In less than 2 weeks, many runDisney runners will get to experience the magic of running through Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure and the streets of Anaheim!
In a west coast event that includes Kids Races, Family Fun Run 5K, Disneyland 10K, Disneyland Half Marathon and the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, families are starting to prepare for their magical weekend! Here are a few tips to help in your preparation!
Packing & Travel
Many runners will be traveling for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend events. Whether you are flying or driving, you don’t want to forget anything important or have a stressful trip.
Make a list. When you start your packing process, it really does help to make a list so you don’t forget anything. Sure you can purchase items at the Expo, but you should never try anything new on race day!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Travel takes a lot out of you, so make sure that you are hydrating while traveling, as well as when you get to Anaheim.
Give yourself buffer room. With the races starting Saturday morning, ensure enough time to get to Anaheim in order to get your race bib(s) and sleep before the race. Feeling rushed is not a good way to start your magical weekend!
If you are flying, be sure to check out our tips on flying to a runDisney event!
The Health & Fitness Expo is a lot of fun, but it can also be extremely chaotic. Here are some tips to help you navigate the Expo with ease!
Print your documents ahead of time. In order to get your race bib, you will need to print out your waiver. (Note: A separate waiver is also needed for ChEAR Squad and Pasta in the Park Party.) If someone else is picking up your bib for you, they will need your signed waiver, a photocopy of your ID as well as the Packet Pick-Up Authorization Form (under Runner Info). Also, be sure to read the Final Race Instructions for all races as well as ChEAR Squad and Pasta in the Park.
Arrive early. If you would like a chance to get runDisney merchandise, getting to the Expo on the first day is a must. The merchandise sells out extremely fast! Keep in mind there are also a lot of local runners for this event, which may mean more crowds during lunchtime or late afternoon. (If the merchandise is not on your radar, then mid to late afternoon is best.)
Check out the vendor list. The Health & Fitness Expo for the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend includes over 60 vendors! In the Official Race Program, you can see a list of the vendors that will be at this year’s Expo. Is there a piece of clothing or running gear you have been eyeing? Head to the booth and you may be able to pick it up at a discount! Thinking about trying a new fuel or nutrition product? See if a booth has a sample or talk with those in the booth to see if it is a right fit for you. Need a place to hang all of your new medals? Head to the SportsHooks booth for their wonderful Disney-inspired medal hangers!
Pam & Christine at We Run Disney also have some great Expo tips!
Whether it be Kids Races, the 5K, 10K or Half Marathon (or a combination), there is a lot of preparation that occurs. Try not to let the nerves take over and just enjoy your race!
Follow your schedule. You have trained for this race, so you know how early you need to get up, what you need to eat beforehand, etc. Don’t stray from this! Keep in mind that for the Disneyland races, the start line is (usually) within walking distance. Time how long it takes you to walk to the Expo, then you’ll have an idea of when you need to leave your hotel!
Enjoy the parks. For the 5K, 10K & Half Marathon courses, you will be running through both parks! This is where you can take your time to enjoy the scenery, as well as take photos with your favorite characters. Keep in mind, the 10K and Half Marathon courses will also take you on the streets of Anaheim, so enjoy the parks as they go by quick!
Make a plan with your spectators. If you are spectating, be sure to print out a course map and find locations where you will spot your runner. Since the half marathon course includes areas in Anaheim, there are MANY spots to cheer on your runner and many within walking distance! (Note: spectators can ONLY go inside Disneyland Park for the half marathon with a Gold or Platinum ChEAR Squad package.) Also, the finish line can get quite congested, so you may want to plan to spot your runner prior to the finish line. Make plans in advance, so your runner can be on the lookout for you!
Eating & Park Touring
Planning your meals, along with touring the parks can be difficult enough during a holiday weekend, not to mention with a race or two thrown in.
Fuel up the night before. We all need to properly fuel before our race! While some runners will want to carboload before the half marathon in particular, some will want a lighter meal. The good news is there are MANY restaurants in the parks, in the hotels, in Downtown Disney as well as within the Anaheim area! Kelly, a southern California native who blogs at According to Kelly has created a great post listing the many options available for runners to enjoy.
Take in the parks slowly. A perk to Disneyland and California Adventure is that they are smaller, and also within walking distance of each other. If your family chooses to visit the parks in between or before races, you will (most likely) not tire out your legs too much. Just be sure to take things easy and maybe even take a mid-afternoon break.
Celebrate! After you have crossed the finish line and earned your beautiful medal, it is time to celebrate your accomplishment! Whether a meal, riding your favorite attraction or enjoying the nighttime shows – there are a lot of ways to celebrate. And – you don’t have to choose just one! Take in as many as you can – you’ve earned it!
We look forward to chEARing everyone on during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend! Be sure to send us photos and we will feature them on our blog, as well as on our Facebook page! Good luck to all – and may your miles be magical!