After a Disney half marathon, you may be thinking “What can I do to get into one of those first corrals?” But, a better question is why? Why do you want to move up in corrals?
The last corral of the races isn’t always the best place to be in. And it’s not because it’s last. Sometimes you’re in the last corral doesn’t mean you’re not a good runner. You may have forgotten to submit a race time for placement. The simplest of solutions to that is to write down dates to submit the times online.
Besides the reason of forgetting to submit a time, there are a few other reasons to get out of the last corral.
The fear of getting swept up, even if you are a good runner, can be there and hinder your race. Having that lingering fear may push you more than you need to be pushed. Even the night before it can cause anxiety and not enough sleep. I know it’s simple to say to not worry about it, but I’ve had those worries. I know what it’s like. See if you can leave that corral behind.
Here Comes the Sun
For not just the last corral, but some of the other back corrals, a reason to move up is the sun. Though the Disney races are quite early, the sun does rise during the races. The farther back the corral, the later the start time, and that means you’ll possibly run in the heat for most of the race. Heat isn’t fun while running. Moving up into the first three corrals gives the best benefit for less heat. That may be a reason to try to move up.
In some of the last corrals, people may be doing the half marathon for the first time. Or haven’t trained much. What happens is that people are walking a lot more and seemingly in packs. It builds some congestion as you try to zoom past them. You may not even be a fast runner but want to run. Of course be polite as you go past, but it may be beneficial to go to one of the faster corrals. Those corrals have people running most of the time. Though it’s at different speeds, it does lighten congestion.
Getting stopped by people at a different pace than you can cause other problems. Not running naturally can actually cause injury. It’s because you’re running in a way your body doesn’t naturally go. You’ll also probably zig zag through people, and that can cause possible twists. It may also cause not watching the road as well and tripping over something. I’ve seen many trip at the beginning of the race because of this.
One of the reasons to do a runDisney race is to get some fun character photos. In late corrals many are already in line for them. But, in earlier corrals there are less trying to get these photos. One reason to move up in the start times is to get to these characters before lines get too long. Towards the end of the race they even stop letting people get into line for photos! The only thing to remember about this reason is that I wouldn’t suggest using that race’s time for other races. You’ll have a slower time than before and won’t get into an early corral again.
There aren’t really any tricks to getting into earlier corrals. Having to submit a time means you need to have run a race before. If you want a good time in that race, it just takes training. But, I’ll have some tips on training later.
I love running Disney races. The funny thing is that I don’t run them for the average person’s reasons. I don’t stop for characters often. I don’t do it for the medals only. They’re very fun to me, and that’s why I do them. Over almost 4 years, I’ve found that I want to improve. It’s a combination of reasons: heat and congestion. Those reasons that I gave above are why I want to move up in corrals. I don’t like running in heat. Even on training runs I run very early in the morning or after sun down. Also, it does bother me to not go at my natural pace. Having to zig zag through people isn’t all that fun for me. So, I’ve been trying to move up more and more.
I started in corral F out of G in my first half marathon. I’m in corral C now. Do I want to move up even more? I wouldn’t mind corral B. But, it’s a bit more competitive. And corral A is too fast and competitive for me. All that to say, I had one of the best times in corral C this last race I ran. It was cold enough and not congested.
So, if I want to move up, I need to train. But, having reached this corral, I’m quite pleased right now. Whatever your reasons, it will take time. But, it may make for a more enjoyable race.
Are there any reasons you have for getting to faster corrals? Let us know in the comments!