Hey y’all! Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is THIS WEEK. Can y’all believe it? I sure can’t. Today I wanted to answer some questions I got on Instagram in blog format. I already filmed a YouTube video answering these questions, which you can watch HERE. But I know I have different audiences on both platforms, so I figured I’d write this post.
Some of these questions are more generic and about running in general. Others are more specific to Princess Weekend. Let’s get into it!
How did you get started running?
I have a family history of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. My dad had a heart attack when I was only 14, and his parents both died of heart attacks at young ages. My maternal grandmother weighed around 300lbs and her and my aunt both struggled with diabetes and their weight. And today my own mother has diabetes as well. Ever since I almost lost my dad I put health first. I don’t want my family or future children to ever go through what I did, so I decided to kick my butt into gear. When I was 16 I was enrolled into a summer gym program at my high school so I didn’t have to take gym during the school year. That summer changed my life. I lost 15lbs through a lot of hard work and sweat. And after that summer I started going to the gym regularly and I haven’t stopped since. I would like to note that I am not strictly a runner. I have tried many forms of exercise including lifting, yoga, pilates, and barre classes. All work in their own ways and I personally believe they’re safest and most effective when combined in some way.
When did you start running? How long was it before your first race?
I started running in the summer of 2014, but I started training about 8-9 months before my first half marathon.
Music or no music when training?
No music. I’ve never been able to listen to music while doing things like running or studying. It’s super distracting to me. Also keeping earbuds in my ears is a challenge lol. I do like watching TV or YouTube while running on the treadmill. And I prefer actual headphones over earbuds.
Do you have to run or can you walk & enjoy?
RunDisney has a rule that you have to keep a 16 minute/mile pace, so you’d probably be safe with a brisk walk. It’s definitely doable to run/jog and take walking breaks. It’s important to note that if you don’t keep up with the pace required you WILL be picked up and be taken to the finish line. You’ll still get your medal, but I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing a medal I didn’t earn, despite having paid for it. The rule technically only applies to you if you’re released in the last wave of the last corral. If that isn’t you then you have extra time to spare.
If you have an annual pass does that change anything?
Not really. They used to allow APs and DVC to sign up for races early, but I am not quite sure if they do that anymore. A lot of changes have taken place with RunDisney over the past year, so some things are confusing now lol. But if my memory serves me right, APs do get a discount on race merch at the expo!
Will the email sign up notify you when you’re able to purchase registration?
Yes! If you sign up for RunDisney’s email list they send out reminder emails when registrations come close. But also be sure to keep on eye on their website. They list all dates and times registrations open on there.
How should you dress for the races?
This is completely up to you! But, you should also look at the weather. The weather will determine whether you’ll feel more comfortable in shorts vs. leggings, tank top vs. long sleeve, etc. I personally love wearing running skirts. If you’re traveling for this race I recommend bringing options. Better safe than sorry! You can read more about my favorite running brands in a blog post I’ll link HERE. I also have a YouTube video out with my running essentials you can watch HERE.
Advice on driving to the race?
I always recommend staying on Disney property for races due to convenience. They offer free transportation both to and from the expo, as well as each of the races. But if you are driving yourself the big piece of advice I can give you is: BE EARLY. Buses start at 3am on half marathon morning, and 3:30 on 5K and 10K morning. I am not sure where exactly you park if you are driving yourself, I only know that it is somewhere in the Epcot parking lot. But even if you take Disney’s transportation you have about a 10 minute walk to the security and race prep area. I recommend arriving between 3:30am-4am. Be prepared for traffic. Some Princess weekends there has been an hour’s worth of traffic, others there’s been none. It’s really the luck of the draw. Just be prepared for anything and DO NOT BE LATE.
When do spectators need to get into the parks?
The only race that *technically* has spectators in the parks is the half marathon. They can get to Magic Kingdom via the Epcot monorail. This answer is hard to explain in writing. So it’s probably best if you watch my Q&A video for this answer. Sorry y’all lol. But in short, I recommend spectators coming with their runner in the morning and getting help from volunteers from there. There are sometimes spectators at the tail end of the 10K in Epcot right before the park opens. But if you watch your runner there you WILL NOT catch them at the finish line.
Where are the starting and ending points of each race?
During Disney Princess Half Marathon all races start and end at the Epcot parking lot! Kids races take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Center, which is also where the expo takes place.
How early do I need to get there?
If you’re using Disney transportation I recommend taking the first bus of the morning. You can find bus information HERE from RunDisney’s website as well as in the lobby of your hotel during the weekend.
There you go! I hope y’all found this useful. I get so many questions about RunDisney, but these are some of the most common ones. If you have any other questions feel free to comment down below or connect with me on Instagram @TheNorthernPrepster. See you all during Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend!
Thanks for reading!