Foolish Mortals: Mistakes at runDisney Races | My No-Guilt Life | My No-Guilt Life

Foolish Mortals: Mistakes at runDisney Races


You know you’ve made mistakes early on in your running career. Or maybe just last week. We’re going to talk about running mistakes at runDisney races and how you can avoid making them!



How to Avoid common runDisney mistakes: tips and hacks for running at Disney World and Disneyland races.


Foolish Mortals: Mistakes at runDisney Races

I’ve had my fair share of dumb moves at runDisney events. And I know I’m not alone!

Here are a few things to avoid when you decide it’s time to runDisney submitted by my friends, fellow Disney runners, and enthusiasts.



  • Don’t start out too fast. It’s Disney and it is easy to get swept up in the excitement. Gene said this happened to him in the 2013 marathon when he started in A corral. Pixie dust will not get you through if you crash and burn at mile 18 in a marathon.


  • Find runner friends: they will teach you a few things about etiquette before the race and hopefully help you dress. Because no one wants to run in Florida humidity in cotton. I mean, NO ONE. Jane did it though, twice. Because: no runner friends back then. She was adorable anyway, right?


Cotton and Florida humidity is a hard no.


  • During the marathon, be careful about grabbing all the food you see. You could end up like my friend Kirsten on her first Goofy and find her shorts falling down and her phone lost because she stuffed way too much food into her pockets “for later”. That spare banana is probably not worth losing your shorts over.


  • Submit a proof of time. For the love of Walt, PLEASE submit a proof of time if you think you will finish faster than 2:45 for a half marathon. Don’t be like Rebecca who forgot to do it and be stuck much farther back than her speed allowed. It will allow you to be seeded as properly as possible and hopefully keep you from stressing out about the balloon ladies.


Walt Disney World runDisney Balloon Ladies


  • Speaking of: educate yourself about the balloon ladies and know what they are and what they are not.


  • When you are in a Port o Potty and decide to use hold the roll of TP under your chin due to costume issues: don’t. Because you’ll end up running the next few miles like Aimee, picking off bits of white paper off your sweaty chest. Ewwww.


  • Test those running costumes! Jill ran her first Princess in a tutu and had all the regrets. Chafing happens, especially in glittery tulle.



  • Don’t spend too much time in the parks BEFORE the races, like Sandra did in 2014. Your feet and legs will notice. I’m a fan of adding days to the end of the trip for all the park time your legs can handle. Protip: it will help move that lactic acid out too! Walk walk and walk the parks some more. AFTER the race.


  • Stay on property at a host hotel for race transportation access. Get on that early bus and leave the driving to the (mostly) competent drivers. On the chance that you end up with someone who doesn’t know where they are going: you’ll be glad you padded in that extra time!


parking at disney world resorts starts march 21. Art of Animation resort is included.


  • Consider who you travel with on these race weekends. Taking the whole family or your older parents to Disney is GREAT- but over a race weekend like Dopey, you might have regrets like Beth did. A needy family when you have 48.6 miles to run and 4 mornings of waking up before the sun could end up being ugly. I know you want them to see you run all the races, but just keep in mind that YOU need to be focused and dialed into the task ahead.


  • Take all the pictures! But maybe stay on your feet? Because getting down sounds like fun- but getting back up during a distance race could prove a challenge. Janie got the shot but admits getting back on her feet wasn’t easy. Brian executed a cool dive roll in front of the gravediggers- and almost didn’t get up!



  • Training is important. See note about Pixie Dust above. If you train for the distance then,  seriously,  half the battle on race day is magically over. Crazy how that happens.


  • If you train in the cold, know that race day will feel very different. Your pace may suffer, and your feet may rebel by creating blisters. Florida is weird when it comes to weather, but you can mostly count on the humidity showing up. Canadian Melissa discovered this issue (heel blisters- ouch!) at mile 8 and had to run the rest of her race on her toes to finish. Or it can be totally freezing like its been the past few marathon weekends!


race sign during the rundisney marathon some friends are worth freezing for


  • Listen to your body: there’s pain to push through, and there’s pain that you should STOP for. Kendra pushed through instead of stopping- and well, 2 years later she’s still rehabbing.



Bottom line: running at Disney is fun. If it wasn’t, you can bet I wouldn’t keep doing it.

It’s not like anything else you will ever see on a race course- but it’s still a race course. Have some shenanigans and take the pictures and enjoy the magic, but also remember that you’ve still got the miles to complete. And Aladdin is not going to give you a ride to the finish on his magic carpet!


More runDisney Posts You Will Love

runDisney: The Ultimate Guide to Magical Miles

The Most Helpful runDisney Marathon Advice EVER

Best runDisney Restaurants To Fuel Up Before Races!

Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)


  • Nicole says:

    Love this! I’ve never run a Disney race, it seems so “foreign”. Reading about the balloon ladies is simultaneously terrifying and hilarious!

  • Great tips! RunDisney certainly was a new experience for me this year! I can definitely agree that hitting the parks after the race is a much smarter move! And the humidity was no joke! I’m glad I wore comfortable clothing!

  • Shathiso says:

    Too, too funny! I will be sure to keep these in mind. My last 10k race was actually in Fancy Dress. I didn’t test it out beforehand but THANKFULLY there were no major issues.

  • DIsney is one of my favorite racecations but it is hard to refrain from doing the parks before the race. You on’y have so much time and you want to make the most of it. But your feet and body with thank you come race day if you take that down time.

  • Christine Howard says:

    I made the mistake on my first Princess Half of drinking Gatorade and eating the Goo… I mean everyone else was doing it, right? My stomach was in painful knots and I was in dire need of a portapotty with toilet paper asap after the race! Not fun! I never eat anything that I haven’t trained with now!

  • Lesley says:

    I tried to be careful at Disneyland last year, but I walked all over the first day, and woke up with a knot in my calf. I took the hotel shuttle every day after that.

  • Crystal says:

    Even if you know better….sometimes we all still make stupid mistakes…

    For the Star Wars Light Side Challenge in January I did the parks all week pre-race and even did the 3-mile hike to see the hollywood sign and did Universal Studios – we had to go pre-race due to my sister’s college schedule. I survived – but I could tell it in my feet, particularly during the half. I ended up about 10 minutes slower than I wanted, but considering the week we had I took it!

    The cotton/testing a shirt in now like #1 on my list, I wore an iron man shirt that was cotton (I knew better – what was I thinking?) for Avengers – it rubbed funny and didn’t wick sweat away and was no fun!

  • Marcia says:

    What? No magic carpet ride? Say it isn’t so!

  • Great info! I will definitely come back here if I ever do a Disney race!

  • I had to go read the Balloon Lady info LOL. My foolish mistakes always involve heat or beer or both…

  • Meliss says:

    This is great!!! You make Disney races sound so fun!
    My mistakes always involve starting too fast and not getting enough water the day before.

  • Clarinda says:

    Having no real desire to do a runDisney race (shocker, I know), I wasn’t sure about this post, but I actually really enjoyed it! (even pinned it for ya!)

    A lot of these are just good advice in general. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • vicki says:

    Ha… awesome “that spare banana is probably not worth losing your shorts over”

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Patty Holliday

Patty is a 40-ish mother of four living in Virginia. A bit geeky, sometimes sarcastic, lover of a candid confession. She's trying to love running, she swears. But much like her marathon, it’s taking a very long time. Ahem. She's searching for the perfect way to balance family, work, travel, and fitness. Perfect defined as high on fun, low on guilt.

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