Beginners Guide to runDisney?

Discussion in 'runDisney' started by Livelovedance, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Livelovedance

    Livelovedance DIS Veteran

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    Is there a forum/thread to a beginners guide to runDisney? I’ve been reading the Princess Half Marathon thread, but I’m looking for more basic info on how the weekend really works. Staying at Pop Century, traveling to the expo, and participating in the 5K and 10K.

    With an opening time of 12pm for the expo, how early do we need to get on the bus to ESPN? How does the expo work? I’ve heard it’s absolutely crazy, but as a first-timer I want a chance to see the merchandise and have a good chance to buy anything of interest! How long is typical to spend at the expo?

    How do the corrals work for the 5K and 10K? I’m assuming I’ll be in the last one for both, because I don’t remember having an option to put in my times when registering. Maybe I did, but I was so stressed about getting in before it sold out so it’s all a blur! If starting in the last corral, about what time would that start be? How do the character photos work? Are there things to do after running through the finish? Where would an observer go to watch the run? Can they wait at the finish?

    I’m sure these seem silly but I like to be prepared! I am also planning park time around these runs, so I don’t want to mess up fast pass or dining reservations. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Go into your active.com account. Sign in and go to MyEvents. Click into princess. View your registration&qr code. Scroll down.

    You’ll see something like this for them:

    “To compete as part of the Push Rim Wheelchair division, Hand Cycle Exhibition, or request accommodations for athletes with disabilities, please contact runDisney at disneysports@trackshack.com upon completing your race registration.

    What is your anticipated pace per mile?
    11:01 - 12:00 minutes”


    That was for my son’s 5k last Light Side.

    It won’t let you register without some sort of anticipated time.
     
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  4. Livelovedance

    Livelovedance DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I entered 10:01 - 11:00 minutes. So I guess that’ll put me somewhere in the middle to end corrals?
     
  5. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I used 11-12 for 2017 5k and I was in the middle corral.

    12-13 minute mile entered for 2016 10k and I was in the middle corrals.
     
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  6. Sharkmeister

    Sharkmeister Mouseketeer

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    We ran our first runDisney race last year (Dark Side 2017) and like you I had a lot of the same questions.

    We stayed at POP and event transportation was simple. They had dedicated buses to ESPN/Expo. They were more like the DME buses than the buses you take to go to the parks. They picked up from POP where the park buses do. On race morning it was the same. We took the first bus from POP, so we were there in plenty of time. After the race, you have to get on the bus going to POP, so you don't end up at another resort (unless that's where you want to go).

    We didn't find the Expo all that busy, just very spread out. In 2016, we dropped in to the Light Side Expo at Disneyland, so we had a bit of an idea what to expect....package pick up, merchandise, booths etc. Never having been out to ESPN before, we wanted to check out all we could. The bib/package pick up was in one area. Everything was well signposted. We were running the 5K, so we just headed to that area and collected our bibs and any merchandise that was pre ordered. There were different spots for each of the races and challenges, depending on what you had registered in. There were additional merchandise areas in this area too.

    After that, we followed the crowd into another building where they had all the booths/running companies/shoe suppliers etc. We spent a fair bit of time here, as we were looking at everything. One of the exhibitors, not sure if I can mention their name, has fabric shirts that we can't get here in Australia and are perfect for my son who sweats heaps in our hot Summers. So naturally, we had to try different sizes on and get some more for the rest of the family. My daughter wanted to look at everything that sparkled (and there was a lot), but we finally left.

    The only tricky part of the whole event we found was meeting up after the race with all our 3 runners. Someone else I'm sure will explain what happens after you cross the finish line, but trying to find 2 teenagers, who had finished well before me (I was hoping) and hopefully not in the first aid area, who weren't running together either or who were still running turned into anxiety for dear old mum. But we eventually found one another, got a group photo and then like all things Disney....began planning the next one.
     
