A runDisney race weekend is full of fun! From the Health and Fitness Expo to the after race celebrations, there are smiles all around! During the race itself, there is a lot to experience. Character meet and greets, DJs and music, running through the parks and even making new running friends along the way. However, with upwards of 25,000 runners during the race, the course can get a little crowded. Whether you are a new or veteran runner, here is a guide to help with race day etiquette!
Read through the event guide and race instructions. About a month before the race, runDisney releases an event guide. Inside includes information regarding the Expo, races, tips and more. Be sure to read through this guide as it includes important information regarding the race! It will let you know information on where to go on race day, specifics about the course and much more. Knowing this information before the race makes a HUGE difference!
Always be aware of those around you. This is key! Be aware of where other runners are – behind, to the side and in front. By doing so, it will ensure the safety of not only yourself, but the other runners as well. This is even more important when the lighting is dark – at the beginning of the morning races and during the night events. This applies while running, but also when disposing of items or trash, weaving around others, etc. No one wants to be drenched in Powerade or spat on!
Run/walk no more than two across. runDisney events are unique in that many runners use Galloway’s run/walk method or even walk a large portion of the race. While it is encouraged to run with friends (or even make them on the course), it is VERY important that you run or walk no more than two across. Since the courses can get quite crowded, you need to make sure there is room for others to get around you.
Signal (with a raised hand) if you are going to walk or stop. Whether you are using the run/walk method or if you need to get to the side to use the restroom, etc. – make sure you signal to those around you that you are slowing down or stopping. It is very common practice to raise your hand, so those around you are aware that you will be stopping. This will reduce the number of times you get bumped into!
Stay to the side so that those who need to pass can do so. While the seeded corrals help to keep those of a similar pace together, the addition of characters and entertainment means some may be making more stops than normal. It is best to stay to the side as much as possible, so that others can pass around you if needed. This helps with the overall flow of the course, which is important as there are areas that bottleneck.
Keep moving through aid stations. Throughout the race are various aid stations offering water (and Powerade for the longer distances). It is important to keep moving after grabbing your drink! Even if it is just a walk, make sure that you keep the flow going. This not only applies to aid stations, but photography stations as well – specifically the castle. Don’t stop unless it’s off to the side!
Encourage other runners (and thank the volunteers)! The running community is a wonderful thing. Keep the positivity flowing and encourage one another along the course! It is contagious and will make it a fantastic experience for everyone. Encourage those who may be hurting a bit. Clap for those who are headed for a PR. And, of course, thank every volunteer you see! They are what make the race even more magical!
And above all, Remember the Golden Rule. There is no denying that a runDisney event is full of fun! However, sometimes not-so-magical things occur. No matter what, remember the Golden Rule - treat others the way you would want to be treated. Keep your emotions and remarks positive, apologize if you bump into another runner, help each other out and the race will be even more spectacular!
By adhering to this guide and staying positive, the runDisney race can be a magical experience for everyone!