Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

I runDisney: Dave McGillivray

posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Dave McGillivray is the race director of one of the most prestigious running events in the world, the Boston Marathon. Every April he and his team put on an elite event, attracting the top marathoners in the world. It is the one race every runner hopes to qualify for and complete in. McGillivray is also an accomplished runner who has competed in races around the globe. At one point in his early years, he literally ran across the country, Medford, OR, to Medford, MA, for charity. He lives, works, eats, and breathes running.

Running is extremely personal to McGillivray, the roots of which start at an emotional time in his life. As a child McGillivray wanted nothing more than to be an athlete, but each time he tried to make a team he was faced with a challenge, his size, and turned away. In elementary school he gave it one last shot and tried out for the basketball team. Not lacking in ability but lacking in height the coach once again cut him. At the age of 12 this was a defining moment in his life. It was then he decided he would never again let anyone tell him he wasn’t good enough and he took up running because no one can cut you from that.

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“Running gives me self confidence, it gives me self esteem, it makes me feel good about myself,” McGillivray said. His message to runners and those thinking about starting to run, “never under estimate and never not appreciate where you’re at, that you have this gift to be able to do this (run).” “Never take it for granted that you are healthy enough to do this,” he added. And speaking of health, recently McGillivray was hit with a heart related health issue and he reminds runners, “That just because they are fit doesn’t mean they are healthy.” Make the right choices to take care of yourself for you and for those around you.

Some of his McGillivray’s favorite race memories are those from runDisney events. This veteran of several runDisney marathons, and the 2014 inaugural Dopey Challenge, gives high marks to the entertainment and excitement for Disney races. “It is one of the most well managed, well orchestrated road races I have ever competed in,” McGillivray said. Having young kids he’s also quick to point out how exciting these destination races are for the entire family.

We hope you will take a moment to be motivated by Dave McGillivray’s story and see the unique way he celebrated his 60th birthday. There is no doubt Dave McGillivray has gone and continues to go through life running.

#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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Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2014: Merchandise First Look

posted on August 25th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


How many of you will be joining us this weekend for the Disneyland Half Marathon? Here’s your first look at some of the art that will appear on some of the most sought after event merchandise, including performance T-shirts, short and long sleeve T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, drinkware, hats, pins and more.

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A true fan favorite is, of course, the men’s and ladies T-shirts emblazoned with the “I Did It” message on it, with the course map featured on the back.

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As you know the “Dumbo Double Dare” is back! You’ll find plenty of merchandise, including men’s and ladies’ T-shirts in a variety of silhouettes featuring both the Dumbo Double Dare logo and the ever famous “I Did It,” along with a jacket, hoodie, sports bottle, keychain, headwear and car magnets.

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Other great selections will include runDisney performance T-shirts, shorts, a zip hoodie, headwear, sports bands, a magnet, cinch sak and my personal favorite, a runDisney Medal Holder.

Want more? Because we have it! Keep an eye out for specially created Dooney & Bourke bags, trading pins, Vinylmation, drink ware and, of course, our “Coast to Coast” collection.

If you’re looking to make any of these items part of your Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend experience or look, then I’d recommend you race to the Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel, as this merchandise will go fast.

Good luck to everyone participating in this year’s event!

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I runDisney: Jeff Galloway

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


When it comes to running, Jeff Galloway is a rock star. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, stop by the runDisney booth at a health and fitness expo and witness the line of people waiting to meet and get advice from this running legend.

runDisney fans know Galloway as the training consultant for runDisney. His Run-Walk-Run method is credited for getting thousands of people off the couch, running and crossing finish lines at Disney and races around the world. His warm southern charm combined with his passion to help every runner succeed, makes him adored by all who come in contact with him.

Galloway’s professional running career is historic and well documented. Running alongside Steve Prefontaine and Frank Shorter, he was a member of the 1972 Olympic Team in Munich, Germany. His extraordinary running resume includes winning the inaugural Peachtree Road Race 10K in Atlanta, winning the Atlanta and Honolulu Marathons, and a 7th place finish in the Boston Marathon.

One might think an athlete with those credentials is unapproachable and incapable of relating to the average runner, however with Jeff Galloway, those preconceived notions are far from the truth. With his competitive juices evaporated like the sweat from the thousands of miles he has logged, Galloway is committed to helping all of us become better runners and achieve our goals.

“What I have discovered is I get a whole lot more back in helping another person than I ever got in doing this for myself,” said Galloway. “I’m one runner trying to help another runner and that gives me tremendous joy.”

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Practicing what he preaches, Galloway uses the Run-Walk-Run method in all of his races. At most events you will find him running alongside his wife of 37 years, Barbara. He credits his parents, both educators, for giving him the ability to teach. His professional running career provides the credentials and platform to be heard.

