New Thoughts on RunDisney Races

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RunDisney is what got me into running races. The 2014 Inaugural Avengers Half Marathon was my first race, followed by the 2015 Dumbo Double Dare, and the 2016 Princess 5k.

I was all set and registered to run the 2016 Inaugural Lumiere’s Challenge – however the presence of Zika in the state of Florida/my pregnancy made me back out (Disney was kind enough to offer a one-time refund due to the circumstances of both things (Zika+pregnancy)).

Earlier in 2016 – RunDisney stopped their deferment option for races – so if one is not able to attend their planned race, he/she will lose out on their money and will not be able to transfer their funds to another race. RunDisney’s new policy is not uncommon. Most races are non-refundable, however most races (especially half marathons and marathons) are not over $150. Add in a challenge and you are talking about a $300+ expense.

In addition to no deferments, RunDisney has now moved up their registration dates. Registration for the 2017 Wine and Dine Half Marathon, which takes place in November, is going on sale this week. It is common for races to sell out within hours, one would have to decide close to 11 months in advance if they are in for these events.

Of course there are other options besides registering directly though RunDisney, so you might be able to postpone your registration date- you could run with a charity, which would require you to raise a certain amount of money to participate. Running for charity seems like it would be a fulfilling way to participate – however fundraising can be challenging. It’s difficult to ask friends and family for donations. I do know many people who hold events like giveaways which gives an incentive for someone to donate.

Another option is to book a race package through a travel agent. Travel agents have access to race registrations and you can sometimes wait a little longer before you purchase them. Most of the time, a room reservation and theme park admission is required for you to purchase as well. Most of the time, this would make sense since you need a hotel room to stay in and most people do plan in spending some time in the theme parks. This option might not be good for someone who lives locally and/or someone who would prefer to choose their own hotel. Some travel agents offer trip insurance which can protect you if you are not able to make your trip.

Back in my young, wild, and free days (about a year ago) I could register for a race around 8 months in advance and be able to attend. With a baby on the way, life is going to get more unpredictable. I would LOVE to participate in a RunDisney event this year, however I just don’t think it’s likely.

When I do decide to jump back in the RunDisney game – I think I am planning to book through a travel agent – since I am an out-of-stater, a hotel room is necessary. I also know I will be visiting the theme parks.

Until then…I will suffer the major FOMO and live vicariously through the numerous RunDisney fanatics who I follow on social media.

How do you register for a RunDisney Race? Do you register through RunDisney, a charity, or do you book through a travel agent?

Picking Up the Paces

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My running pace is slowly increasing. My most recent weekday 5k run clocked in at an average pace of 12:11 per mile.

My average 2014 Avengers training pace was 14:30 per mile.

I need to credit my fastest 5k to my husband who ran with me and kept me at a brisk clip, we even raced a little towards the end.

Seeing these improvements in my time is so encouraging. It’s part of the reward of maintaining a running routine, and it keeps me going. The thought of one day comfortably holding a ten minute mile feels doesn’t feel like a pipe dream anymore.

When a daydream becomes a reality

As an avid daydreamer, I have imagined myself in exciting and fantastical situations throughout my entire life: winning  an Oscar, being awarded an Olympic gold medal, being best friends with the cast of Saved by the Bell. The majority of my fantasies have yet to be fulfilled and will most likely never become a reality. However, one of them came true last month.

As a lifelong Disney fan, I had always been dreamed of participating in a runDisney long distance race. I was never athletic and running was at the top of my list of “Physical Activities I Hate the Most”. For some reason, something clicked in me last year and I decided to train myself how to run by using the Couch25k program. The conclusion of my program conveniently fell around the same time that registration for the RunDisney Avenger’s Superheroes Half marathon opened up. I talked my more-athletic husband into signing up with me, and once the registration was confirmed, we had eight months to prepare.

We took the training very slow. We worked our way up to running 11 miles two weeks before the race. I am so grateful my husband decided to take part in this adventure with me because in addition to being my favorite person in the world, we also held each other accountable.

When the weekend of the race approached, we hopped on a quick flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles and drove down to Anaheim. We spent the day before the race exploring the Disneyland Resort and went to bed extra early in order to make the 5:30 am start time.

Looking back, the day of the race feels like a dream. It was everything I thought it would be and more. When I approached the finish line, it felt surreal and real at the same time. Surreal in the sense that I had daydreamed this moment for years and it was actually happening to me, and real in the sense that I had trained eight months for this — I earned this moment.

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Three days after I finished the race, I signed myself up for another half marathon. What once was a daydream has now turned into a hobby and an identity. I am a runner. I won’t be getting a gold medal anytime soon but I kind of like this one better.

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