There were explosions of joy in Health-e Towers yesterday when I got an email from Disneyland Paris giving me more news on the inaugural half marathon taking part there September 2016 (23rd to 25th fact fans). It seems the first wave of registration is currently planned to open on October 6th. According to my slightly dodgy maths, that’s 102 days away people. Calendars at the ready.
While they haven’t released all the details about the event as yet (or exactly what time I need to be sat slightly hysterically in front of a computer attempting to register), there was lots of exciting info hidden within the website for
the obsessed people who read things thoroughly. So here’s five bits of information I picked up..
1) The pace is the same as the US races – a 16 minute mile – I particularly liked this line in the information. “It is suggested that participants train for a 15 minute per mile pace to allow time for restroom breaks, photo opportunities, and other diversions on the course.” Ha – I run the first 3 miles at a 10 minute pace and train the rest at 12 minutes so I can attempt to get maximum castle/character pictures. I might have to train at a 9 minute if I get into this one.
2) You don’t need proof of time in advance: The US races have stopped letting you provide this after registration (cue madly trying to find a timed 10k before registration day) but Paris will let you give proof of time until June 2016. If you haven’t run a Disney race before you might be wondering why your corral matters, after all you’ve got a chip on your shoe so your time is recorded and if you’re training way under pace you’re not going to get kicked off the course? The answer is related to point 1 – If you can’t prove how fast you can run you’ll go in the last corral. If you’re running that means you’ll be doing a lot of weaving for the first miles – but, more importantly, especially in an inaugural race, the 16 minute mile pace starts when the last person crosses the start line. The further up the corrals you are, the more grace you have to take pictures and generally run around with your mouth open being excited – and when the queue for pictures with Mickey is 30 people deep you can join it without fear of falling behind.
3) The first wave of registration is for packages – so race, hotels and park tickets not just entering the race itself. I wasn’t keen on this when I first heard it, independent soul that I am, but the more I think about it the better that could be – after all, there’s not as many non-Disney options close to the park as in California, or, to some extent, even Florida and so it’s going to be super important to be on site – at least you if you book it all together it’s sorted out. I’ve stayed at the Santa Fe resort before so that would probably be my choice, There are Good Neighbour hotels nearby but they are a 10 minute shuttle ride away – and as yet it doesn’t say if they’ll be running shuttles from those before the race – but this makes me wonder. “Guests staying at Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch as well as non Disney® Hotels must arrange their own transportation and should park at Disneyland® Paris Visitor Car Park, standard parking fees will apply.” As I don’t drive, I’d rather be safe than sorry (or running an extra few miles to the start at ridiculous o’clock). If you are an independent type though, then individual entries will be on January 12th – this is also good as, if you don’t get a place first time round, there’s a second chance.
4) You have to pick up your own race pack: This was brought in at the US races last year and it’s holding for Paris. This means you have to be on property by the Saturday 24th, to run the half on the Sunday 25th (they are currently saying the Expo will open on Thursday 22nd) – thankfully, they’ve added a handy 5k to keep you busy that day if you want another medal!. Talking of which….this is the big news.
5) There’s a Castle to Chateau challenge: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee — It’s the thing everyone was wondering and it’s happening. If you run the half in Paris and you run a Disney event in the US in the same calendar year you’ll get an extra special medal. At this news, I practically exploded – I didn’t manage to get my Coast to Coast this year as all of the dates for the Florida runs clashed with trips I had already planned. But now, I could get an even shinier, newer medal. Admittedly this adds more pressure…..which other 2016 race to choose? What’s still going to be open for registration after October – as best I get into this one first before I book another transatlantic trip….oh, god I need a drink.
Of course there’s still so many other questions too – how much is it all going to cost, what time does registration open, what’s the medal going to look like, what’s the course?.So many questions, so many excited noises… This is worse than Avengers. Seriously, someone bring me a drink (checks it’s gone noon)……..
If you want to find out more, visit the Disneyland Paris page at www.run.disneylandparis.com