Let’s be realistic, the weather forecast looks great for spending some vacation time in Florida and hanging out by the pool. The weather forecast looks less optimistic if you were planning on running, say, a marathon.
Currently, Orlando’s forecast has highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s in the morning. “Oh, that’s not bad!” you say, because you’re like, “60 degrees is great running weather!” This is FLORIDA, people, it’s never just 60 degrees. IT’S 90-100% HUMIDITY. AT 6 AM. And before you say “who cares what the weather is like at 5 am,” I want you to pause and think for second.
Yeah, let that sink in for a second.
I ran the WDW marathon in 2013 when it was basically the same weather conditions, and let me perfectly honest with you: it’s not going to be pleasant. It’s not going to be a ton of awesome fun because some of us haven’t seen humidity in a few months and we have conveniently forgotten that it exists at all. And yes, you will most likely be sweating before you even start running. I know, gross right? The upside is that you don’t have to really worry about packing enough throw away clothes to keep you warm at the start. That’s something, right? Not much, but it’s something.
So here are my top suggestions for running the Disney World Marathon when it’s hot out.
Visor and sunglasses. You’re all, “but I’m so fashionable, I’m not wearing some stinky, tacky visor!” This is a race course with no shade anywhere, AN-NY-WHERE and trust me, it’ll be light by the time you’re heading to Animal Kingdom for most runners. Florida highways are also concrete and really light in color, which makes the glare that much more blinding in the noon sun. Do everyone a favor and just bring a visor and some sunglasses.
Sponges. Bring your own. They will hand out sponges when you get into Wide World of Sports. That’s at like mile 18, but it’s already hot out and you’ve been sweating since you got off the bus at Epcot. Bring a sponge with you, drink half your water, dip your sponge in the remaining water and keep going. It’ll make a huge difference and feel so unbelievably amazing. And don’t ditch your sponges until you’re leaving Hollywood Studios. Hold on to them for dear life.
Let them pour water on you. In 2013, volunteers had bottles of water just for pouring onto the runners’ heads. Do not pass up this opportunity if they offer it.
Drink your water. If you’re looking to save some cash and up your electrolytes pre-race, nuun is a pretty good gatorade alternative. You can buy it at your local running store with coupons and bring it on the plane with you since it comes in a tube of alka-seltzer like tabs. You can just drop the tab right in water bottles and not be spending a gazillion dollars on powerade in the parks since they’ll give you free glasses of water at all the quick service locales. For further nuun information, visit Nuun ambassador Rae.
Aside from that, adjust your pace accordingly and remember: it could be worse, you could be the poor schmuck in the Darkwing Duck costume standing out in the middle of the highway for a few hours.