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We recently registered for our first runDisney event! As we have gone throught this process I noticed a lot of people with the same questions, issues and concerns that we had. So I deceided to make this complete runDisney-Registration and Race Guide to help others through this journey. As with all this Disney, good planning and preparation is key to a successful trip and a runDisney trip is no exception.
I can hardly believe that in 11 days I will be running my first half marathon. That seems crazy enough but I will also be running it with my husband! Let’s be clear, running is not his thing. He works out regularly but running is more my thing. I have only started to run somewhat consistantly in the past couple of years and honestly never dreamed I would be doing a half marathon.
Due to some recent life events, I had decieded it was time to start tackling my bucket list. Running at Disney was at the top. So, for our 20th wedding anniversary, my sweet husband agreed to train with me to run a half marathon at Disney! Oh, and when we went to register, the half was full so we are doing the two course challenge. Crazy!
That’s how we started on this runDisney journey. Are you considering registering for a runDisney race? Not sure how to get registered or what your race options are? What happens once you are registered? I am going to walk you step by step through this whole process and get all of your runDisney questons answered.
Walt Disney World offers 4 run events throughout the year and Disneyland Paris has one (there are rumors of another one being added in Paris) Disney also offer 2 virtual races.
runDisney events can sell out fast. If you are hoping to register for one you should sign up to receive runDisney emails and follow them on social media. This will keep you up to date on when registration will open for each event. Not all of the races sell out as quickly as they used. However, some still sell out right away. For example, we are running the Wine and Dine two-course challenge because the half marathon was sold out when we went to register. Lucky us!
Be sure to fill out the run Disney registration form completely!! I follow a lot of runDisney message boards. A common problem I see is people not getting the corral placement they anticipated. Sometimes this is an error on Disney’s side but often it is from not completing registration accurately. A section of your registration form will look like this:
Note that you do not need to submit your Proof of Time at the time of registration but there is a DEADLINE for getting it submitted.
In the drop down box, you can select if you think your finish time will be less than 2:45 or over 2:45. IF YOU SELECT LESS THAN 2:45 BUT DON’T SUBMIT A PROOF OF TIME YOU WILL BE PLACE IN THE LAST CORRAL. When you select less than 2:45 the following options will appear for submitting your proof of time. You can select NO and come back to your account before the deadline to submit your POT.
Here is some further information from runDisney about POT:
We do not accept relays, self-timed, training, trail runs or virtual runs as proof of time. Proof of time must be provided by the participant for each individual race from an officially timed 10K, 12K, 15K, 10-Mile, Half Marathon or Marathon race reflecting results within the last 2 years.
Past runDisney races may be used as proof of time, however, you will need to submit them with your race registration. Runners will be placed in the last corral if the required proof of time is not submitted. If you submit a proof of time from a race distance other than a Half Marathon, an industry-standard calculation will be applied to equate your finish time.
A valid proof of time provided at the time of registration must include the following: Name of Race, Distance, City, State, Date, Finish time, Link to Results.
Preparing for the Big Event
runDisney Race Information
After you have completed your runDisney registration you will receive a confirmation email. This email will contain a link to your runDisney account. Here you can verify the events you are registered for, confirm your profile information and buy commemorative race merchandise
Now you wait. There won’t be much information coming for a while.
Your next email will be a reminder to submit your proof of time and will come about a week before the deadline.
Finally, about one month prior to the event more race information will be released! Around that time we received an email informing us that our tickets to the post race party (for runners signed up for the half-marathons or two course challenge) would start being mailed out 3 weeks before the race. BUT, it also had a link to the Digital Event Guide. At this time there was not a whole lot of new information in the event guide but this is where new information is added once it is released.
Pro Tip– Follow runDisney group boards on Facebook. You will NOT get an email when new information is added to the Event Guide. This includes when course maps and waivers are released (more about that below) But someone in the Facebook group will be refreshing the Event Guide every minute until hot, new info is up and in a split second they will share it in the Facebook group.
Here is the timeline for release of information from the 2019 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend.
