Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

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.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort

Southern California Runner Earns Her Tinker Bell Wings at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 19th, 2014 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


If you don’t believe magic can happen at Disney Parks, just ask Melissa Hernandez.
Southern California Runner Melissa Hernandez Earns Her Tinker Bell Wings at the Disneyland Resort

The 29-year-old runner from Oxnard, Calif., is an experienced endurance runner, but as much as she tried, she had never been able to finish first in a half marathon. That is, until she came to Disneyland Resort this weekend and undoubtedly was doused with a little pixie dust somewhere along the way. Running her first Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Hernandez did what she had never been able to do before, leaving the field behind in a trail of … well, pixie dust, to win the 13.1-mile race Sunday.

Not only was it her first half marathon victory, but it came at the biggest half marathon event she said she had ever undertaken. She somehow outran a field of more than 15,000 runners from across the country and beyond to earn her “wings” and a gold Tinker Bell finishers medal. And she did it in impressive fashion – her winning time of 1:25:40 was the third-fastest in the race’s three-year history.

Who says this isn’t the place Where Dreams Come True?

“I had finished second in a few half marathons, but I had never won one,” said Hernandez. “And I had never run in a race this big before either, so it was really nice to win my first one here.”
2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Start Line at the Disneyland Resort

Hernandez’s win capped a magical weekend of race events that included a new Disneyland 10K, a Never Land Family Fun Run 5K, several runDisney Kids Races, a Pasta Party and a health and fitness expo. In all, more than 30,000 runners participated in the various weekend race events, making this one of the largest women-focused race weekends in the country.

If you want to try to make your running dreams come true like Hernandez, registration for the Disneyland Half Marathon opens January 28 at www.runDisney.com.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort

Sights and Sounds of Disney Parks: If I Can runDisney, Chances Are You Can, Too

posted on January 16th, 2014 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Runners at Walt Disney World Resort

For most of my young life, I had been out of shape. Doctors always recommend proper diet and exercise. I grew up in an “eat this, it will make you feel better” home where exercise was grocery shopping.

But I always wanted to know what fitness was like. I began trying various types of exercise and activities, and though I enjoy quite a few of them, it was running that seemed to work best for me. There isn’t a lot of equipment except shoes. The correct shoes are essential. I asked friends and read a few books about it. Starting with one mile, I worked up very slowly. I had never realized that exercise like this could relieve stress and clear my head.

In about six months I got up the courage to run some 5K races. They’re a little over three miles. Could I think about a marathon? C’mon … who was I kidding? As it turned out, I joined a local running group affiliated with Olympic medalist Jeff Galloway and learned that mere mortals like me could run longer races, even marathons.

Through his books and personal appearances, Jeff dispelled the myths about running:

MYTH: People really shouldn’t run long distances.

JEFF GALLOWAY: According to anthropologists, that is how we survived. The need for running and walking are embedded in our genetics and biomechanics. By gradually going from walking into running — and adding walk breaks — you can adapt, rebuild and become more efficient at any age. The simple training plan of walking breaks during a run greatly reduces body stress and the risk of injury.

MYTH: You need Jack Skellington’s physique to run a race.

JEFF: At the Walt Disney World Marathon and other events around the country, you’ll see every body shape you can imagine. Anyone starting an exercise program MUST check with their physician first and then get the proper training. That’s where run/walk/run comes in. It allows the cardiovascular system to gradually adapt without becoming overstressed.

MYTH: Running is bad for your joints.

JEFF: Neither I nor my orthopedic consultants could find a single study proving that running harms your joints. That applies to everyone, including folks who might not resemble what some might perceive as the typical runner.

MYTH: Running means sprinting until you can’t stand it.

JEFF: That wasn’t even done in the first Olympic marathon in history. At the 1896 Olympic marathon in Athens, all the competitors walked for significant portions.

MYTH: Running through Disney Parks is no big deal.

JEFF: Not only do you see a lot of the main Walt Disney World Resort locations, you also see really interesting, behind-the-scenes glimpses that most never see. Nighttime races offer yet a different kind of magic. It’s like getting a special key to the kingdom.

MYTH: Greg couldn’t be a runner.

