Marathon weekend is around the corner! Although the event guide hasn’t been released yet, you can find answers to some of the most common runDisney questions here!
1. I registered but now I can’t run. Can I sell or transfer my bib?
This is hands-down the most asked question on the runDisney forums. It makes complete sense – to get a spot in a race you have to register nine months ahead of time. Sooo much can happen in that time. Injuries, pregnancies, emergencies, failure to train and a thousand more things can happen. Unfortunately the one-word answer is no. runDisney does not permit any transfers, sales or deferments at this time. Rules have changed over the years: long ago they offered deferments (I got one when I was pregnant half a lifetime ago), sometimes they have offered partial refunds via a gift card (not so much recently). The current policy is absolutely no transfers permitted. If someone were to run under someone else’s bib, the potential penalty is permanent ban from runDisney races – for both parties. Just. Not. Worth it. Not.
2. What’s the best Disney Resort to stay at on race weekend?
Honestly… the only parameter is budget. ALL the Disney resorts offer race day transportation. For most people that’s the crucial question, and the easy answer is take your pick. The Disney resort offerings go from almost afforable to “People can actually pay this??? Like, for more than one night???” At the low end you get a very acceptable motel room with coffee and a fridge. At the high end you get… I’ll be completely honest. I’ve never stayed at the high end. Rumor has it that it’s better.. and quieter. The “value” resorts are often full of school groups and the party crowd. But I will also be very clear, despite my insomnia, noise has never kept me awake at a value resort.
3. I am staying at [XYZ Disney Resort]. Do they offer race-day transportation?
See above. Yes, they all offer race-day transportation. There have been some rather frightening stories of bus drivers getting lost on the way to the start line. I know that sounds impossible, but there are many road closures on race mornings, so those could potentially be contributing factors. I do advise you to grab the earliest bu possible from your resort, if nothing more than for peace of mind.
There are also a few off-property hotels that offer race day transportation. I’d suggest doing a quick internet search, particularly for the hotels in the Disney Springs area. These hotels are the most likely to offer these packages.
4. I am a new runner (or I am currently running 15-minute miles). I am so scared of the Balloon Ladies. Help.
Ok, this isn’t really a question, but the prospect of being swept has kept more than a few newbies and some experienced runners awake for nights on end. The much feared “Balloon Ladies” are the last to cross the start line and run at a steady 16-minute mile pace. They are the unofficial harbingers of the sweep. If you fall behind them, the race officials can pull you off the course and put you on a bus.
There are many factors that will impact whether or not runners behing the Balloon Ladies will actually be swept, including congestion on the course and where you are in terms of milage. While there are rumors out there that they can’t sweep you if you are in the park or just outside the park, that’s actually not true. Sweeping is completely at the discretion of the race officials. The only place you’re truly safe from being swept is at the finish line.
That being said, if you are able to run any of the course at all, a 16-minute walking pace, even for a few miles should be achievable for most. If you find yourself falling behind, just keep moving. There are no guarantees, of course, most people who have trained and keep moving have reported a succcessful finish.
5. I just bought these shoes, but I am not sure about them. Anyone else have the same experience?
I personally wouldn’t put a ton of faith in the opinions of well-intentioned Facebook commenters on particulars of running shoes for my body. Every shoe fits every person differently. Maybe if there’s some poor manufacturing issues you might get some confirmation on social media, but beyond that, I’d urge you to talk to a qualified fit specialist at a legit running shoe store.
6. I am trying to plan my race day nutrition. Should I bring my own fuel? What kind of hydration is available.
Shorter races like 5K and 10K generally have a number of water stops, but not much else. Half marathons will have Power Ade and some sort of fuel like Gu or Sport Beans. There are more options at the full marathon, which will also offer bananas and candy at some point. The course maps which are published a few weeks before the race will detail what’s available. If your nutrition is important, I suggest you check the course maps carefully. The last time I ran the full marathon there wasn’t a banana in sight until at least mile 9 and I was STARVING by then… it was way too late. I would have been wise to carry a snack with me.
7. I’m following [XYZ] program and I missed a run. What would you do?
We all miss runs, it happens. And rarely is it a reason to panic. I do think this is an area where crowdsourcing some advice can be helpful. You’ll find many experienced runners from numerous training programs stepping up to give advice. Ask away!
8. I missed out on registration. How can I run my race?
As we’ve covered in a previous blog post registration is a stressful and fast process that leaves a lot of would-be racers disappointed or empty-handed.
One option is to raise money for a designated charity. You can find participating charities on the runDisney site under Plan Your Trip> Travel Providers & Charities.
The other option is to stalk the runDisney site to see if registration will re-open for your race. It does happen from time to time, but as with initial regisration is likely to sell out quickly. Just keep checking or follow the Twitter account @runDisRegStatus which offers updates when races re-open.
9. I am staying at Disney, but not running a race. Where are there some good running trails?
Disney has actually published a list of places to run on property. You’ll be able to find options at most resorts. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Around Seven Seas Lagoon at the Magic Kingdom resorts
- Around the Boarwalk at the Epcot area resorts
- Around Hourglass Lake between Pop Century and Art of Animation resorts. This one is particularly fun, because if you turn on your GPS watch while running, the trail will look like the shape of Olaf from Frozen!
10. What’s the best post-race watering hole / breakfast spot?
OK, so if you’re looking for a watering hole after a 5K or 10K, you probably need some help because you’l definitely be done by 9:00 a.m. That being said, you may be able to find some champagne at the finish line. A lot of folks are looking for breakfast spots after one of these races. Might I suggest Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort? No matter where you settle, make sure you have a reservation. Anything better than a resort food court may still need a reservation, particularly if it is character dining.
As for watering holes, there are two great options. If you have a park ticket, head over to Epcot to drink “around the world” and grab some pics with your medals. If you don’t have a park ticket, grab the bus from your resort over to Disney Springs. You can bar hop to your heart’s content and take in some live music at the same time. Whatever you decide, leave the driving to the Disney pros and have a well deserved blast!