Disney Princess Half Marathon: Things I Learned

19 Mar

As evidenced from my recaps, the Disney Princess Half Marathon was a great experience for me.  I would not hesitate to participate again, if timing (and my financials) was right.

Here are a few of my top takeaways from running this race:

1. I CAN do it.

No matter how many runs I complete in the future, I am 100% sure this will always be a top takeaway. I may not be the fittest or the fastest runner, but I can definitely get out there, stay positive and tough it out to the finish line.

2. It WILL be crowded.

runDisney races are quite different from some of the other local races I have run as far as size goes. The Princess Half had over 26,000 runners, the largest crowd this half marathon had seen. Disney is incredibly organized and does a great job of managing the crowds, but it is inevitable that the course will still be packed. The first couple miles can definitely include some bobbing and weaving and there are spots throughout the course where the running path narrrows to one lane, so it can be a bit tight.

3. You can’t predict the weather.

Being from the Orlando area, I have had a lot of friends run the Princess Half and other Disney races over the past few years. Each time, the weather seems to be drastically different. While Disney steers clear of offering any runs in the middle of the summer, it is impossible to predict what the weather may be like! For instance, one year it was freezing at the Disney Marathon in January but the next year it was almost 80!

This February, the weather has definitely been yo yo-ed quite a bit and we ended up having humid, hot weather for this half as well. It’s definitely good to be prepared for all types of weather, as you really never know what to expect.

4. It’s worth every penny.

runDisney races can be pricey. For me though, the cost was definitely worth it. Running through the Walt Disney World property  and theme parks I have grown up visiting and still love was amazing. In typical Disney style, the entertainment on course was also amazing. Fun DJ’s, awesome puppets and props from throughout Disney, character photo ops and other local musical groups were strategically sprinkled along the way really helping to break up those longer stretches of road.

5. Take your time at the expo.

I was on a tight schedule due to work when I picked up my packet, but if I had the opporunity I would take more advantage of the expo in the future. I still kick myself for not buying the Mickey eared 13.1 car magnet! They did have some merchandise for sale after the half, but sadly, the magnets were sold out.  There are so many other great vendors at the expo and wish I had taken some time to learn about their products! runDisney also offeres some great speakers at the expo, including Jeff Galloway and a runDisney nutritionist, so I would love to have the time to listen to them in the future!

6. Good energy is infectious

 I am so appreciative of my fellow runners. There was such an excitement in the air at this race, which I know helped keep me energized and motivated. From the beginning, I love seeing everyones racing outfits and costumes, because you tell how pumped they were to be a part of this runDisney event! I believe runDisney races get a good mix of experienced runners and those participating in their first race, which I fell definitely adds to the “buzz” in the air. Everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time, and that definitely kept me positive, too!

7. This race is about having FUN!

Lastly, runDisney events are runs where your #1 goal should always be to have FUN! As I stated, for this race in particular, the crowds and weather could be a challenge. My personal philosophy was to embrace the experience! Those challenges can be tough if you are focused on your watch or obtaining a PR. If you go into the run looking to have fun, enjoy your run and make some great memories you are  miles and miles ahead of the competition.

I wouldn’t trade my Princess Half Marathon experience for anything! Looking forward to my next runDisney events in the fall!


3 Responses to “Disney Princess Half Marathon: Things I Learned”

  1. katydahle March 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM #

    What awesome takeaways (I can TOTALLY relate to #1)! I’m so glad it was a good experience for you!

  2. blonde hair blue eyed runner March 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

    I would love to run the disney half someday! What a great experience, maybe you can get the magnet on ebay or amazon or something??

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