Are runDisney races more competitive or more for fun?

Are you thinking about signing up for your first runDisney race? If so, you may have a lot of questions about how a runDisney race works and how it compares to other races around the country. We had these exact questions heading into our race and learned quite a bit following our first half marathon with runDisney.

The races and events runDisney hosts are meant to be inclusive of all types of runners. These are not competitive races that require specific qualifying times. Instead, the longer races ask for a proof of time only if you anticipate finishing beneath a set time. This assists the runDisney organizers with determining corral placements. Runners who don’t submit a proof of time will be placed in the back few corrals.

We didn’t submit any proofs of time for our Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon and were placed in the second-to-last corral. Corral G represent! That was fine by us considering one of us had never participated in an organized race and the other only had a few under their belt. All we knew was that we had to stay in front of the infamous balloon ladies (they set the pace you must be in front of to avoid getting removed from the course) and we wanted to have as much fun as possible.

runDisney has some awesome medals.

So, were things super competitive or more relaxed? Overall, the race was centered around having a fun time and wasn’t about seeing who could get the best time. Unless you’re starting in the elite corral or Corral A, you’re probably not going to set any personal records. More attention is placed on stopping to take a quick photo with a character than it is on finishing with an amazing time. The course can get very crowded and a bit narrow in places, making a record-setting pace difficult unless you start in the front.

Runners will dress up in fun and even crazy costumes, will wait in lines for photos and will soak in every moment when a course passes through a theme park. You may even hear how the longer courses – especially the full marathon – will see runners stopping to catch a ride on Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or grab a margarita at Epcot. It goes without saying that runDisney races are not your normal events. They are their own kind of magical spectacle.

A runDisney event is a great starting point for runners who are looking for their first race. It’s also a great time for experienced runners who want something a bit more relaxed and out of the ordinary compared to races with other organizations. Our runDisney race was a lot of fun and not too competitive. A perfect mix.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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