Each year runDisney keeps upping the challenges involved with their races. In it’s second year, The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland on November 12-15, 2015 included an Inaugural Infinity Gauntlet Challenge. To complete the challenge, runners had to race in the Captain America 10K on Saturday, November 14th, 2015 AND the Avengers Half Marathon on Sunday morning. How do you accomplish this? What’s involved in completing the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge? Here are 10 helpful tips that will help you get the most important part. The Bling!!
Don’t wait until 2 weeks before to start training. Your muscles won’t be ready and you will be miserable for the back half of the race, which will mean misery for the rest of the day if you had planned to hang out at Disneyland after the race. For an Infinity Gauntlet Challenge which involves a 10k and a Half Marathon, plan to train multiple days in a row. Make sure to do a shorter run or walk the day before your long run of the week. runDisney posts a Training Program on their website for each race. It is EXTREMELY helpful and can be downloaded directly to Calendar programs you may use. The time involved in training may seem scary, but if you put in the time, you will be hurting much less, especially after Mile 10!
When you sign up for a runDisney race, there is an option to pre-order Race pins, hats, jackets and other items. If you THINK you want any of these items, PRE-ORDER! There are two reasons why, especially for an Inaugural Race: People get up stupid early to go to the runDisney Expo on the first day and line up in a ridiculously long queue for a chance to buy these items. If you’ve already preordered, you don’t have to get up an extra day in a row really early. If you find you don’t want some of the items you bought, there are plenty of people in Facebook Groups kicking themselves for not preordering willing to buy it off of you.
The runDisney Expo is so tempting. They sell you beautiful, shiny New Balance Shoes themed to your favorite character. So you buy bright green TinkerBell New Balance Shoes on the Thursday before the Half Marathon, complete with white pom-poms and WINGS!
You have already planned a Tink/Wasp crossover outfit to wear for the Half Marathon on Sunday, with which these shoes would TOTALLY make the whole costume. My advice: DON’T wear them, untested and untried. You will literally be kicking yourself six miles in. Instead, save your shiny, expensive shoes for traipsing around Disneyland in your race shirt and medal. You’ll thank me later.
While slogging through 6.2 miles + 13.1 miles, there are plenty of people along the route cheering you on. However, if they see someone dressed up, they are more likely to cheer YOU specifically on! This gives you that extra burst of energy you need to cross the finish line in high spirits. If you can, find a group and plan on matching or complimentary costumes!
5. Plan to Arrive an Hour Before Race Start.
In the case of the Avengers Half Marathon, the official start time was 5:30 AM. If you arrived at the Race Staging area at 4:30, you were in good shape. You have time to check your bag, take some pictures in front of the stage, grab some water and go to the bathroom. You can also take pictures of others in really cool costumes! Then you can head to your Start Corral without rushing and still be in the Corral by about 5 am. This is when the pre-race entertainment really gets going.
Capes look cool, but if you’re not careful they can trip you up! Luckily we discovered this in the 10K, and were able to remedy the too-long cape for the Half Marathon. You can’t even see the pins!
Running sleeves are big sellers for a reason, they work! Yes, the shiny ones look cool, but they itch!! I bought true Nike running sleeves, black, and they have ended up being my favorite by far. They don’t itch, are the best at keeping the heat in, and wick away any moisture. You can always wear the shiny ones on top of the real running sleeves. (which is what I’ve done in the above photo)
The Avengers Half Marathon is in November, and at 4:30 AM, it’s COLD in Southern California! While you wait for the race to start, the body heat around you helps. But if you are very susceptible to cold, bring a trash bag to wrap around your body. Or go to a Goodwill and buy a $2 hoodie you don’t mind leaving behind in your Start Corral.
Speaking from my own fail, runDisney now requires you to email in your Proof Of Time, rather than type it in when you register. So even if you think you entered it when you register, make sure you go to runDisney.com, find your race, click on “Proof Of Time” to enter it in 2 months in advance. Otherwise you will be stuck in the last corral for the races in your Infinity Gauntlet Challenge.
You are paying a premium for a runDisney race, with the benefit of running through the Disney Parks at a very unusual time of day. This makes for some awesome photos. Not only with Captain America and Thor, but the scenery around you. If you see a great photo op, don’t be afraid to stop and take that picture. You will never have that same opportunity again. We got some amazing photos in the Inaugural Infinity Gauntlet Challenge. The Disneyland Resort has just decorated for Christmas, so you get some extra-amazing running time through CarsLand, Main Street and it’s a small world.
Do you want a cool shot of yourself jumping high in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle? How about an action pose running down Main Street? Have your camera phone handy and, if you happen to own an iPhone, tell a friendly runner to hold down the shutter button for burst mode as you jump or run. Then pick your best shot later (or on a walking break) and share with the world!
Soak in the scenery, take pictures with characters, enjoy the runners in costume all around you. Most of all, have fun!!!