I know I’ve said it before, but the Princess Half Marathon really has been on my bucket list for years. Don’t believe me?
Back in September 2009, I wrote a post titled “I Want to Be a Princess” about wanting to run the Princess Half Marathon.
Then in September 2011, I wrote another post about how I wanted to run this race.
It’s been a long time coming.
Now that I’ve run the race, I have a few words of advice for you – a few “dos and don’ts” if you will.
DO run this race: I don’t care if you’ve never run a 5k in your life. If you have EVER dreamed of doing just one half marathon in your lifetime, this is the one to do.
Oh, and by the way, this race is not just for “girly girls”. Despite the gigantic tutu I wore for this race, people who know me in real life will tell you that I am not the girliest girl out there. I rarely spend time doing my hair, putting on make up or wearing high heels. But once I got to Disney…this is how I felt:
DON’T stress about your time: This isn’t a race to attempt a PR. There are a lot of other races for that. This is your chance to run through Disney – take it all in and enjoy the sights. Take a few photos.
DO stay on Disney property – if you can: I know it’s not cheap, but if you are able to stay on Disney property, I highly recommend doing it. Logistically speaking, it is just the easiest way. There are buses out front of the hotel to take you to the race start and buses to take you back right at the finish line. I’m so glad I didn’t have to waddle my way out to my car in the parking lot after the race. The bus is just so convenient!
DON’T spend money on the Pasta Party: In my humble opinion, it wasn’t worth the money. The food was good, but not $50 good. But knowing Disney, they will probably improve it and it will be the best thing ever next year. Who knows. Oh and a big caveat – I’m pretty sure that people who bought the $50 tickets to the Pasta Party not only got the dinner, but also got entrance to Epcot for the rest of the evening. So if you’re looking at it from that perspective, it might be worth it.
DO spend money on the Race Retreat (if you have it): After paying about $150 for a race entry, I probably couldn’t afford the extra $99 for the Race Retreat. But if you happen to have some extra money, or if this is the one an only half marathon you think you’ll ever do, I really do recommend the Race Retreat. Who doesn’t love being treated like a VIP?
DON’T try to use the port-a-potties on the walk to the corrals: I promise – there are more of them closer to the starting line. Standing in line there will just frustrate you and others since the port-a-potty lines block the way for those trying to get to the corrals. Just wait. There will be more.
DO get there on time: The whole bag check and walk to the starting line takes longer than you think. Really. It does. Get there on time.
DON’T put your race bib on your back: I saw so many runners doing this – and I have no idea why. If you put your race bib on your back, the photographers can’t identify you in the race photos. And we all want to be able to see our race photos, right?? Oh and don’t forget to smile for the cameras too!
DO dress up in costume: Maybe you shouldn’t do a full tutu if this is your first half marathon, but at least do something to get into the princess spirit. You’ll be glad you did. Oh and by the way – the medic stops along the way have Vaseline available. Just in case that costume doesn’t end up being quite so comfortable after all.
DON’T try to use a port-a-potty with your tutu on: Just trust me on this one.
Do you have any advice to share about this race in particular, or about running a half marathon in general?