The accompanying video provides a small glimpse into Galloway’s spirit. He talks about what jump started his running career at the age of 13, his motivation for running today and his passion for runDisney.

I invite you to come out to a runDisney event to meet him in person and run with him during a race. One tip, when you meet Galloway ask about his unexpected path to the 1972 Olympic Team and the unselfish act of friendship and sportsmanship he demonstrated during the Olympic Trials. It is a story that will leave you in awe; it is a story that makes Jeff Galloway a legend on and off the course.

Jeff, thank you for what you do for runDisney and for runners around the world. You are changing lives, and in the end that is bigger than any medal and raises you higher than any winner’s podium.

As the official training consultant for runDisney, Galloway provides training plans for runDisney events. His plans and videos on how to get off the coach and use the Run-Walk-Run method to jump-start a healthy active lifestyle can be found at 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.


For more from the “Why I runDisney” series, visit the stories below:

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Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Finisher Medals Revealed

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


runDisney is looking to provide major incentive for runners training for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, November 14-16. After months of meticulous design work, here are the finisher medals for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, Avengers Super Heroes 5K and runDisney Kids Races. All three medals pay tribute to some of our favorite Avengers super heroes.

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For the more than 12,000 unleashing their inner super hero and taking on the half marathon, the Inaugural Mission finisher medal features a spinning inner medallion with the signature Avengers “A” on one side, and symbols recognizing Captain America, Thor and Hulk on the other.

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Inaugural Mission Finisher Medal Front The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Inaugural Mission Finisher Medal Back

Although individual registration is sold out for all events, there are a limited number of spots remaining through through our charities and travel providers. For more information on those opportunities click here, and to get information on future runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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I runDisney for Those I Couldn’t Help – I am Running for Charity

posted on August 4th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


At 34 years of age, Tisa Daniels of Round Hill, VA, is a wife, a mother of two boys and a runner. Four years ago Daniels returned to the sport to accomplish two things; fight off weight gain as she quit smoking cold turkey and start living a healthy, active lifestyle to be a role model for her oldest son. A couple years later after taking a 15-month break to have her second child, Daniels would again look to running to help battle through postpartum depression.

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Today, Daniels is running strong as a veteran of several 5K and 10K events. Her current goal is to run the Glass Slipper Challenge at the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Networks Hospitals at Walt Disney World Resort, February 19-22. Running a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday will push her body to new limits, but the distance and physical challenge is not all that’s new. This time she is running for a cause- she is running for charity.

Daniels is thankful that her kids have never needed the services of a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, but working as a social worker at a Level 1 Trauma Center she has witnessed first hand the blessing these facilities bring to kids and parents. It is for those kids, and kids of future generations needing a local hospital that she has dedicated these races to raise money for CMN Hospitals. “I am running Disney as a charity run to help all the families I have seen though the years but couldn’t help,” Daniels said.

Running for charity is a great way to add more meaning to your experience and offers you a chance to give back to people and organizations in need. Starting with the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, runDisney is excited to offer our charity partners the opportunity to use CrowdRise. This registration platform makes it easier for runners to find a charity, register for an event, then track and share their fundraising progress with friends and family.

As Daniels told me, “It is the ultimate gift to be able to raise money to help families who you don’t know, who you’ll never meet, who need it.”

To get information on running for a participating runDisney charity, visit CrowdRise. And click here if you want to join Daniels and run the 2015 Princess Half Marathon presented by Children Miracle Network Hospitals.

#WhyIrunDisney 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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New Challenge, New Medal For Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort

posted on August 1st, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Well runDisney fans, Tinker Bell is at it again!

With a little faith, trust and pixie dust, runDisney introduces the Pixie Dust Challenge for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, May 7-10, 2015. Runners looking to test their wings and register for the challenge will take on the Tinker Bell 10K on Saturday and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday. At the end of your 19.3 adventure you will receive the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge finishers medal, in addition to your 10K and half marathon finisher medals.

Whether you participate in the runDisney Kids Races, the Never Land 5K, the Tinker Bell 10K or the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, runners can expect Disney entertainment and excitement throughout each race. Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Fairies will cheer you on all weekend long as you make your runs through Neverland, the amazing Disneyland Resort and along the historic and charming streets of Anaheim.

Registration for the Pixie Dust Challenge and all Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend events opens on Tuesday, August 12, Noon EDT / 9 a.m. PDT, at runDisney.com.

Here’s a little message from our very own Tinker Bell.

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Announcing the New Disney Castaway Cay Challenge

posted on July 21st, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Once again we’re teaming up with runDisney for another Castaway Cay Challenge. This time, we’re calling all princesses!