Obviously one of the reasons we pay the big bucks to do runDisney races is so we can run through the parks. The irony of this is most of the course is on open roadways and most of the time it is dark out. I guess if they sneak us into a back entrance of Hollywood studios for a quarter-mile run through the park, we will be happy. You never really know what kind of course you are going to get when you sign up for a Disney race. Courses change all the time due to construction, new attractions and park hours. So finally getting to see your course map is a huge deal!! (Don’t believe me, follow a few runDisney Facebook groups, it’s serious business) And, when these babies are released it’s not like you get an email or anything, you basically have to stumble upon this information through social media. One day, Disney just nonchalantly adds the event guide, expo information and the virtual goody bag (coupons) to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon page.
Once the Official Digital Event Guide is up there is a lot more information available for your specific race weekend.
Including course maps!
About a month before your race you will get an email with a link to the Digital Event Guide. Not all of the information will be there at first, you have to keep checking back. Here is where you will find that information on the runDisney site
Waivers, Bib numbers and Corrals-Oh My!
Now, this is when it gets exciting! I thought everyone went crazy when the course maps came out but that was nothing compared to the ruckus that ensued when waivers were released. Yes, I am talking about a liability waiver that you must sign and bring when you pick up your race bib. Why is this so exciting you ask? Because down at the bottom of the boring form is your all-important BIB NUMBER! Wait, I know, your wondering why in the world would people go crazy over a bib number is? Because! This leads you to the motherload of all information…..your corral placement.
For my fellow newbie racers you may feel like this breadcrumb trail has lead us to yet another piece of information with very little significance. But, I assure you that for some it is very important!
Let’s find out why.
While we might be new to this running game we are not completely stupid. Obviously, we understand that if you are an elite runner you want to be correctly placed in corrals A or B and not in the back with those of us that are just praying we don’t die on the course. But there is so much more to it than that.
Planning is everything at Disney and a runDisney event is no exception. People want to know what corral they are in so they can estimate their actual start time so they can estimate their finish time so they can schedule their first FastPass for the day! Yikes!
And if you want to take in all of the Disneyness along the course route you will have to be strategic about your running depending on your corral placement. If you are in one of the last corrals you will have to high tail it for a while so you have time to take all of the character pics before the balloon ladies catch up with you (balloon lady explanation to follow) Or, if you trained for one specific race for your POT in hopes of getting a nice middle of the pack corral placement despite being a novice runner, you want to know if your strategy paid off! I am very excited about this. I do not care about our time and I want to take in all of the fun things that can only be experienced in a runDisney race.
Digital Event Guide
Once you are aware that all of this fabulous information is posted you can click on the Official Digital Event Guide. That will open up a new page that will look like this:
If you click EXPO you will find the location, dates and times of the expo. There is also information on race bib and shirt pick up, commemorative items, virtual goody bag (coupons), and the runDisney Interactive Zone.
The Events tab has information about each of the races. the post race party and another link to the expo page. Each race has a separate page with the official start and finish location, date and time. There is also a link to each course map, a start line staging map and a finish line staging map. Here is the finish line staging map for Wine and Dine 2019.
The Maps tab has some crazy map with an overlay of all of the course maps for that weekend. Personally I don’t see any use for it.
The Transportation tab is very important. This is where you will find information on Host Resort Transportation to the Expo and to the races. It also has driving directions, runner drop-off and pick-up instructions and road closures!
The Reminders tab has 5 sections.
- Waiver- this is where you can find the link to printing your waiver.
- Event Safety- Here you will find information on restricted items, costume guidelines, flag guidelines, park rules, medical help provided, and colored weather flags used to alert runners of course conditions.
- Race Day Info
-gEAR Bag Check Info
-Food and Beverage Info
-Lost and Found
Odds and Ends
Earlier I mentioned the balloon ladies. Who are these people? They are lovely women (and men I assume) who are the last ones to cross the start line. You need to stay in front of them to avoid getting swept. They are volunteers from the local running store that handles the logistics of the race. They can not actually sweep you but the bike team behind them does. They basically provide a visual cue that you better get moving if you don’t want to get swept.
Right now we are 9 day out from our first runDisney event. So, honestly, this is as far as I can take you on the runDisney process for now. If there is any new information before we leave I will update this post. Once we have returned from our trip and have two runDisney races under our belt I will fill you in on all of the information you need to know to have a successful runDisney experience. Please join our friends list so we can let you know when new posts are up. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see more about our journey at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend.
Now go pick a race and get you runDisney registration done! Don’t think about it. Just do it!