'it's a small world' at Disneyland Park

Real Super Heroes at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


I love runDisney finish lines. Short of running and crossing myself, there is no place I would rather be during an event weekend. The shouts of joy, tears of happiness and the pure emotion of runners achieving their goals is amazing.

Although it is exciting to see the winners and top finishers cross, it’s the runners in the middle of the pack and at the end of the race where I find the most inspiration. For many of these athletes, and yes they are athletes, it is their first race. They set a goal, trained hard and are now experiencing one of the greatest accomplishments in their lives. Others are running for a cause dear to their heart. And for some of these runners they battled hardship on the course and are digging deep to make it to the finish.

If you follow my posts you know one of my favorite stories to produce are profiles on last-place finishers. Partly because I like to point out that runDisney treats the last place finisher just like race winners with fanfare, music and confetti, but also because I like to share what motivated and gave those runners the will to finish. My hope is their stories inspire others to get off the couch, try running, adopt a healthy active lifestyle and join us for a runDisney event.

Recently at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort, I set out to do that story again. Fortunately for all of us I ended up getting a story with a little more meaning – an inspirational story that focuses on selfless sportsmanship.

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Now, I’m not going to give you all the details in this blog post because I am hoping you will watch and see the story unfold as it did for me. But what I will tell you is that on race day Cambrey Fuller from South Jordan, UT, met an angel, a true super hero, Ashley White from Phoenix, AZ.

On behalf of all of us at runDisney, congratulations Cambrey for crossing the finish line, and thank you Ashley for being a super hero. This is what running and runDisney are all about.

For more information on runDisney and to register for an upcoming event, visit runDisney.com.

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Runners Show Off Their ‘Super Hero Side’ at Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

posted on November 19th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you participate in a runDisney event, or simply come out to support a runner, one of the first the first things you notice is the variety of costumes runners wear during the race. From beloved Disney character-inspired outfits to dressing for the theme of the race, the creativity is amazing and unique to a runDisney event. And this weekend’s inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort set the bar a little higher.

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For several years now, I have had the privilege to stand at the start and finish lines for several runDisney events, and in my humble opinion, costumes this past weekend rank #1. Runners went above and beyond expectations in creating and designing their super hero alter ego. It was my observation that the most popular costume for men and women was Captain America, closely followed by Thor and Hulk. Thanks to our runners, I was introduced to super hero characters I didn’t know existed.

It really was amazing and now I can’t wait to see what Star Wars runners do in January!!

On Sunday, Disney photographer Matt Stroshane went in search of ‘super’ creative costumes. We hope you will enjoy the photo gallery featuring a few super heroes who took on and defeated 13.1 miles at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

For more information and to register for an upcoming runDisney event, visit runDisney.com.

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Runners Assemble For Victory at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Back In February, runDisney invited runners to assemble for the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort. When registration opened in March, the response was overwhelming and the race sold out in 110 minutes.

Well, this past weekend more than 18,000 runners representing all 50 states and 12 countries reported for duty and participated in the runDisney Kids Races, the Avengers Super Heroes 5K and the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. The excitement was electric.

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Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye were on hand to join forces and cheer on our youngest athletes participating in the Diaper Dash and Kids Races, and our more experienced athletes running through Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Angel Stadium.

William Prom from Irvine, Calif., Overall Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Winner Alex de la Huerta from Mexico City, Mexico - Who Won the Woman's Title at the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

Congratulations goes out to all our finishers, but I would like to extend special recognition to William Prom from Irvine, Calif., the overall half marathon winner, and to Alex de la Huerta from Mexico City, Mexico, who won the women’s title.

Now that the race weekend is over, it’s time for everyone to celebrate victory and look back on the sights and sounds from the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon.

If you would like more information on the 2015 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend or other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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First Look: Black Widow and Hawkeye on a Mission This Weekend at Disneyland Resort

posted on November 14th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


This weekend, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are descending upon the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim for the inaugural running of the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. Captain America and Thor have been seen regularly at Disneyland park in the past year, but this will mark the first Disney Parks appearances for Hawkeye and Black Widow!

