runDisney – First Timer – Running the Race


If you have seen my The Dark Side Half Marathon 2018 article, you know that as a first time runner, I recently participated in a run Disney event. I learned a lot about the in/outs of how these events work, although I am sure that I don’t know everything, but I wanted to share what I did learn about the registration process.

If you want to know more about how to get started see my runDisney – First Time Participant Getting Started article, or what to expect during pre-race preparation see my runDisney – First Time Participant Pre-Race article.

Staggered Starts

Just of give you an idea, there were about 3-4 groups per corral that started the race each time. They had commentators who were interviewing people in the crowd and sending off each corral and mini-group from the corrals about every 3-5 minutes and every start there were fireworks and they started off just as excited as the first group.

My daughter and I were in the third mini-group of corral D, but luckily we were almost right in front. When the fireworks went off, we were off and running. The 5K course was around Epcot so they started us out in the parking lot, coming around the back roads into the countries, running the countries then running through the land and back out into the parking lot for the finish.

Hard Road to Start

Running on the road leading into the park was hard. The ground was hard, there were teams of people walking and not everyone would stay to the right when walking. You have such a varied skill level that it was at times hard to find a clear path to run.

BE PREPARED, unless you get out in front (corral A) you will encounter narrow areas where it will be difficult to run or get past slower moving racers.

BE PATIENT, the narrow passes are not long and usually they open up pretty well afterwards.

Soft Road in the Park

Once you get inside the park it is a WONDERFUL run. The ground gets softer and the park is all lite up, people from the countries are out cheering you on, it was really a nice visual.

In addition to the cast members form the countries, runDisney sets up photo booths all along the race course. This is why the 5K is called a “fun run”. You can get you picture taken with R2D2, on the deck of the Death Star, there are all kinds of Storm troopers, and much more. It really is a fun event that everyone can enjoy.

If you happen to get yourself into corral “A” you can get out in front of the crowds, get into the photo booths before everyone else.

As for me, I was much more serious about the race. We visit Disney about one a month and having been visiting for a little over 2 years now, I had seen all the sights, taken all the pictures that I wanted.  I was here to run and there was plenty of that on this course as well. There are mile markers to help you know where you are on the course, water stations, and photographers in booths a along the path taking pictures.

NOTE: Make sure to keep your bib. Your race number and instructions for how to access your race photos are on the bib. They associate all your photos with your bib, so keep track of it.


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