Disclosure: This post is sponsored by runDisney to promote their runDisney virtual races, however, all opinions are my own.
This January will mark ten years that I have been running in runDisney races. Not only was the marathon weekend half marathon in January of 2010 my very first runDisney event, but it was also my very first half marathon– ever! It also happens to be the year the weather went crazy and the temperature dropped into the teens and it sleeted as we lined up to run the half and no one had packed clothes or gear for these conditions. You might would think that would have been my first, and last half marathon, but that’s how magical Disney is yall. Even in the crazy conditions, I wanted more.
It took a little thoughts, but after running another half the next month in New Orleans and various shorter distances in the spring, I finally decided I wanted to run a full marathon, and not just any full, I wanted my first one to be at Disney World. My husband trained with me like he did for the half, and we conquered our first 26.2 together the next year.
We went on to run other various runDisney events like Princess and Wine and Dine, but marathon weekend always held a special place in my heart. To no one’s surprise, we ended up signing up to run Goofy’s race and a half challenge as a “one and done” for the experience (some would say torture) of back to back races (half on Saturday, full on Sunday.) After we finished the challenge, we both thought “ok, we did it. We completed Disney’s TOUGHEST event, we checked that box and are done.”
Well, wouldn’t you know, that year they came out with the Dopey challenge (5k, 10, half and full on back to back days.) Naturally, we signed up and completed the inaugural event in 2014. Little did I know when I ran Dopey and then flew across the country the next weekend with my mom to run the Tinkerbell 5k and half marathon that I was very newly pregnant with who we referred to at the time as “baby M.”
I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge the next month VERY nauseated, but I did it. We all joke that it’s why Emma Kate runs so much and is crazy to this day, she ran a bunch of races before she was even born!
I announced the pregnancy in March, and as anyone with kids knows, it’s a lot harder to train for and travel to destination races with a baby. I still managed to make it to at least one race a year, and y’all, it just never gets old. From the expo, to the starting line fireworks, the thrill of high fiving Mickey as you cross that sweet finish line to hearing your medals clank together as you walk through the parks (well, hobble through the parks) the next day. It’s all amazing, and so worth it.
2020 has been a wild ride, and has changed a lot of plans for everyone, including anyone who planned to run a runDisney event this year or early next year. While it won’t be exactly the same, my friends at Disney are going to great lengths to try and make runDisney virtual marathon weekend and princess weekend special. Did you know that even if you weren’t signed up to originally run in the races, you can still sign up to run virtually? Yes! Most races still have slots available! There are different levels of signup, but here is what you can get with the more magic option:
- Commemorative Finisher Medal
- Long Sleeve Event Tech Shirt
- Digital Bib and Finisher Certificate
- Digital Race Tool Kit featuring printable mile markers
- Digital Goodie Bag
- Virtual Playlist
Sounds great right? I think it will make for a super fun weekend activity and a way to feel connected to fellow runDisney runners. So guess what? I will be running with you!!! That’s right, I am signed up to run in the 10k for marathon weekend and I am pumped! I love me a Disney race shirt and medal, and I can’t wait to experience the magic at home.
While I won’t be visiting the parks or seeing fireworks (I mean, maybe we can make that happen?) there ARE some “pros” to running a runDisney virtual race. Below I am listing 5 of them:
-No early wake up call. That’s right, run whatever time of day you want!
-Pick your own running route. Don’t like those overpass hills? Run on a treadmill or a track/flat area. Score!
-You don’t have to stand in a corral while waiting for the race to start. I mean, obviously on property it is a necessity, but let’s face it. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s not my favorite part. So let’s skip it, shall we?
-No port-o-potties! Use the bathroom in the comfort of your own home, this is a huge win for me!
-No bus ride to the start or finish, or long walk before or after the race. Just hop in your car or run back into your driveway!
I hope you enjoyed my little list there. 🙂 Obviously the pros of a runDisney race on property far outweigh my attempt at humor above, but I just want to give you a little nudge to sign up for marathon or princess weekend. It will be a great motivator to keep you training and keep those pesky holidays pounds away through the holiday season.
If you have any questions about the runDisney virtual races, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on Instagram and send me a DM, I would be happy to help! I hope to “see” you out there on race day, so be sure to tag your social content with #rundisney and #WDWmarathonvirtual and #PrincessHalfVirtual
Related: My runDisney information page with ALL my runDisney posts!