Rain at runDisney can be a total bummer. Those of us who survived the 2014 Wine & Dine (aka Splash & Dash) Half Marathon knows this quite well! But they can still be a total blast if you’re prepared, comfortable, and go in with good expectations. So in a recent Jammin’ On The Run episode, Rob and I chatted about runDisney in the rain by expanding on content from a previous Tips for Running in the Rain blog post.
To watch the video, go to our Joyful Miles Channel!
1.) Pack wisely!
Even if the forecast is calling for sunny days in the 80’s, I still pack for every single temperature, since the weather in Florida can change very quickly, especially in the winter months! So be sure to pack the following:
- A Visor or Hat to keep rain out of your eyes. This saved me at Splash & Dash! I would have gone bonkers otherwise.
- Several disposable ponchos that can be purchased quite cheaply at Wal-Mart, Target, etc.
- A heavier poncho to wear before/after the race or in the parks. (More on this soon!)
- Garbage bags, which can be made into emergency ponchos by cutting holes for your head and arms. (Which means you should also throw a pair of scissors in your suitcase.) Contractor bags are especially awesome, since they are larger and heavier!
- A waterproof case for your phone or other electronics. A snack-size or sandwich-size plastic baggy also works great in a pinch!
- Gallon-sized plastic baggies to store jackets, a change of clothes, etc., that you’re keeping in your gEAR bag. (More on that soon!)
- Pack an extra pair of shoes so you can rotate if one gets wet.
- Newspaper for drying out your shoes overnight!
- Body glide or other anti-chafe products.
- Vaseline for your toes and/or feet.
If you want to run with your poncho on but don’t want it flopping around, anchor the hood by wearing a visor over it and attach a running belt over the poncho around your waist. Now you’re runway ready!
2.) Bring a Change of Clothes…
…if you plan on hanging out after the race–getting character photos, dancing to the DJ, or enjoying an adult beverage or two. Wearing damp or wet clothing can lead to chills, chafing, and for us ladies, it can wreak havoc down there. So depending upon the weather, I always pack yoga pants, a dry shirt and jacket, flip-flops or dry socks, gloves, a knit hat, etc.
A dark, heavy-duty poncho can make for a great changing room in a pinch! I toss a dark green one in my gEAR bag for that purpose, since changing in a port-0-pot is quite challenging. And gross.
3.) Pack your gEAR bag wisely!
gEAR check is such a breeze, so if conditions are poor, bring along items that will make you more comfortable before and after the race. For mine, I pack:
- A change of clothes
- Small umbrella
- Hand towel for drying off
- Extra disposable poncho
- My heavy-duty poncho
Put your change of clothes into a gallon-size baggy to ensure they stay dry since those plastic gEAR drawstring bags aren’t the most reliable thing! This is especially important at races where your bags are transported to another location, such as Wine & Dine.
4.) Do not wear shoes with worn treads
This can lead to loss of traction and slipping. I’ve heard of other people who have duct-taped their shoes in hopes to keep them dry, but I’m not a big fan of that. First off, I don’t want adhesive junk on my shoes. Plus, I worry about losing breath-ability.
5.) Adjust your expectations.
While it is still possible to PR during a rainy runDisney race, please exercise caution and if necessary, adjust your expectations. The ground will be slick and you’ll spend a great deal of time on the highway where there are reflectors in the middle and pot holes disguised with puddles.
The amount of characters out will also be affected by the rain. Even with canopies, there’s still a risk of rain coming in on the side from wind, so many face characters will most likely not be out. runDisney will do their best, however, to ensure a magical experience and keep the entertainment value up!
And the end of the day, you’re still at Disney World.
6.) Make sure you hydrate
I’ve made the mistake of not hydrating enough during races in rainy weather, and since water-saturated skin does not give the same benefits as drinking water, I had a massive headache afterward. So even there’s rain in the forecast, (or if the thought of adding any more water to your body makes you cringe,) be sure to consume enough liquids!
7.) Dress in layers
The fabric closest to your skin is the most important – make sure it’s a technical fabric and NOT cotton. Cotton is bad. If it’s chilly, layer on a water-resistant jacket and NOT a waterproof one that will trap moisture and heat. Waterproof is bad. I scored some amazing water-resistant jackets at Wal-Mart for only $11.00!
Adding on to this tip, be sure to not over-dress as well, a big mistake I often make. Here’s where the layers will help because you can shed if necessary.
(Not so) ODDBALL TIP:
Scour the clearance racks and go to your local Goodwill for discounted jackets, sweatshirts, etc., that can be tossed once you warm up! runDisney collects all discarded clothing and donates them to charity.
8.) Protect thyself from chafing!
Underneath all those layers, be sure to hit up high friction areas with a generous dose of body glide – underneath sports bra straps, beneath your breasts for gals and on nipples for gents, armpits, and inner thighs.
For your feet, it’s a good idea to give your toes and heels a coat of Vaseline to prevent blisters. It doesn’t, however, help with water logging. They’re still going to look like wrinkled prunes after the race. Which can be kind of cool, too.
9.) Be mindful of your bib
Mylar emergency blankets are great for warmth, but they can mess with your timing chip, so make sure you don’t cross the starting line wearing one.
Also, with all the awesome Photopass photographers on the course, make sure you don’t miss a single picture by covering your bib with a poncho or jacket! Wear a clear poncho or do what Rob did once for a rainy race. He attached his bib to the front of his shorts rather than to his shirt so he was still able to wear a jacket.
If you follow Rob’s suggestion, make sure to pin your bib to the front of your shorts, pants, or running skirt rather than the side of your leg! Otherwise, you’ll on get Photopass pictures from photographers on your bib side.
10.) Don’t ditch too soon!
I learned this lesson the hard way during Splash & Dash. I was feeling pretty awesome and the poncho that was tucked underneath the back of my running belt was feeling cumbersome, so I ditched it at mile 3.
Once the wind picked up by mile 7, I was freezing and would have done anything to get that poncho back! Rob made the very same mistake during our horrendous 2016 Broad Street 10-Miler experience. So when in doubt, keep!
I have also been known to pick up jackets that had previously been discarded by another runner with absolute no shame. Under normal circumstances, my inner germaphobe would stop me from doing so, but when I’m cold? Yeah. Those quirks go straight out the window.
So there you have it, our best tips for running a runDisney race in the rain. Have we missed anything? If so, please leave your suggestions in the comments below.
As always, happy running and have a joyful day!