By Shelley Jones
With the recent Disney Marathon held Feb 24-26, 2012, I wanted to share my past experience of running my 1st race in WDW.
Let me start off saying I am not one that loves to run. It takes a lot of mental and physical effort on my part. Though the thought was planted for me when a friend, Shalon noticed that I started living a healthy lifestyle and I was losing weight. When my friend that is a local to being near Disney, kept suggesting it I kept say I am not a runner, but every time I gave it thought I was like what would it be like to do at least a 5k.
With those thoughts it leads me trying a local 5k. I realized I was not well prepared. I decided to see what it is I need to be more prepared for a 5k. If I was going to do this I had at least 6 months to get my mental and physical in shape since the next race would be the Disney Food & Wine Festival and of course the 5k was the Halloween 5k.
I found an app for my itouch called couch 25k. I started using it on the treadmill and I can say I did pretty well. I though started to realize that I needed to get outside since running on a treadmill to running outside is completely different.
Now with that process started I thought the only way I was going to commit to this was to register at the official website, http://espnwwos.disney.go.com/sports/rundisney. Here you can see all upcoming races for the next year. The cost to run a 5k, half & full marathon is different. The registration online is very simple. Also Disney has a few of the resorts that are considered to be the “host” resorts since they will provide transportation.
My family & I arrived in WDW 2 days before the race since we really did not know what to expect, we rented a car at the airport to help us with our transportation needs, but if you do plan to use the Disney transportation do know to allow extra time.
The day after our arrival was the day we had to go to Disney’s ESPN Wide World of sports complex. When you go make sure you have a photo ID, a print out of your waiver (if you do not, they had computers then and volunteers to help you retrieve your information. We walked the floor and got all kind of cool freebies and items we purchased.
The day of the race, since I was doing the 5k my race was to start at 7:00 am and it was in the Animal Kingdom. I was to be there by 6:15 am. Since we drove we arrived by 5:50 am. I was so surprised how many people we already there and ready to race. There was an area to have a picture taken with Mickey & Minnie. Then by 6:45 they had every find there corral time. Since I felt I was not the strongest I went right before the strollers. Then right be the start fireworks started and then we were off. I had my itouch going and off I went. It was an amazing experience to be in the park to just race, a lot of Cast Members were along the route to cheer you on and there were a lot of photo opportunities. As I close this out I will say that when I saw the finish line I was so surprised how easy it was and to see my family and friends at the finish line made it a great accomplishment and now it has planted a seed of possibly running a half marathon.