June 15, 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Preparations

With just over three months until the inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon, we are in planning mode to make sure everything is in place before we leave the US.  Hotels are booked and airplane tickets have been purchased, but our day to day plans need to be put in place so we don't waste any time once we arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport.


Here are some of the items you will need to consider if you are traveling for these races.  After purchasing your airplane tickets, make sure to book some kind of transfer to the DL Paris location if you are staying at a property adjacent to the parks.  While the location is considered Paris, it is actually in Marne-la-Vallee and you need to either study the train maps and brush up on your French, or plan to have a driver take you to the location.  There is also a magical express option if you are staying onsite.


Speaking of brushing up on your French, our prior trips to Paris were much more pleasant and the locals much friendlier if you made even the smallest attempt to speak their language.  For Christine, this is a breeze, but my junior high and high school French are rusty at best. It will be fun having her chat with the locals while I wait to be directed where to go!  While this trip is planned for the purpose of running the 5k and the half marathon, we also intend to spend a day in the City of Lights soaking up the atmosphere and visiting some of our favorite places.

In case you are wondering, our day long visit will include a visit to either the Louvre Museum or the Musee d'Orsay followed by lunch with baguettes and cheese.  Afterwards, a stroll down the Champs Elysee and a stop at the famous Laduree for macaroons and possibly champagne will round out our food choices.  One of my favorite things is climbing the Arch de Triomphe in the evening so you can enjoy the gorgeous views of the city and especially the Eiffel Tower with it's twinkly lights. I'm not sure if we will stay long enough for this treat, but you have some extra time in the evening consider this option.

One of the most interesting aspects of running races in Europe is the speed of the runners. We both encountered a speedy group of half marathon runners when we participated in the Dublin Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon back in 2014.  And when I ran the London Marathon in April of this year, I placed far lower than I have at other big marathons despite a time that was pretty close to others.  We anticipate being in a middle corral and look forward to a fun race versus trying for a PR.  And since Europeans taking their racing seriously, we plan to leave the race costumes at home!

Last in our preparations will be a bank visit to purchase a few Euros for incidentals, oh and of course running.  Lots of running so we can enjoy our races and the parks afterwards!  Do you have any good tips for an overseas race?

(Pam)



13 comments:

  1. I am intrigued by the Disney property hotels. The themes sound fabulous. Will you being staying at one of those?

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    1. We are staying at the Disneyland Hotel....we loved the location (closet to the parks) and it will be fun to compare to the DL Hotel in CA.

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  2. I have no tips for overseas races because I've never been out of the country, minus cruises, and of course never run a race in Europe. But it looks like you guys will have an amazing time, and I'm glad it is a Disney race so it's something you're familiar with. I don't blame you to take it easy and just enjoy the run rather than shooting for a goal time or PR, too.

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    1. Since it is such a short trip (5 days) it will just a be a fun run, but hopefully not too slow either.

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  3. I am starting to plan out my trip as well-so much fun but also a bit of stress with everything I have going on. We have the hotel for the race and plan tickets but nothing else solidly booked but we still have time!

    and I will definitely still be in costume-so excited to dress as Belle and sleeping beauty in France!!

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    1. Belle is the perfect choice for a race in France. I know it will be so much fun. Be sure to check out transportation to DL Paris ahead of time. We booked a ride for the trip from the airport to hotel the day we arrive because sharing the cost with two seemed pretty reasonable.

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  4. You forgot to mention the whole putting-Suz-into-your-suitcase bit...

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    1. I wish you could join us, that would make the trip perfect. :)

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  5. I have never done an overseas race!

    The one time I went to Paris, I chose to go to the Musee d'Orsay, but not the Louvre (so I've never been).

    I took Spanish in HS, not French, but I did brush up on just a few words and they actually came in handy when I was buying some earrings and able to tell her the ones on the right, in French. I'm sure my pronunciation was horrible.

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    1. How impressive that you learned a few French words prior to your trip. We have noticed that the French in general are happy when people try to speak their language, no matter how badly.

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  6. This is so exciting! I hope you have a blast. I have that same Top 10 book for Paris and it was really useful. And interesting about the field being faster in Europe! I wonder why.

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    1. I think the reason the field is faster in European races has to do with economics. There are plenty of runners, but it seems that the fast runners are the ones who pay for and run races. I could be wrong, but that is our experience in the couple we have run.

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  7. Don't forget your medical certificates.... you need them for every race here in Europe.
    So wish I was doing this with you, but niece's wedding has priority over Disney. Maybe next year !

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