“I’m going to Disney World!” I screamed as the registration confirmation popped up on my laptop screen. It may not seem quite as intense as winning Super Bowl, but surviving the annual Princess Half Marathon Weekend registration through runDisney definitely is something of which to be proud.
Registration, from the guidance of friends who have run in the past, is absolute insanity. I’m not sure I have ever been so stressed out about signing up for anything in the past. It’s a race just to the starting line! So if you’re new to runDisney and considering about registering for a race, here are some things to expect and help prepare yourself!
- Most runDisney races begin registration months in advance. The Princess Half, which takes place around February 20th every year, opens registration in mid-July. However, what is not clearly told to hopeful-registrants is that the opening time is at 9am PT/12pm ET. I was checking the runDisney site hourly beginning at 6am wondering when registration was going to open. Luckily I didn’t miss the opportunity during my lunch hour!
- runDisney allows for some early registration for annual passholders and Disney Vacation Club members. Don’t worry about the races selling out during early registration, though, because these early-birds are limited. (The dates and links on how to register early can be found through your Disney membership accounts.)
- Make sure to be on the computer at the time of registration opening! And instead of going to the runDisney website, go to Active.com. runDisney usually crashes due to the high traffic rate the day of opening registration. The actual registration is processed by Active.com so you’ll have an easier time getting through to the page.
It’s a smart idea to create an account with Active prior to registration opening. You can easily link your Facebook account to the site. Also it is a great idea to have all your personal information ready prior to entering the registration form. You’ll need to know the following: name, address, birthday, shirt size, any assistance (for disabilities) required of Disney, the time you plan to run the race, any additional merchandise, and payment information.
For a direct link to the 2016 Princess Half Weekend, following this link: https://endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=20668854
- Okay, so 9am or noon has rolled around and its time to sign up. You’re on the Active.com page. You’re staring at a screen which read, “Make a Selection.” Are you excited?! Choose the race you want to run; there will be plenty of options so make sure you tick the right box. Also, remember that if you’re wanting to run the biggest option, such as the Glass Slipper Challenge, you actually have to choose it! You cannot sign up for the 10k and the half marathon and expect to get that extra medal.
If the category you are hoping to sign up for shows “ON HOLD”, take a deep breath. There’s still a chance the selection could become available again. Sometimes registrations get cancelled mid-way and people change their minds. So breathe, click refresh, and try again.
This is the screen I saw directly after finishing my registration. See that “SOLD OUT” message behind the Glass Slipper Challenge? Can you guess which selection I registered for? Talk about a nail-biting experience!
- On the hopes your selection is open, then you will move forward to fill our the registration form and enter your payment information. During this time, you will need to choose a time which you think you’ll finish the race under. For the half marathon, any time under 3:15 hours requires proof of time from a certified race. Certified races must be within a certain time period and be of 10k+ for the half marathon. This proof of time will provide you with a corral placement.
I’ve heard the closer to the starting line, the better. Some corrals can take over two hours just to get started! That means two hours of standing, with no bathroom break, in questionable weather conditions. So consider choosing to proof a time simply to get started quicker.
- If everything works, then you’ll see the confirmation page congratulating you for registering! And then you’ll receive this awesome little email reconfirming you’re not dreaming:
Phew! All of this may same a bit neurotic, but most runDisney races’ registrations close within hours! My Glass Slipper Challenge was SOLD OUT within 23 minutes! The Enchanted 10k followed soon afterwards, and the half marathon is resting at 85% full after three hours.
I am so excited at the prospect of spending another vacation at Disney World! Next on the list is coming up with two costume ideas: one for the 10k and one for the half. Any suggestions are welcome!
Are you or have you ever run a runDisney race, be it the Princess Half or any other? If so, what sort of advice do you have for potential participants on making registration a bit simpler?