Disney Marathon Corral Assignments

Let the excitement over the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon begin! You know that we’re close to race weekend when the event guide and corrals go live! On Thursday, runDisney put up the corrals and event guide. So, let’s take a look.

For the first time, there will be no hard copy of the event guide for a runDisney event. So, everything is digital. To view the entire guide, click here. I really like the format of this event guide. I think that, because they aren’t having to print it out for race participants, they got much better graphics. I love it! Let’s look at some of the interesting point of the guide.

Since this is a digital guide, the table of contents is interactive. This is not the previous digital publications that were merely a PDF file of the printed guide. This guide allows you to bounce back and forth pretty easily.

First up, let’s look at the Health & Fitness Expo Hours. If you “scroll down,” you see this info…

There is a map of the downstairs portion of the expo. The expo’s for the runDisney events at the Disneyland Resort are held at the Disneyland Hotel.

There will be plenty of signs pointing you in the right direction. If you’re driving to the Expo, I suggest parking in the Mickey and Friends parking structure and walking over to the hotel.

The folks at runDisney want you to start off by heading down the blue carpet to the lower level first. As you can see in the map, this is where you will pick up your race bib and any other pre-purchased items (Dooney bags, Jackets, Pins, Travel Agent Packages, etc.). Also, if you are running the Dumbo Double Dare, you will be instructed to go to a booth where they will take your picture with your bib. This is used to verify you completed both races. When you finish the Disneyland Half Marathon, you’ll go to an area in the finishers chute to get the medal. There will be a runDisney volunteer checking your bib against that picture.

If you want to have the best pick of official runDisney merchandise, you should try to arrive in the morning of the first day of the expo. If you arrive before the expo opens, you’ll be directed to this upstairs room. This pic was taken probably about a half hour before the expo opened. Yes. There are that many people who arrive early. If you can’t be there early, don’t worry. It’s been my experience that, as long as you arrive by noon on the first day, you should have a very good selection of merch.

Next up, let’s look at the race information. After all, that’s why you’re coming out to Disneyland. Right? Here is the info about when the races start. With the exception of the Kid Races, they all start at 5:30am.

As I now have a child who will be in the kid races for the 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend in January, I was very interested in this section of the guide. Here is the map you will need if you have one of your kiddos racing at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races.

Above is the course route for the 2016 Disneyland 5K. I’ll be running in this race for the first time this year. So, I’m pretty excited to see the route we’ll follow. To see a larger version of this map, click here for the PDF file.

Here’s how the corrals will line up for the Disneyland 5K. As you see, there will be 4 corrals. If you’re racing in this event, you won’t find out which corral you’ll be in until you pick up your bib at the Expo. Please note…if you are running in the Disneyland 5K, you will NEED to be at the Expo on Day 1. There is no race day packet pick up.

Here’s the 2016 Disneyland 10K route. If you’ve run in any of the previous 3 Disneyland 10K’s, you’ll probably notice a few changes. The construction of Star Wars Land has taken away some of the backstage areas for runDisney to use. The first 2 miles will be exactly the same as in years past. Things change in the theme parks. For a larger version of the map, click here.

Here’s how we’ll line up for the Disneyland 10K. Please note…if you’re running the Dumbo Double Dare, you might have two different letters on your bib. The first letter corresponds to your corral for the 10K. The second one will be your corral for the half marathon. I’m sure that for most, they will be in the same corral for both.

The last map to point out is for the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon. Just like the Disneyland 10K, this route has been slightly altered due to the construction of Star Wars Land. It looks like this race will have a lot more time in DCA than at Disneyland. Once you get out of Disneyland (the second time), you’ll head up the overpass on Ball road and the rest of the route will be the same as in years past. For a larger version of this map, click here.

This is how the corrals will line up for the Disneyland Half Marathon. You will notice that there are more corrals for the Disneyland Half Marathon than the Disneyland 10K. So, pay attention to your bib if you’re running the Dumbo Double Dare to know where to line up in each race.

Here are how the Dumbo Double Dare Corrals are broken down.

And here are the corral assignments for those only running the Disneyland Half Marathon (non Dumbo Double Dare). How do you know where you are placed? Click here to download your waiver. When you download your waiver, you’ll see your bib number right by your name at the bottom of the second page. Take that bib number and find where you are on the corral assignment charts. Viola! If you’re running the Disneyland Half Marathon or Dumbo Double Dare, you’ll be able to see your corral placement right away. Unfortunately, they do not give this info out to the 10K and 5K races.

Here’s another bit of useful information for race participants. In years past, runDisney used Marathonfoto for their official race photographers. Starting with the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World, there has been a switch to using Disney PhotoPass Photographers. This information will be really helpful for you to retrieve your race photos. They will be available approximately 24 hours after your race! I’ve heard good things from folks who have run the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend about this change in race photography. I can’t wait to see how the PhotoPass peeeps do with race photos.

