Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2018 WDW Marathon Weekend- Last Minute Tips

If you're headed down to Walt Disney World for the 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend, you've got just seven days until your magical journey of 3.1, 6.2, 13.1, 26.2, 39.3, or 48.6 miles begins!

This will be my 6th trip to WDW Marathon Weekend and I consider myself to be an experienced runDisney runner and spectator. I've gathered up some last minute tips here in this post to help you prepare for the upcoming race weekend. Enjoy!

What to Pack
There are a ton of packing lists out there in the interwebs that I think are fantastic (see my favorite list here and one I came up with a few years ago here). However, there are a few things I always make sure to pack that aren't necessarily on other lists:
  • Static Guard Spray. Nobody likes a tech shirt sticking to your body in all the wrong places. 😂
  • Sleep Mask & Ear Buds. This helps drown out noise or lights from other resort guests on those nights when we're in bed by 7 pm for a 2 am wake-up call.
  • Safety Pins & Bobby Pins. There's really nothing a safety pin or a bobby pin can't fix- running costumes, hair emergencies, etc.
  • Portable Charger. This is a must when spending hours racing and then hours in the parks.

Track Your Runner/Yourself
Sign up for runner tracker here. You can track yourself, your friends, your runner, or sign other folks up to track you, etc. My mom and dad LOVE getting texts at 6:30 am race morning letting them know I crossed the start line. 😉 I like to track my friends to I know when they finish and get a better gauge of when we can meet up after the race for beers.

Runner Tracker is extremely helpful if you are spectating for someone during the races- for the half and full marathon, there are several times you will get a text message letting you know where your runner is. These alerts help you stay on pace with your runner if you are planning on seeing them multiple times on the race course.

Check out my Spectator's Guide to Running for more tips.

Spectating Matthew and my Dad at the WDW Marathon in 2015.

Get Your Head in the Game
No matter the race distance, getting in the right headspace before a race is crucial to your experience and performance. The folks at Cigna created this really cool infographic for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the full marathon distance:

In the next few days before your race(s), try some meditation or some visualizing exercises to calm your nerves. Imagine each mile of the race and how you'll feel as you pass each one. Trust your training. Read race recaps so you'll know what to expect (find all my runDisney reviews here). Take some time for yourself, relax, and mentally prepare your game plan for your race(s).

Make Plans to Celebrate
One of the best parts of running at Disney is celebrating the race afterwards in the happiest place on earth! Whether you want to celebrate in the parks, at Disney Springs, or at your favorite restaurant with friends, be sure to make a plan and get the details in place before race weekend (who's coming? what time? how are you getting there?). The last thing you want to worry about after literally running your butt off is making dinner reservations.

Last year at Disney Springs after a celebratory dinner and
pint of Guinness at Raglan Road with Matthew's cousin.

Enjoy Your Miles
Most importantly, this next week, focus on how much you're going to enjoy running through Walt Disney World with 30,000 of your closest friends. The WDW Marathon Weekend is a truly unique and inspiring experience. Try not to worry too much about the races, the weather, or your finishing time. Focus on soaking up as much of the magic of race weekend as you can- it'll pass so quickly and become just a memory before you know it. Revel in the wonder and magic of Disney for as long as you can. ✨

I am sure there are things I'm forgetting- leave your race weekend tips- and which race you're running at WDW Marathon Weekend in the comments section below!

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