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Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye, along with a contingent of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, will be out in force for this power-packed weekend of fun and excitement. If you’re running, look for them on the route during both the Avengers Super Heroes 5K and Half Marathon.

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Trust Your Training – The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Finisher Medals Revealed

posted on November 12th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


For those training for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation, you might be at that point in your training where you are asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Well today I can show you one reason, the latest edition of amazing runDisney finisher medals.

For the first time I am excited to reveal the inaugural finisher medals for Star Wars race weekend, January 15-18 at Disneyland Resort. This is not a Jedi mind trick. These ARE the medals you’re looking for…

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Star Wars 5K finishers will receive a colorful medallion featuring everyone’s favorite protocol droid, C-3P0. The Star Wars 10K medal is pentagon hexagon shaped and prominently features a Stormtrooper.

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The Star Wars Half Marathon medal may test your Star Wars knowledge. Those familiar with Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope will recognize that the medal is influenced by the Medal of Bravery presented to Battle of Yavin heroes Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.

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For those taking on the Rebel Challenge and running the Star Wars 10K on Saturday and the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday, you will take home a third medal to acknowledge your accomplishment. The Rebel Challenge medal features a spinner medallion highlighting the good and evil in the galaxy: Darth Vader representing the dark side of the Force and Yoda representing the light side of the Force.

The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Medal Rebel Challenge medal The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation Medal Rebel Challenge medal

As Yoda, the legendary Jedi Master would say, “Do or do not. There is no try.” If you do you will claim your inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend medals at the finish line.

May the Force be with you.

A limited number of registrations for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend remain open through groups and charities. For more information on this and other race weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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First Look at runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Merchandise

posted on November 11th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


How many of you are excited for the very first runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, taking place November 14–16 at the Disneyland Resort? Here’s your first look at some of the merchandise that will debut as part of this momentous occasion and help you create your own super hero identity.

You’ll find some of our most notable masked marvels paired with fun phrases such as “Assembled To Run,” “Sorry Boys, Gotta Run,” “Impressed … Of Course You Are,” “Run Like A Super Hero” and others on an array of performance T-shirts, tanks, hoodies, jackets and other novelty items. I will be the first to admit that the phrase “I Smashed the Half” makes me laugh every time.

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Our runner’s hat, Bondi Bands and Sweaty Bands, each themed to different phrases, logos and superheroes will give you a ‘head’ start on looking cool as you run, while our magnets and window clings will show the world that you hold your own special powers.

In addition to the pre-purchased pins for the Half Marathon and 5K, a medal spinner pin reminiscent of a certain super hero logo will be offered. I think you know what letter I’m talking about.

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If you are a ‘super’ fan of the Dooney & Bourke bags, I have a special surprise for you! Here is your official first look at the pattern that will appear on several silhouettes including a satchel, cross-body bag and wristlet.

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Finally, keep an eye out for additional runDisney apparel, along with 2014 runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge offerings.

It’s time to assemble your list of must-have items!

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Runners Enjoy a Full Menu at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

posted on November 11th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Despite wet conditions Saturday night, thousands of runners kept their “reservations” and participated in the Fifth Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort. Exciting finishes, a wedding proposal, costumes and magical runDisney memories were all on the menu.

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After an exciting start at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and covering 13.1 miles through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot, 21-year-old Chris Sorrick of St. Petersburg, Fla., was the first to cross the finish line. It was his first ever half marathon victory. Jenn Berry, 34, of Denver, Colo., was the top women’s finisher. Berry’s victory was twice as magical; she was the first place women’s finisher at the Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna in September.

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Rain did not dampen the runDisney spirit for the thousands of runners who followed our winners. From our favorite “Frozen” characters to a wine bottle and spaghetti and meatballs, runners showed their creativity and Disney Side with their costumes. Shouts of joy, high fives, choreographed finishes and tears of happiness were all served up at the finish line. And for one runner this night was just a little more memorable and magical. Krystyna Hanley of Buffalo, N.Y., was surprised by her boyfriend Andrew Masterson at the finish line. Standing in the rain and in front of thousands of screaming fans, Masterson asked Hanley to join him for the marathon of life and to be his wife. Before getting a finishers medal she received a diamond ring. Oh, by the way, she said yes!

I hope you take a moment to watch our recap video and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Fifth Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I invite you to join in the fun and create your own runDisney memories and I look forward to seeing you cross a runDisney finish at a future event.

To make your reservation for an upcoming runDisney race weekend, visit runDisney.com.

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A runDisney Love Story at the Disneyland Half Marathon

posted on October 20th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


So do you think you love Disney? Do you think you love Disney enough to run 13.1 miles? If the answer is yes to both questions, you are not alone. Christine Cheng and Anthony Tsang’s love for Disney and each other have put them on the course to love runDisney.

“We run because of runDisney,” Christine recently told me when I visited them at home in San Francisco, just before they completed the Dumbo Double Dare at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Disneyland Resort. “We have really never exercised too much before, but Disney gives us the motivation to get out there and lead a healthy, active lifestyle.”

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Saying Disney is a part of their everyday life is an understatement. Their home is filled with Disney keepsakes, they enjoy using their annual passes and visiting the parks several times a year, and of course, one of their greatest Disney memories – a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding.

“We just love that Disney opens so many new experiences to us, so there’s always some way to incorporate Disney into our lives,” the couple said. “Even if you don’t think you can run, you can do a runDisney race.”

I hope Christine and Anthony’s love story inspires you to add a little runDisney to your life.

For more information on runDisney and to register for an upcoming event, visit runDisney.com.

#WhyIrunDisney is dedicated to sharing compelling and motivational human-interest stories. To view submissions and to learn how to upload your story, visit irundisney.com.

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Bling! Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed

posted on October 7th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you are one of the thousands of runners training for an event at the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, and asking yourself, “why am I doing this?” Well I have an answer to that question. It’s all about the bling and today runDisney is excited to reveal all the finishers medals for the event weekend.

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From the runDisney Kids’ Races and Mickey Mile, to the Dopey Challenge medal, I hope you will agree these finisher medals are amazing and worth all the training miles you are logging.

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As most runDisney fans know, this January we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. Runners participate in the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday, 39.3 miles over 2-days. Once they cross the finish line of the marathon, they not only receive a marathon medal, but they also earn the commemorative anniversary Goofy medal. This one of a kind medal features a spinning Goofy in the middle and clearly commemorates the 10th anniversary. Up for the challenge? Registration remains open for the Goofy Challenge.

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Now, for runners out there not wanting to take on Goofy but still wanting to join in on the fun in January, I am happy to tell you it’s not too late. Currently a limited number of marathon registrations remain open as part of the Goofy Giveback, a unique opportunity that re-opened marathon registration for 39 days, representing the number of miles covered in the Goofy Challenge. Your chance to take part in the marathon is scheduled to close on October 24th, or until the race reaches capacity.

If you are interested in registering for the Goofy Challenge or the Walt Disney World Marathon, visit runDisney.com.

I hope you like the medals and I look forward to seeing you at the finish line showing off your bling.

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Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

posted on October 6th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Race after runDisney race I am constantly amazed by the creativity our runners show when selecting their costumes for event weekends. However, when it comes to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, everyone seems to kick it up a notch. From the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run and runDisney Kids Races on Saturday morning, to the featured 10-Miler Saturday night, runners of all ages came prepared to show their Halloween inspired Disney Side.

Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

Congratulations to the more than 15,500 registered runners who participated in all the runDisney events this past weekend. A special acknowledgement goes out to Marc Burget from Jacksonville, FL, and Lynn Baione from Jensen Beach, FL, our male and female champions.

Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Runners Show Their Disney Side at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend

It was an exciting weekend for everyone and I hope you will take a moment to enjoy the following recap video. And if after watching the video you feel inspired to join in on the fun at a future runDisney event weekend, visit runDisney.com for details on upcoming races.

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