For many, runDisney races are the chance to run through the parks! No matter the distance, runners can experience the magic of a race complete with characters, music and lots of fun.
However, there is also another great way to experience a runDisney race – as a spectator!
Both of us have had the privilege to run many runDisney races. Yet we also have toed the spectator line, offering cheers and encouragement to runners during their magical journey. Here is a look at some of the similarities and differences between running and spectating a runDisney race!
Spectating requires planning, running requires training. When you sign up for a race, you know that training is required. You find the training plan, put it in your calendar and do the work so that on race day, you can enjoy the race! When it comes to spectating, you need to come up with a plan. If it is following a specific runner, decide where on the course you will meet them. Another way to spectate is to find one location, and stay there for all the runners. No matter your choice, make sure that you plan ahead!
Both spectating and running will tire out your legs. While it’s no secret that running many miles will cause fatigue, many don’t realize that the same happens while spectating! Whether you are staying in one location for 4+ hours or trekking around the course to see your runner multiple times, expect tired legs. It doesn’t hurt to bring along your compression gear or even another pair of shoes and socks!
Use your race knowledge when spectating. Runners have a distinct advantage when it comes to spectating, we know what we like to see from spectators. The funny signs, the noise-makers, the candy – the things that brighten our race are what we often bring along to spectate! (On the flip side, we also know what NOT to do – like step out in front of the runners or yell “you’re almost done” at mile 1.)
Just like the running community, the spectators are pretty amazing. The running community is known for being a great group – encouraging one another, offering help when needed, etc. The truth is, the spectators are pretty fantastic too! Not only are they getting up just as early as the runners, they are cheering when they could be at a park. They are acting as pack-mules for their runners. They are even standing for hours and hours, making sure everyone (from the first to the last) are encouraged during the race.
No matter how you choose to experience a runDisney race – as a runner, as a spectator or as a volunteer, you are sure to feel the magic of the event. We encourage everyone to try out a runDisney race in a new way, not only as a runner! And to the spectators in particular, we thank you for your cheers along the way!