The 2017 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is now less than 1 week away! If you’re running the Disneyland 5K race, it’s one week from TODAY! One of the things I didn’t get to do (because I didn’t have time to blog in August) is my traditional look at the highlights for the event guide. To view the guide its entirety, click here. There is so much useful information, it’s kind of hard to select what I should highlight. So, let’s get started.
Every runDisney race weekend begins with a health and fitness expo. So, the page highlighted above gives you all the information about the times the expo is open each day. I’ll be at the expo as close to opening as I can on Thursday, August 31st. The important thing to know about the expo is that you need to attend at least on the day prior to your race to pick up your race bib. So, make not of the hours so you don’t miss out on getting to race because you arrived late.
The first link takes you to a map of the lower expo floor. This is where you will get your race bib, pick up pre-purchased merchandise, charity/travel agent information, etc. One thing I recommend is printing out your race waiver before you arrive. You can find them, by clicking here. Also, at the lower portion of the waiver, you’ll see your bib number.
If you are running the Disneyland Half Marathon (not part of the Disneyland Double Dare), here is where your corral will be.
If you are running the Disneyland Double Dare, these are your corral seedings. You should note that, your corral in the Disneyland 10K might be different. When you get your bib, the first letter is for the 10K and the second one will correspond with the chart above.
The Expo is held at the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center area at the back of the resort.
There will likely be a carpet like the one above on the path that takes you down to this lower level. Run Disney would like you to start your expo experience here.
Then, after getting your race bib, you’d head up and enter the main expo floor through this blue carpet area. I’m assuming there will be plenty of Pixar Characters in place of the Fab 5 (pictured above).
Once inside, you’ll be right by where the race shirts are located.
Here’s a small version of the main expo floor map. In the Event guide, you can see all the vendors that will be present. You can locate them by using the map.
So, one of the big questions to ask yourself is how important the official runDisney merchandise is to your race weekend experience. Yesterday, I showed you some of the items that will be available to purchase. If you really want something and feel as though you can’t live without it, I’d suggest delaying your time to pick up your race bib(s) and head into the Disneyland Hotel through these doors. Near Goofy’s Kitchen is an escalator that you’ll need to find. If you arrive before the expo opens (10am on Thursday, August 31st), you can head up the escalator and follow the Cast Member directions to the holding room. This is where you’ll want to go first. This holding room will have a line in it. Eventually, you’ll get your turn to head down to the Official runDisney Merchandise area of the expo. Run Disney had come a long way from the madness of the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Their system is very well organized now. So, if you want the best selection of merchandise, head here first. Then, after getting your merchandise, you can head down to pick up your race bib.
I’m going a little out of order here, but one thing you need to think about before the race is runner tracking. In the guide, you can find information about how to let others track you. Also, at the expo, where will be computers for you to sign up as well.
Here is the map for the Disneyland 5K race. If you want to see a larger map, click here. In the event guide, there is useful information about this race. They also have the corral map to help you know where you might be starting. I ran this same 5K course last year and had a blast. It’s a really fun 5K route!
Here is the Disneyland 10K course. You can view a larger version by clicking here. It looks like this is the same route as last year. I was not a big fan of this 10K course. Of course, my opinion is based on how the Disneyland 10K course was prior to last year. I liked that route better. On this route, there is quite a bit of time backstage. Mile 3 is the least fun mile of the course. Not only is it entirely backstage, but there isn’t a lot of room for running. So, be prepared for bottlenecks here.
Last, but not least, here is the route for the Disneyland Half Marathon. You can get a larger version of this route by clicking here.
Not only does the event guide give you the entire course, but they’ve put up a special graphic image to show you where the half marathon will be running through the park! Nice touch runDisney! I don’t think I’ve seen this done before with a half marathon at Disneyland. This is the race I’ll be running. So, I’ve paid attention to the changed route. I absolutely am loving the fact that we aren’t running the river trail to get between the Honda Center and Angel Stadium! Can’t wait to run!
