Last year for Momma K's birthday I was completely dumfounded as to what to get her. She seriously has everything - seriously! After a lot of brainstorming, I remembered reading friends' blog posts on their race retreat experiences at other runDisney events. Since Momma K is a firm believer that the best gifts in life are experiences and memories so I decided to give her the experience of being treated like a royal at the Princess Half Marathon. Well, we absolutely loved our experience in 2015, so we made sure to add Race Retreat to our race weekend again in 2016.
Race Retreat is essentially a VIP experience offered to runners at runDisney races. You are treated to amenities including climate controlled tents before and after the race, pre-race breakfast (bagels, fruit, water, coffee, water, and soft drinks), character greetings, private restrooms and changing areas, private gear check, padded stretching areas, and post-race breakfast. The Race Retreat area is for runners only until 5:30 then platinum chEAR squad members are invited for breakfast.
With today being our 3rd morning of 2:15-2:30am wake ups, it was a treat to get to the race on an early bus and not have to wait in a parking lot for the corrals to open. We arrived at Race Retreat early and got a table for our group and got our picture taken with some of the characters from The Princess and the Frog.
Afterwards our photo ops, we ate breakfast with friends and just relaxed until we made our way to the corrals.
After a final trip to our private restroom area (it is soooo nice to not have to wait in those crazy lines and there were hand washing stations) we made our way out of Race Retreat. We headed to our corral a little bit before 5:00am and made our way through 13.1 magical miles (more on that during my race recap coming up).
The absolute best part was utilizing the the Race Retreat afterwards. We had breakfast waiting for us which made Momma K especially happy. After 13.1 miles, most of us get a little "rungry" and let's be real, the post-race food doesn't always hit the spot. With a post-race breakfast buffet including muffins, oatmeal, fruit, eggs, sausage, potatoes, and other typical breakfast foods, it was nice to have some good food going into our bellies shortly after finishing the race.
The Race Retreat tent also had its own medical and self-treatment area. Obviously if you have a medical emergency you need to be seen at the medical tent at the finish line (if not sooner), but this was a great feature if you just needed to rub some BioFreeze on your legs or wanted a medical professional to take a look at something for you. So, *spoiler alert*, Momma K ended up needing a little fixing up after wards, so it was nice to have a little bit more private area that isn't so crowded to get her some minor attention and cleaning up that she was needing (more on that in my race recap). The medical team there was absolutely great and got Momma K all cleaned up and ready to go quickly.
There was also a race results area were you could look at your official results and even print up a copy for yourself. Another great touch was that there were TVs inside the tent that you can watch the finish line live. We got to watch the final finisher come across the finish line which was absolutely awesome.
The cost of Race Retreat was about $125 which is a little high if you have multiple runners, but if you are looking to be treated like a royal I certainly recommend it. There are a lot of great perks that we find to be valuable to our race weekend experience, but everyone is different. We have officially been spoiled the past two years, and Race Retreat will be added to our future WDW runDisney events for sure.
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
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