Monday, March 3, 2014

runDisney race retreat - a little piece of runners heaven

While at Disney for Princess Half last weekend, I was able to check out the runDisney Race Retreat. While I have read about the race retreat from, I haven't heard any first hand reviews of the experience. I am here to tell you that Race Retreat it is well worth every penny and then some.
Pre-Race: Race Retreat is a private tent giving runners who purchase a wrist band a #disneyside VIP treatment. We entered the tent 30 minutes prior to the corrals opening up, checked a bag with zero hassle and had a photo taken with the Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts. We then helped ourselves to a cup of coffee, bottled water and a bagel. 
Private Bathrooms & Private Changing Area: Shortly before the race, we used the private restrooms located outside of the tent. NO LINE. That's right, no line for very clean, not stinky port-a-potties. This made me very excited. While there were quite a few people in the Race Retreat, it never felt overcrowded. There was also a private changing area so you could go directly to a park post race!
Post Race:
Commemorative Item: Following the race, Keri and I grabbed our medals, took our finishers photo and headed for the race retreat tent. Upon walking in, we received a little gift: Princess Half Marathon flip flops, a Princess Half Marathon towel.  Thank you runDisney for adding to my stripe addiction!
Character Greetings and Baggage Check Once inside the race retreat tent, Keri grabbed our checked bag which took all about 30 seconds and we headed for a photo opp with Alice and the Tweedle's, neither of whom wanted to participate in the photo.....I guess we smelled bad! Let me tell you, the bag check in the Race Retreat was beyond simple.
Padded Stretching Area After the photo, we headed to the padded stretching area. This was Keri's favorite part of the runDisney race retreat. Meanwhile, I got a sports massage for $1 a minute (cash only). I learned this weekend that massages are amazing after finishing running. It may become a post-race ritual!

BACON! I mean, Hot Breakfast: What I was not expecting was bacon. I have ran through Epcot too many times than I can count on during 5K & 10K distances. This route takes us through Epcot near Test Track and there has been an overwhelming delicious smell of bacon every single time I have ran this route. I end up craving bacon for miles, leading me to blame Disney for my bacon addiction. In the pre-race retreat, we had bagels and fruit. Post race, I forgot that the word "hot breakfast" was used in the description and was estatic upon seeing - BACON, eggs, bacon, potatoes, bacon, fruit, bacon, oatmeal, bacon, bagels...and bacon. We went back for seconds and thirds of bacon.
notice my bacon to egg ratio? I have a severe bacon problem...........

Other notables:
Self medical treatment area which had Tylenol, bandaids, antibiotic, biofreeze and much more. 
Live runner tracking and video

I will absolutely do the race retreat again. It is an added expense but the serenity you get prior to starting and the satisfaction you get after finishing is well worth the charge. No fears of running to the bathroom, only to stand in line for 15 minutes, fearing you wont make your corral. Pre and Post race fuel. Characters for photos and staying out of the rain, heat, cold, etc. Baggage check with no waits and an amazing time celebrating with other runners. Who could ask for more! Thank you runDisney for another amazing race experience! 

As of now, not every runDisney event has a race retreat. The Princess Half Weekend prices were as follows at the 2014 event:
Disney Princess Enchanted 10K - $70
Disney's Princess Half Marathon - $120
Glass Slipper Challenge - $185

Be sure to follow runDisney on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for events and updates!


  1. That tent sounds amazing! No toilet anxiety and protection from the elements is worth plenty!
    Just a pity it would be impossible for me to use the flip-flops due to runners toenail shame ;)

    1. runner toenails are sexy ;) The Race Retreat def. took Princess Weekend to a whole new level.

  2. I did the race retreat for the WDW Marathon and thought it was amazing! Well worth the money.
    Karen @karenlovestorun

    1. I wish I did this for WDW Marathon (or the entire Dopey Challenge for that matter).

  3. I really did love the race retreat!! Also,do you remember it started raining & we had the covered tent. It was a quick cloud, but not fun if you have no cover. I really enjoyed how they made it very tranquil which is needed before & after a race to help with race jitters.

    1. So much fun right!! Glad you were able to get a private stretching area!