The Halloween season has officially begun! For me, it started when the Headless Horseman showed up at the Happy Haunted 5k Trail Run, but I knew it was here for sure when I saw literally thousands of runners in great costumes at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash. Thank you to all of the runners who came out this past weekend for a haunting good time – and after talking to a number of you who set personal records for 10 miles, make that some wicked fast times!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a Disney runner! I love Labor Day weekend, not only because it is when we host the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, but also because it means the beginning of a new season of runDisney events. While it has only been three short months since we crossed the finish line at Expedition Everest, it seems like a lifetime ago.
This coming season of races promises to be our best ever, starting with all the excitement we have in store for you at the Disneyland Resort in just a few days. Not only are we introducing the Disneyland 10K, but we are also premiering the Dumbo Double Dare for those of you who want to pack as much runDisney as possible into two days.
So, no matter if this is your first Disney race, or if you will be donning a Coast to Coast medal at the race end, thank you for joining us for this and every runDisney event.
I love reading our runDisney Facebook page. It is the perfect location for people who are passionate about running and Disney to gather and share stories of triumph and words of encouragement. But I especially love it when I see a post from a new runner who is gearing up for their first runDisney event, and I watch our community of runners lift them up. You see, here at runDisney we love what we do, but if you ask us what we are most proud of, I think many on the team would say the same thing: introducing running to thousands of new people every year.
So in order to keep bringing in more runners, we need to keep adding new races, which is why I am very pleased to announce the addition of the Tinker Bell 10K to the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort. The 10K is a fantastic distance for the novice runner who has conquered the 5K, but is not quite ready for the additional 10 miles of a half marathon. By adding this event to our already popular Tinker Bell race weekend, even more runners will have the chance to run through our Disney Parks, experience delightful Disney on-course entertainment, and earn a coveted runDisney finishers medal (because for many, “it’s all about the bling”).
I hope you will join us in January of 2014 for the Inaugural Tinker Bell 10K as a part of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort. But remember to sign up quick! Registrations are gonna fly faster than Tink herself.
How many of you are like me – running, leading a healthy, active lifestyle, but falling short when it comes to diet and nutrition? It’s no secret proper nutrition is the key to fueling your exercise and helping your body recover and prevent injury. Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming runDisney event, or just getting off the couch to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle, you aren’t alone: the runDisney team is with you every step of the way.
If you haven’t done so yet, I invite you to check out runDisney.com. There, you will find training programs from our official training consultant Jeff Galloway. Jeff’s run/walk/run program will get you off the couch and moving down the road safely and with little risk for injury.
Recently, we were excited to welcome Tara Gidus as the official nutritionist for runDisney. Her tips are helping runners fuel their training programs and races, and they will help you achieve your goal of a healthy lifestyle.
Tara recently teamed up with Disney Chef Gary Jones to prepare a couple healthy dishes that are easy to make and delicious to eat. The first of three recipes and nutrition tips start today on runDisney.com.
Check out these posts for more of the latest runDisney news:
“So why do you run?” That is the question most often asked to runners by non-runners. “Why do you get up before dawn, oftentimes in miserable weather, to go do something that quite frankly does not look enjoyable?”
This is a question that is not lost on runners. In fact one of my favorite running shirts has emblazoned across the back, “My Sport is Your Sport’s Punishment” – a not so gentle nod to the bevy of coaches who have ever uttered the phrase “Gimme a lap!”
So why do we run? There are as many reasons as runners – “So I can eat what I want,” “To stay in shape,” “To clear my mind” – but there is one reason that seems to rise to the top among all our runDisney runners…”we run for the bling!” You see, there is nothing so rewarding as finishing a race and having a volunteer drape a beautifully crafted Disney medal around your neck. For that moment you feel as though you are an Olympian, and regardless of what place you’ve finished, you have earned that gold.
So with that said, I am pleased to reveal our latest entries into the pantheon of runDisney race medals: The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K and the Dumbo Double Dare medals, all beautifully designed to say, “Here’s why I run.”
By now I hope you have heard about the Dopey Challenge and the Walt Disney World 10K that we will be kicking off next January as a part of the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. In addition to new medals for those races, new medals are currently being designed for the half marathon, marathon and Goofy Challenge. But we also have more good news coming as a part of our flagship runDisney weekend. In an effort to make sure runDisney events provide the best possible experience for our guests, the team will be introducing the following changes for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend:
We are reducing the number of runners that we are registering for the weekend, in an effort to allow more space on the course.