ME: It’s been 20 years now since I became a runner. As they say on TV, individual results may vary, but I’ve run 11 full marathons, three triathlons, countless 5Ks, 10kK and half marathons. I even proposed to my wife after running a Walt Disney World Marathon! (She said, “Yes.”)

To see if running is for you, visit runDisney.com/training to get the basics, like training schedules for each race. Then check out the best single guidebook for all runners — Galloway Training Programs. It goes into detail about what to do when preparing for all of the runDisney events, like what to wear, what to eat, etc.

Throughout the year, visit runDisney.com for info on the wide variety of magical events. When you choose one, be sure to mark your calendar for the day registration begins, because they can fill up fast.

Even if you decide that running isn’t your cup of tea, you’re invited to Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to enjoy exhibits, demonstrations and more. You might even meet Jeff there! Admission to the Expo is free during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

Click here for more information about upcoming runDisney events.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Returns with New Merchandise at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 13th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon returns to Anaheim, Calif., January 16 – 19, 2014. I know many of you are pumped up for your first race of the New Year, and I’m here to make sure you do it in style. Here’s your first look at this year’s logo, which will appear on a multitude of merchandise items. Of course, I had to go to a few of my resident experts whom I know have run many a runDisney event … you might even recognize some of them. Here are some of our favorites, I can’t wait to see what you pick!

THM837551

Top choices this year include our Half Marathon themed apparel including long and short sleeve T-shirts, performance T-shirts, tanks, a fleece hoodie and of course the ever popular ladies jacket. I asked good friend and fellow Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover her thoughts on the ladies T-shirt and jacket, and here’s what she had to share (as you can see she really got into it, literally), “I love the sparkles on the front of the shirt,” said Erin, “it’s like it’s already been sprinkled with pixie dust. And there’s no need to add your own wings because it comes with a pair already, right on the back!” That’s right! Keep an eye out as you’ll actually find ‘Flutter to the Finish’ screened on the back of several of our apparel items.

THM837552THUMB THM837553THUMB

Social Media Community Manager Lisa Kanazawa, says and I quote, “I want it all!” and even offered a few tips on how you can feel your best in your race day outfit! “Everyone has a different preference on what they like to wear on race day, but don’t be afraid to go outside of the norm and dress up based on the theme for each race you participate in. For example, you can easily create a Tinker Bell or fairy inspired costume for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend events by accessorizing your race day outfit with a pair of wings and a new runDisney tutu!”

TBH763559

A few more items you can expect to find this year include an Inaugural Tinker Bell 10K T-shirt and what I think will be one of the hottest choices around, the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Event T-shirt. What I love most about this particular T-shirt is that on the back it says ‘Earn Your Wings’ and showcases some of the medals.

TBH763553THUMB TBH763554THUMB

Other items to race in for include Vinylmation, plush, a runner’s hat, Disney pins, magnets, headbands, a mug, stemmed glassware, tumbler, water bottle and toothpick holder.

Joanna Pisanski from Store Operations definitely had her eye on a few things, including the water bottle to keep her hydrated during the race and the commemorative mug, which she says has become a tradition of getting since she and her family started running the races together. Check it out!

THM837555

Those of you continuing your Coast to Coast tradition will not be disappointed. 2014 Coast to Coast Race Challenge performance T-shirts as well as other essential runDisney gear are bound to fly off the shelves.

I know many of you are probably wondering what the Dooney & Bourke bags will look like. Wonder no more, here’s a special sneak peek!

THM837557THUMB THM837556THUMB

If you are looking for other ways get into the racing spirit, how about our Pixie Power transformation – which will be available at the Expo and at Studio Disney 365. Let’s just say the look will make you feel like you have been given wings to fly. Also taking place over the Half Marathon weekend at WonderGround Gallery is a special Art Attack with artists J. Scott Campbell, John Coulter and Noah, who will be showcasing some of their latest works, themed to none other than Tinker Bell herself.

