September 28, 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon race recap

The inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon was held on September 25th in Marne de Vallee outside of the city of Paris.  With a start time of 7am and staying at a hotel just a 10 minute walk to the corrals, we actually got to sleep in compared to the US runDisney races.  After our walk to the corrals (we were in B) we listened to the loudspeakers play music and the announcers getting the crowd revved up for the race.  They were dressed in tracksuits, unlike the runDisney announcers in the US who dress in costume on race morning.  It was a festive atmosphere and soon they were sending off the first corral of runners after a fireworks display for all the runners instead of a sendoff for each corral. With a B corral placement, we were started at approximately 7:15.  With quite large corrals, they sent the runners off in small waves within the corral and that worked out beautifully.  One thing to note, the course is marked in kilometers, so this can be a challenge to compute how far you have gone in miles. We got to the finish line sooner than I expected since my math was not correct.



We had a planned pace and had no trouble sticking to that for the race.  Starting at the Disney Village, soon we were entering the Walt Disney Studios Park for the first few miles.  The cast members were so enthusiastic and the character stops were frequent with multiple characters. While we did not make any stops for photos, we did enjoy greatly this entertainment as we passed by many rides and attractions.  Soon we exited this park and ran about a quarter mile to the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel and park.  This part was my favorite as we ran up Main Street and had a beautiful view of the Sleeping Beauty castle.  

After 5 kilometers, we were exiting the park for our run through the French countryside.  Passing lovely villages and actually running on a school track near the halfway point of the race was so interesting and fun.  The variety of scenery was part of the reason we enjoyed it so much.  While the course has many twists and turns, the flat terrain made for a speedy race.

On the fly taken by Christine while running
One of my favorite parts of the course outside of the parks was the lake we ran around at kilometer 13.  This area was a grass and gravel path and nice on your feet and legs instead of hard pavement.  With such a beautiful sunny day, the lake was stunning with a lovely large property (don't know what it is) at one point.


Lovely lakeside views

Further along, we turned and were headed back towards the Disney Village for the final third of the course.  Around km 16, we were treated with more interesting things to see passing the Disney Santa Fe and Sequoia Hotels near the village.  The outside decor was nice and kept us entertained during the last portion of the race.  




After passing through the Disney Village we were soon at the finish line celebrating our finish.  While it wasn't a PR nor did we try for one, I was thrilled with the time, since my goal had been around 2:10.  Official results have not been posted by runDisney but through their Facebook page, there is a link to the results through the Belgian timing company.  Hopefully those results are correct and will be finalized soon.



Happy finishers


Unauthorized photo with Minnie!

Finish time:  2:07.42
2153/8514 overall
542/4634 female
4th 60-64 age group.
(Pam)



32 comments:

  1. Congrats on a great race! Looks like a beautiful course - I am adding this race to my bucket list.

    Hope your mental break from running was everything you needed it to be.

    AGB

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  2. Congrats on finishing the race- it looks like you guys had a great run and a wonderful trip. I've never run a race outside the US but I can imagine that seeing kilometer signs instead of miles would confuse me too. The scenery looks very beautiful, too.

    I'm really glad you guys posted a blog because I have missed your posts and recaps as well :).

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    1. Thanks Amy. Somehow we have lost interest in blogging, but this race weekend was worth revisiting the blog!

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  3. Sounds like a great experience, and the scenery looks absolutely beautiful. I'd love to run a race outside of the U.S. one day to be able to compare the experiences.

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    1. It's surprising to me that the races are different. What seems to be the biggest difference is the speed of the runners and lack of costumes. But I think everyone should do what they want during races, as long as it does not inhibit other runners.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your experience. I was wondering how you would like it! The country side you ran through sounds lovely!

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    1. It far exceeded any expectations we may have had. So glad we had this opportunity.

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  5. Race looks like a great one. I'd have a real hard time converting kilometers into miles. I've seen you guys wear those skirts before and I love them. Where did you get them?

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    1. Our skirts are from Sparkle Skirts and we have had them for a few years.

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  6. How fun! I love that you did this! I bet it was a lot lower key than the Disney races in the US. Congrats!

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    1. It was definitely lower key than US disney races and the advantage of walking to the corrals and back after the races was huge.

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  7. The course sounds so scenic! I love that included some running through the countryside.

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    1. We loved the countryside too. With so much change in scenery, it made the race go by quickly.

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  8. I am so jealous - I really wanted to go, but just couldn't pull it off this year. Maybe next year :) Sounds like it was a great inaugural race for Disneyland Paris and the weather looks absolutely lovely! Congratulations!

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    1. We were very fortunate with the weather. I would definitely recommend this race weekend!

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  9. Way to go! This is definitely on my bucket list! :)

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  10. Go Pam! I want to be happily surprised like that someday. :)

    I must say, while I'm not a Disney person, that truly does look really lovely.

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    1. Judy it was really fun. Whether you are a Disney person or not, the course had so much to look at the half went by really quickly.

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  11. Now THIS is my kind of Disney race!!! Finally found my Disney Niche :D

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    1. Wish we could have snuck you in our suitcase, but alas, it was a carryon.

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  12. Ooooh this looks a lot better than the hot and boring Disney races in Orlando! I might have to do this one someday :) Congrats on hitting your time goal!

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    1. Way better than the Orlando races. Do put it on your bucket list.

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  13. Congrats on such a strong race without even trying for one! I've only run one race (RnRDUB) on foreign soil but I can already agree with you what a great way it is to sight see. I'm not typically a Disney race person, but this one I'd run in a heartbeat.

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    1. I think you would like this one Marcia. The French countryside and course in general far exceeded our modest expectations.

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  14. Wow. That's like a dream race. I saw you ladies on Instagram doing this and it looked incredible. Fantastic recap and congrats on your finish!

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  15. Hoping to definitely do this next year !

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  16. That Disney castle is gorgeous and it sounds like an amazing race. Doing the math wrong and finishing faster than you expected could actually be a bonus.

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  17. What a fun course!! Great job and congrats to both of you! :)

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  18. What a lovely course - so many beautiful views. I love the castle :)
    COngrats on a fabulous finish and how fun you got experience it together!

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  19. As I was reading your race recap, I kept saying to myself, wasn’t this a great race ?? I love the idea of running just to run but every time I’ve tried it hasn’t worked out. I’m afraid that without a goal to keep me accountable I’d just stop running altogether. I love to read running blogs and this has become one of my favorite. Thanks for sharing it!

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