By No Vacation Required, on May 6, 2016

Why you should runDisney

We’re heading into event season.  Food festivals and music festivals galore await your participation. But don’t forget about fitness oriented travel events.

As avid runners—and guys who like to talk shop with other runners—we’re consistently hearing runDisney events being ranked tops among those in the know.

This year, we got a chance to test out a runDisney event for ourselves when we were in Orlando. We now count ourselves among those who believe they are, in fact, among the best. First, what is a runDisney event? Disney says it best.

runDisney is a series of events that provides runners the unique opportunity to run through Disney Theme Parks at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida and the Disneyland® Resort in California, earn Disney-themed finisher medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment & Guest Service, and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.

runDisney offers something for the whole family! While marathon and half marathon races headline each runDisney weekend, other offerings include Disney-themed kids races and family fun run 5ks, plus health and fitness expos with guest speakers, product demonstrations and official race merchandise! From the diaper dash to the 48.6-mile Dopey Challenge, there truly is something for everyone at runDisney.

We chose to be part of the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, which falls in January each year. While we enjoyed being able to run a race through Walt Disney World Resort itself (which is simply mind-bogglingly cool), the entertainment along the way, and the opportunities for character interactions, what we were most impressed by is how well Disney handles the logistics.

Viewfinder Tip: This is an event during which you can—and should—wear a costume! Just ensure that it does not comprise your safety or the safety of others.

I know, no surprise coming from Disney, but it’s important for you to know just how much poorly handled logistics can ruin an event like this. A typical road racer’s pet peeves are cramped and poorly organized events. We’ve flown overseas to participate in events with too few restrooms and starting lines that felt like mosh pits. That’s certainly not an ideal way to get into the zone before an endurance endeavor.

During our runDisney event, we found a remarkable amount of room to warm-up, assemble, run, and relax after the half marathon. Oh, and plenty of restrooms at the start, the finish, and along the route.

What else did we enjoy? This video likely does the best job of sharing what our experience was like and what you can expect should you jump on the runDisney bandwagon.

Interested in doing one on your own? Here are some events that might be of interest:

  • Star Wars™ Half Marathon – The Dark Side
  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry
  • Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna®
  • Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon Weekend
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
  • Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend
  • Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna®
  • Star Wars™ Half Marathon – The Light Side
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Learn more on the runDisney site. Start planning your travel right here on Expedia.

Have you ever traveled for a fitness event?