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Costa Does It Again at the Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 10th, 2016 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


Fredison Costa is only about 140 pounds soaking wet, but he said he felt very heavy on Sunday. Maybe it was from the weight of five – count them, five – Walt Disney World Marathon medals he now has in his possession.

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Costa, the Brazilian runner who trains at Walt Disney World Resort, continued to pile on the victories Sunday morning, winning his third straight Walt Disney World Marathon and his fifth in the last six years.

Costa’s win, along with Natasha Yaremczuk’s victory in the women’s division (2:52:23), capped the 23rd Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. The signature runDisney event drew more than 100,000 runners and fans for races of all levels, a Health & Fitness Expo and the first-ever runDisney Race Director Series for race executives from around the world.

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Costa, 38, provided the perfect punctuation to the weekend and is quickly gaining on Adriano Bastos for the title of winningest runner in Walt Disney World Marathon history. With his fifth victory, Costa is only three behind Bastos, who is an eight-time winner.

It’s been anything but easy, especially Sunday. His win – he crossed the finish line in 2:33:24 – was the slowest of his five victories, roughly 15 minutes slower, in fact, than his winning time last year (2:18:06). That’s because he was coming off a recent calf injury that forced him to suspend his training for 10 days. And it didn’t help that it was a warm and wet morning, which also zapped some of his speed as he navigated the 26.2-mile course through all four Disney theme parks.

Nevertheless, Costa said he achieved the one thing he wanted more than anything. He won.

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“I was not happy with my time,’’ said Costa, who trains with former Olympic track & field coach Brooks Johnson at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. “But I’m the happiest man on earth.’’

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Disney Parks Blog Inspires runDisney Merchandise

posted on January 7th, 2016 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has officially kicked off! Have you stopped at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo yet? We wanted to share “Inside Out” merchandise that was actually inspired by our past Disney Parks Blog posts.

DISGUST is known for being highly opinionated and extremely honest. She believes the world (and probably running) is a disgusting place and it’s her responsibility to say so.

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ANGER is quick to overreact. He might not be the best motivation with his rude remarks, but he has a tough job pointing out all of the injustice in the world.

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The Disney•Pixar film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind of Riley and introduces us to the Emotions that guide her – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. Based in Headquarters, the five Emotions are hard at work, led by light hearted optimist Joy, whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. “Inside Out” is directed by Academy Award winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”) and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Up”) with an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”). Inside Out is now available on Blu-ray(TM) and Disney Movies Anywhere!

For an updated version of our outfit policy at runDisney events please visit here!

Participating in the upcoming races? Share your #WDWMarathon experience with us:
Twitter: @runDisney
Instagram: @runDisney

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16 Reasons 2016 Will Be An ‘Unforgettable’ Year at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 4th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager


With innovative attractions and entertainment set to debut at Walt Disney World Resort in 2016, plus new dining locations and inaugural sporting events on the horizon, the year 2016 is shaping up to be truly Unforgettable for our guests.

If you’re considering planning a Disney vacation in 2016, be sure to check out our 16 reasons why the new year should be the year for your visit!

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  1. Experience The Newest Offerings, Like Jungle Skipper Canteen & More – The new year is the perfect time to explore the latest and greatest guest offerings that will debut in late 2015, including the Jungle Skipper Canteen restaurant at Magic Kingdom Park; Club Disney at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; and the Ganachery candy shop at Disney Springs.

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  1. Wonder at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Through January 3 – The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will end its holiday run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on January 3, 2016. Enjoy this holiday offering in its finale season while you can.

Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland Park

  1. Enjoy “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” Fireworks – Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut its latest Star Wars-inspired experience with the addition of “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks, beginning December 18. (And don’t forget the newly launched Star Wars Launch Bay experiences, pictured above).

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  1. runDisney Events – The 2016 runDisney racing season kicks off January 6-10 with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This will be the first of four racing weekends held at the resort in 2016. Visit the official runDisney site for more information.

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  1. Experience Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Grown-up guests can party with the Disney Villains in a soiree led by Dr. Facilier at the new Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The fun starts January 16.

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  1. Experience The Magic of Nature With “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Starting this spring, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will come alive at night with the new Rivers of Light show. This innovative show will feature entertainers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery in a performance that truly brings the animal kingdom to life at night.

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  1. Explore The Kilimanjaro Safaris After Sunset – Kilimanjaro Safaris will expand operating hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, allowing guests to travel through the African savanna amid the orange glow of the setting sun. Look for it this spring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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  1. Dine at Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – The park’s newest eatery will open its doors this spring to offer a menu inspired by the places the Imagineers traveled when developing the park.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

  1. Enjoy Springtime Events at Walt Disney World Resort – Dates have already been released for fun springtime events, including the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (March 2-May 30); and Raglan Road’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival (March 17).

