Avid runners and huge Disney fans are we at Bottles and Banter. So we must have done a runDisney event, right? That would seemingly be the convergence of all things running and Disney. But we’ve yet to make that pilgrimage. So we talked to our friend Mike (the co-founder of Casual-Runner.com) all about what makes runDisney special. He and the other contributors to Casual Runner have run a combined 40+ Disney events, so they’re kind of the experts over there.
Nick: As a side note, he did get VERY snippy with us when we asked “what makes runDisney/Disney special?”, as if we should already know.
Mike: I would never get snippy with anyone, unless you steal my chips and nacho cheese out of my post-race runDisney snack box – now that will incur any Casual Runner’s wrath.
Here’s what we asked:
What’s the best part of
doing a Disney race?
This is like asking which is your favorite child or your favorite pet. Sure, deep down, we all have an answer, but it can change daily.
The best part of runDisney races is that they are a big deal, and that means their entertainment is a big deal. From on-course character photo ops, to random mid-race epic Star Wars battles, to running through some of the greatest theme parks in the world, it is hard NOT to be entertained during the races.
They’re so expensive!
They are, but you do get a lot for your money (note: this should in no way be construed as me encouraging runDisney to raise their prices!). runDisney events are consistent in that you always know you will get a quality product and race day experience. There are a lot of logistics that go into a runDisney race, and, in addition to on-course entertainment, they consistently have the best-staffed and best-run water, food, and medical stations of any race or series I have run.
How do you go about
training for a Disney race?
I typically set my race calendar by selecting my runDisney races first, and then fill in my goal races around the Disney events. From there it is a matter of building my training calendar accordingly. Winter race weekends are a great time to be in, and run in, Florida, but it means that training in the North can be a bit challenging (by that I mean: COLD!). So I often found myself front-loading my training calendar just in case Old Man Winter decided to get in the way close to race day, which he often did.
What does your family
(along with the little ones joining)
do while you are running?
I can only talk my family into coming with us to one Disney race weekend every few years. When they do, we usually encourage them to sleep in (races start early in the morning) so that they can enjoy their day in the parks afterward. After all, they are on vacation too, and they should get the most out of it. Usually they split the difference and try to come out and see me late in the half marathon courses – fortunately I am a slow enough runner that this leaves them plenty of time to sleep. For my nephews, we introduced them to the runDisney Kids Races, which are a great way for them to gain exposure to the sport of running and get a high-five from Mickey Mouse himself as they cross the finish line and earn their own medals.
How do you possibly enjoy
the parks after the
If you put the time in to train properly, it is not as bad as you think. To be honest, I find that walking around the theme parks after races actually speeds up my recovery as it works out the buildup of lactic acid in my legs. Besides, once you get that gorgeous medal placed around your neck, who wants to spend all day in bed when you can be out celebrating with friends and family at the most magical place on Earth?
Have you done a runDisney event with your family? Tell us about it!