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