One of the sections I always love is the Race Etiquette section. Here are a few of the points I think are worth highlighting…
Y’all, this is so important for race safety. If you’re running with friends and all want to run together, you will need to start in the corral that’s furthest back. So, in other words, if you’re scheduled for corral A and your friends are in corral G, you’d need to start in corral G. They shouldn’t go up to corral A. As you saw in the corral seeding charts above, the corrals are based on time. If you still want to start in corral A, you can. But, you will have to find a place to wait for your friends to join you on the course as they can’t come up with you.
This part is one of my big pet peeves about racing. So many people either don’t know this or they ignore this. Another thing to keep in mind is those around you. You and your friend may be running 2 abreast. However, if you come up to another group of 2 that are running beside you…at the same pace…you are not running 4 abreast. So, if you see this as a possibility, either slow down to run behind the other group, or speed up to get ahead of them. Everyone will be happy that you did. We all have different paces and goals with this race. Be courteous for those with time goals (if you don’t have one). Your running 4 or more abreast may cost someone that PR they worked so hard for.
This is another one I really like. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a rather large area for handing out water. You don’t all have to stop at the first table. Run down the center and take your water from the back. Those poor volunteers don’t get as much love as those handing out the water at the first table. Plus, you’ll find the area less crowded. So, consider running down the center and get by the big clump of runners that are likely heading to the first people handing out the water. You’ll be glad you did.
One thing that isn’t mentioned in this guide is how to do the run/walk/run method on course. It’s not enough to know when you need to run and walk. As a courtesy to those around you, raise your hand up when you are getting to the end of your run interval. It signals to those around you that you are about to walk. Also, look around you before you stop running and head into your walk interval. If someone is charging hard, you might want to continue running for a few seconds more to allow that person to run by you. A few seconds shouldn’t destroy your run/walk intervals. Also, make sure you aren’t going to be forming a line of more than 2 when you walk.
I think this part is HUGE for a runDisney event. Run Disney has guidelines for race costumes. You might want to read them before finalizing your costume. It would really suck to get to the race day and be denied the opportunity to run because your costume was outside the guidelines.
This is another important part to the guide. The pacing requirements are the source of major stress on us back of the packers. The 16 minute per mile pace starts with the last runner to start. These folks are referred to as the “balloon ladies” on any runDisney course. There are parts of the course where, if you fall behind them, you will be picked up and driven to the finish area. One thing to keep in mind in regards to pace is this. Character photo ops are awesome. However, the lines for them aren’t always awesome. If you are choosing to get character photos….
like I did here with BB-8, you can put yourself at risk for being swept off the course. So, know what you are capable of in the race and make your character stops wisely.
If you think stopping will put you at risk, there’s always the selfie route. When I ran the Star Wars 10K this year, I got to BB-8 as fast as I could. However, the whole time in line, I knew that, if I saw those balloon ladies, I needed to book it out of line. I knew I could hold a better than 16 minute per mile pace. So, if they caught me, I could pass them and not get swept. In 2016, I wasn’t so confident about this. So, I went with the selfie.
One thing I love about these event guides is that they have useful information even for those not running. Jeff Galloway has some really helpful tips to check out…
I love these tips!
Lately, Runners World has also given some tips to check out.
If you are reading this post and are not running the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races, you might want to check out the event guide just for these tips. They might help you on your next race.
Another bit of useful information is on how to retrieve photos of you in the race(s) you are in. The above will help you retrieve your photos.
When you’re posting all those photos you’ve taken of you accomplishments and fun race photos, be sure to use the hash tag of this weekend and follow that hash tag as well all weekend long!
Y’all, this is on the last page and it’s just sad. We still don’t have race information for a 2018 Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon or a 2018 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. So, to only see 1 race on the Disneyland Resort part is just plain sad.
It’s almost race week! No matter how many of the medals above you’ll be taking home with you, the most important thing is to have fun. That’s what we all want to do. Right? So, enjoy perusing the event guide and get excited. It’s almost race week!