So the Star Wars Half Weekend medals are just starting to gather dust, Tink is getting ready to fly and a number of runners’ credit cards are on fire because they just registered for Dopey, Goofy or any of the other race opportunities at Disney World for the 2017 Marathon weekend. I’m a member of some Disney focused fb groups and during the last week or so my feed was filled with fun posts, inspiring posts and indeed some annoying, complaint filled posts, of people participating in the race weekend, registering, etc.
RunDisney has truly made distance running a whimsical fun event. The on-course entertainment, character stops and simply running through the theme parks make for an experience unlike any other I have had in a race before…which is precisely why I have done repeat visits to Disney to run races. Then there is the vast array of costumes that runners trot out, which is arguably, more entertaining than the Disney entertainment. Seriously, these races are a lot of fun. 🙂
The other great thing about Disney races is that the events are more accessible to runners of all stripes. I love that someone who is just getting into fitness can participate in these races just as easily as someone who can run a six minute mile with ease. Be it fast or slow you are getting those miles in and that medal (or medals) and I think it is awesome. I say this as someone who encouraged a group of 10 from my gym to participate in the Glass Slipper Challenge weekend – all fitness levels, ages and abilities and all sorts from regular runners to never runner/only walkers. Everyone trained, pushed their limits and finished…it was wonderful.
But as good ol Taylor Swift says…the haters are gonna hate…and I guess that is what bothers me most, however, is the negativity in these groups toward anyone that attempts run for a specific time or a PR at these races and I fear that this negativity prevents people from even considering trying to run these races for a specific time/PR. There have been a number of times where people say:
- Disney isn’t the place to PR because it is too crowded
- You’re missing the point if you are trying to PR at Disney
- You aren’t getting your money’s worth if you are running straight through a Disney race.
My response, aside from a MASSIVE eyeroll is just “you do you.” I have honestly had as much fun PRing at Disney as I have had PRing in fun in Disney and both approaches to racing have their merits.
Yes, PRing in Disney, especially toward the back of the corrals is difficult because of the crowds…no question. But it is NOT impossible. It can be done but it will require some training, strategy and patience. It’s harder, for sure, but it is possible.
I would suggest that the idea that PRing at Disney is missing the point, is not correct and at the very least is up for debate. If pushing yourself, trying to achieve a goal is what you enjoy…you will enjoy it just as much, if not more at Disney. As someone who has ran Disney for time on a number of occasions, I find I tend to get so excited that I run really fast anyway and best of all, I am distracted by all the fun around me that I don’t notice the effort I’m putting forth…which is perfect for PRing. 🙂
I also disagree with the “value proposition.” I may be on the course less time when I’m running for time, but at the end, even when if I fall short, I feel like I have left EVERYTHING on the course and received a gorgeous medal and a TON of wonderful memories of what I saw as I ran the course…regardless of whether or not I have a dozen character race photos. That to me is money just as well spent as running to get pics with all my favourite princesses.
In the coming months, I will be running two RunDisney challenges….I will be running the Dumbo Double Dare and the 10K from Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge for time and I’ll be running the Wine n Dine half aka the second course of Lumiere’s for a PR in fun with the Team Can-Am ladies. I’m beyond excited for both of these opportunities to go out and run and have all sorts of running fun in the form of hopeful PRs and amazing race photos.
I encourage all Disney runners to do what you like for your races… be it run for time or not. Make yourself happy…just do YOU! As long as you do that, who cares what anyone else says/does/etc. Get your medals, wear them at the parks, and embrace every single proud moment of training, running and post race recovery. 🙂
What are your thoughts on this? Let me know! I’m all ears! hah! Get it? Ears!