Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Run Disney 2018

I have never been a fan of exercise and apart from running the 100m in school I've never been much of a runner either.  For what reason I thought adding a Disney run to my list of 40 before 40 I will never know, but I am so glad I did. 

On the 20th September I left home early ready to catch the Eurostar to Disneyland Paris to spend a couple of days exploring the parks before my run on Saturday morning.  Growing up I was always a fan of Disney but I guess as I grew older I sort of lost my love for it.  I never imagined I would feel the way I did as I stepped into that magical world, it was literally as if I had been transported back to my childhood and it felt amazing.  

I hadn't realised how much of an extra buzz would be added to the weekend because of the run but it definitely made the adventure all the more exciting.  Heading into the Expo to collect our running bibs and photo pass and seeing the sheer volume of people taking place really was quite something.

Even better than that was seeing my very own name on the runners wall, that was amazing, and made the whole thing seem real at last.

On Friday evening we watched the 5k runners run through Disney Village, the atmosphere was electric, it certainly got me psyched up ready for the following morning when it would be my turn to hit the tarmac with my running trainers.  Before long that moment arrived and 6:30am that following morning we were stood by the starting line in our coral waiting to start.

I really didn't know what to expect from the whole thing and in a way it added to the whole suspense of it all.  The atmosphere really was quite special.  The staff were fantastic and stood on the side lines chanting and cheering (even though I had no idea what they were shouting half the time) It felt so strange being in the park before opening time and it allowed you to see it all from a different perspective.  

Running around the course through the different areas of the parks a lot of the rides were going round empty.  Whether this happens every morning as they test the rides before opening time or whether this was done especially for the run, I'm not particularly sure but it added to the whole atmosphere and was pretty cool to see.

The other thing I really loved was the opportunity to go behind the scenes.  Being able to see the bits that the general public don't usually get to see.  I felt like I was on set to the 'Moonwalker' movie, although my running partner was too young to know what I was going on about.

The highlight of the morning though aside from crossing the finishing line was running on Main Street and heading towards the castle.  It was a moment I don't think I will ever forget and I'm not going to lie a moment that made me feel pretty emotional.  Even now I can feel myself getting a little bit choked up as I type this.  It was worth doing the whole 10k just for that moment alone and is in actual fact the only reason we ended up doing the 10k as opposed to the 5k.  If you're going to do a Disney run, you have to run past the castle.

Crossing that finish line felt so good.  Catching first glimpse of it was a welcoming sight but actually crossing it, wow, I cannot tell you how great that felt.  A year ago I never imagined I would ever complete a 10k.  My intention when writing that list originally was always for a 5k run.  To now be able to say I completed the 2018 Disneyland Paris 10k leaves me feeling totally elated and so, so proud of myself.  And the best thing is, I had so much fun doing it.  Yes it was hard, it was a challenge but would I do it again? Without a shadow of a doubt.  Who knows, maybe next time I'll try tackling the half marathon.  

I will be publishing a more general post about the rest of my Disney adventure in a couple of days so if you want to find out more of what I got up to then be sure to pop back to check that out.  There will be plenty of photos and all things Disney I promise.

My sponsorship page is still open for anyone who would like to sponsor me for the run.  I'm raising money for Tommy's The Baby Charity, The Little Princess Trust and Farleigh Hospice.  You can donate here.

~ Gem 


  1. What a fun thing to do! I like the idea of running a race somewhere interesting Si you have lots to look at. I'm definitely not fond of running so that'd be an incentive!
    Well done you for achieving this goal! I loved your TinkerBell costume too and your pal's Robin costume.
    P.S. I don't know whether you work in Chelmsford at all but I'm performing at The Cathedral for a lunchtime concert in the 30th November with Flautista, my flute group.

    1. Thanks Kezzie, I'm not much of a runner either so this was the perfect place to do it :)
      I'm not sure I will be able to get there at lunch as it will take me 20 minutes to walk there and back so it won't leave me much time to catch any of it. Hopefully there will be more events over Christmas xxx