Running with the Mouse

About the Column

Disney travel experts agree on one thing: relax, take your time. But when it comes to Disney's marathons and other running events, they're wrong. In a race, you can't take your time. And you also can't show up with just your two feet expecting to win - or even finish! Preparing for a Disney marathon requires discipline, hard work, and good advice. We can't help you with the discipline or the hard work. But Robert Mathis, owner of DisneyRunning and one of the few people designated by Disney as 'Perfectly Goofy' for his frequent participation in their running events (since 1996!), has lots of good advice. So relax, take your time, and read his weekly column.

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FROM: Running with the Mouse Published As Needed

Disneyland Half Marathon Last Minute Planning

Robert gives you a few last minute planning and during-the-race tips as well as a course map. It's time to run!



You are now counting down to the final few days before the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. You probably have your bags packed and your running gear all set. You are probably starting to get a little nervous about the race. Taper madness may also be setting in from you cutting back on your mileage as you try to be as strong as possible for the race.

Over 14,000 of your fellow runners and walkers are about to make the memorable voyage. Upon completion, this year you will be the first to have the beautiful, newly designed Half Marathon Finishers medal.


I have compiled a list of tips to help you relax and have a magical race.

Here are some tips to ensure you run the best race you're capable of running:

1. Attend the Expo Speaker Series for some great pre-race, race, and post-race information from the experts. It's free! When else can you say that at Disney!

2. Don't over-exert yourself at the parks before the race. Standing in lines and walking can take a toll on your legs and performance. Try to do attractions where you can sit and use Fast Passes whenever you can.

3. Pre-race meal: Make sure you eat a good meal the night before. A good pasta(and protein) dinner will give you the carbohydrates to help fuel you the next day. Most Disney (including Downtown Disney) restaurants have a pasta option.

4. Lay your running clothes out the night before. Reduce stress by preparing in advance everything you need for the race

5. Put your B-Tag timing chip (attached to your bib) on your clothes the night before. Be careful not to fold your bib and damage the bars of the B-Tag! You want to make sure you are a "official finisher"!

6. For breakfast on the morning of the race, eat only the food you're used to eating. Don't try something new that might not agree with you and cause unnecessary bathroom breaks! Some hotel food courts will be open, but buy what you want the day or the night before and have it in your room. Don't risk running out of what you want!

7. If you're at the race alone, use bag check so you'll have some dry (and warm clothes) to wear after the race.

8. Stay calm and enjoy the experience. Don't stress about the race or how well you'll perform. Just have a magical time!

9. Stay hydrated. It is usually warm (and sometimes very hot) so make sure you drink lots of water and some PowerAde, too. It will improve your performance and make you feel better!

10. Arrive early (like you have a say in that)! Leave time to relax and visit the porta-potties before heading to the corrals!

11. Bring a camera! During the race, characters will be available for photographs. There may be some lines, but the time lost is worth the priceless memories!

12. Start slow. Don't get caught up in the other runners and thrown off your pace. Stay with your training, not someone else's training. If you don't, you'll pay for it later!

13. After the race, make sure you wear your medal (or two medals if you are a Coast to Coast Finisher) proudly in the parks! You earned it and people will congratulate you all day!

Take a deep breath and have a great race. Maybe I will see you in the corrals or on the course!

Here's a Link to the Course Map