I love that runDisney highlights Race Etiquette. So, I make sure to highlight it as well.

So, keep all 12 of these things in mind as you race your races. Even if you’re not coming out to run at Disneyland in a few weeks, these are good things to keep in mind as you race wherever you are racing.

Of course, Jeff Galloway gives some of his tips per usual. I always love reading his tips!

Here’s something I loved…Runners World has some tips for us. There are 4 of them on this page….

and hydration tips here. Additionally, I didn’t include an image of this, but Runners World also addresses some common mistakes runners make in preparing for a half marathon. It’s well worth reading.

I echo these sentiments. To all of us who are coming out to Disneyland in less than THREE weeks, good luck with all your final preparations!

 

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There are a lot of runners unhappy with runDisney. The 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend corral assignments have put many runners far behind where they expected. For some, they’re farther back even though they improved their proof of time and expected to be closer to the front!

To figure out what’s going on, I took an in-depth look at corral assignments for the 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon, the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon, the 2017 Goofy Challenge and the 2017 Dopey Challenge, and compared them with the corral assignments for the 2016 version of all of those races.

If you want to see the actual corral assignments from 2016 and 2017 side-by-side, you can click the links below to open them in a new window.

2017 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Corral Assignments

First we’ll investigate the Half Marathon. This is where a lot of runners have noticed a big change. The table lists the number of bibs assigned for runners participating in only the Half Marathon, and running with a Half Marathon bib. As you can see, the total number is up a little from last year.

The biggest difference in corral assignments affects runners from the middle to back of the pack. Assignments for 2017 are similar to 2016 until you get to about the 2:30 mark. That time would have put you in corral G in 2016, but is two corrals further back, starting from corral I in 2017. A 3:00 half marathon proof of time in 2016 would have you starting from Corral I (about mid-pack) but in 2017 that’s only good for corral M, five corrals further back and only three from the last corral.

That’s a HUGE difference, and it explains why so many people are complaining that, even after improving their proof of time, they’ve been moved to a later corral. The effect is similar, but not as extreme, for the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon, Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge corral assignments.

If you submitted a 5:30 marathon proof of time in 2016, you’d be in corral I. But in 2017, you could be in I, J or K. A 6:00 marathon proof of time was good for corral J in 2016, but in 2017 you’d be back in corral M, only three from the back.

There’s an additional factor that, combined with changes described above, makes the impact even more extreme. It’s what happens when you submit a half marathon time as proof of time for the Walt Disney World Marathon, Goofy Challenge or Dopey Challenge. RunDisney converts a half marathon proof of time to a full marathon time using a calculation almost identical to what’s provided with the McMillan Calculator.

You can’t simply double your half marathon time to calculate an expected full marathon time, because of the additional effort required for the longer distance. The calculator is pretty good at figuring out a comparable pace given your level of fitness, and projecting your finish time at various distances. I used the calculator to translate hypothetical half marathon proofs of time to projected full marathon finish times and mapped them to 2017 corral assignments.

Let’s say you ran the 2016 Walt Disney World Half Marathon, and then signed up for the 2017 Goofy or Dopey Challenge. If you submitted a 3:00 proof of time in 2016, you would have started the half marathon in Corral I. Using that same 3:00 half marathon proof of time when applying for the 2017 Challenges means runDisney converts it to a full marathon time of 6:19. That would put you in corral N for both the half marathon and full marathon – a full five corrals further back!

So, why is this happening? Some of it is the so-called “penalty” that applies to corral assignments for race challenges vs. standalone races. But as you can see in the table above, if you were running only the 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon with a 3:00 proof of time, you’d be in corral M. Being in corral N as a participant in the challenge races is only a one corral “penalty.”

You probably won’t like the reason that explains most of the change: your fellow middle and back-of-the-pack runners are getting faster. Take a look at this:

With a few exceptions, the total number of runners assigned to each corral in 2017 is about the same as 2016. Therefore, if you’re further back in 2017 than you would have been in 2016, it’s because there are more runners in front of you. And in order for more runners to be in front of you, they must have submitted better proofs of time. If they’re submitting better proofs of time, absent any widespread conspiracies, they’re faster than you.

I wish there were a more interesting explanation, but based upon my analysis, more, faster runners in the middle of the pack are the reason for the big change in corral assignments from 2016 to 2017.

2017 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Entries

Since I was crunching the numbers, I put together the number of entries for the 2017 Walt Disney World Half Marathon and 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon, based on the number of bib assignments. The number of entries isn’t terribly different, although there is a clear drop-off in the number of people only running the full marathon, which leads to a drop in the overall number of participants in the marathon.

Regardless of your 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend corral assignment, the weekend is always a lot of fun. Keep an eye out for the balloon ladies who meticulously maintain the 16 minute/mile required pace. As long as you can out-run them, you’ll be able to enjoy the entertainment on the course and finish with a great experience (and some awesome bling)!

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