7 Things No One Told Me About Running the Princess 5K

Princess sign blog feature

In February, I got to participate in my first ever runDisney event, the Princess 5K during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I had an amazing time and now I can see why so many people are obsessed with running in Disney races. Here are 7 things that I learned from my first Princess 5K and why I think you should run this race (or another Disney race) soon!

You don’t have to be a “runner” to run this race.

I am certainly not a runner, just a casual jogger at best. While you certainly need to be able to move to complete a 5K, you do not have to be a serious runner by any means. So, break out your best run, jog, or power-walk and sign up! You can do this!

You will be getting up in the middle of the night to run this race.

I suppose this should have been obvious to me, but it wasn’t. When I saw the 6:00 am start time, I figured that I was up for work that early every weekday, so I wouldn’t need to get up too much earlier for this race. I was definitely wrong about that!  It is recommended that you arrive around 4:00 a.m.-4:30 a.m., so when I took travel time into account, I realized that I needed to set my alarm for 3:00 am.  Whoa!  I was so excited that waking up wasn’t a problem though. I was wide awake at 2:45 a.m. and ready to get going!

crowd blog

A whole crowd of princesses gave up beauty sleep for this race!

The race may begin at 6:00 am, but this does not necessarily mean that YOUR race will begin at that time.  

Runners are divided into corrals and each corral has its own start to the race. I expected the corrals to begin one right after the other, but this is not the case. There are a few minutes between each corral start.  Corral A begins first, so if you are in one of the later corrals, you will be waiting for a bit. I was in the last corral to start the race, so we did not begin until almost 6:45 a.m.. The wait wouldn’t have been bad except that it was chilly outside and my muscles started to stiffen up. Fortunately, there were fireworks going off, music playing, and an active crowd to keep me pumped up while waiting. I recommend dancing around to keep those muscles warm!

Fireworks blog

Here we go!

If you don’t dress up, you will wish that you did!

When I got married, it was suggested that I wear a tiara on my wedding day because there would be no other time when it would be appropriate for me to wear one. Not so!  This race is the perfect excuse to wear a tiara!

expo blog

The race expo is a great place to pick up some fun accessories

I had planned to run in my normal workout attire, but when I visited the race expo to pick up my race packet and information, even I got sucked into purchasing a sparkly skirt to wear. Wearing something fun and out of the ordinary definitely adds to the excitement of the race and I highly recommend it.

I saw so many fun, creative costumes in this race!  So, feel free to dress up as your favorite princess, dust off your wedding tiara, or grab something new at the expo to wear. Just be sure to follow the costume guidelines.

fountain blog

Loved my sparkly red skirt!

You don’t have to be a princess to run this race.

Yes, this event is all about tutus and tiaras and for that reason, many guys will choose to sit this one out. I was surprised though by how many “princes” were running this race. I saw many groups of friends, entire families, and couples at the event. Many guys may still opt to run a more “manly” race, like the Star Wars 5K, but for the guys who do decide to run, I promise that you will not be alone.

You will have even more fun than you thought you would!

One thing that really surprised me about this event was how happy everyone was! Even at 4:00 a.m., everyone was so excited, supportive, and encouraging. It was amazing!

I signed up for this race expecting it to be my one and only runDisney event, but I absolutely loved it and will definitely run again. I left the event energized and even plan to sign up for the Wine and Dine 10K in November. Maybe someday I will even go for a half marathon…maybe.

Group photo blog

Quick selfie with my running partners

Who you run the race with matters so much more than the time on the clock.

I honestly do not know how long it took for me to complete this race, but I can promise you that my time would not impress you.  Maybe someday I will sign up for a runDisney event and be in it to win it, but this time around, it was all about having fun with some of my favorite people.

We decided to make this a mother/daughter race and I signed up with one of my best friends and her daughter. I also did this race with my mom. My mom is not a runner either, and in fact, she will be the first to tell you that she never dreamed that she would complete a 5K.

I had the confidence to sign up for this race because my mom did a 5K first, just last year. My first Princess 5K will forever be special to me because I crossed the finish line with my mom. I love her for going along with my crazy idea to sign up for this race and for showing me that I could strive to be a runner from just about any fitness level and a princess at any age!

Princess finish blog

Crossing the finish line with my amazing  mom

Have you participated in a runDisney event?  Tell us what you loved most about your race in the comments!

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