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Runners who complete the Castaway Cay 5K during the February 23-27 Disney Dream voyage, in addition to one 5K event or longer during the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, will earn the Castaway Cay Challenge finisher medal. This is only the second opportunity ever for Disney cruisers to take on this challenge.

If you’ve never joined us for the 5K on Castaway Cay, you’re in for a treat! You’ll be one of the first off the ship once we dock at our private island for amazing views of the pristine lagoons and beaches. And of course, like any Disney race, you’ll be thrilled with surprise magical moments and entertainment throughout the race.

Registration opens tomorrow at noon ET. Head over to runDisney.com for all of the details, and then grab your running shoes and swim suit for what’s sure to be an incredible week of fun!

If you missed our announcement of the inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge in January 2015, take a look back at all the details here. We’re so excited to be partnering with runDisney on these two exclusive events for Disney cruisers!

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runDisney is ‘Glowing’ About The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend Medals

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


If you are one of the more than 16,000 runners ‘dropping in’ to participate in The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, October 3-4, at Walt Disney World Resort, then we have a little motivation to help you with your training.
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From the youngest runners in the runDisney Kids Races to the most experienced runners in the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the 10-Miler, we often hear, “it’s all about the ‘bling’.” With that in mind, we are excited to share what waits for you at the finish lines of this year’s events.
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There will be no tricks, just treats when kids receive the Halloween-inspired Donald Duck medallion for participating in the diaper dash, 100m, 200m 400m and 1-Mile races.
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Be careful of hitchhiking ghosts if you are participating in the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run. New this year, the medallion glows in the dark!
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And nothing can be more fitting than the 2014 The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler medal, featuring The Hollywood Tower Hotel. Not only does this medal glow in the dark, the elevator moves up and down.

Now, if you are not running race weekend or just hearing about runDisney, I invite you to check out runDisney.com, register for an upcoming event and put a little ‘bling’ around your neck.

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“I’m a Runner, I’m a Champion” – I runDisney

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


“I run to prove what I can do and who I am.” Most of us would expect a strong statement like that to come from an adult but it didn’t. That statement came from one of the most courageous runners I have met, 11-year-old Sarah Kate Sligh from Fairhope, AL.

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Spending time with Sarah Kate you quickly realize she is just a normal little girl. She loves her family, spends time with her little brother, plays tag with friends and enjoys school. But what hundreds of people witnessed at the finish line of the runDisney 1-Mile Kids Race at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was nothing short of amazing.

As I mentioned, Sarah Kate is a runner. She belongs to the running club at school, trains with her mother and participates in races. What you will be surprised to learn is she does all of this while living with Cerebral Palsy. A neurological disease making walking difficult and running almost impossible – almost!

Sticking to her motto, “Finish strong, never stop,” Sarah Kate took on the challenge of the 1-mile run. Starting out strong she will be the first to admit her legs got tired and started to hurt. With her wheelchair always close by, she never once thought about sitting down. As the finish drew close and the crowd cheered her on, Sarah Kate responded by picking up the pace. Pushing her own wheelchair to steady herself, she crossed the finish line. A victory for Sarah Kate, a victory for everyone watching.

Not dwelling on what she can’t do, Sarah Kate focuses on what she can do. Her message, “ If you want to do something just go for it and don’t let anything stand in your way, and just finish strong.”

If you have been looking for inspiration to start a healthy active lifestyle and participate in a runDisney event, or needing motivation to push through long training runs, then please take a few minutes to watch Sarah Kate’s story. If she can do it, we all can!

Sarah Kate, you are a champion.

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

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I runDisney for ‘Dad Time’

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


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for Matt Swartz of Gilbert, AZ, one particular photo translates into two words, “life changing.”

As with the majority of runners, Swartz began running for for health and fitness, and wanted to lose weight. A life change ignited with the snap of a camera. What started as a commitment to his son to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for his 17th birthday, turned into a passion for running.

Through healthy eating and exercise, Swartz lost 150 lbs over a two-year period. Losing the weight not only allowed him to summit the mountain with his son, but along the way he fueled his daughters passion for running and they joined him on his journey. What began as exercise turned into something greater and more precious, “dad time.”

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Earlier this year Swartz’s daughter, Emmalie, asked him to run the Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World Resort. “And what’s a dad going to do? Of course you’re going to run the Princess,” Swartz said. With an agreement that he could wear a tutu, the father – daughter team was off and running.

Take a moment to watch this inspiring journey of weight loss, newfound love of life and family and of course finishing the Princess Half Marathon.

I invite you to visit runDisney.com and find an event to start your journey to a healthy active lifestyle.

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#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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