Finally, take part in special online opportunity to purchase an Inaugural Tinker Bell 10K T-shirt in lavender and “I Did It” T-shirt in navy, which will vary slightly from those sold at this year’s Expo, some of the Coast to Coast Race Challenge T-shirts, plus the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Event T-shirt. Find them online January 20 – 27, 2014 via www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

Find out all the details about the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo taking place at the Disneyland Hotel and more at runDisney.com. For those of you contemplating getting a new pair of new running shoes, be sure to check out the 2014 limited edition New Balance runDisney running shoes that Disney Parks Blog author Robert Hitchcock recently shared details about. They’re beyond cool!

To all of you participating in the race, I wish you all the best of luck!

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort

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.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Runners Are ‘Dopey’ Over Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

posted on January 12th, 2014 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World


Fred

Another Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna is in the books. It was the 21st edition and as usual, the event this weekend was filled with popular new features, colorful runner costumes and the kind of inspiring stories you would expect from the place “Where Dreams Come True.”

More than 50,000 runners from across the nation and 60 other countries participated in the five-day event, which was expanded this year to include a 10K. This created the opportunity to offer runners a “Dopey Challenge’’ – running the 5K, the 10K, the half marathon and the full marathon. If you do the math, that’s 48.6 miles!

More than 7,000 runners eagerly accepted the challenge and those that conquered it went home with six medals – one for each of the four races and one each for completing the Goofy Challenge (running the half and the full marathon) and the Dopey Challenge.

The final leg of the Dopey Challenge was today’s 26.2-mile marathon, which was won by Fredison Costa of Brazil, who upstaged countryman Adriano Bastos in what has become an annual duel for the winner’s title.

But perhaps the most lasting image of the weekend was the long-awaited reunion of a mother and her daughter that was more than 40 years in the making. Check out this video to see their amazing story and how the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend was the backdrop for a real-life dream come true.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Returns with New Merchandise

posted on January 7th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


NMM117731

The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend returns to Florida from January 8-12, 2014. Before the holidays, I caught up with Mary Myers, merchandiser for events at Disney Theme Park Merchandise. She shared with me a look at many new items created to commemorate this annual runDisney event. I selected a few items to share with you today.

NMM117732

Apparel is some of the most popular items created for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This year, Mary introduced a tonal color palette for the various events held during the weekend. There will be new “I Did It” shirts complete with course maps printed on the backside. There will also be new 2014 “Coast to Coast Challenge” shirts available for sale. A variety of Sweaty Bands and Bondi Bands with event logos will also return.

NMM117733

I’m excited about the new Dooney & Bourke handbags created especially for this event. The vibrant, runDisney-inspired artwork features Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy running through a magical course.

There will also be a new Vinylmation “Eachz” figure released that resembles Mickey Mouse in running attire. You may recall that we introduced the “Eachz” concept last fall at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. There are two figures presented in a mystery box. Mickey dressed in yellow is the more common figure to find, while Mickey dressed in green is more rare.

NMM117734

Mary also created four new colorful running tutus complete with the runDisney logo.

NMM117736THUMB NMM117735THUMB

You should also look for additional long-sleeved options and some fun drinkware. I like the mug that has Mickey, Donald and Goofy along with the 2014 Marathon Weekend logo.

Inaugural Dopey Challenge Merchandise Inaugural Dopey Challenge Merchandise

Finally, I have a look at a handful of items created for the Inaugural Dopey Challenge this year. I’m beyond impressed with those who are running 48.6 miles this weekend by participating in the 48.6 miles in the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon. Wow!

These items will be released at Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Expo will be open during the following times:

  • Wednesday, January 8, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 9, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, January 10, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

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.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

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.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend and runDisney on the Move at Disneyland Resort

posted on December 3rd, 2013 by Faron Kelley, Director, Marketing & Communications, Disney Sports


This past year has been pretty incredible for runDisney, and as we look back it has become apparent that the ladies are stepping up their game in a big way. In fact, according to our friends at RunningUSA, 8.6 million women completed a race last year, comprising 56 percent of the runners out there. At runDisney we are proud of all our races (like my kids, I can’t have a favorite), but the response we have seen to our women’s focused races is nothing short of amazing.

So with that set-up, we have a bit of news regarding our 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. Check out the video to learn more about what we have in store in 2015. And, as always, we invite you to follow us on runDisney Facebook, Twitter @runDisney and on runDisney Instagram for exciting news and future opportunities.

Keep running.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort