Disney’s Princess Half Marathon – The Journey Begins

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I am running in Disney’s Princess Half Marathon March 7, 2010. I am not a runner. I am a dancer with a goal.  If there was ever a location that would motivate me to run — it’s Disney World.  I’ve only told a few people that I am running in this.  Once they process this odd sentence coming from my lips, they smile at me and say, “Ahh. This is just an excuse to go to Disney World again.”  I smile coyly and say nothing.  You know the truth.

My husband and I were going to do this together. However, a few days after I registered, he realized he has a business trip he can not miss. Now I am trying to talk one of my sons into running it. I, however, will persevere. 

As I write, the Princess Half Marathon is 93% full. So if you are thinking about running — register now.  A few things to note — your $120 registration fee is non refundable.  You must be at least 14 years old and be able to maintain a 16-minute per mile pace.  If unable to keep that pace you will be picked up and transported to the finish line and will not receive a finisher’s medal.   If you can finish the Half Marathon in less than 2 hours and 45 minutes, proof of time is required.  God Bless you.

I am clear on what is required and confident that I meet the guidelines. Now it’s time to think about the important things like where will I stay. As you can see from the map, the Half Marathon begins in Epcot.

Disney's Princess Half Marathon map 2010

 I am thinking the Polynesian might be my best option?  Then I thought about the Boardwalk?  That is a long walk to the front of Epcot.  Today when I spoke to someone at Disney, I was informed that we would start on a highway.  Now wait a minute, I had visions of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot distracting me while I run to the finish line. Distraction is what I need most.  I am hoping the costumes from the participants will be enough of a distraction on the “highway portion” of the trail.

I have been training, but I have a long way to go.  I will continue to research and keep you abreast of any new info I discover.  I have found WDWToday podcast to be extremely helpful.  I would love to hear your insider tips and suggestions that you have.  I need to put some Zipadee-doo-dah in my step.  I am off to the races.

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Posted on January 27, 2010

50 Responses to “Disney’s Princess Half Marathon – The Journey Begins”

  • I just started running on Tuesday with the 2011 Princess Half Marathon as my goal (I’m starting with baby steps). I hope you will write more posts and keep us updated. If anything can motivate me to run, it’s a trip to Disney and running through the castle and down Main Street! Good luck to you!

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 1, 2010, at 4:25 pm EDT

      Hi Lauren,
      Thank you for reading my posts. I will continue to write about new information and the training etc.
      Because I am not a runner, I am tickled pink every time I hit a running goal. Sometimes I have to imagine myself running through WDW when it gets too boring where I am.
      Good Luck with your training. Keep up the Good Work.
      Thanks again,
      Caroline

  • Hey there Caroline! One of my bridesmaids who is a WDW Fanantic pointed me to your post. My bachelorette party is actually centered around runnning the Disney Princess Half. Several f my bridesmaids and friends are running with me. I take it it will be your first go round on the half. If you need some company or encouragement along the way, you’re welcome to run with us. This will be my third half marathon (also have done 3 marathons), but everyone else who is running with me is a first timer. I’ve included my e-mail above if you want to take us up on the offer.

    Best of Luck!

    • by Kristen Helmstetter on January 27, 2010, at 1:41 pm EDT

      Good luck, Caroline! Does this mean I’m going to get to see you in March!? I’m heading down that weekend for tent fest so we’ll have to do something!

      • by Caroline Baggerly on February 1, 2010, at 4:34 pm EDT

        Hi Kristen,
        Thanks so much. Yes, I,too, am going to Tentfest. I am excited to get to see you!! Can’t wait.
        Thanks for the encouragement.
        Caroline

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 1, 2010, at 4:30 pm EDT

      Hi Drew,
      Thank you for reading the post. That is so awesome that your bachelorette party is centered on the 1/2 marathon. You are very kind to invite me to run with you all. I can tell that I would only slow you down. ;) If my times improve – then maybe. I will continue to post about the 1/2 marathon.
      I look forward to meeting you in March.
      Thanks,
      Caroline

  • Whoo hoo for you!! My husband and I are running this race as well, and it’s also our first half marathon! Best of luck to you!

    Here are a few resources I’ve found helpful:
    halhigdon.com – training programs
    WDW Today podcast – Scopa and Len’s insights are great for Disney runners
    alllears.net – dining info and so much more
    disneyfoodblog.com – great articles and fab photos

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 1, 2010, at 4:31 pm EDT

      Hi Allison,
      Thank you for the resources. Very helpful.
      I am so glad to hear that your husband is running with you. Awesome. I hope to meet you in March.
      Thanks Again,
      Caroline

  • I am doing this race, found your blog when I was googling it. I just wanted to let you know that I was told that if you stay at Boardwalk, Epcot will be closed they aren’t allowing you to walk through to the front of Epcot for the start of the race. I had the same thought, just wanted to let you know….how awful would that be to find that out the morning of the race.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 1, 2010, at 4:36 pm EDT

      Hi Brooke,
      Thank you for your advice about The Boardwalk. Very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to read the blog and post that helpful info. I would love to meet you in March. Good Luck with the training.
      Thanks,
      Caroline

  • We should get “Unofficial Guide Race Team” shirts made.

  • by Helen McKenna on February 4, 2010, at 7:35 pm EDT

    The princess will be my 4th half in 23 months. I started running and kept challanging myself as I went. It is much harder to train for a half this early in the year. I am from the east coast of Canada and it is hard with the weather to get outside. I commend you on running the half, nothing but good wishes on your training and for the day.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 10, 2010, at 10:24 pm EDT

      Hi Helen,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. As a non runner, this is quite an undertaking. I am so lucky as the weather is pretty mild where I live. When it gets in the 40s it seems like the North Pole. :)
      Hopefully we will have our “Unofficial Guide Race Team: shirts and we can all meet up. I hope to meet you.

  • I’ll be in town for a wedding on Saturday and wanted to run it; however, is this meant for women only? If so, is there another 1/2 marathon near Orlando that weekend? Thanks for your response in advance.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on February 10, 2010, at 10:25 pm EDT

      Anthony
      Yes, yes you can run. Men are welcome. Hurry and register it’s 96% full to date. Let us know if you register. :)

      • Wow, you’re fast, thank you!! I just need to check on transportation. I’ll let you know!! Can you make sure it’s warm, I’ll be coming from Ohio where we just got about a foot of snow along with single digit temps:)

        • by Caroline Baggerly on February 10, 2010, at 10:46 pm EDT

          Well, I am in training — getting a little faster everyday ;D.
          I’m hoping it’s warm too — ready for winter to be over!!
          Keep us posted.

  • Caroline, I am so proud of you for doing souch a big race. You are going to ROCK! I so wish I would go wtih you. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.
    Petie

  • So glad to see you’re running. I cannot wait for this race!!!! Good luck to you.

  • Does anybody have the dates for the Disney Princess marathon 2011??

  • by Caroline Baggerly on February 23, 2010, at 9:07 pm EDT

    Patty,
    March 4-6, 2011
    Are you running??

  • Just found this site! I am running the 2011 princess and would love some advice about where to stay and transport for the race start! We will be staying in a timeshare near DW but would stay the night on property if it will make it easier for the am transport to the race.. any help you can provide? is anyone else running? Best wishes!

    • by Caroline Baggerly on April 27, 2010, at 6:21 pm EDT

      Leslie,
      Thanks for reading. That is so awesome you are running in 2011. Stay the night on property. It will make it easier. You have to be there in the middle of the night. I plan on writing about more Disney races. Please check back at Touringplans.com You can follow me on twitter at caroline251. Happy Training.;)

      • Thanks Caroline! Keep me posted! I did hear from a few people that they drove in and just rested in their cars so now I’m not sure what to do. The timeshare is one exit from Disney so not far and I heard the buses in Disney pick up really early. Decisions, decisions!

    • I am also running the 2011 race. It is my first half, and although anxious to run, I am mostly looking for info regarding getting to the race sites, family spots, etc. We are staying near Disney as well. Let me know if you hear anything helpful! Happy training…

  • Does anyone know when registration will open for the 2011 race? Also, are there any discounts for WDW property or ticket discounts if you are a race participant?

  • May 1st!

  • by Lee Faucette on April 27, 2010, at 9:26 am EDT

    I have just decided to run in the half marathon and I’ve never run that far. I have run up to 7 miles so hopefully if I train from now till then I’ll be able to do it. What was the course like, were there any hills?

