Ooh la la! Well Run, runDisney Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon | | My No-Guilt Life

Ooh la la! Well Run, runDisney Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon

Ooh la la!

Who else was watching the inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris weekend on social media? By most accounts, it looks like the races themselves were deemed BEST. RACE. EVER!

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

The stunning Sleeping Beauty Castle in Paris early morning of the 5K. Photo by Michelle Allen

While Paris was a huge dream for me this year, I always knew deep down this one wasn’t going to happen. Alas, there’s always next year and 365 days to save up.

As information came out leading up to the race, I kept thinking this was going to be a huge mess. A cluster #$%@, I think were my exact words.

And there were issues; that’s true. The pasta parties served frozen food you needed to microwave yourself (um, for $80? Are you kidding me?) And the expo had crazy long lines and some issues with the Castle to Chateau confirmations. So this part wasn’t so great.

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Goodness… photo: Marci Holland

The merchandise was also not the best which was a huge disappointment for some runners.

If you are a Paris runner and still want something cute to commemorate the race, be sure to check out Designz by Michelle Lynn. She’s re-opening her Paris line (see some below!) to make sure everyone who didn’t get something at the Expo can find something they love.

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

I was so happy to hear the mostly glowing reports from the US runners about this one! In one of my Facebook groups, Heather Murray told us that while there were issues with the expo, the race itself was fantastic.

Even after standing online at the expo, we were so frustrated, but the race was over the top amazing. It is our favorite race to date. The hands down best part was the excitement of all the workers, they were genuinely so excited to have so many visitors,” Heather said.

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Thanks for sharing your experiences and pictures, Heather and Doug! Congrats again!

Here are a few tidbits from runners who were at the race weekend. Oh- and some pictures. You know we can’t do this without pictures!

CORRALS

3 for the 5K and 4 for the half. That might not seem like enough spacing, but each corral let off in waves of people.

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Photo: Michelle Allen, Designz by Michelle Lynn https://www.facebook.com/DesignzbyMichelleLynn

In Paris, the early bird will get the early wave release! Most folks are saying this allowed for very little crowding early on and made the start seamless and fun.

One complaint was that the 5K was based on alphabetical order (maybe?) and therefore it did cause some faster folks with a last name at the end of the alphabet to get stuck in crowding. I could see that being an issue and hope that it’s addressed in the future.

CHARACTERS

All the characters! ALL. OF. THEM.

Reports say 13 character stops (some with multiple characters at the stops) in the 5K alone.

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Photo: Michelle Allen, Designz by Michelle Lynn https://www.facebook.com/DesignzbyMichelleLynn

The big problem was, once again, the back of the packers getting hosed with the ops. Paris did not cut the lines off, so many stood in line for a bit only to see their character leave and never return.

This meant wasted time and no pictures for many. #whompwhomp  Note to self: if you want to run Paris, you need to get the speed under control!

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Photo: Michelle Allen, Designz by Michelle Lynn https://www.facebook.com/DesignzbyMichelleLynn

The quality of characters was a step up for sure! Many of the rare folks never seen on a US runDisney course were present at Paris.

I know I would have screeched to a halt for this picture of Mr. Fredrickson, Doug, and Russell.

How AWESOME is this?!

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Thanks to Michelle from https://www.facebook.com/DesignzbyMichelleLynn for these great race pics!

FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE

Boring and blah?

Nope.

Most people are reporting that it was scenic and lovely. I think I can see why!

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Photo credit: Michelle Allen

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

photo credit: Michelle Allen

CAST MEMBERS

They were excited to have so many runners there!

I have only heard positive reports about the excitement levels and kindness of the cast members during the race.

Disneyland Paris Hotel even took things a bit further: check out the flower delivery post-race!

Heather had a sweet flower delivery and noticed other rooms receiving deliveries as well!

Heather had a sweet flower delivery and noticed other rooms receiving deliveries as well!

QUICK RECAPS

Both ladies allowed me to share their Facebook posts about the race. Enjoy!

From Heather: Wanted to share my thoughts on today’s race… I have said it, in my opinion, the DLP race was the best Half ever run, by far the best RunD event I have done. I know that is a bold statement, but here is why.

The area around the resorts here is highly secured, once you are inside, you are in a safe zone, so no line for security checks (though there were random checkpoints throughout the safe zone ).

You get a free breakfast with your hotel stay.

The hotels added a Runners Breakfast so you could grab a coffee, fruit, cereal before the race (for free).

Everything is within walking distance, so we left at 6, to meet the group for a picture (which we missed). The walk over was very easy.

