Disneyland Paris: My happiest half marathon run


Exterior the attractive Disneyland Lodge (Picture: Disney)

I hadn’t been since 1996, when the park was a few years previous and suitably far faraway from Paris per se (in actuality beneath an hour, however hundreds of miles away culturally).

Then, it was fairly the novelty for Britons relishing the considered having the Disney expertise, with out having to move their offspring four,400 miles away.

This was simply reached inside a few hours.

Parisians now concede it does certainly make for an enormously enjoyable afternoon and snap up annual passes in droves.

Britons are a tad extra leisurely, taking a day or two, arriving through Eurostar on the gates.

Regardless of this accessibility, the lure that sealed the deal for me was the half marathon and an endorsement from two operating buddies who’d accomplished it the yr earlier than.

So on a balmy September eve, I arrived to a fanfare of fireworks bursting from behind Sleeping Magnificence’s fort. I might already left the actual world behind, helplessly drawn beneath Disney’s spell.

Exterior the attractive Disneyland Lodge; a grand dusty pink Victorian pile with ornate fountains, huge foyer and grand staircase, company sport costumes of all kinds from Cruella de Vil to Snow White. All had been in trainers, displaying medals for the 5k race, the primary of three of the Magic Run weekend.

I spot world report holder Paula Radcliffe, already showered and in denims whereas others nonetheless roll over the end line. She’s one of many Magic Run weekend ambassadors and brings her household who all participate in both the three grownup races; 5k, 10okay and half marathon or the children’ races; the 100m 200m and 1k.

I hold my legs shifting by strolling miles by way of the park and studios.


All had been in trainers, displaying medals for the 5k race (Picture: yannpiriou.com)

I skip the Tower of Terror to take a gastronomic spin as seen from the eyes of rat on the Ratatouille trip. To calm my pre-race nerves and post-ride tum, I climb aboard a frigate to sail the Caribbean’s waters discovering myself in shoot-outs amongst boisterous rum-fuelled pirates counting their loot.

Exterior, I greet Mary Poppins and Bert, full with spectacular East Finish accents. And regardless of our ages we’re not within the slightest embarrassed waving at Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan.

The night time earlier than the race, I gas up on an enormous plate of stupendous pasta and drink as a lot water as I can abdomen.

It is darkish as I depart the resort at 6am to merge with one other 9,000 runners heading silently to the pens in Walt Disney Studios.

After an hour Cruella de Vil, comfortable in warming faux-Dalmatian fur and purple gloves, waves us off, warning us to watch out for villians.


Jane proudly shows her medal (Picture: Jon Furniss)

There is a misty velvety purple gentle as we cross the gantry amid a lot fanfare. Alongside the best way, as we gingerly negotiate the sleek bricks of Primary Road, we cease for photographs alongside the best way with characters comparable to Maleficent and Mickey Mouse.

Everybody’s a personality right here. Superheroes are run with princesses and mermaids alongside the large Boulevard de l’Europe. I chortle at a lady in a Spider-Man outfit take a nature-break sprint into the sphere of pale corn whereas a person in a Cinderella frock waits patiently on the verge.

Maybe they obtained dressed at midnight. We jog by way of the village of Magny-le-Hongre, as pristine as Disneyland itself with streets lined by fairly two-storey shuttered homes, and trot round a small lake the place I narrowly keep away from toppling over a park bench alongside a gravel path.

Lastly, we arrive again within the park, taking the backlot route previous dinosaurs and the remnants of a bombed out Metropolis of London earlier than passing by way of Sleeping Magnificence’s salmon-coloured fort and onto the ending straight.

A smile spreads throughout my face as I strategy the road, simply as has been there for a lot of the final 48 hours. I’m not alone as I declare this to be the world’s happiest half marathon.

For the remainder of the day, I strut proudly with my hefty medal that includes Mickey and Sleeping Magnificence’s fort banging towards my chest. In actual fact, I am feeling so invincible I deal with the Large One; Large Thunder Mountain Railroad curler coaster.

With white knuckles, closed eyes, I let myself be thrown about at nice velocity. Out into the sunshine, the adrenalin pumping, I realised it was far much less traumatic than I assumed.

That previous Disney magic.


Disneyland Paris Magic Run Weekend 2019 (run.disneyland paris.com) will happen on 19-22 September 2019. Disneyland Paris (08448 008 111/holidays.disneylandparis.co.uk) supply a two night time/three day package deal from £1,092 (4 sharing). Value contains two nights at Disney’s Lodge Santa Fe, three day park hopper tickets and return journey from London St Pancras, Ebbsfleet or Ashford Worldwide through Lille.

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