    • by Caroline Baggerly on April 27, 2010, at 6:18 pm EDT

      Hi Lee,
      There are a few hills — nothing big. You will be able to handle it. Good for you. I promise, if I can do it — you can do it. ;

    • by barbara fara on July 17, 2010, at 6:48 pm EDT

      I am 58 years old and did the 2010!! and i have already signed up for 2011!! i would like to have someone to help keep me accountable for the next 222 days, and to share info with

      • Hi Barbara! I am 53 and want to sign up for the 2011! How was it last year for you? I can run 3 mi……can walk all day long, how difficult was the 13 mi and what was your recovery like?

      • hope you are still going, i can not wait , I am staying at animal kingdom arriving on friday the 25, last year my goal was to finish, this year is to improve! the winter weather has not been good for outside running but i feel like i am ready, ONLY 26 more days

  • Well I think I’m a little late to register for the 2011 half marathon but really would like to do it for 2012. I’m not a runner but am athletic and ran my first five miler back in June. I think I will be more prepared if I wait til 2012. For all of you doing it this year good luck and send me any suggestions. I’ll be coming from NJ

    • by Caroline Baggerly on August 30, 2010, at 10:14 am EDT

      Hey Liz,
      If you still want to register for 2011 — go for it.
      If I can do you, you can. Thanks for reading!! Caroline

  • First Let me just say that is seriously amazing that you lost 14 pounds in two weeks. Secondly don’t do more reps with light weight always go for the heavier and less reps. Obviously within reason but basically if you can do more than ten its too light. People are going to tell you alot of BS about using light weights, well it doesn’t work.

  • by M'Chele Dineen on September 9, 2010, at 11:28 pm EDT

    This is such a great website! Im registered for the Princess 1/2 and interested to hear what others are thinking. Can’t wait to run through the park. What was the weather like during the run this year and does anyone wear headphones? I was told they frown on headphones and I’m panicking because I can’t run w/ out them.

  • by Megan Emmerich on October 19, 2010, at 12:54 pm EDT

    Hello- I ran the Disney Princess ½ Marathon last year and loved it! My sister and I took our parents, we have not been on a family vacation since both of us were married. This year we have convinced our parents (who both recently had bilateral knee replacements) to participate. My words of wisdom for 1st time participants: 1. Bring cheap warm sweats to wear over your race clothes for race day. You have to stand out in the cold for about 2 hours before the race starts. You can take off the layers as needed and just throw them on the side of the road, they are collected and given to the homeless. 2. Bring your headphones, it was not an issue at all last year. 3. Instead of taking the provided bus to the race start at 4 in the morning, take a cab and get there about 5:15am. 4. You have to walk about 1 mile to the race start, so be prepared for that. This race is absolutely amazing, tons of people walk it and there is lots of great support. See you all there!

    • Thanks for your responses to M’Chele’s questions. I am also one who needs my tunes to run with and had read that I shouldn’t bring them along. I was shocked to hear about the waiting around time.

  • Hi,

    I am a first time runner who will be doing the princess 1/2. I can’t wait and was glad to find your blog for tips and comments from others. I had no idea we would have to wait around that long before beginning.

  • by Jennifer Adams on December 7, 2010, at 11:34 am EDT

    Does anyone know if you still get a medal if you don’t complete the race in a certain time? I read above that “lots of people walk it,” but the website states Disney will pick you up if you are not completing the race in a certain time.???

    • by Megan Emmerich on December 7, 2010, at 3:11 pm EDT

      Hi Jennifer,
      Disney says that they will pick you up if you cannot maintain a 16 minute mile. If you do not finish the race on your own the website says they will not give you your metal, not sure if this is actually true, it seems cruel :). Last year I saw the last racer coming in behind the 16 minute mile marker and they still let her finish. She had Disney golf carts behind her the whole time, but it didn’t seem like they picked her up. I would time yourself while you are training and see if you can maintain a 16 minute mile (most walkers can), if you can then you will have nothing to worry about! Hope this helps!

  • I would love to run Disney princess half marathon but need more time than the 2011 race.
    Does anyone know when the 2012 will be?

  • I would like to know when 2012′s half marathon is also.

  • 2/24-2/26/12 is the race weekend for the princess half marathon. maybe i’ll see someone there! This will be my first!

  • Hi- Does WDW offer stay inj park pkgs for the Disney Princess Half Marathon? If so, how’s the cost? Trying to see if I can afford to run this one.
    Thanks!