RunDisney Newbies: 10 Essential Tips for a Magical Race Experience

RunDisney Newbie Tips

Participating in a RunDisney event brings together two of the most magical things in the world: Running and Disney! Whether you’re a seasoned runner or completely new to the sport, this blog post is here to guide RunDisney newbies through their first race. From registration to race day, here are some essential tips to ensure a memorable and magical experience.

1. Choose the Right RunDisney Race and Distance:

RunDisney offers a variety of races throughout the year from the 5k to the full marathon to the Dopey challenge of 48.6 miles in one (long) weekend. As a newbie, (if you’re a new runner) consider starting with a shorter distance race, such as a 5K or 10K, to familiarize yourself with the unique atmosphere and logistics of a RunDisney event. This will allow you to ease into the experience and build confidence for future races.

Plus, the best part about the 5k is there is no time limit! RunDisney would prefer you move along the 5k course in a timely manner, but there are currently no balloon ladies sweeping the 5k course.

2. Plan and Register for RunDisney Races Early:

While it’s easy to have the first tip be to inform you to pick the right race, it’s important to note that you NEED TO REGISTER EARLY!!!!

Yes, capital letters and excess exclamation points were necessary.

You really do need to register early. Like more than half a year ahead of when you plan to run your race. RunDisney races are very popular and tend to sell out quickly, so it’s essential to plan and register early. Check the RunDisney website for race dates and registration opening dates. Be sure to set a reminder and be ready to sign up as soon as registration opens to secure your spot.

If you’re looking for more detailed registration tips, be sure to check out this post here.

3. Train Appropriately for Your RunDisney Race:

Training is crucial for any successful race. This includes RunDisney races. For real.

Sure, there’s a lot more magic and pixie dust happening at RunDisney events than any other race you’re going to find. However, neither that magic or that pixie dust is going to be powerful enough to carry you across the finish line if you don’t at least put some effort into your training plan.

Whether you’re a beginner or have prior running experience, it’s important to follow a training plan that gradually increases your mileage and incorporates rest days. Look for training plans specific to your chosen race distance and consider working with a running coach or joining a running group for added support and motivation.

There’s lots of ways to get the miles in. Be sure to start early so you don’t find yourself trying to cram everything in.

Spoiler Alert: Cramming everything in doesn’t work.

4. Embrace the RunDisney Theme:

If there was ever a time to get super excited about a themed race, it’s at a RunDisney event. While themes at running events are completely unique to RunDisney events, they definitely do the theme well. From the race shirts to the medals to the entertainment along the course, Disney takes it’s particular race’s theme and runs with it.

See what I did there? Runs with it…

But, I digress.

Be sure to be aware of the theme and run with it yourself in the form of an on-theme costume or post-race shirt. Both are things that Magic for Miles can help you out with.

Woman at RunDisney Expo wearing a Chase your dreams princess zip up hoodie. Part of the article

5. Familiarize Yourself with the RunDisney Course:

Before race day, take some time to review the course map and elevation profile. Believe it or not, there actually is a little bit of elevation during RunDisney events. Mostly in the form of on-ramps and exit ramps. The elevation change isn’t too steep, but when you’re 20 miles deep into a race, you’re going to feel it.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the starting area, water stations, and important landmarks along the route (aka when exactly will you see Cinderella Castle?). This knowledge will help you plan your race strategy and mentally prepare for the course ahead.

6. Pace Yourself During Your RunDisney Race:

On race day, resist the temptation to start too fast. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and energy of the event, especially when there are fireworks at the freakin’ start line. Start conservatively, find your pace, and gradually increase your effort as the race progresses (if appropriate for your race goals and that is how you trained). For your first RunDisney Race, crossing that finish line with a smile on your face should be your first goal.

Besides, you have to get those sweet finish-line pics.

7. Take Advantage of Character Photo Opportunities on the RunDisney Course:

Some of the best parts of a RunDisney race are all the characters along the race course. Unless you are trying to nail down at personal record at a certain distance, be sure to stop for a quick picture with the characters.

Pro Tip: The characters at the start of the race course tend to have the longer lines as a lot of people will stop for them. If you can, put a little distance between yourself and these crowds, waiting to stop for characters later in the race. Sometimes you can get enough ground on the groups of runners to get into character lines with smaller lines.

Disclaimer: If you happen to be starting in one of the later corrals, sometimes it is hard to get ahead of these crowds. So, if you see a character you like at the start of the race and the line isn’t too crazy long, be sure to stop. You don’t want to have regrets later!

8. Stay Hydrated and Fuel Properly:

Hydration and fueling are essential during a race, especially in the Florida heat. Take advantage of the water stations along the course and carry your preferred energy gels or snacks. There will be a few energy gels along the course if you are doing the longer races, but be sure it’s one your body can handle if you plan to use it. Listen to your body’s cues and make sure to hydrate and refuel at regular intervals to maintain your energy levels.

Oh, and remember, hydration starts lonnnggg before the race starts. Be sure to stay on top of it all week, especially if you aren’t used to the Florida heat and/or are traveling. Your body is going to need a little extra TLC to prep for the RunDisney event.

9. Soak in the Atmosphere as a RunDisney Newbie:

RunDisney events are known for their lively atmosphere and enthusiastic spectators.

Seriously. If we could bottle the magic that comes along with running down Main Street USA with all your closest friends and family (and the friends and family you never knew you had) screaming your name, it would be amazing.

Be sure to take the time to soak in all the magic (it really is magic, not just saying that). Enjoy the music (depending on the race you run you might see a drum line and/or a live choir!), cheer on fellow runners, and appreciate the unique experience of running through the Disney parks.

All. The. Magic!!!!

10. Celebrate Your Achievement:

Crossing the finish line of your first RunDisney race is a significant accomplishment. Take a moment to celebrate and savor your achievement.

It’s okay if you cry a few happy tears. They are going to blend in with all the sweat on your face anyhow, no one is going to know. But if they do, who cares! Crying is good for the soul.

After your cry-fest, collect your well-deserved medal, grab some finish line photos (don’t worry, you look fabulous), and go get that RunDisney food box. You can find out for yourself if that ‘plastic cheese’ everyone is talking about really is as good as they say it is.

Plus, bonus, you are no longer a RunDisney Newbie!!

Conclusion to RunDisney Newbies: 10 Essential Tips for a Magical Race Experience

There ya go! 10 essential tips for a magical race experience for RunDisney newbies!! With a little prep work and dedication, you’re sure to have a magical race time.

RunDisney Newbie Essential Tips

There’s even more to find over at the Magic for Miles Shop on Etsy. Want to stay up today with the latest Magic for Miles designs and get more helpful running, RunDisney and major race tips? Be sure to follow Magic for Miles over at IG @magic.for.milesFacebook, and Pinterest!

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