The countdown has begun to the 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon on Jan. 13, 2013, and not surprisingly, our runDisney folks are hard at work putting their creative juices together to come up with some fun new twists for the race.
So far they have added some special entertainment along the 20th mile to commemorate the 20th anniversary and added a post-race party at Downtown Disney. They are also working on the creation of a special 20th anniversary medal, which I’ll reveal later.
But the latest development that I can share with you now involves some unique twists to the course. Here’s a hint: the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon is going to have some “high-speed’’ elements that will knock this race “out of the ballpark.’’
Think you have it figured out?
Well, just check out this video for all of the new details about the fun enhancements to the 26.2-mile course that will go through the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks – and a few other places you probably never dreamed about.
This weekend, runners from all 50 states and 60 other countries took part in a variety of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events and our sports author Darrell Fry will have some of the highlights later today. But first we wanted to share a fun look at a few familiar faces we ran into before a run – “Today Show” hosts Al Roker, Meredith Vieira and Natalie Morales. The trio met with Disney characters at the start line before running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Were you there?
We received over 50,000 votes – that’s almost as many registered participants we had for the entire Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events in 2010. Receiving an overwhelming majority of votes, here is your 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon finisher’s medal:
The 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend continues to be one of the best marathon weekends in the country and this year we’ve added a special reward. All the athletes that complete the full marathon will get a complimentary day at a Walt Disney World theme park for a celebration we’re calling Marathon Monday. If you aren’t quite ready for the full marathon, don’t worry – there’s something for every family member, such as the Kids’ Races, Family 5K, half marathon, marathon and for the passionate runner, the Goofy Challenge which is running the half marathon AND marathon in back-to-back days. Register now to make sure you reserve your spot and start your training.
Anyone who runs 26.2 miles deserves something in return, right? I mean, besides a lot of aching muscles. Well, we think we’ve come up with the perfect reward for marathon runners.
If you run the Walt Disney World Marathon next year, you’ll get a day at Walt Disney World on the house. Yep, runners who collect their finisher medals from the marathon on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011, can bring them back to Disney the next day and gain entrance at no charge into a Walt Disney World theme park on “Marathon Monday.’’
Marathon runners and fans can also have a say in what that Disney Marathon finisher medal looks like. Just go to www.disneyworldmarathon.com and vote for the medal you think Disney should award runners at next year’s Disney Marathon. Voting runs now through July 28 with the winning medal announced in early August.
Hey, if you sign up and vote now, you’ll still have plenty of time to train for the race. On your marks…get set…go!
One of the cool things about running marathons and half marathons at Disney are the unique medals that you get. They all have a style all their own and are like badges of honor for those courageous enough to run all those miles.
Check out this medal from the very first Walt Disney World Marathon, as well as several from past endurance events at Disney. Which one is your favorite?
We know how special medals are to the many runners who’ve competed in Disney events and that’s why we’re cooking up something new this year as a special treat to runners. Oh, I can’t give away it now, but stay tuned to this blog and we’ll have a special announcement about it sooner than you think.
Sure…some ran in costumes (pirates, princesses, Tinker Bell), but most runners who braved the record cold temperatures during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend were wrapped in layers of winter clothes. And as they ran, they shed the clothes – 26,000 pounds worth.
When all was said and done, Disney Marathon organizers collected about 30,000 pieces of clothing, including hats, coats, gloves and sweaters. Now, the items are being laundered and will be delivered to Central Florida organizations like Harvest Time International, Salvation Army and Coalition for the Homeless.
Thank you to everyone who participated. We’ve learned that the four-day event earned the title of top combination race weekend in the United States. More than 55,000 runners registered for events that that included the Disney Half Marathon, the Disney Pixar Up and Away Family Fun Run 5K, Disney’s Kids Races and a Health & Fitness Expo.
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which took place this past weekend, is one of the unique destination races that always leaves everyone feeling great – save for a few leg cramps here and there. This year’s race was a record-setter with more than 55,000 registered runners who braved some unseasonably chilly weather as they ran through all four Disney theme parks along a 26.2 mile journey.
The participants had so much fun that runners are already registering for next year’s Disney Marathon Weekend, Jan. 6-9, 2011. That’s because the race is always a collage of extraordinary achievements, family fun and memorable moments that seemingly last a lifetime. Here’s a look at a couple of the heart-warming stories from this year’s race:
This second story features Mark Fitzgerald who ran the Walt Disney World Marathon to celebrate the life of his youngest daughter and the technology used to save her life:
Registration is now open for the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. You can visit our page to learn more.
As amazing as this image is (thanks, Garth Vaughan), it’s tough to show the conditions runners faced to begin the 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon today. At start, temperatures were in the low 30s — it was cold. But tens of thousands of participants braved the freezing temperatures and ran the 26.2-mile trek that included all four Walt Disney World theme parks.
Adriano Bastos from Sao Paulo, Brazil crossed the finish line to win the 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon with an official time of 2:22:08. He’s now won it seven times. And Lisa Mizutani, from Tsukuba, Japan, won the women’s division with an official time of 2:51:20.
Congratulations to all of the participants. Also, on Monday, Darrell Fry, Walt Disney World sports media director, will have a unique post from the event that you won’t want to miss.