DisneyWorld Florida First Marathon...Race Day Help Needed!

Hi All,

I'm wondering if someone can help me. I'm running my first ever marathon on 13th Jan - in DisneyWorld Florida! It starts at 5am due to the temperature issues (which are still expected to be pretty warm).

I was wondering what advice there was, or if anyone could help me work out how to prepare for the race on the day given I need to deal with timezone changes, climate changes, running a marathon at 5am and it being my first ever marathon!


Melanie (somewhat nervous...)


  • If it helps, Florida is six hours behind GMT so 5am is the equivalent of 11am in the UK.  If you can stop your body clock resetting to the local time until after the marathon, this may help.

    Have you started or are you about to start a training plan to build up to marathon distance?  Most marathon training plans are about 16 weeks, so this should be starting fairly soon.  Having some structure should help dispel some of the nerves.

    Otherwise its just like any other marathon, relax and try and not over-exert yourself in the week before and make sure you are hydrated for the few days before the race.

  • I can't help much I'm afraid - the year I did it was the freak weather year and it was freezing (literally).  Everyone had prepared for 15 degrees at the finish, so the -2 was a bit of a shock!

    Other than that, what stutyr says - keep on UK time and the early morning isn't a problem.  If you are there for a while before the race and have to adapt, I wouldn't worry too much - the adrenaline will kick in and getting up and going will be fine.

    It's a great first marathon - very organised and friendly. 


  • Disney was my first marathon back in 2007.

    Depending on when you arrive the start time works out well, as others have stated they are five hours behind so it's 10am as far as your body is concerned. Race day preparation just do what you normally do. Eat what you eat in training before the race. If you eat two hours before going on your long slow runs then do that. If you are used to using specific gels or drinks then take them over with you.

    The two years I ran Disney it was very warm (2007 & 2008). If it's warm just dress for the heat. I'd advise a cap to keep the sun off your head. That said in 2008 the day after the race was very cool in temperature, damn you running gods, so the weather can go either way at that time of year.

    The event itself is extremely well organised with plenty of drink stations. It's a fantastic event and one that is great as a first marathon. You'll have a great time.

  • I ran it last year and it was perfect for running image

    Was very chilly early in the morning, a few degrees above freezing I think, there was a few frosty nights when we were there. It was clear though, so as the sun made an appearance the temp climbs very quickly (compared to UK) I remember going to the start in shorts n t-shirt feeling very cold, but once underway, it was great.

    Like as has been said, try to stay on UK time, I deliberately went only a few days before and got up n had breakfast at 3am over there (a cosy 8am in UK) Then once the race was done, switched to later starts for the remaining time.

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