Monday, February 10, 2014

Why I don't think runDisney is for me

I am seeing TONS of posts lately about all the Disney races: Tink, ToT, Princess, etc and I started to get VERY hyped up! Told the husband that next year or the following I think I want to do Dopey and started research.  The medals! The characters! The fun!! I LOVE Disney and was so excited to take my kids for the first time and we are already intending to go back next year.  We are not the "go the same place every year" type so it is a very big deal for us to plan 2 Disney trips within a few years of each other.  Well, the more I researched, the sadder I got, because I am coming to the realization that I don't think that runDisney is for me.

1) The cost:  I cant seem to justify spending $495 for registration.  I just cant!

2) The early, early wake up call:  I am not a morning person so getting up when there is a 2 on the clock doesn't seem like something that would make me happy.  I have 2 small kids so getting them to sleep in enough time that I can get decent rest doesn't seem possible.  On top of that, I am a night owl so falling asleep before midnight is almost impossible for me!

3) The crowds:  This is a double whammy for me.  The crowds during the race would make me crazy.  I have run in large crowds before but it normally tends to clear out so you have some room to move.  The pictures from the Disney races make me shiver.  It looks like shoulder to shoulder the whole race.  Also, I have read that there are lots of instances of people walking/running in a long line and blocking the course.  The Happiest Place on Earth would quickly turn me into Road Rage Monster =).

On top of that, if I am going to Disney I am going to stay a couple days to enjoy at least one or two parks.  I have a feeling this would be the general consensus and I would think the crowds would be even worse than they normally are....

4) The Characters: Now, don't get me wrong, I love the characters as much as the next gal but I don't think I want to stop my groove right in the middle of a race to take pictures with them.. Stopping/starting to wait in line a million times just doesn't seem enjoyable and would take the challenge out of the race to me.  My whole desire to running is to push my limits, see how much better I can do this race than last, see how far I can go and stopping a million times isn't going to give me any of that satisfaction.  Then I feel like that if I don't take advantage of the characters I might as well be at any old race, ya know?

I know that I am in a very small group of people who feel this way about the runDisney races and I am so glad that they are involving families in active pursuits who may not normally be involved in something like this.  I also know that the lure of a Disney event has gotten many a person out there running to participate.  I am actually kind of sad that I have discovered that it is not going to be something that I will enjoy once I got there because it IS something I was very interested in.  I am very excited for all the guys and gals who are going to be participating and love seeing the pictures and hearing accomplishments.  I just have to slowly back away from this one and enjoy from afar.

Happy Running!

12 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you on everything you said. There was a time where I did want to do a RunDisney race and I even thought about running for charity to help with the costs, but the more I think about it, the less I want to do it. And I live 45 minutes from Disney World. I haven't taken my kids yet and I want their first time to be more special. Not waiting for me to finish running and then me shuffling around for the rest of the day.

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    1. I didn't even think about the aspect of having to bring another person a 900 miles with us to watch the kids while we ran and the fact that I was SORE after my first half and can't imagine walking the parks! Good points!

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  2. I've done a lot of runDisney races. Pretty much, that's all I do. You aren't wrong in some of your assumptions. The cost and the early mornings are indeed... rough. Ahem.

    But the crowd concern stands out to me. For the race itself- it depends. If you are a faster runner and choose NOT to stop for characters (sounds like this would be you!) then you will not notice the crowds after the first mile or two. It does thin out. Reports from the front are FABULOUS! PRs galore! I'm not exaggerating. You can have a really great race at Disney if you are not stopping or stuck in a back corral.

    As far as the parks- the race weekends are actually scheduled on typically low crowd weekends. I stay 2-3 days after a race and enjoy the LOW LOW crowds! The racers really don't stick around as much as you might think. Monday after Princess Half Marathon is typically walk on everything in the Magic Kingdom day for me. Monday after Tinker Bell was also pretty great- despite being MLK holiday.

    Just some food for thought- you are right, it's not ideal for every family to runDisney. But someday you may still want to give it a go!

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    1. I am not necessarily fast... I have a 2:29 half under my belt and though I have gotten faster, I am expecting my next to still be over the 2:10 mark. Also, I feel like if I am not going to stop at the characters then I should just choose a cheaper race with no characters if that makes sense?

      That is a good insight as far as the crowds at the park after the races!! Thank you!!

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  3. I totally respect your opinion and don't think RunDisney has to be for everyone. I just wanted to address a couple things you mentioned though.

    The early wake up call - I'm with you on this. I have a hard time falling asleep before midnight too (which sucks when lately I've had to be on conference calls for work at 7am). Have you considered one of the night races as an option? I like the night races a lot better because it doesn't seem to mess up my schedule as much. The day of the race I can sleep in and still enjoy some leisurely time in the parks before getting ready for the race. Another thing is that for the Disneyland races it's not quite as early a wake up call if you stay at one of the hotels near the start line since there's no bus factor to worry about. Personally I had a lot more fun at the Disneyland races than I did at WDW.

    The crowds (in the parks) - This may have changed recently, but I never felt like the crowds in the parks were too bad. The races typically take place at slower times of year for Disney.

    Anyway, not trying to talk you into it, but just wanted to share some thoughts. I know what you mean about running to push your limits and I do that at other races, but always just accepted that at Disney it's about the experience and not the time on the clock. I did a bunch of Disney races between 2009-2012, but the big thing that's held me back from going more recently is the cost. Doing an event once is fun for the first time experience, but I haven't felt the need to repeat a Disney race. (Actually that holds pretty true outside of Disney too.) If they introduce a new race theme (Star Wars?) then I'll probably get sucked in, but the new 10ks and challenges haven't held any appeal for me.

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    1. I hadn't really thought of the night races!!!! Good point! The major draw for me would be one of the challenges, though. Dopey, Goofy, or Glass Slipper. If I am not mistaken I believe they are all morning races =(

      I may do one eventually for the experience ( like you mention). My little girl is almost 5 and is showing an interest in running. Maybe if she ever decides to do a distance race when she is older, and wishes to do runDisney, we will do it for her first!

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  4. I think that I would have a problem stopping to take a picture too. I guess I run for fun all the time just everyday. I don't get to do many races (because of the cost), so when I do, I want to push my limit.

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    1. Yes!! This!! I am not one to constantly enter races. We are new to being on one income so that I can homeschool, so I am trying to make the transition as seamless as possible. I run for fun when it's free- at a race I am all for pushing it!

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  5. Thanks for the list. This is good also for those who are still considering running Disney Reading your list made me prepare. Atleast I now know what to expect. Thanks!

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    1. =) Glad it is helpful! One way or another!

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  6. I get where you're coming from. I love Disney, seriously, I go to Disneyland every weekend(I have no life I know) but I am considering bowing out for financial reasons. A trip to Disney World for us, two racers, twice the merch, food, lodging and parks is too much. If we were to take our daughter with us we would have to pay for three and either pay for a sitter or offer to pay for a grandparents trip. I'm getting to the point where I might need to sell a kidney for runDisney race-cations.

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    1. I am with ya!!! Disney is expensive enough for our family. When we went 2 years ago my little girl was just under 3, so she was free and we only had to pay for 3 of us. That trip as a whole cost a small fortune. I can't imagine adding all the race extras to it in good conscious....

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