So you have eaten your way through the entire Cabanas buffet, drank the night away at Skyline Lounge, and helped yourself to more than a few soft-serve ice cream cones on your Disney Fantasy Cruise and now you need a way to burn off those extra calories before heading back home. Not to fear; for those of you who want a little more than the treadmill has to offer, you can find a sweat inducing adventure on Disney’s own private island, Castaway Cay. The Castaway Cay 5K is like no run on the mainland, as it takes you past the island’s beautiful nature trails as well as an abandoned runway-how cool is that!
Distracted Tip: Be sure to sign up for the Castaway Cay 5K at the Guest Services Desk on your cruise as soon as possible, as the race is limited to a maximum number of runners.
On every ship with a route that includes a stop at Castaway Cay, you are able to sign up for the Castaway Cay 5K (weather permitting). The Castaway Cay 5K does not have any time restrictions or individual timing available on the course, so all levels are welcome to run or walk. However, due to the heat and length of the course, no one under the age of 12 is allowed to participate in the race.
Before you pull into port at Castaway Cay, you will gather with the other runners and get all your final instructions and route for the run, as well as your race bib. On the morning of my run, there was a large group of both experienced and novice runners, as well as family groups looking for an enjoyable walk. While I had my husband watch the children so I could do the run, there is also childcare available on the island which, opens early for those running the face.
Distracted Tip: If you will be using childcare prior to the 5K, be sure to follow the crew members’ instructions and disembark first, so you can get the children settled prior to the start of the race.
Once the group of runners is assembled and the ship has pulled into port, you will be the first to disembark the boat. After walking the ten minutes or so to the start line, and getting some last minute well wishes from my family, I was ready to go. There was an excitement in the air as all of us runners were waiting for the race to start. A few moments later, the gun sounded, the clock started, and we were off on our 5K journey.
The 3.1 mile run will take you past some of the less traveled portions of the island, so the views are sure to delight. While there are some shaded portions along the course, once you get to the tarmac, it can get a bit hot, so be sure to pace yourself. You will also be very happy to see water stations at both the start and end of the air strip portion. There are also two additional water stops throughout the race.
During my run, I made a few friends, and saw a few familiar faces as I made my way through the course. And while I wasn’t setting any world records with my pace (due to both the heat and the extra meals), I very much enjoyed not only seeing the island, but also doing something a bit healthier on my vacation. One of the best parts though, was coming around the final turn of the course, and seeing my family there waiting for me. And after claiming my cool Mickey “medal” (actually a rubber finisher’s medal), and changing into my swimming attire, I made a beeline for the gorgeous beach and cool water on Castaway Cay.
For those looking for a bit of exercise, and to burn off a few of those buffet-line calories, I encourage you to sign up for the Castaway Cay 5K.