs are everywhere and cast members will use your camera at character stops (although they might bitch if all 3 of your team members hand them a camera. Been there, done that.) This saves mega money if you don't want to purchase your photos. But fun photos also exist away from the parks and characters. Example: doing cartwheels in a random yard along the race course. Team Jam had over 400 photos after their Disneyland Half! *Note: cast members will censor your photos if you push the edge on creativity -- translate that into "don't try to lift your leg to hump a dog character". Also, once you leave the parks you are done with character stops for a majority of the race - so IF you are worried about pace and finishing in the time frame, you'll have plenty of miles without designated stops!
7. Smile. Take it in. DON'T RACE! Remember what I said - you aren't Kara. You aren't Meb. You paid A LOT of money, so don't treat this race as a Fastpass. Enjoy the "queue" that is the Disneyland Half Marathon race course! Take note of the "behind the scenes" things you don't usually see. Sing songs with friends. Talk to strangers and cheer each other on. Stop and smell the roses. Dance with the high school bands along the course. Share stories and bond with your team. *It took Team Jam 30 minutes just to complete mile 3 ... and we had zero regrets. Best race ever! It can be a "Once in a Lifetime" event, so don't waste it! You've earned every minute, every mile, every memory --- so bask in it!
ps- I'm featured on Karen's blog today, you should pop over and say hello!