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20th Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is Going Hollywood

posted on August 16th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


More and more celebrities are signing up to be a part of the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. Alison Sweeney, host of the popular reality show “The Biggest Loser,” and ESPN personality Colin Cowherd signed up weeks ago.

But recently Drew Carey, Gilles Marini, Sean Astin, Kit Hoover, Jenna Morasca and Ethan Zohn threw their names in the hat, too. Astin and Carey are taking on the 26.2-mile full marathon, while the other celebs are sticking to the 13.1-mile half marathon during the historic race weekend, January 10-13, at Walt Disney World Resort.

Most of them are eager to run here because they already know what it’s like to run in a runDisney event. Carey, the comedian and host of “The Price is Right,” ran in the Disneyland Half Marathon last year. Astin, the lead actor in the movie “Rudy,” ran in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon earlier this year. And reality TV stars Morasca and Zohn (“Survivor” and “The Amazing Race”) ran in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon earlier this year and the Princess Half Marathon last year.

Cowherd, Sweeney, Marini (“Sex and the City: The Movie” and “Dancing with the Stars”), and Hoover (“Access Hollywood” co-host) are the runDisney newbies. Hoover and Sweeney have run other half marathons, but this will be the maiden voyage for Marini and Cowherd, both of whom have never run a half marathon previously.

Cowherd, in particular, is apparently not the least bit nervous about biting off a half marathon. In fact, he’s been having a lot of fun with it. Check out the video below, which appeared on the runDisney Facebook page and on Twitter, and you’ll see what I mean.

By the way, you can run with these celebs. The weekend races are filling up, but you can still register at runDisney.com.

Get more news about the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon in these posts:

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New 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Medal Revealed

posted on August 14th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


Disney is known in the running industry for its cool race medals, so it should come as no surprise that runDisney has pulled out all of the stops in designing a medal for next year’s 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, January 10-13. The medal was revealed this morning after a two-week social media campaign called “The Great Medal Caper” in which fans such as you got to unlock clues to eventually unveil the medal.
“New

Trust me, this medal is unlike anything we have created before. It has the traditional round shape, but it features two spinning parts, including a medallion with a classic image of Mickey Mouse on one side and a modern image of him on the other side. The other cool features are two engraved quotes from Walt Disney himself.

And to think, all you have to do to get one of them is run 26.2 miles. Better start training now! But don’t forget to sign up for the race first at runDisney.com.

Check out these posts to read more about the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon:

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‘Biggest Loser’ Host Alison Sweeney First Celeb to Enter the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on July 16th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


Plans for the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are still being developed, but one thing is certain: some celebrities in Hollywood are already starting to line up to run it.

Alison Sweeney, host of the popular reality show “The Biggest Loser,” has just thrown her name into the hat. She recently entered the half marathon. Word is, other celebrities are on the verge of signing up, too, as well as some famous former distance running stars.

For Sweeney, an avid runner, the decision to choose the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend was an easy one – her kids’ faces lit up at the prospect of coming to Walt Disney World Resort for the race weekend, January 10-13, 2013.

Sweeney has already started training for the race. Check out this video of her from a recent training run at a park near her Los Angeles-area home where she talks about getting ready for her first runDisney race.

Check out these posts for more runDisney news from Walt Disney World Resort:

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New Twists and Turns Coming to 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Course

posted on May 17th, 2012 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


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.

If you want to get in on the fun, just sign up at runDisney.com for the marathon or any of the other family-oriented races taking place here during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, Jan. 10-13.

Check out these posts for more runDisney news:

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‘Today Show’ Hosts Run 2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon

posted on January 10th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


'Today Show' Hosts Al Roker, Meredith Vieira and Natalie Morales Before the Walt Disney World Half Marathon

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?

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The People’s Choice – Your 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Finisher’s Medal

posted on July 29th, 2010 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


This year we tried something new – we let you, the fan, vote for the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon finisher’s medal.

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:

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.

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‘Marathon Monday’ Newest Twist for Disney Marathon

posted on June 1st, 2010 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


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!

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It’s All About the Medals

posted on May 31st, 2010 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


Walt Disney World Marathon Medal
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.
Walt Disney World Marathon Medal
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?
Walt Disney World Marathon Medal
Everest Challenge Medal
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.

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26,000 Pounds of Clothing Shed by Walt Disney Marathon Runners will Benefit Charities

posted on January 13th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks


2010 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
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.

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Memorable Moments: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

posted on January 11th, 2010 by Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort


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.

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