Part of the excitement of the Wine & Dine race weekend in Florida this weekend was our first chance to participate in the RunDisney kid’s races. Oliver definitely likes races and has done several in Omaha, so he was especially excited to participate in a race where he got a Mickey medal and even had the chance to see one of Mickey’s friends at the finish line.
Packet pick up for the kids races occurs at the Expo, just like the adult pick up. However, for the kids, you get everything in one stop which is nice. His bib and shirt were together in a bag (as opposed to getting your bib and then going to another building for your shirt for the adult races). I had to have a signed waiver and ID proving I was his parent, but thankfully I didn’t have to actually bring him.
The race was Saturday morning at the ESPN center, on the New Balance track. It started at 10 am, with instructions to be on the bus by 8:30 in order to get there on time. Thankfully, I finished up the 5K at Animal Kingdom and was able to get back to the Polynesian in time to ride to ESPN with Darrell and Oliver. There isn’t direct transportation from the 5K to the kids races, so keep that in mind if you have family doing both! The bus was very crowded as there are loads of kids participating in these races.
The kids dashes (100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters) were all on the New Balance track, with the 1 mile run starting out at a different field and finishing on the track. I did like the track better than the Epcot parking lot, where the Princess kids races took place, but it was a little brutal because there was zero shade and it was a hot, humid day.
We arrived, with O’s bib pinned on and the parent tag in Darrell’s pocket (although no one ever asked us for it) and were pleased to see that they had an obstacle course set up to distract the kids while they were waiting to run. Bless O’s heart, he was not good at the obstacle course, but at least he didn’t hurt himself.
Soon enough, it was time to head to our loading area, as marked by a big banner on the field. There were several waves of each distance, so it didn’t get too crowded (although that didn’t prevent some shoving anyway).
As usual, O took off like a shot and I had to sprint to catch him. He did a lot of weaving – thank goodness it wasn’t crowded! By about 150 meters, he stopped to walk and that was the point where he finally looked around for me. We walked for a second, but then he caught sight of the finish line and Santa Goofy waiting. He was off and running again and still gloats that he beat me to the finish line.
He got his first real medal, which he adores, but even more, he liked getting the banana and cup of water at the finish because he was a “real runner, Mama.” He was tickled that they gave him an extra cup of water to pour over his head to cool off!
All in all, it was a fun little interlude in our morning, even if the weather was miserable. O loved being part of the whole race weekend experience and has already worn his race shirt three times in the 5 days since the race. I do a lot of laundry. 🙂 He’s also got plans to bring his medal to show at school for his next show and tell.
I’d definitely recommend the kid’s races if your whole family is coming to your next Disney race. I love seeing kids get into the game of being active so early in life! If only we could keep that “exercise is fun” mentality longer in life!
Did you ever run races as a kid? Have any of you ever had a kid specifically train to run? O mostly runs up and down the block periodically, so we stick to short races but I saw some bitty kids doing the mile and 5K!