Via Napoli Restaurant, Italy Pavilion at Epcot

A Life Changing Experience – Why I runDisney

posted on February 13th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Every day we are inspired and motivated by those around us, and today I want to introduce you to Laura Hall from Pennsylvania.

According to recent survey by Running USA, nearly 90 percent of all runners join the sport for health and fitness reasons. The majority of those people do it for weight loss or weight control.

Laura Hall not only represents that group of runners, but reflects many of the runners at our runDisney races. One year ago Laura decided it was time to make a change: It was time to adopt a healthy active lifestyle to lose weight so she could feel better about herself, participate in physical activities with her kids and act as a role model for her entire family.

With the help of a dedicated trainer at her local YMCA, Laura not only lost 98 pounds, but she set a goal to run the Disney Family Fun Run 5K at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. Laura’s message to all of us, “just start, don’t say you can’t do it.”

I hope you will take a moment to watch Laura’s journey and become inspired to live a healthy active lifestyle – and participate in a runDisney event.

Why I runDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories.

To view submissions and learn how to upload your story, visit irundisney.com.

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runDisney Launches “I Run Disney” – Everyone Has a Story

posted on January 30th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Whether you run for health and fitness, to celebrate a major milestone in your life, in honor of someone who can’t run, a way to spend time with family and friends, or simply to have “me” time, everyone has their own unique reason for running.

Simply said, everyone has a story.

Starting today, runDisney and Cigna are excited to give you the opportunity to share your story with the launch of irundisney.com. Using Instagram, runners can upload a 15-second video telling us why you run and why you runDisney. Sharing your story will inspire and motivate others to set a goal of participating in a runDisney event. In addition, the runDisney team will review all submissions and select several runners to profile on the new microsite, as well as the Disney Parks Blog and other Disney Parks social media channels.

To kickoff the campaign I want to share with you our first profile. Just over a year ago, 33-year-old Peter Chuchro’s life turned upside-down when he suffered a stroke.

He quickly realized that life can change in the blink of an eye.

Facing the scariest time of his life at a young age, Peter realized how quickly life can change. After making a full recovery he took several steps to ensure he will always be around for his wife and baby daughter. Today Peter runs so that he will see his daughter take her first steps, take her to her first day of school, walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.

Peter set a goal of running the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna, running 26.2 miles to his wife and daughter at the finish line.

View submissions and learn how to upload and share your story at irundisney.com.

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Inspiration From the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 24th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Last Sunday, I once again found myself again at a runDisney finish line watching more than 15,000 registered runners cross the finish line at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort. From shouts of joy and tears of happiness, to runners who made the journey look easy, to those that appeared to dig deep within themselves to find the strength and courage to achieve their goal; it was truly an emotional inspiration for me and all the spectators who waited for hours to welcome runners home.

As exciting as it was to watch the Tinker Bell Half Marathon champion Melissa Hernandez cross the line, it was equally exciting and more emotional to see what happened on the other end of the race. As the clock timer ticked forward, as spectator stands emptied, as the last few pieces of confetti from the winner blew away in the wind, two runDisney champions emerged at mile 13 to make one final final turn on their way to the finish line. Greeted by Disney Characters, music and one last confetti blast Kimberly Allen and Mary Ellen Davis crossed the line as the Tinker Bell Half Marathon final finishers. Exhausted, emotional and happy, they gave us an inspirational message of “you can do anything you put your mind to.”

I hope you will take a moment to watch the video below, celebrate their victory and be inspired by their strength and motivation.

Whether you participated in the runDisney Kids Races, the Never Land Family Fun Run 5K, the Tinker Bell 10K or the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, all of us at runDisney congratulate you for achieving your goals. Celebrate – you deserve it.

We hope to see you soon at an upcoming runDisney event weekend. And, as always, we invite you to follow us at runDisney.com, on runDisney Facebook, Twitter @runDisney and on runDisney Instagram for exciting news and future opportunities.

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Celebrating the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Presented by Cigna

posted on January 13th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Wow, what an amazing Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! To the thousands of runners who participated in races, the thousands of families, friends and volunteers who supported our runners – thank you! All of you helped make this past runDisney weekend a major success and an incredible celebration of running.

Sunday afternoon, walking through the theme parks and at the Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney, it was exciting to see hundreds of runners wearing medals and celebrating finishing their first race, setting new PR’s and achieving other personal goals. It was fun to see a few Dopey Challenge runners wearing all six medals – thankfully they didn’t try to wear all six race shirts. Whether they were our youngest runners from the Kids Races or experienced Dopey Challenge participants, every runner was and continues to celebrate success and achievement. Congratulations to all the runners returning home and going back to work proudly wearing their runDisney bling.

To help keep your runDisney memories fresh we want to share a recap video. And for those of you who have not participated in a runDisney event, this is a chance to see what the buzz is all about and hopefully be inspired to join us.

On behalf of the runDisney team thank you and congratulations. We hope to see ya real soon at an upcoming runDisney event weekend. And, as always, we invite you to follow us at runDisney.com, on runDisney Facebook, Twitter @runDisney and on runDisney Instagram for exciting news and future opportunities.

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2014 Limited Edition New Balance runDisney Shoes Revealed – Available Next Week At Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Expo

posted on January 2nd, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Happy New Year! What better way to kick off 2014 than to reveal the “new” limited edition New Balance runDisney running shoes and to announce they will be available to guests for the first time at next week’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna Expo.

Over the past two months we shared details about the 860 V4 featuring Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie, including exciting news that this model shoe will also be available in kids sizes. We introduced the faster looking 890 V4 to the New Balance runDisney family featuring Goofy and Cinderella. And we showed you new kits with race specific shoe liners and shoelace charms that you can purchase to personalize your runDisney race experience.

Well, now is your chance to see these amazing shoes for yourself. The accompanying video will give you a detailed look at each shoe and help you decide how you want to show your Disney Side at your next runDisney event.

These 2014 New Balance runDisney shoes will only be available at runDisney Health and Fitness Expos starting with next week’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, January 8 – 11. Based on the success of the 2013 shoes and excitement building for the new 2014 shoes, we anticipate a big demand and special arrangements are being put in place to assist guests. For detailed information on how you can purchase shoes at next week’s expo, visit www.rundisney.com.

On behalf of everyone at runDisney, I want to wish you a happy New Year! We invite you to follow us on runDisney Facebook, Twitter @runDisney and on runDisney Instagram for exciting news throughout the year.

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Pop Warner Athletes Win Big at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World

posted on December 19th, 2013 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Last week the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort played host to the 2013 Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer & Dance Championships. Sixty-four football teams and more than 400 cheer and dance teams from across the country, including Hawaii, battled their way through regional competitions to experience their “I’m going to Disney World” moment and play for national titles.

In addition to the competition on the field and on the floor, more than 8,700 athletes and 2,000 coaches enjoyed the Pop Warner Celebration Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a Disney character breakfast, the opportunity to keep up with their studies at the OfficeMax Study Hall, and Disney sports recognized team moms at a Team Parent Information Session.

For 17 years, Pop Warner has called Disney home for Super Bowl week. It is the nation’s largest and oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization, and the only league that requires academic proficiency in order to participate. The NFL Players Association estimates roughly 70 percent of current NFL players, including Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, Maurice Jones-Drew, Adrian Peterson and Ray Lewis, got their starts playing Pop Warner.

Whether you were a player, cheerleader, dancer, coach or parent, it was a great week of competition, sportsmanship and celebration. Congratulations to all the Pop Warner youth athletes for making it to the big time.

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New Shoes, New Disney Characters Join the New Balance runDisney Family

posted on December 9th, 2013 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


For the past few weeks we have shared details of the new 2014 New Balance runDisney shoes. We revealed that Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie will anchor the 2014 New Balance runDisney 860 V4 running shoe. There was a lot of excitement when we announced the same shoe will be available in kids sizes in 2014. It was also revealed that runners will have the opportunity to purchase kits with race specific shoe liners and shoe lace charms to personalize their race experience.

Well the “news” doesn’t stop there! Today we are excited to announce New Balance is introducing a second line of shoes anchored by two of your favorite Disney characters. After listening to customer feedback, these shoes are aimed at runners looking for a faster experience in a neutral cushioning shoe, a lighter weight running shoe. These shoes look awesome and are sure to be a hit with runDisney runners and fans.

Now I can’t reveal all the details so please check out the video below and see for yourself. And, as always, we invite you to follow us on runDisney Facebook, Twitter @runDisney and on runDisney Instagram for exciting news and future opportunities. A little hint, look for the full 2014 shoe reveal at the beginning of January.

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runDisney Takes Magical Miles on the Road To Atlanta

posted on November 19th, 2013 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


At runDisney we are constantly looking for ways to provide exciting opportunities for our runners and this past weekend we think we hit a home run at Turner Field. On Saturday, runDisney hosted its first meet-up on the road in Atlanta. It was an opportunity to take Mickey, Minnie and some runDisney magic directly to our fans.

More than 100 participants hit the streets for a fun run that took us under the Olympic rings, circled the Capital building and then back to Turner Field for a run inside the stadium and around the warning track. Following the run, guests were treated to a speaker series that included runDisney training consultant and Atlanta’s own Jeff Galloway, runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus and Runner’s World editor Warren Green. Our partners from New Balance used the meet-up to announce that the 2014 New Balance runDisney 860 running shoe will feature Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie. They also revealed the same 860 Mickey and Minnie shoe will be available in kid’s sizes.

On behalf of the entire runDisney team, I want to thank our Atlanta meet-up participants and all our runDisney fans for their continued support. If you want to follow along or join the conversation from Atlanta, please use #ontheroadtodisneyparks. And, as always, we invite you to follow us on runDisney Facebook, Twitter @runDisney and on runDisney Instagram for exciting news and future opportunities.

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Sorcerer Mickey & Pink Minnie Highlight New 2014 New Balance runDisney Shoes

posted on November 16th, 2013 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Coming off the major success of the 2013 New Balance runDisney 860 running shoes featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, it was announced this morning that the 2014 shoes will feature Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie. In addition, it was also revealed that the same model shoe, the 860 featuring Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie, will also be available in kids sizes for 2014.

More than 100 runDisney social media followers were the first to hear the news at the first ever runDisney Meet-Up / Tweet-Up on the road at Turner Field in Atlanta. Now is your chance to see this exciting announcement yourself by clicking play below. Although the video announcement does not reveal the entire shoe it gives enough of a tease to get runDisney and Disney fans excited about the new design.

It’s important to note these shoes can only be purchased at Health and Fitness Expos during runDisney event weekends at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. For a complete list of event weekends visit runDisney.com.

One more tip, you will want to follow @runDisney and runDisney Facebook closely leading up to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna for more exciting announcements.

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A Look Inside a runDisney Race Weekend

posted on November 13th, 2013 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


For those who have participated in runDisney races it’s no secret that Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are the perfect race destinations for the entire family. Not only can you celebrate your achievement by going to a theme park, but from Family Fun Run 5K’s to Kids Races, runDisney weekends offers a chance for all ages to participate.

This past weekend thousands of families enjoyed the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend and participated in Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K and runDisney Kids Races. It was exciting to see so many families and kids enjoying a healthy active weekend. But don’t just take my word for it, watch the accompanying videos and see for yourself.

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