Advice for a Disney run

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In my non-professional opinion, here's what you need to know about running Disney. 
1. Go the Expo on Friday, or the first day it opens. I was completely and utterly overwhelmed by what awaited me at the race expo. It was loud. It was ADD like. It was scary. And one of the workers commented, "Yeah, but you should see what it's going to look like in here tomorrow!" Get it out of the way early. Plus, they won't be out of freebies yet! 
2. Stay on Disney property. I know this sounds expensive, but it was the best move for me. The shuttles took us directly from Saratoga Springs to the Expo at the ESPN complex and to and from the race the day of. Had we driven, I would have been extra panicked about times and making it to the places we needed to be. I figured if a whole bus of us were late, though, they'd have to let us race! Plus, they take care of getting your luggage to and from the airport -- no worries there!
3. Get on the shuttle early. Shuttles ran from 3-4 a.m. and we were called to our race corral at 4:45. It was about a 20 minute shuttle ride. We got on about 3:30, and that worked perfectly. I had enough time to get there, buy a shot glass, get nauseated, wait in the port-a-potty line for 25 minutes, and cry while saying goodbye to my parents. It was enough time to enjoy the sights and sounds but not let my nerves totally take over. 
4. Potty early, potty often. Disney rocks at making sure there are enough bathrooms available. I pottied before I went in to the corral and then again as I was walking to my post. Disney even had potties around mile 1, and you'd be stunned at the amount of people who stopped (seriously, you can't hold it until mile 2?). The bathrooms in the Magic Kingdom are open and available to the runners, but the lines were looooong, so if you don't mind that much, just hit the port-a-potties. I went around mile 7 and the lines weren't too long. 
5. Stretch immediately. After you cross the finish line, they wind you through a little area where you get your medal and take your finisher photo. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT you need to stretch. Do not go to the food table. Do not leave the finishers area! Drop to the ground and sip (chug) your water while you stretch. I didn't do this. I told myself, I'll stretch when I find my parents! Forty minutes later, I told myself, I'll stretch when we wait for the buses! When we didn't have to wait for a bus and walked right on, I told myself, I'll stretch at the hotel! I did, but that was about 90 minutes after finishing. Mistake! 
6. Take your support team. You will need people to cheer you on and people waiting on you at the finish line so you don't take so long. You will also need people to get you water, bags of ice, TONS of food for your voracious appetite, and to hold your arm as you travel up and down stairs. This is not a joke. Take your people, people!
7. Smile the entire time. Why, you ask, would this go on the list of things you need to know about running Disney? Because the cameras are everywhere. EVERYWHERE! I got an email with all the pictures of me in them. In most, I look like I've been running for days. In one, where I actually saw the camera, I attempted to do an open mouth excited face. I look like I'm attempting to eat the camera. It's not pretty. But, there are a few where I at least look pleasant. :)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like awesome advice for running Disney! It's so funny, not long ago you were a bundle of nerves as your race approached & now you're done, you made it (and a good time to boot) and you sound like an old pro! Great job paying attention to & reporting on all the "important stuff" :)


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