Let’s take a look into the endurance running events offered by Disney.

Planning Ahead

Disney offers several different race options.  They do tend to change over time, and there are different events that take place at different times.  In this article we will look at “Marathon Weekend,” which generally takes place in early January.

During that weekend there are several different races, which recently have included a full marathon (called the “Mickey” since that is the shape of the medal that finishers receive), a half marathon (called the “Donald”), a race and a half (appropriately called the “Goofy” for running both a full marathon and a also a half marathon in the same weekend), and a family fun run.

A little planning goes a long way when preparing for a Disney marathon.

A little planning goes a long way when preparing for a Disney marathon.

It is important to plan ahead in your registration, training, and travel if you are considering participating in a Disney running event. Fortunately, the logistics almost force you to do so. The Disney running events have become extremely popular. It is necessary to sign up far in advance before the events fill up and there are no more spots left.  Even though there are literally 50,000 plus spots available, they generally all sell out.

This advance planning gives you plenty of time to make up your mind that you truly want to run the event. It also gives you plenty of time to start your very important training process.

Training For The Big Event

If you have never run it in marathon before, the most important thing to do is prepare.  The right way to prepare is not to show up to the event wearing new shoes and never having run more than a few miles.

Prepare the right way.  After getting clearance from your doctor, check out the many websites about running, read a book, or check out the articles in running magazines about the best ways to train given your goals and current fitness level. Preparation is most important to ensure that you can complete the event – and not hurt yourself in the process.

The Night Before The Race

Many restaurants in the Disney area will offer high carbohydrate meals so that you can have the energy you need to finish the race the next day. Consider taking advantage of this is carbo-loading as part of your overall race plan. It may just be a good excuse to eat a huge bowl of pasta.

The Morning Of The Race

As you arrive at Disney World, make plans to get up very early the morning of the marathon. Traffic patterns are crazy around the Disney World Resort.  You will need to spend quite a long time getting from your hotel – whether it is on Disney property or not – to the starting line. This will translate into an extremely early morning. The races generally start around 5:30am.  You may need to get up at 3 AM. So, plan your days leading up to marathon accordingly so that you don’t start this race tired before you even begin.

Running The Race

After fine tuning the details during the first few years of the Disney running events, Disney has become very good at staging these running events and managing the various logistical parts of the races. You can expect plenty of portable potties and many stations along the race route where you can get water and sports drinks.  You will have many opportunities to get the liquids and nutrition you need along the route of the race.

During the race, you will have the opportunity to see many different areas of Disney World.  If you choose to run the full marathon, you will have the opportunity to run through each of the four theme Parks. You also have an opportunity to run through some of the backstage areas – so you can see locations that are normally off limits to the public.

Along the race routes are you will find many friendly cheering fans to provide encouragement for your run. The environment is fun and friendly, welcoming and encouraging runners of all abilities.

Finishing Strong

After you approach the finish line you can look forward a crowd cheering you on and a place to rest and gobble up some bananas.