I’m curious if there are any unique advantages to starting in earlier or later corrals. For example, better interaction with characters earlier? Running noob here, running my first Disney race later this year.
Characters are a big plus for sure but, in my opinion, you also get a better race experience.
runDisney races brings out the walkers in droves and while I strongly support that everyone should exercise not matter their age or condition, they do impact the experience in a negative way. Some groups like to run holding hands effectively creating walls of people that cover the entire road. The amount of people questioning their costumes choices is overwhelming and the first couple of miles are an obstacle course of people standing still either changing socks or discarding capes and the like. Bathrooms get also huge lines if you are near the back.
My suggestion is to qualify for the fastest corral you can.
As someone who finished Princess Half 2017 with the balloon ladies at my back - all of what SneakyPete says. Train to get your time as low as comfortably possible and get your qualifying time in so you get a lower corral.
Up until this year, I had been in corral F for the Princess half marathon, which with the current corral system is the biggest. People publish the number in each corral and its something like A-E has 1500-2500 in each, while F has 8000-9000. Then G and H can be big as well. So if you can get a proof of time (POT) race under 2:45 for a half or 5:30 for a full, then you start ahead of a majority of the race. It really hit home last year when my friend was in C and I was in H and we compared pictures. When she ran down main street, it wasn’t crowded and there were photographers. When I rand down main street, it was packed and the photographers had moved!
Also, at least for the Princess half course, there are some one-lane stretches which get really packed with the number of people going through and then if you want to run, sometimes you can’t. And it isn’t all people walking together, it’s just the sheer number of people walking at that point.
This year, I managed to move up to corral E. The character lines were still longish, but doable. I spent an hour going through MK during the race, but still felt the bottle-neck areas weren’t as bad for me as when I had been further back.
You can do a google search for Disney corral times and find out what POT you need to get into each one. Most people use the McMillan calculator online to translate 10K times to half-marathon times.
This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for! Thank you all!
I reported my pace accurately (not all races require proof of time) and ended up way in the back. I was not slow but could not stop for characters. I tried to meet 1 and the balloon ladies were coming. It was super jammed up back there with walkers and it was frustrating. Try to be as forward as you can for best experience and opportunity to meet chars
I totally agree with this. I did the half marathon in January a few years ago and was so happy that I ran my heart out for my qualifying race to get in a better corral. With so many people running, you are absolutely bobbing and weaving between people for the first few miles. It’s annoying and sometimes dangerous as the non-runners just bend over to adjust things right in the middle of the road!
Once you get past the masses, with others who have trained and are running at pace, the experience is much more enjoyable and so much less congested. It was awesome running through an empty MK and Epcot. I didn’t stop for character pics but the lines definitely got shorter the deeper into the race you got.
This is what I plan to do, glad to know I’m thinking about it the right way. I’m running a 10k next month along a lake, so the course is as flat as a pancake. It should give me the best chance for a PR. I’m going to push hard. Actually, it will be a PR in any case as it will be my first 10k! LOL!
Perfect choice. Good luck!!