Some restaurants in Disney Village (Starbucks) opened early.

After going into the runner area, we headed to corrals. Once in the corral area, there was no wait for portajohns. We were delayed a bit at the start (they said for security).

Once we started, the CMs were amazing, you could tell they were excited! Cheering loudly!

We ran through The Studios and then DLP.

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

I was nervous once we left DLZ it would be boring, it was the opposite. The French Countryside was beautiful! There was never course crowding. For snacks, they gave out Apples and Special K bars. Every water station also had power aid.

The finish was super easy, got our medals, goodie bags and headed on our way. The walk back was a breeze! 

CONGRATS, Heather and Doug! 

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Photo: Michelle Allen

From Michelle: What a day! runDisney Paris Half Marathon was today….holy emotional.

The race started later than it should have. We then stood around forever for our corral, and it was FREEZING. Sandra was nice enough to wrap me in her blanket with her. Finally start, everything is locked up due to being so cold.

Started right into the park, so that was amazing. The character stops the first four miles were amazing. We were making really great time (even with the boot), so we stopped for a few.

Now fast forward to right before NINE. We are in the French countryside….we look across the field…hmmm… No runners. Well, that’s odd.

Walk up a bit and no more than .25 miles behind us is the balloon ladies. How is that possible???

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

Photo: Michelle Allen

(Yes- runDisney had balloon ladies, bikes, and a sweeper van on the course. Just like home.)

Well, I’ve never moved so fast in my life. Mile 9 and 10 were the hardest I have ever had in my life. But no way we were getting swept.

So I start pressing them with questions….(since they are literally feet from us).

Apparently due to a late start, they were told to massively pick up the pace. They were pacing in the 14s ? Were told there were two more hard sweeps coming up.

I’m pretty much having a nervous breakdown right about then. I have no idea where I found the strength but somehow mustered through. We are told one more hard sweep….thank goodness we were about to stick with them.

Once we hit about 11.6 they told us we were safe. I forced myself to slow down. EVERYTHING hurt. Good leg. Bad leg. Everything.

Finally finished at 3:49 about two minutes behind the balloon ladies. Whew.

The medals are gorgeous. Huge thanks to Sandra (for literally almost dragging me these two miles so j didn’t fall flat on my face)!

paris-medals

Photo: Michelle Allen

Way to go Sandra and Boot Girl! Guys- Michelle completed DDD and both Paris races in a boot! She’s hardcore! 

Did you make it to Paris? What were your thoughts on the race? If you have a race recap, I’d love to add it to this post! Share in the comments. 

The inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is getting rave reviews. Check out the race recap and pictures shared by runners who earned their Castle to Chateau medals! France | costumes | race | Disney

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.)

Comments

  • Emily says:

    Many great pros but also definite cons to the race. It was beautiful and fun but not runDisney’s best by far. Agree with the pros – gorgeous medals, great food, good security and crowd control. Cons – even if you weren’t in Corral C, the Photopass staff just wasn’t friendly about character pics. Hurry hurry hurry! No, we won’t take a photo on your phone for you, you can only take a selfie (or ask another runner to help you out)! Other cast members cheering on the runners were great. But it’s not cool that folks got denied photo ops because the race itself started late (for whatever reason). Also, still no official times posted anywhere on an official Disney website. French countryside was lovely, but still needed more characters and entertainment along the way. Food at the prerace parties was definitely meh. Anyway it was a lovely, fun race, I totally enjoyed it; but NOT the best runDisney race ever.

  • Chris says:

    The race was quite nice. There was definitely a lack of information before the race. No one knew what the food would be (and we asked a number of ppl.) I ended up running with my own clif shots and I’m glad I did. Who wants cereal bars, at least if you’re running quickly. It’s bizarre that there is still no official time online and there’s no way to link bibs to photopass until next weekend. Hope it works!

  • I was there! Overall I really enjoyed it (the characters were amazing!) but I had two issues. The first was the corrals. The smaller groups are nice but if you’re going to do that then just assign more corrals according to time. There were large variances in time even within corrals which was frustrating. I submitted a proof of time of 2:26 and my friend had a 2:35 – he was in B and I was in C. It made no sense to me. The other issue was the photos. They wouldn’t take pictures with your phone – they said “only photopass and selfies!” Well, that actually takes longer because people have to pose the selfie themselves AFTER the photopass picture, rather than someone taking it at the same time as the photopass person. Plus I’m not a big fan of selfies haha. But other than those things I thought it was a great race! I don’t often do many character stops but I stopped 4 times on this course! And I wish I had signed up for the 5k!

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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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