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  1. Experience Frozen Ever After at Epcot – The new “Frozen”-inspired attraction will open its doors in Epcot’s World Showcase this spring. In it, guests will be transported to the Winter in Summer Celebration where Queen Elsa creates a special day for the kingdom. Guests will also travel to Elsa’s Ice Palace, the ice-blue world of the North Mountain, and the Bay of Arendelle.

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  1. Stop By The New Frozen Character Greeting Location at Epcot – Meet the royal sisters Anna and Elsa at Epcot at a new dedicated character greeting location starting in spring.

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  1. Celebrate The Invictus Games at ESPN Wide World of SportsThe Invictus Games will come to the United States for the first time ever in 2016. The games celebrate our wounded servicemen and women from around the world competing in a variety of sports events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex May 8-12.

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  1. Remember Magic Kingdom Park’s 45th Anniversary – Magic Kingdom Park, the first Disney park to open at Walt Disney World, will mark its 45th anniversary on October 1. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information.

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  1. Share An Unforgettable Fall – A new year means the return of our favorite fall events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties.

Disney characters dressed in their holiday finest parade down Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom during "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade." The festive processional is one of the happy highlights of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, a night of holiday splendor with lively stage shows, a unique holiday parade, Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. The special-ticket event takes place on select nights in November and December in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Ryan Wendler, photographer)

  1. Celebrate The Holiday SeasonMickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for news and dates on our returning special events.

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  1. Try New Dining Offerings at Disney Springs – Disney Springs will continue to grow in 2016, with plans to add new eateries like STK Orlando, plus the opening of Town Center, which will feature Zara, Lilly Pulitzer, UGG, UNIQLO and many others. Watch the Disney Parks Blog for more information and opening dates.
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New Merchandise Coming to Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January 2015

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago a shared a look at the new Minnie Run Collection By Champion Athleticwear coming to the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. In that article, I promised a look at other items created by Disney Theme Park Merchandise for this annual event. As you will see in this story, we’ve created commemorative merchandise for every race taking place January 7-11, 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort.

New Merchandise for the Half Marathon During the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend New Merchandise for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

For the majority of the races, we will introduce apparel for both women and men including short and long sleeved shirts, jackets, Sweaty Bands, Bondi Bands, pins and vehicle magnets. The Kids Races, Family Fun Run 5K and 10K will also have vehicle magnets this year.

One thing I’m most excited to see is the new limited release retail MagicBand with the runDisney logo (retail $24.95). Like all other retail MagicBands, this graphic MagicBand can be linked later making it a great gift for someone in training for a future runDisney race at Walt Disney World Resort.

New Merchandise for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge During the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend New Merchandise for the Dopey Challenge During the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. All of the merchandise for this particular race this year includes an anniversary logo.

New 'I Did It' Merchandise for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend New 'I Did It' Merchandise for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

We also will be offering “I Did It” shirts for both women and men (I included a handful of options in the image above).

Finally, the event team is introducing a new “In Training” line for those who want a jump start on preparing for next year’s runDisney races.

These items and more 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 7, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 8, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, January 9, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
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Minnie Run Collection By Champion Athleticwear Coming to 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

posted on December 12th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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This past year, my fiancée has been participating in a lot of runDisney races in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. One thing I’ve learned while cheering for her is that the right race attire can make all of the difference. Today, I’m excited to announce a new Minnie Run collection by Champion Athleticwear that is coming to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January 2015.

Inspired by Minnie Mouse, this new collection features a new “Run Your Ears Off” tee-shirt, a seamless bra and seamless capri pants.

I spoke with the Champion Athleticwear team who provide the official performance apparel for runDisney. They said they designed this new collection after extensive research and feedback from runDisney participants over the past few years. The bra and Capri are chafe resistant through innovative seamless technology, which they said is perfect for running. The new tee has Champion Vapor Technology which dries faster as you heat up (I need that kind of shirt for summers in Florida!).

The Minnie Run collection will be sold at the Champion Athleticwear booth during the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo from January 7 – 10 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I’ll offer some additional looks at other items coming to this exciting race weekend at Walt Disney World Resort.

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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.

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Celebrating the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Presented by Cigna

posted on January 13th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director


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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Runners Are ‘Dopey’ Over Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

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


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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.

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2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Returns with New Merchandise

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


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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.
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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, Content Director


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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