Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A Ledderhose (and Dupuytren's) perspective of DisneyLand Paris Half Marathon

This last weekend I have had the pleasure of going to DisneyLand Paris in part to run the inaugural DisneyLand Half Marathon and in part to see the sheer joy on my 3 year old daughters face as we meet the characters go on the rides. Given my role with the British Dupuytren's Society and my history with Ledderhose I couldn't help but think of things from a Dupuytren's and Ledderhose point of view. 

The trip over from the UK to Disneyland was very smooth and the only thing from a patients point of view that I would comment on is the ease of dealing with 2 suitcases if I had Dupuytren's. Admittedly most patients do not have a 3 year old daughter so it would only be one suitcase for me and one for my wife however I think the point it still valid that carrying or pulling a suitcase if you have Dupuytren's in both hands would not be fun. Other than the usual daily problems with Dupuytren's I don't think that there would be any additional problems, none of the rides require you to hold on to things (other than a Buzz Light Year shooting game) but the rest are Dupuytren's friendly. 

Now Ledderhose could be a bit more tricky. As we were hiring a buggy I noticed that they also do wheelchair hire but this is not cheap and would not be feasible for longer stays but I imagine you would be able to take your own if you had one. If you didn't want to use this facility there are then lots and lots of queues and standing in line my foot did hurt a little bit but not much. You would be ok if you could get a Disney disabled badge which basically allows you to skip all the queues but I do not know what the requirements would be for getting one of these. 

The other complaint I would have would be that the trip back on the Eurostar from Disney to the UK was poorly organised and at one point we were, for lack of a better word, penned in to a fairly small area with no seats, as a Ledderhose patients that would have been a nightmare. 

I do or at least I did have a folding chair which would have helped in both situations although I don't think they would have liked me to have taken it on to the rides but most allowed backpacks so it could have worked.

The weekend itself:

The weekend itself was amazing and we all had a great time. My daughter loved the Disney Castle, the characters, the rides the shows and her little kids race. 

My wife and I also took part in the Half marathon which was great, the first 5k was around the 2 parks and there were loads of staff and characters cheering us on. The course was more hilly than I was expecting and I am not quite in the shape for a PB so was amazing to actually be on for a PB until 9 miles in at which I knew I could either give everything and scrape a PB or keep something in the tank for the remainder of the weekend, I took the latter option as I have another half marathon in November, hopefully the conditions will be good and I can get a PB then but I imagine it will be a while before I get the chance to go to DisneyLand again. My watch time was somewhere just under 1 hour 38 minutes and out of the 11,000 runners I think I will be in the top 500 if not higher which is pretty crazy (still waiting for the official results). 

Overall we had an amazing time but I really am not sure what I would have done (other than not run the Half Marathon) had I still been in a bad position with my foot. We probably wouldn't have gone. On the plus side keeping my feet warm has always helped with any pain that I have had and I managed to get some lovely warm slippers which I thoroughly recommend for any patients that find that warmer feet help.

Update: Turns out that the official numbers were more like 9000 runners and I came 284th, very happy with that!