Please welcome my guest blogger and Cousin, Jennifer from Running for my Life. Her Run Disney stories are part of the reason I decided to take up running in 2012. I love this post on who take with you on a Run Disney vacation. It’s something that every runner needs to consider.
I have been incredibly fortunate to Run Disney many, many times. I’ve gotten up at 2:15 am more than a dozen mornings, crossed the finish line and received that fabulous bling, and celebrated by riding Space Mountain or drinking around the world (and sometimes both)!
So if you’ve decided you want to Run Disney, your next question (after which distance and which race) should be “who’s going with me?”
Because it’s Disney, the obvious answer might be the kids. But is that the best option? Hmmmm . . . .let’s talk through the possible scenarios and see which cast of characters would be best for YOUR best Run Disney Experience!
With The Family
Yes, they’re cute. And if they’re old enough to actually run one of the races, all the better! What a great introduction to racing, and running, and to the running community in general. Combine it with a few days in the parks and it seems like a dream come true, right?
Maybe not. Here’s why:
You won’t be able to tour much. Before you’ll be trying to rest your legs and days in a theme park are not conducive to a great race. You’ll also be the world’s most boring eater (at least I have to be) as food that’s unusual or too spicy can really be a problem come race day.
You’ll also want to go to bed early so fireworks and late night parades are mostly out.
If you decide to take the kids, I definitely recommend planning your park days for AFTER the race. That way you can all celebrate together! It can truly be a wonderful way to celebrate your amazing accomplishment.
Yes, I have done this. And yes, there were a few moments when I felt a little odd (eating alone in a food court at a Disney resort just feels slightly sad to me). But honestly? For this working mom having time to do whatever I wanted was FABULOUS. I shopped, I had ice cream that I didn’t have to share, and I really had a great race weekend. I also met several friends for meals there so even though I roomed and was mostly by myself, I still had some posse time which was lovely. I think all women should travel alone sometimes – it’s very empowering and the selfishness feels like pure luxury.
With Your Friends!
This one is (spoiler alert) my favorite way to Run Disney. My running friend, Sara, and I have done several race weekends together and we both always look forward to it! I’ve also done races with a large group (yes, 8 women to a 2 bedroom villa at Kidani – Woohoo!) and loved that as well.
Traveling with a group of runners has tons of benefits. Going to the expo with a group is awesome, the photo ops are plentiful, and the people you’re with are all doing the same thing you’re doing so it can feel like one big pre and post race celebration!
It can also be super economical, as you can split your lodging costs (sometimes several ways) and hey, who doesn’t love a great girlfriends getaway? But warning: I tend to do a little too much celebrating and get very little sleep when I do this so maybe if it’s a PR you’re after, consider going alone. Race morning after a couple Lapu Lapu’s at the Poly the night before can be brutal.
However you decide to Run Disney, you’ll have a ball! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all my racing experiences there and as long as you go in with realistic expectations, you’ll love every magical mile!