I did it! I registered for a runDisney event. Due to my love of all things Star Wars and my sudden renewed interest in running, I registered on June 14 (the day it opened) for the Rebel Challenge (10K and Half Marathon) at the 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort.
This is my first ever runDisney event, so my only knowledge of the registration process going in was that these things sell out. With that in mind, I am going to give you a little more information about registering for a runDisney event. Hopefully these pieces of information will ease your mind about the whole process and just get you excited to run!
Note: This information applies to the Disneyland Resort races. Walt Disney World race registration will be slightly different.
Check the date of the race and of the registration
It is incredibly important to start planning your race early. For me, I was looking into this specific race weekend in April – only 3 months after the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend had wrapped. They had the dates on the runDisney website and information on prices, the items you’ll get, the pre-race expo, and the date of the registration. You can also sign up for e-mail alerts for the race in which you’re interested.
Make an Active.com account
About a week before June 14 I received my reminder e-mail about registration. RunDisney works with Active.com, and requires you to set up an account there in order to register for the race. (I ended up going through Active.com for another race I’m doing in September, so it was worthwhile.) On the date of registration, I made sure I was logged into the account when the registration opened. (You can always create a profile after you register, too, if you can’t beforehand.)
My problem was that I thought you needed to be on Active.com in order to register. This is not the case at the beginning of registration. At the time it opened, I kept refreshing Active.com for “star wars half marathon” but didn’t get anything. About an hour later I went back to Active.com and they had the Star Wars Half Marathon information listed so you can register there too. But don’t count on it right away!
Follow runDisney on social media
This was the step I missed when I was registering. Only after about 5 minutes of refreshing the Active.com page did I think, “I wonder what runDisney is saying on Twitter?” So I checked over there and the link was on the Twitter page! It also was posted on the Facebook and Instagram pages. This is the easiest way to get to the registration.
I had tried to get to the registration straight from runDisney.com, but at the moment registration opened the pages were all down – likely due to an overwhelming amount of people trying to see where to register. (Like Active.com, it has since gone back to normal.) The runDisney page has links to the registration as well as a chart to see what percent of the race is filled.
I was on my computer ready to go right when the site opened up. I was worried that registration would fill up as quickly as San Diego Comic-Con. While it wasn’t that insane, most of the races showed 99% filled just 2 hours later and the 10K was sold out completely.
The first page you get to after clicking on the social media link is the choice of race. If it says “ON HOLD” on the race in which you want to run, keep refreshing the page until it becomes open again. Don’t give up until it says “SOLD OUT!” The hold just means they can only let a certain amount of people register at a time.
Fill out all the Information
When you are allowed to select the race you want, you will say that you’re registering for yourself, and then fill out your personal information. You have 15 minutes to fill out the whole form or else it will drop you and you’ll have to start over.
It will ask the size of t-shirt you want (this is included in your registration fee), whether you’re competing in the Military Division, and then if you are going to compete with any assistance. They will also ask you for a finish time for the half marathon (not for the 5K or 10K), and if you plan on finishing in less that 3 hours and 15 minutes you must submit (before October 13) proof of time from another race (10K or higher). This is for corral placement. Since I have no race times to submit, I’ll be in the last corral.
The form also asks about Disney related items, like whether you are an Annual Passholder, DVC member, or Disney cast member. You’ll also be required to enter an emergency contact.
You can make a donation for the race’s specific charity, and you can also take this time to purchase more swag for yourself. I decided the necklace might be a worthwhile purchase, since I’m not going to want to wear my medals everywhere I go. (Well, I will want to, but it’s probably not wise.)
After making payment, you are officially registered!
Now that I’m registered, I have this sense of relief that it’s done, but also this sense of trepidation thanks to the commitment I’ve made (and the hole in my wallet). These races are non-refundable and non-transferrable, so once you register, you’re in it to win it. If you happen to get injured or something else causes you to miss the race, you can apply to have the money you pay go towards paying off the next race you do.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do some running!
The next runDisney race registration is for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World in February. Registration opens July 14.
Do you have any registration stories to share? Do you have any tips I should know about before I do these races? Comment below!