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  7. camaker

    camaker Anything worth doing is worth overdoing

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    Did you check out the post pinned to the top of the board?

    https://www.disboards.com/threads/rundisney-events-and-registration-faq.3538323/

    It starts out focused on dates and registration, but there's a post about midway down that links to info on transportation, Expo, etc. I'd start there and if you still have questions (and you will) ask in the various race weekend threads. And of course RunDisney.com is a great place to look for answers, too.
     
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  8. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    Look up some trip reports here on the DIS! :)
     
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  9. Livelovedance

    Livelovedance DIS Veteran

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    Wow, thank you! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one that has had these questions for my first event. Your response was very detailed and thorough. You’ve definitely alleviated some of my concerns. I really appreciate it!

    I did read some of the first and last pages, but thank you for the suggestion on checking out the information in the middle. It was helpful! I just find the runDisney site to be a little vague, but I’ve heard once the event guide is posted I’ll find a lot more information there.

    Great idea, thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  10. GollyGadget

    GollyGadget Mouseketeer

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    I have two main pieces of advice:
    1. Don't be shy about asking any specific questions you have. I've found the people on this board are very helpful and will do their best to answer or point you to resource with the answers.
    2. Try not to stress out too much about it. I agree runDisney could be better about providing information but generally things are pretty easy to figure out as you go along. That said, following the Princess thread is definitely a good idea. The people there will be able to give some tips specific to that race or weekend.
    Other thoughts:
    • Unless you are willing to wait in a crazy line and really want a specific piece of merch, I would avoid the expo when it first opens. By waiting until the evening the crowds should die down and the workers might have had a better chance to restock.
    • I only spent about 20 minutes at the expo but you could spend all day. The lines have a lot to do with it and also how much you want to shop. I just wanted to get my bib and buy a couple of runDisney souvenirs.
    • Afaik, the corrals for 5K & 10K are not announced ahead of time. As long as you entered accurate information when you registered, you'll be placed appropriately. If you prefer to be at the front, get there early.
    • Most character stops have a photo pass photographer but not all. Be sure to bring your phone or camera if you want photos. I've heard the lines are longer at these shorter distances but it should move quickly since there's minimal interaction and no signatures.
    • After the finish there are more character photo opps. I'm not sure what else as I'm usually eager to get a shower.
    • Spectator options depends on the course which should be announced soon (if not already). Generally for these races the boardwalk or finish line are the best options. Everyone is welcome at the finish but there is some reserved seating available if you pay for chEAR squad. Of the two races I've run, my fans had no problems finding a spot in the open section of the finish area.

    Hope this helps! I'm a newbie myself but just ran the marathon a couple of days ago so a lot of this info is fresh in my brain.
     
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  11. Sleepless Knight

    Sleepless Knight Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess

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    You've already received excellent advice here. I wanted to add one important factor to remember about photo stops during a race. They are part of your total time. So, if you stood in line during mile 3 to meet a character for 20 minutes and ran the rest of the point between mile 3 and mile 4 in 10 minutes, then your per mile time for that mile is 30 minutes. That said, they will warn you about hard sweep points if you are near them. You may have to decide between getting a photo or risk being swept, but it's better to know beforehand. I heard of some ladies who ran the Inaugural Star Wars Half at Disneyland who were swept because they stood in line for every character photo and did not know that waiting for photos time counted towards their pace. So while they were running 10 minute miles when they ran, they spent far more time not running.

    When I ran the Star Wars The Dark Side 10K in April, I stood in line to get a photo in the Emperor's Throne from Return of the Jedi. While I was in line, someone came by and flat out told us that this was a hard sweep point and that in 5 minutes when the bicyclists got to this point, we could either leave the line and continue the race or stay in line and definitely be swept. I was 3rd in line when this happened, so I was well on my way again before the sweep occurred, but since this was near a small incline, I could see the sweep happen when they pulled the bus in front.

    So, despite reports that they do not sweep during races, I have seen it happen. And more importantly, if you are at risk of getting swept, they will tell you where you need to be in order to avoid getting swept and give you an opportunity to reach that point. Don't run or train in fear of the sweep, but rather run or train in respect of the sweep.
     
