Happy Global Running Day!
Running has been a big part of our history at Walt Disney World Resort for more than 25 years with runDisney hosting a variety of running events that feature races for people of all ages and abilities. Between Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris and multiple virtual events, magic can be found along every mile with unique character and entertainment experiences along the race courses.
In celebration of Global Running Day, we recently had an opportunity to chat with Olympian Paula Radcliffe, a British long-distance runner, current women’s marathon world record holder and the runDisney Ambassador for this year’s Disneyland Paris Magic Run Weekend. Check out some of her insights on running, which we hope will inspire you to grab your sneakers and start running toward a happier and healthier lifestyle.
What are the greatest benefits of running?
The fun, the health benefits (both mental and physical), the awareness of your body, the friends you make and the camaraderie of the running community. The fact that you can do it wherever you are and that it’s a great way to meet people and discover new places.
What makes runDisney races special or unique?
I think it’s the way in which they [Disney] combine the unique magic of Disney with the joy of running. Families can come and achieve their running targets while enjoying a wonderful weekend as a family where everyone gets something out of it and goes home happy after a magical weekend.
How fun was it to run through Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris?
It is really fun and to do so at night or early morning when it’s all lit up makes it even more special. It is an experience that you can only do when you take part in the Disney races and that makes it more special and unique.
What is your favorite runDisney race and why?
I think for me it’s the 5km in Paris because I can share it with my children. I have had so much fun and pleasure running, so to be able to see them start to do the same and to share their joy is very special indeed.
Do you have any recommendations for anyone running their first runDisney race?
Sign up with family or friends and build up the training gradually so that you can get the best fun experience. Try and stay in or close to the park to make the race easier and make a whole celebratory weekend out of it to get the most from the experience.
What advice do you have for people who want to start running but just can’t seem to get started?
Pick a small fun race like a Disney 5k. Sign up with some friends and train together in preparation. Then make a great weekend of it and be sure to treat yourself afterwards when you achieve your goal.
Are you inspired? I know we are!
Registration for the 2019 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend opens July 19, 2018. For more information on upcoming runDisney events, please visit www.rundisney.com and visit us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Credit: Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort