I’m proudly a “back of the pack” runner, so this tip may not be for everyone. When I’m running, I’m out there to improve my own personal well being, not to be competitive and win races. Though I do like to improve on my own personal records, there are certain races that I’m okay with simply finishing.
My WDW Half Marathon time was much slower than any training speed or practice run I had previously finished. In fact, when running through the Magic Kingdom, I took nearly 14 minutes, when my average speed is somewhere from 10:30-11:15. Why? Because I took full advantage of the photo opportunities along the race. How many races have entertainment? I’ve done a few others now, and the only one that had any entertainment was Disney, so I wanted to enjoy it!
I brought my smart phone with me in my running belt (that orange belt you might notice in the picture) and used it as my entertainment (mp3’s), mile timer (cardio trainer app), and when needed, as my camera. My belt was also amazingly helpful to carry my race nutrition (yup, during a 13.1 mile race, you need “food”) and my phone comfortable. With an easy zipper, I grabbed my phone whenever we reached a new place: the Start Line, the Magic Kingdom sign when entering the Ticket and Transportation Center, the Magic Kingdom, etc…
With characters and other entertainment cheering you on and available for pictures every 1/2 mile or so, I took advantage and stopped at least 6 times for character shots. I easily paused my music, unplugged my headphones, and handed my phone to the cast member “friends” with the characters, and posed while they took our pictures.
While I appreciate and respect those runners that don’t stop from start to finish, I feel as though they’re missing out on the fun. To me, running straight through a Disney endurance race would be like running through Walt Disney World and ignoring the Magic that makes Disney the amazing place that it is – it can still be fulfilling and fun, but not the amazing experience it can be. I’ve even read it on runDisney – run Disney not to beat your personal record. Run Disney to experience Disney running.
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