I enjoyed this race much more than I expected. I think that was because after years of running Disney races, I know what I’m getting myself into. It’s going to be a slow race based on where I end up with proof of time. I’m going to end up walking a huge chunk of it. And that’s okay, because I’m doing it with awesome friends.
So rather than give an official race report (I started, I ran, I stopped), I thought I would just talk about what I’ve learned over the past few years running Disney races.
Your corral placement really does have an effect on your experience, and not how you think. This year, the Princess half featured corrals A-P. I was assigned to I, ran in J to stay with friends. So I was somewhere in the middle of the race.
I had friends in the first three corrals who had a GREAT race. Lots of fun, time to stop for pics, just an excellent race. My cousin started in the second to last corral and had a blast. She walked the race and made all sorts of new friends along the way. It was a super positive experience and she finished with a huge smile on her face.
Mid-pack, however, was a different experience. I’m not going to say it was bad, because it wasn’t. There were all sorts of friendly people there. Sure, it was crowded, but I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with are the rude people, and for some reason, those seem to be found in the mid-pack runners. People who aren’t fast enough to move forward but who seem to think they deserve something the rest of us don’t. For example, at one point, I got cut off from my group of 4. (No, we weren’t running 4 abreast.) I said “Excuse me,” and tried to get through. I had to ask a few times, and finally, the woman said “I don’t know where you think you’re going.” “Well, I’m going up there to run with my sister.” Seriously rude. And she wasn’t the only one.
That sort of attitude really affects my opinion of these races, and I think that’s part of the reason that runDisney is getting a bad rap as of late. The races themselves are amazingly well organized. They’re fun. And the runDisney people are, for the most part, fabulous. (Their Twitter person is phenomenal.) Sure, the races are expensive. But Disney is a corporation and they are charging what the market will bear. The races sell out incredibly quickly, so why would they lower their prices? I can’t say I like it, but I’m not going to complain about it.
No, it’s us runners who damage the experience. People are rude on Facebook leading up to the event and they are rude before and during the event. There is a ridiculous sense of self-entitlement that seems to come with these races. We all paid the same money and we all deserve to be there. People need to get over themselves and just enjoy the experience. It isn’t that hard to be nice to others. And yet every year, the rude people make their presence known.
That’s not to say that I had a terrible time. I had fun, rude people notwithstanding. I saw some awesome costumes. Lots of great shirts, including ones that said “Why are all these Princesses chasing me,” and one that said “After 13.1 miles, reindeer smell better than runners.” But my absolute favorite were the two girls dressed as Indiana Jones and the boulder that chases him. Super clever. And in the airport waiting for my luggage yesterday, I met some women who were chatting about how much fun they had. I’m glad the experience is still generally a positive one. But we’re the ones who can make that happen.