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  12. TinkerbelleAbbysMom

    TinkerbelleAbbysMom Mommy of a Prince and Princess

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    I think that has to become my new mantra. I've been so fearful of being swept. Now I'm just going to respect the sweeper. Maybe I'll do a report afterwards called "Don't fear the sweeper"! :rockband:
     
  13. Livelovedance

    Livelovedance DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for all of the information! For some reason I didn’t get alerts for this thread, so I just saw it today! Unfortunately I think I’ll be doing the expo when it opens, because I had made park plans for afterwards. Hopefully these plans won’t be derailed by insane lines! I don’t have anything specific in mind that I want, but only because I don’t know what they will have. I’m just going to hope for the best!

    If there isn’t a photopass photographer at a character spot, is there a cast member there to take pictures with your phone? I’m definitely planning on bringing it, but I don’t do selfies lol.

    I would have signed up for the ChEAR squad, but it only seems to be beneficial for the half marathon runners. Since I’m not doing that run, it doesn’t seem to make sense to register for that. I’m glad to know there will be places for spectators at the finish though!

    Thanks again, and congratulations on your marathon run!
     
  14. Livelovedance

    Livelovedance DIS Veteran

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    Wow, thank you! I do want to stop for some character photos, but I will be sure to keep this in mind! I plan to only stop for some, not all, and I just have to hope that the lines won’t be too long. I read on another thread that you can find out the bib numbers for the “balloon ladies” and track them to make sure you stay ahead. I’m going to try to do that as well!

    I’ll try to keep that mantra as well! For my first runDisney experience, I want it to be fun, not stressful! :cheer2:
     
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  15. Novatrix

    Novatrix Dreamfinder-in-Training

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    Honestly, what I found to be the most helpful before my first rundisney race was watching youtube videos of previous years races, particularly the ones by rezruns and joyful miles. (Hope it's okay to mention specific youtubers, if not I'll remove!)

    If you run on a treadmill, they're the perfect way to take your mind off the tedium and have a lot of good tips throughout.
     
  16. Livelovedance

    Livelovedance DIS Veteran

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    Great suggestion, I’m starting to search for some right now! :thanks:
     
  17. TCB in FLA

    TCB in FLA DIS Veteran

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    Yes, there’s a CM who will use your camera. During the marathon, poor Pluto was out there without a photopass photographer. For some reason, Mary Poppins and her crew doesn’t usually have one either. But even if there is photopass there, the CMs will take pics for you.
     
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  18. Livelovedance

    Livelovedance DIS Veteran

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    Perfect, thank you!
     
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  19. Sleepless Knight

    Sleepless Knight Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess

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    Remember that they recommend training at 15 minutes per mile to give you some cushion. And if you can keep up with the balloon ladies, you will be fine. Also remember that you have 3 hours and 30 minutes from when the balloon ladies start the race to finish. You don't want to be overconfident, but don't go into your first race terrified that you're not going to finish. You trained for this. Enjoy the experience.

    Mile markers typically don't have anyone there to take photos, but you can always ask another runner.

    Also something to consider if you're running a race such as Princess and going to the parks. Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, and Snow White to name a few will also be in the parks later that day. And sometimes medal character photos are much better than in race character photos. In the parks, characters will quite often spend time with you asking about the race. Aurora asked me if I was running from dragons. Cinderella told me that she hated running although that one time she did have to run it worked out very well for her. You're not going to get that kind of interaction during the race. It's more like good luck and thank you.
     
  20. Livelovedance

    Livelovedance DIS Veteran

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    I didn’t think of it that way, thank you! I’ll have to keep that in mind when deciding when to stop for character photos. In training I’ve definitely been under 16 minutes (usually 10-12) but character stops will change that, so I’ll have to be smart in deciding which ones to stop for.
     
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  21. camaker

    camaker Anything worth doing is worth overdoing

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    If you are running 10-12 minute miles, you can probably stop for as many characters as you like. Do you remember what you put in as your estimated pace at registration? That will be used to determine your starting corral for the 5k & 10k. Keep in mind that the 16 minute pace doesn’t start until the last runner crosses the start line, so starting in an earlier corral also gets you additional time for characters.
     

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