Engaging in intentional, extended physical activity in Florida can be a dubious pursuit. It can actually get hot in February. Right on cue, the forecast calls for heat and humidity for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Indeed, the following weather advisory now appears on the official runDisney website:
We are expecting warm weather and high humidity during the 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Feb. 21-24.
This ought not dismay participants unduly. Certainly, don’t do anything drastic like cancelling. Those expecting winter-running conditions, i.e., generally-conducive cold, may want to adjust their approach, and wardrobe.
Climate and Apparel
One significant concern, it is going to be cold in the morning. runDisney events start at 5:30 AM. It’s cold in the Sahara at that time. You will want to dress accordingly. As evidenced by the weather advisory, it is likely to warm up, a lot, during your event. You are going to want to prepare for that as well.
Participants in Friday’s Disney Princess 5K will generally escape the more noteworthy climate concerns. Runners should be done before the climate turns hostile, while the walking contingent ought not feel the brunt anyway.
The Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, on Saturday, has the potential for slightly more weather related issues. It is often the case that what you don in the starting corral is poorly suited for the home stretch, and vice versa. For Sunday’s Half Marathon, this is even more of a concern. It is advisable to wear some manner of light cover, at least on your upper body. The compulsion is to shed your extra layers either right at the starting gun, or somewhere along the way as local and internal temperatures increase. Do not ditch your sweatshirt on the course, even if it is old and specifically suited for such. By definition, you are littering. Doing so on Disney property may not be prosecutable, though it ought to be.
If you know someone in the ChEAR Squad, and can locate them, then by all means abandon any and all superfluous gear. Otherwise, do not bring anything you are not prepared to relegate to a proper receptacle or carry throughout the entire race.
Disney Parks for runDisney Participants
The most serious and hotly debated concern is how much, even whether, to attend the parks during a runDisney weekend. The indisputable answer is, of course, absolutely go to the parks. runDisney events are amazing, though you should never sign up for a level of runDisney activity that might limit your ability to enjoy the parks. Be this the case, sacrifice some of the running. You don’t have to stay at the Magic Kingdom until midnight before your half marathon, but don’t scrimp on the amusement and attractions for the sake of the unspeakably early call time.
There are some who will forgo a day of Disney magic in pursuit of better race results. Such things are fleeting, at best. Six to ten hours at Epcot will be far more meaningful than the few seconds you might shave off your time. Runners can be fairly obsessed with such things, though no one in your party will care about that as much as that one more ride you took on the Tower of Terror.
A half marathon necessitates a lot of time, and miles, on your feet. Know what you are getting into. The resort access afforded by participation in a runDisney race is well worth the investment and effort. Nothing, however, is worth giving up a day at the Animal Kingdom. If your ability to thoroughly enjoy runDisney and a weekend full of Disney entertainment is at all a concern, consider signing up for a shorter race.