By Princess Jodi
It’s been one week since the drama and insanity of Disney’s Wine and Dine Half-Marathon Weekend registration. Maybe I have PTSD, but I have not been able to think or talk about it without twitching until now.
First things first, we got in. Fist pump. This was my first time needing to secure multiple bibs the moment registration opened as my daughters have run the Kids Races until now, which have typically been easy enough to secure without pulling your hair out. This year, though, they are old enough to run the 5K and I am so excited to run it with them. But this meant that I needed my own half registration, as well as a 5K bib plus 5K bibs for my girls and my mom, who will be travelling with us and decided to lace up herself! All great things. But wow. The pressure to get everyone in.
I had to break down and recruit help in the form of my brother’s fiancee, Becca, who came to literally lend a hand – two, actually – on her own computer. I had written down all of the information she would need to register my kids for the 5K while I secured my half registration, followed by my 5K. Then we would see whose fingers were faster and that person would register my mom (mine were faster, in the end – shaking, but faster, mostly because I have long memorized my credit card number…online shopping much?).
Becca arrived with time to spare. It was solemn. It was serious. It was all business. Computers set up. Pages refreshing. Feet tapping. Heart pounding. And then…GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
The only sound was tapping on the keyboards in synchro, and the beeping of my phone which was blowing up with messages and alerts, as we rushed through the toughest of all races. Truly. If you can register for these races, you can breathe a sigh of relief because the training is nuthin’ compared to getting a spot in the race!
I successfully got myself into the Half, declared it, and moved on. I quickly checked in with Becca to see if she was hitting any stumbling blocks and was relieved to hear that she was just finishing daughter #1 and moving on to daughter #2. I quickly grabbed my own 5K bib, lest my 11-year old be running by her lonesome, and checked in again with Becca who was completing the registration for my 8-year old. That meant I needed to keep going and get my mom into the 5K. Tap tap tap. Pray pray pray. Pay pay pay. And…we were DONE!
Everyone was in. I wasn’t expecting Active to be so quick, but my email confirmations were already waiting for me. I checked not once, but twice (and a third time…and maybe a fourth, not to sound too neurotic) to make sure we had done everything correctly. Despite the frenzy and pressure, everything looked great! Sweet success.
I quickly checked my phone, which had been beeping and dinging throughout the manic minutes, to confirm that Laural was also finishing her registrations. I joked to Becca that I probably freaked out for nothing and the race would stay open for a week before sell-out. Silly me overreacting, right? Well, not so much. As quickly as those words left my mouth, I saw the Twitter updates flooding in with the races at 75%, 90%, 100% sold out! The half and the 5K were both full in under 30 minutes. In the end, I think we just got really, really lucky. Or had a Fairy Godmother watching over us, sprinkling our computers with pixie dust.
I know many people were shut out. I know some people spent time in a holding queue, only to enter the site and get half way through their registrations before being informed the race was sold out. Some families only got half of their members in. I also know there have been many suggestions tossed around about how this could be made easier for people. But in the end, it’s basic economics. Supply and demand. The demand is real. So is the struggle to get in. Whew!
After that madness, and as I saw the rage against runDisney start to take over my newsfeed, I shut my laptop. I was done. I felt like I needed a nap. Or maybe a drink. Or in Laural’s case, a cupcake. Something to take the edge off. This is what runDisney registration days have become. If you want to run where every mile is magic, it will cost you. Not just money, but some sanity too.
That said, I am beyond thrilled to have a runDisney race on my calendar again! My race calendar had a big void in it without any runDisney. My family vacation calendar did too. But now, all is right with both. Disney, here we come! Well, in a couple hundred days or so. Semantics.
This will be my first running of the Wine & Dine Half, and I am so excited to try a new race route and run through 3 parks. It will also be my first night race! I can’t wait to run through the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. My family has never been to Disney World during the Christmas season, so this will be magical to experience. I am also eager to try our first family 5K at Disney. Costume planning is officially underway! (Although, let’s be honest. I am always planning costumes for Disney races, whether I have one coming up or not.)
Not everyone understands the mania that runDisney inspires. I get it. It sounds silly. And there are a million races to choose from, so why bother with the insanity that comes with trying to secure a bib for these races? Well, Disney races are EVENTS. A destination race and a vacation, all in one. A Disney race is a fun, motivating goal that keeps you training, but celebrates the experience and joy of running. You can’t get too serious about yourself when running in a tiara.
These are the races that turned me into a distance runner. Without the lure of the Princess bling, I might still be running around my neighborhood for 20-30 minutes every now and then (in tennis shoes and cotton t-shirts, for the love), without a medal to my name (gasp). I have had so many great experiences because of these races, and met some pretty special people along the way. As a result, these races mean more to me than other races, and I covet every step of the process. Even on a registration day as crazy as this one. Because I know the anxiety will be worth the magic to come. I run best when powered by pixie dust.
Tell Us: Do you have a runDisney event on your calendar? Do you have any tips for surviving registration day?