As you read this (unless your reading this after September 25th), I’m in Disneyland Paris preparing for one of the longest runs I have ever done. If you knew me at school or after, exercise was really not my thing. I had a special knack with an excuse note to get out of P.E. When ever possible I forgot my kit or boots to aim for a 35 minute rest in the changing rooms. My speciality was being picked last in football, mainly due to my aversion to contact with the ball. The only sport that did interest me was swimming, which Gosforth High didn’t entertain, during my GCSEs.
Disneyland Paris Half Marathon 2016
During my time as a podcaster on the Disney Brit Podcast, a rumour kept cropping up that Run Disney (Disney’s own running event division) were planning an event at Disneyland Paris. For about 2 years on the trot nothing happened, but the rumours kept reappearing.
In January 2015, Catherine decided to do the Couch to 5k with her Mam friends off our estate. So I decided to set the challenge up for the Dad friends too. We kept it up with the aim of the Great North 10k in 2015. And it was from this that I actually got into Running and started to enjoy it. It sounds strange as I had an allergy to exercise in the period of my youth when I should have been at my fittest.
By the summer of 2015 Run Disney announced that there would be a run event at Disneyland Paris, but exact details were to be announced. However we did find that there would be a half marathon, and spaces would be limited.
On 13th of October 7 days after it should have been released 8,000 bib packages were released for sale. They all went within the week. The package that you had to buy in this first release was Friday to Sunday stay in a Disney Hotel and a Race entry. We chose the half Marathon.
Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Course 2016
One of the main pulls of doing the Run Disney events is being able to run in the Disney Property, in an exclusive event, but usually behind the scenes! As stupid as it sounds for a Disney Nerd running down main street, then doubling back to run by the staff car park is exciting. Believe me there are weirder obsessions in the Disney community.
Run Disney had been very secretive about the route, but this was comparable to the way they had kept the information flowing to all involved anyway. One of our charity contacts had been promised the option to obtain charity race entries. If I’m totally honest this is the route I would have gone, if they had been given the numbers available earlier and the ability to gain race details hadn’t been sporadic.
Eventually the Route was announced last week.
The route starts near the Disney Village and heads around into the rear of Disney Studios. From here we snake all the way to the main entrance of the studios, before heading back into the parks through Toy Story Playland and back out by the new Ratatouille area. We then head underneath Disneyland Hotel and into the Disneyland Park, continuing all the way along main street USA to the Castle. The course then turns right through Discoveryland, around the back of Space Mountain, across to Fantasyland, back up to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, skimming across Frontierland and onto Adventureland, until we escape out a back entrance. Next we are running the open area around the perimeter of the parks for approximately 7km until we reach the Disney Partner hotels. a 4KM route brings us back onto the ring road heading to the final stretch snaking past all of the Disney hotels.
A 21km with hopefully enough twists, turns and sights to distract me enough not to focus on that fact that I’m running. The nearest I’ve run to this is 16km (10 miles) and I’m hoping it is enough to build me to the final target.
Running and Disney have become quite a big deal over the past few years. It has got to the point that the events sell out straight away and New Balance have released Disney Themed trainers.
The association with a Disney Character is subtle at times, but to give you a clue we’re looking at Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Cinderella. They are sold at the Run Disney Expo at the events on a Limited release basis. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have already sold out before we get there.
As part of our Disney Brit podcast, we established a Disney Brit Running team and have chosen a charity to support. We chose Caudwell Children as it touched may of us with their vision. Caudwell Children transforms the lives of disabled children across the UK. They act as a safety net for families who are unable to gain the help they need. Providing family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children and their families across the UK.
A few of our listeners had volunteered to help with Caudwell Children’s Destination Dreams program. Which not only provided an amazing family experience and opportunity, but followed along with the experiences that we at Disney Brit had ourselves.
If you would like to donate as part of a sponsorship for me doing the Disneyland Paris Half Marathons, please visit the DisneyBritRunningTeam’s Just Giving page.