We are asking the vast majority of our runners to provide proof of time (if they have it), so we can accurately place runners of the same pace in the same corral.
We are adding additional corrals, with fewer people in each corral, to spread the runners across the course.
And we will now be offering women’s cut tech shirts (in addition to the men’s cut) for the 10K, half, full, Dopey Challenge and Goofy Challenge.
This year promises to be the best marathon weekend ever! And no matter what distance you are running – from 5K to the 48.6 miles of the Dopey Challenge – we are working hard to make every mile magical.
Registration opens today at noon EDT for all Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events. Dopey is off and running; are you?
In 2006, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend had a big year. The races had become so popular, the half marathon and the full marathon now had to be held on two separate days. This race day bifurcation led to another interesting development. It was now theoretically possible for a runner to run both races, so the team decided that if someone was goofy enough to do that, they deserved a medal. And thus, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge was born with just over 2,300 runners receiving the first Goofy medal for their 39.3 mile accomplishment.
Through the years, “the Goofy” has been a favorite with our runners as well as a unique offering in the running industry. Well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This next year, runDisney is adding a 10K race to our Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend line-up, joining our already popular 5K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon. And you guessed it (we couldn’t help ourselves), we are now offering the Dopey Challenge to those runners who conquer ALL FOUR of our races. That’s right…completing the 5K, the 10K, the Half Marathon and the Full Marathon in the four consecutive days will earn you the Dopey Challenge Medal. That coveted piece of hardware will be clanging around the necks of our finishers with the Mickey Marathon medal, the Donald Half medal, the 5K Family Fun Run medal, the Goofy Challenge medal, and the new Minnie 10K medal.
Six medals for 48.6 miles over four days. I think I am just Dopey enough to do it. Come join me!
I hope you will accept this invite:
Join us for the Dopey Challenge and the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
Once we knocked out our three miles, we headed into Biergarten Restaurant in the Germany Pavilion for some light food and some amazing words of inspiration from training guru Jeff Galloway, runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus, decorated paralympian April Holmes, and the first female winner of “The Biggest Loser,” Ali Vincent. Actor Sean Astin and the folks from Senses – A Disney Spa were also on hand to make the morning complete.
Holding up homemade signs with words of encouragement, little Peyton and Hadley Booth were pretty excited to see their mom, Rachel, cross the finish line at Disney’s Princess Half Marathon this morning. As usual, it was easy for them to spot her among the 26,000 runners – she was the first person to cross the finish line again, winning her second straight Princess Half Marathon and besting her race record time from last year.
The finish line celebration is becoming a Booth family tradition at runDisney events. Booth, 32, is now the only woman to win four runDisney titles – the Disneyland Half Marathon (2010 and 2011) and the Princess Half Marathon this year and last year). Heck, she might have been a five-time winner if she had entered the Disneyland Half Marathon last year.
Booth’s record-breaking victory was the headliner among a host of inspiring stories that unfolded throughout the weekend. There was the Delaware woman who completed all 13.1 miles of the half marathon despite having a brain tumor (it’s benign). And there were the two 78-year-old women who decided to run the half marathon. And there were a couple of celebrities such as Sean Astin (“Rudy,” “The Goonies” and “Lord of the Rings”) and Ali Vincent (former winner of “The Biggest Loser”).
They were all just a fraction of the many memories created during the three-day event. But my fondest memory will always be a 6-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl embracing their record-setting mommy at the finish line.
To our princesses (and any princes, pirates, or frogs who may also be out there), welcome to our fair kingdom! We could not be more pleased that you are joining us for the 5th running of Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. This is one of my favorite race weekends because it is an awesome display of GIRL POWER! It is no secret that the modern day running boom in the United States is being fueled by women. In fact I am proud to say the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon this past January had more women running the 26.2 mile distance than men, making it one of the few (if not only) major marathons with this gender split – YOU GO GIRLS!
This weekend is a celebration of you. Just like the Tinker Bell Half Marathon held at Disneyland Resort last month, the Princess Half is a race that is planned and designed for our female runners. Now we know a number of men will also be pounding out the magical miles, and gents we salute you as well because at the end of the day we are focused on the vision of runDisney…”To make everyone believe they can run, and to make every mile they run magical.”
So no matter if you are here by yourself or with a gaggle of girlfriends, if you are a first timer or here for your PR, if you are a prince or a princess, we are excited that you are here to enjoy the best kind of Disney vacation possible. A runDisney vacation.
So lace up your shoes, run down to the castle, cross that finish line with your arms in the air, and make sure you wear your medal with pride!