The runDisney brand has added several races over the past 3 years for runners of all different levels. Like a puzzle, runDisney has filled in the gaps of the various distances runners enjoy to tackle. What used to be just 5ks, half, and full marathons runDisney now offers up a portfolio of 10 milers, 10ks, and several different distance challenges for the extreme runner.
For those of you considering racing in a runDisney event for the first time the entire portfolio of races offered can seem daunting. However, don’t look too far ahead of yourself. Each race weekend, runDisney offers a 5k for first time runners or those runners who don’t wish to tackle a long distance. Consider a 5k (3.1 miles) as your starting point. Once you are comfortable with the 5k distance then go to the next step which would be a 10k (6.5 miles). runDisney offers 10k races during Disney World’s Marathon Weekend and the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. These 10k races are relatively new and very popular as they sold out in record time.
If you want to take go to the next level and step into a longer, more enduring race runDisney offers a 10-mile distance which was just completed recently. The Tower of Terror 10-Miler is a night time race which offers a suitable distance for those runners who wish to ‘dip their toe in the water’ before running a half marathon. If you can complete a 10 mile run, a half marathon (13.1 miles) should be within your grasp.
Speaking of half marathons, it is runDisney’s most popular race lineup. Throughout the calendar year you’ll find half marathon races on both coasts to choose from. Some of the most popular half marathons are the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in January, the Princess Half Marathon in February, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in November, the Disneyland Half Marathon in September and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January. A half marathon is a very popular distance with the running community and runDisney has it covered throughout the year.
Part of runDisney’s claim to fame is their finisher medals. Typically, marathon, half marathon, and 10k finishers will find some terrific bling waiting for them at the finish line. And, if you’re lucky enough to register and finish a longer distance race during an anniversary year (typically an inaugural or every 5th year) the finisher’s medal is usually amped up with a new design, color, and little touches that make it extra special.
If a half marathon is not enough and if you’re the type of runner who is looking for an endurance challenge, a full marathon maybe what you’re looking for. runDisney offers one full marathon each year in January at the Walt Disney World Resort. You’ll have the opportunity to run through all 4 Disney World theme parks on a 26.2 mile journey that covers most of the property. If you are successful, you’ll be able to say you’ve completed the longest race runDisney offers. Don’t be surprised if you shed a tear or two at the finish line either from the euphoria of completing the race or the pain inflicted from such a distance, or both.
Sometimes running a single race may not be as exciting or enough for seasoned runners. That’s why runDisney is now offering various racing challenges throughout the year. The idea of combining races on different days to make up race challenges is becoming very popular with runDisney. For example, if you run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday, you will have completed the Goofy Challenge which will earn you an additional medal. The same is true if you run the Disneyland 10k on Saturday and then the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday you will have completed the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge and earn an extra medal for your efforts. runDisney has introduced the Dopey Challenge which requires runners to complete a 5k on Thursday, a 10k on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday, and a full marathon on Sunday. If you are successful in running the 48.6 miles you’ll earn the inaugural Dopey medal. Running these distances is not for everyone. You really need to assess your condition before attempting these challenges. The last thing you want is to hurt yourself, especially at a place that may be so far away from home. Make sure to stay hydrated, don’t push yourself past your limits, and have fun along the way.
As you can see, runDisney offers a wide-range of races for various running levels. You can also see a progression in the races offered. It’s all designed to get you up and moving, build confidence in completing a distance, and then, hopefully, you’ll feel the need to move on to the next distance or potentially the next challenge.
If you’ve considered trying a runDisney event, but are concerned about your running technique or endurance start small and build your way into a 5k. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. Don’t underestimate your ability to get yourself into shape and complete a distance you never thought you could. I’ve said it and several others before me have said it, “When you cross your first finish line it will change your life forever.” runDisney has made it possible for you to achieve your goals now and into the future.
Photos courtesy of runDisney
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Category: Disney World