Astro Orbitor at Disneyland Park

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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‘May the Force Be With You’ on This Adventures by Disney Vacation

posted on June 5th, 2014 by Andrae Gill, Adventures by Disney


Fellow Jedi Knights and Padawans, it’s time to grab your light sabers and get ready to RUN! Adventures by Disney just released a special, out-of-this-world departure of the Southern California: Disney Backstage itinerary to take place during January 12 – 18, 2015. This departure will grant families access to the runDisney inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend.

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In addition to receiving access to the Star Wars Rebel Challenge (Star Wars Half Marathon 10k and Star Wars 5k), guests who book this trip can participate in an exclusive group run in iconic Hollywood and access the Star Wars Wookiee Welcome Party.

This trip also includes various unique experience, including: a rare, behind-the-magic private tour of The Walt Disney Studios; a tour of Walt Disney Imagineering and The Jim Henson Company (not regularly open to the public); a private tour of Walt Disney’s Disneyland apartment and the Disneyland Dream Suite; and a two-day, VIP experience at Disneyland Resort with special FASTPASS service to multiple rides at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park.

This galactic seven-day, six-night itinerary is a must for both Star Wars and Disney fans alike. For more information on the Disney Backstage & Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend trip, please click here. You may also call 1-800-543-0865 for dates, availability and to make reservations.

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runDisney Joins the Force for Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort

posted on May 27th, 2014 by Faron Kelley, Director, Marketing & Communications, Disney Sports


It was the summer of 1977, and I swear I saw “Star Wars: Episode IV” at least 10 times in the movie theater. Let’s face it, there was not a lot to do in Southeast Iowa. But I was hooked, especially the first time the Millennium Falcon made the jump to light speed. SO COOL!

So you can imagine my excitement when the team told me we got approval to do a Star Wars-themed runDisney weekend at Disneyland Resort, January 15-18, 2015! I was equally geeked when our advertising team took a scene from the movie where R2-D2 and Chewbacca are playing some kind of galactic chess, and C-3PO quips, “I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win,” and made it the heart of our advertising campaign, #LetTheWookieeWin.

Whether you’re a runDisney veteran, a first-time rookie or even a Wookiee, Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort is going to be a fantastic weekend – and another great reason to runDisney. So may the Force, or should I say the Course, be with you!

Now if an invitation and Jedi mind tricks from some marketing guy at runDisney isn’t enough, maybe this message Lord Vader himself will convince you to join him to complete your training.

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Inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Announced Today

posted on May 14th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Today runDisney announced a brand new event that I think many of you Disney cruisers will be thrilled to hear about! For the first time ever, you have the chance to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, an exclusive to Disney Cruise Line guests who are participating in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

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The inaugural challenge, which takes place in January 2015, combines our Castaway Cay 5K with any Walt Disney World Marathon race with a distance of 5K or longer. Following the completion of an eligible race at Walt Disney World Resort, cruisers on the January 12 Disney Dream voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida can then take part in the second half of the challenge – the Castaway Cay 5K – when the ship stops at our private island in the Bahamas.

If you complete both races within the pacing requirements, you’ll earn the Inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Medal in addition to your Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and Castaway Cay 5K finisher medals.

What’s more, just for this cruise we’ll have exclusive activities designed for those of you participating in this challenge, plus featured menu items and special merchandise.

More details, including registration information and booking procedures, are available now on runDisney.com. On your mark, get set, go!

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I runDisney For My Daughter, I Race For a Cure

posted on May 9th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


She runs because her daughter can’t. She runs to raise awareness for Rett Syndrome. She runs Disney to find a cure and to one day hear her daughter say, “I love you mommy.”

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Allison Foley of Orange County, Calif., runs for a cause. She runs for her daughter and hundreds of other daughters across the country who suffer from a heart breaking disease. In 2003, Emma Foley was born a happy beautiful baby girl, but in 2005 dreams were shattered when she was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. The disease takes away her ability to talk, to use her hands and her ability to walk without assistance. Running with the Girl Power 2 Cure team, Allison joined other families to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World Resort to raise awareness for the disease.

After the half marathon Allison said, “this was the most fantastic run of my life.” No Allison, your “best” run is yet to come, that will happen the day Emma runs by your side. Believe.

#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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