Maleficent Adventures

Travelling Around the World

Category: RunDisney

Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon Weekend 5K

Just a month to go before the 2nd Disneyland Paris RunDisney event. Last year we took part in the Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon Weekend. Holly, by running the Ratatouille 5K and Lucy, taking part in the half marathon.

Here we both reflect on our journeys.

Holly’s 5k reflections:

I’ve never done a running event before; I’ve always liked the look Disney races mainly because they have such great medals!

DisneyRun Medals

Lucy signed me up for the 5K as a “gift” for my birthday, probably to ensure I didn’t back out. I won’t lie, the training was tough as I had never done any kind of running before, but I persevered and managed to make a plan and mostly stick to it despite a few setbacks. I used the Nike+ running app to track my runs and couch to 5K app to motivate me and guide me through the kinds of distances or duration I should be running along the way.

Running Apps

I did have one minor setback whilst I was training, where I had a disagreement with a pavement! Safe to say the tarmac won, and I lost a lot of skin off my knee and hands. However, I had signed up, paid my accommodation and still wanted to give it my all. I managed to pick myself up and after a few weeks rest, I restarted my training.

The weekend seemed to come around quick and soon it was time to pack, double and triple check we had everything we needed for the race and head to Paris!

Once we arrived on the Friday afternoon, myself and my Mum headed to collect our race packs because it was the last opportunity to do so before the race. There was a buzz of people around Disney Event Arena, a few stands had set up at the exhibition, but there was nowhere near as many as you see advertised for the American races. I hope this will improve as the race gets more popular in subsequent years.

RunDisney Race Number and Medal

The Race

I was nervous at the starting line; however, the atmosphere and people were amazing. I loved seeing the costumes some of the runners were wearing. My favourite was a guy dressed as Chef Linguini from Ratatouille, complete with a Disneyland plate and croissant taped to his hand.

The race started and finished back in Disney Village, near to the stage and I managed to complete it in 50minutes. Whilst I am aware it is not the fastest anyone has ever run a 5k, I had a great time running through the parks, and glad I put in the time and effort to be able to keep running the whole way through (including going back to wait for my Mum).

RunDisney Route through Disneyland Paris

Running through both Disneyland and the Studio Park was magical and everything I hoped it would be. Setting off early morning meant it was still dark and as we went down Main Street USA all the lights were still on – my favourite kind of Main St view.

Scattered throughout the park were a host of characters out to meet the runners, from Woody to Darth Vader. I was keen to finish the course and keep moving so I didn’t stop but next time I won’t pass up the photo opportunities, but I’m not sure I would get a photo with everyone as some people were.

I look forward to doing another 5K or maybe 10K in the future at either Disneyland Paris or one of the US Disney Parks. Although not sure how I will cope with the heat in the States! Unfortunately, now Lucy has read this and is planning my next birthday present (Mwahahaha).

Together as a group we raised money for MND and Prostate Cancer UK which are charities close to our hearts. After a hearty effort from all – and really very generous donations from our friends and family which definitely kept us going during training, we managed to raise over almost £6,000, through our just giving page:
https://www.justgiving.com/teams/disneyhalfmarathon

We’d like to thank everyone for their support, as it made such a big difference.

Read about Lucy’s half marathon memories or see our top 9 tips on preparing for a RunDisney race

Top 9 tips for preparing for a RunDisney race

Just a month to go before the 2nd Disneyland Paris RunDisney event. Last year we took part in the Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon Weekend. Holly, by running the Ratatouille 5K and Lucy, taking part in the half marathon.

We have put together our top 9 tips for preparing for a RunDisney race:

  1. Make sure you are fit enough before you attempt the race
    • A simple training regime over a couple of months is plenty of time to make sure you can cross the finish line – still in one piece.
  2. Give yourself plenty of time to train
    • Training can be fun, but life gets in the way, it can get stressful keeping up with a tight time budgeted training plan. Make a realistic plan to aim to get your mileage up a couple of weeks before your race.
  3. Find a buddy of the same ability to train with
    • There is no greater feeling than progressing in running, but it’s even better when you have someone to share it with. Lucy: My husband is a much faster runner than I am and it would take me months to get up to the same fitness level as him, so find someone who can share in your triumphs… instead of one upping you all the time and making your small victories seem just that, small. If you can’t find anyone then remind yourself that everyone is different, and you can only compare your training to the runs you did the week before.
  4. Invest in a good set of trainers
    • We can both agree that appropriate footwear will get you 50% of the way, because trainers that rub are distracting and painful.
  5. Take your time to cultivate a motivational playlist
    • You’ll find as you train that not every song you thought was appropriate is conducive to maintaining pace, or even a good mental state. Positive songs with a fast beat are perfect, our (eclectic mix of) favourites include:
      • “A star is born” – Hercules
      • “ET” – Katy Perry
      • “Fester Skank” – Lethal Bizzle
      • “What’s this?” – Nightmare Before Christmas
      • “Dancin [A Catchy Rhythm]” – Disney Parade
      • “Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
      • “Perfect Day” – Hoku
      • “VIP” – Manic Drive
  1. Try to eat right
    • Increased time exercising increases hunger levels, but with a little more research eating better would have been beneficial to our training programs. Lean meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables are obviously going to better prepare you, but you can’t be perfect all the time!
  2. Pack everything you think you need twice
    • The best piece of advice we were given is to pack your favourite pair of socks, and a backup; pack the top you want to wear, and a spare. You never know how you are going to feel on race day and giving yourself options on the morning will help reduce stress levels before the race.
  3. Make sure you wear in your gear
    • If you are going to buy new shoes, socks or leggings make sure you have done a couple of training runs in them. Never wear anything brand new on race day, it could cause chaffing were you never expected and throw you off completely!
  4. Fundraise
    • Motivation through winter months, or even in summer when it starts to get warmer can be hard to keep going. We raised money for two charities that were really important to us, and this really helped group training morale. Not only do you get the wonderful feeling of completing a life goal in the most magical place in the world but also you helped others doing it, amazing!

Good luck to everyone who takes part in a RunDisney event in the future.

Read about our RunDisney races:
Lucy’s half marathon memories
Holly’s 5k reflections

Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon Weekend Half Marathon

Just a month to go before the 2nd Disneyland Paris RunDisney event. Last year we took part in the Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon Weekend. Holly, by running the Ratatouille 5K and Lucy, taking part in the half marathon.

Here we both reflect on our journeys.

Lucy’s half marathon memories:

As soon as I heard there was going to be a RunDisney race at Disneyland Paris, I immediately persuaded my husband and best friend that we were doing it. It was just a matter of cost, but once we priced it up it was just about within budget. The race, accommodations, three days of park tickets (two parks + park hopper) and our flights came in around £400. But, four adults to a room isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so choose your companions wisely!

I had run a few 5ks and one 10k two years prior, so I knew if I put my mind to it I could go the distance. I have never been a fast runner, so I focussed on finishing regardless of what time I achieved and this took the pressure off. My training programme went pretty smoothly and whilst it was hard, I enjoyed my new-found fitness level and the positive affect it had on my daily mood.

Race day was nerve wracking, everyone else in my team had been reporting a much faster pace than me, so I knew after the first couple of miles I was going to be on my own. The start line was a bit of a shambles to be honest, we were in corral C (which I would not advise to anyone). We got there at 6:00am, and did not cross the start line till 8:00am. Starving and cold is not the best way to start your first half marathon. Hopefully, over the next couple of years DLP will get these bugs out of their system, I understand these things cannot be completely planned for on the first try.

The first three miles took part in the parks, and it was awesome – everything you would have dreamed it to be. However, as soon as mile three was up, that was it, out the backdoor and into the wilderness. I’m not going to lie, it was hard. The route is convoluted and when you pass people that are miles ahead of you, it can get a bit depressing. I remember at 8km the last member of my party saying their goodbye and leaving me for dust. I had with me my playlist, gel packs and drive to cross the finish line.

I managed to keep up my 12-minute mile pace (told you I was slow), and along the way the marching bands and African drum groups kept me going. Like Holly said, there were a lot of people in costume and that was fairly entertaining.

The hardest part was the finish, I got to the lake by Hotel New York and thought “this must be it!”, I saw Holly with our Mum and my friend cheering me on, promising it was not much further. This is a lie. My advice to you is this: when you get to the lake, prepare for ANOTHER MILE AND A HALF. It’s cruel, but once it’s over…. It’s over.

You put your medal around your neck and you spend the day strutting around the parks like the Queen you are (if you can get your legs to work that is). I would definitely do this again, but maybe in a few years’ time when they have it running like clockwork.

Together as a group we raised money for MND and Prostate Cancer UK which are charities close to our hearts. After a hearty effort from all – and really very generous donations from our friends and family which definitely kept us going during training, we managed to raise over almost £6,000, through our just giving page:
https://www.justgiving.com/teams/disneyhalfmarathon

We’d like to thank everyone for their support, as it made such a big difference.

Read about Holly’s 5k reflections or see our tips on preparing RunDisney race

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