RunDisney had returned to Disneyland Paris for it’s second year. Just like last year the weekend included a Health and Wellness Expo at the Disney Events Arena, 5K and half marathon races with the new addition of a 10K race and a challenge to complete both longer races. Upon arriving at Disneyland Paris I proceeded straight to collect my race bibs and t-shirts. With a similar layout to last year and not many additions, the expo still looks like a work in progress but the bib collection was smooth and efficient.
Because of the additional race this year the 5K was moved to the Friday evening starting in front of the Sequoia Lodge Hotel. This race is targeted towards families and runners of all abilities and ages. This was easy to see as all runners gathered early round Lake Disney before the 8pm start. Costume standards were high, whole Incredibles families, superheroes and Princesses were kept entertained by floating barges stages where groups of dancers performed and interacted with the crowd.
With the added spontaneous Mexican wave and the sun setting over the lake it was soon time to start. After a slight delay and bit of confusion we were off. This year the 5K route took the runner through Disney Village and round Walt Disney Studios. We entered the park by a side entrance off Fantasia Gardens passing the 1K mark and running round the Front Lot. Cinderella and Prince Charming waited to greet us just before we entered Studio 1. The course took us round towards Crush’s Coaster passing Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Frollo, Clopin Trouillefou from The Hunchback of Norte Dame. Up and down through Place de Remy to find the trio of Aristocats waiting for us. Through Toy Story Land and passed a lit up Tower of Terror we proceeded on to the track taken by the Studio Tram Tours.
Being able to get up close to all the props on route was a highlight, passing Gaston as we went. A sneaky look at the inner workings of Catastrophe Canyon and we passed the 3K marker, over half way. We were then lead out into some backstage areas of the Studios. Keeping my eyes pealed I noticed Lilo and Stitch plus Dory on bus stop posters, and the gargoyles from The Hunchback. Parts of the course were nearly pitch black and did disorientate some runners but by the 4K marker we were heading back into the park and back onto Studio Tram Tours, passing the movie cars where we could pose for photos.
Up the streets of London and round onto Moteurs….Action! Stunt Show Spectacular stage. The big screen was showing our entrance under the seating stand as we looped round onto the stage. Being able to see the set on stage up close was fascinating and I took my time taking it all in before meeting Remy and Emile from Ratatouille at the other end. Exiting from the side the route took us past Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and into the last stretch. We were cheered on by Mickey and Minnie and Donald, all in their running gear before crossing the finish line.
Each finisher was given their Lumiere glow in the dark 5K medal, refreshments including bottle water, flavoured milk and a snack pack.
Overall a fun race but I was left a little disappointed as there didn’t seem to be as many characters or entertainment en route as last year. Plus the dark streets of the backstage areas were not very motivating. Maybe after doing runDisney last year, the high of running on the Studio Tram Tour track and Stunt Show Spectacular stage lost its wow factor, but overall it was well organised and a good warm up before the 10K early the next morning. Plus the Cast Members en route are always a highlight. “Just Keep Running”. Love those guys!!