I don’t always run, but when I run, I RunDisney

Out of the 12 races at Disney World, I have participated in every event weekend at least once, and completed all the races except for the Marathon, and three of the 5Ks – so I’m not saying I’m an expert, I’m saying I have a problem! Which brings me to two weeks ago, when I departed for my traditional girl’s weekend to Disney World so that I could participate in the Princess Half Marathon weekend with my two BRFs (Best Running Friends) Sarah Beth and Hope… and I was reminded once again why when I choose to run, I choose to RunDisney!

My first RunDisney event - ESPN the Weekend (R.I.P.) 5K in 2009

My first RunDisney event – ESPN the Weekend (R.I.P.) 5K in 2009…They didn’t even have corrals for this event!

1. Costumes

I love a good costume, and I especially love a good hand-made costume. RunDisney races are definitely the place for both and I have a great time every year brainstorming and crafting up some Disney-themed, running appropriate attire! This year we ran the 5K as Flora, Fauna and Merryweater from Sleeping Beauty, and did the Enchanted 10k as Newsies! Our fairy costumes were so popular that strangers asked to take photos with us, and when we popped into the Magic Kingdom to get our photo with Sleeping Beauty, the cast members and photographers loved it.

Frozen 5K and Enchanted 10K costume creation and design

Frozen 5K and Enchanted 10K costume creation and design…Yes, the tutus lit up. Awesome. #ifidosaysomyself

Newsies, Fairies, Queen of Hearts & Gaston, Fireside Girl, Cheshire Cats

Costumes through the years: Newsies, Fairies, Queen of Hearts & Gaston, Fireside Girl, Cheshire Cats

Make it pink! Make it blue!

Make it pink! Make it blue!

2. The Bling & The Swag

Aren’t medals pretty? Is there a better reason to run? I personally don’t think so. And it makes me terribly happy to have a tangible result of all my hard work – it makes all the training runs worth it! And I’m usually doing those training runs in a nice performance tech running shirt that I got with my race entry.(Teensy Weensy RunDisney Negative Thought Alert: Too many grey-ish shirts lately, but they listened for Princess Weekend 2015. Oh and the race entry fees are ridiculous. Worth it, but ridiculous).

My precccciooousssss (es).

My precccciooousssss (es).

RunDisney bibs and shirts

RunDisney bibs and shirts

3. Entertainment

No one entertains like RunDisney entertains. There are characters all along the course, music, marching bands and performers. Often the characters are “rare”, like Baseball Donald or Captain Barbossa – a character you can’t get a photo with by just entering Disney World. I’ve found that the Princess Half is the place to be for the best rare character experiences.

Baseball Donald - Enchanted 10K goal, complete!

Baseball Donald – Enchanted 10K

Pluto with Antlers

Pluto with Antlers – Frozen 5K

Sailor Donald - Expedition Everest Challenge

Sailor Donald –                Expedition Everest Challenge

Captains Barbossa and Jack Sparrow - Donald Half Marathon

Captains Barbossa and Jack Sparrow – Donald Half Marathon

4. Runner Treatment

RunDisney treats runners right. As a loud and proud “back of the pack” runner, I can definitively say I have never reached the end of a RunDisney race and there not be a banana and Runner’s snack box waiting for me. Not to mention cooling towels at hot races and warming blankets at cold races (like this year…30 degrees really put the ‘frozen’ in Frozen 5K). And this year RunDisney really upped their snack box game, which is always a lovely treat on the bus ride back to the hotel when you want to simultaneously eat your arm and fall asleep (Teensy Weensy RunDisney Negative Thought Alert: The races start SO EARLY. We get on busses to go to the start line at 3 a.m.).


Everything in my runner snack box

Everything in my runner snack box

Huddled in my RunDisney provided Mylar blanket after the very Frozen 5K

Huddled in my RunDisney provided Mylar blanket after the very Frozen 5K

5. Organization

RunDisney is a well-oiled machine. Everything is clearly marked, bag check is a breeze, busses run fairly smoothly and I’ve rarely had a problem with any of the logistics of running a RunDisney race. FIFTY THOUSAND runners descended on Disney World to participate in Princess Weekend this year – and it took me literally 6 minutes to get my bib, seconds to get my shirt, and 2 minutes when I needed to exchange the shirt for a different size at the Expo. They know what they’re doing. And shout out to the 3,000 volunteers – I may not have gasped my thank you for that water cup loudly, but I meant it!

Princess Expo 2014

Princess Expo 2014

6. Community

The RunDisney community is widespread and ever-growing. As my RunDisney obsession was blooming, I depended on blogs such as this one, or this one, and even fan-girled over meeting the woman behind this one. And then, one of my BRFs even started this one. If you’re interested in RunDisney anything, check out these blogs for information and race recaps that will help you learn every detail you’d ever need to know to make every mile magical! (And no, I don’t know all these people – I just have found their blogs, twitter feeds and Facebook pages to be vital to my RunDisney life!)

My No-Guilt Life

Random Ramblings of a Running Princess

Running Happily Ever After

Run. Walk. Repeat


Some of my RunDisney community!

7. Mickey Pretzels & Dole Whips & Grey Goose Slushies

I run for drinks and Mickey-shaped food and there is no shame in my game.

My reasons to run...

My reasons to run…

Lots of photos, lots of costumes, lots of RunDisney love!

Let me know in the comments what you think…Why do you RunDisney? And if you don’t already, are you ready to RunDisney?