RunDisney Coast to Coast Challenge

RunDisney Coast to Coast Challenge

I Know Every Mile, Will Be Worth My While 

For those of you who may not know, the RunDisney Coast to Coast challenge is a thrilling adventure where you run a half marathon in Disneyland, California and a half marathon in Walt Disney World, Florida within the same calendar year. For some, this is comprised of Walt Disney World's Marathon Weekend - Dopey Challenge that happens every January and as of this year, the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend at the end of January. This is one of the many ways you can complete this physical challenge. Other races that can be included in this challenge is the newly added Disneyland Halloween Races, Wine & Dine and the Princess Race weekends to name a few. 

This has been a huge bucket list item for me for years! I have the pleasure of completing it this year using the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend in January and the Walt Disney World Wine & Dine race weekend in November. As well, I will be competing in the Springtime Surprise Challenge as a virtual race from June-August. This blog post is all about my personal experience, planning tips and tricks  and so much more! 

So let's start at the beginning....Training! It's really important that if you are not an avid runner, that you are training properly for the races which includes physical fitness, diet and mental health. For me, running and stretching was a big part of it! Smoothie bowls, salads and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables mixed with some collagen and protein powder. A health diet is equally as important as the physical training. 

This first race for me was considered the "fun race" of the challenge. I didn't train nearly as much or as hard as I should have but instead I wanted to enjoy the atmosphere and stop and see the characters. Even with the lack of training, I did a personal best for the 5km and 10km races and a personal worst for the half marathon as I rolled my ankle near the end of the 10km and had little time for healing. I got to meet rare characters including Belle, Beast and Lumiere, Bolt, Dumbo and Abby Mallard to name a few. Words can't describe the thrill of meeting rare characters and running through the Disneyland & California Adventure parks before it's open to the public. Pixar Pier is all lit up with magical lights, King Arthur's Carousel is glowing and between the music and cheering of all the guests, it really is an incredible experience like no other! 

I didn't put together any costumes for the Disneyland races, I used the dry-fit long sleeve shirts and personally, I think they were great choice. I was warm up before the race started and I stayed cool till the finish line. Some of the incredible costumes I saw included a day who was on her 100th RunDisney Race, Instagram blogger bbbrooke and one of my greatest inspirational runners, Instagram influencer Ms. Tom Morrow (Alex) as the Goat from Big Thunder Mountain and The Matterhorn Basketball court! 

While we are on the topic, bbbrooke and Ms. Tom Morrow have been my greatest  inspirations for starting to run and completing the RunDisney races. I had the pleasure of meeting Alex on this last run and will be looking forward to meeting Brooke and the Wine and Dine in November! Alex has been a huge inspiration to me, not just in the world of running, but in her love and passion for Disney, her beautiful family adventures and her overall inspiring, positive and magical outlook on life. 

The final part of the Coast to Coast challenge is in November in Walt Disney World and the training began immediately when we returned. From running outdoors, planning the vacation itself and putting together fun character costumes, this race will be better than ever! Plus, what is better then Food and Wine Festival in EPCOT!

Tips & Tricks 

1. Find a hotel close to the race start and ending location. This saves time on transportation before and after the race which is turn allows your to sleep longer OR be as close to the front of your corral as possible.

2. Get to your corral early! In Disneyland, you have to go through bag check and metal detectors so you want to allot enough time to get through security and to your corral before your section starts. 

3. Eat a good amount of carbs the nights before the race and drink LOTS of water. Stay hydrated before, during and after the race. Consider bringing electrolytes to put in your water for a sugar boost throughout the run if needed. 

4. Train hard! While showing up at the race untrained still has a possibility of completion, it's better to train hard before for a strong and confident finish. 

5. If you're going to DisneyBound and have a fun character costume, make sure it is able to keep you cool throughout the race and allows your body to breathe. Be prepared for layers based on weather conditions that are easy to remove during the race and pack in your luggage. Florida in February is very cold in the morning! Personally, I prefer running without props or things that I need to hang on to throughout the race as I feel it slows me down but that is all based on personal preference.

6. Enjoy the Experience! Be in the Moment! Each race offers such a unique and memorable experience that we recommend you take those photos, see those characters and fully immerse yourself in Race Day! If you can and want too, sign up for Sunrise Yoga in front of the Castle or those after hours post-race parties in the theme parks. Not everyone gets the opportunity to compete in these races so do it with pride and enjoy every minute of it! It's not a sprint to the finish line, it's a marathon! Pace yourself, hydrate and embrace all the magic!  

**More Information to come** 

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