Every mile is magic at a runDisney race! Whether you’re a first time runner or an experienced endurance athlete, runDisney is the premiere destination race series. You never know which Disney character you will “run” into on a runDisney race course. From photo opportunities to amazing entertainment throughout the course, runDisney delivers magical moments to last a lifetime.
We offer nine themed weekends that take place at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California and Disneyland Resort in Paris! While the marathon and half marathon races headline each runDisney weekend, other offerings include 10Ks, 5Ks and Kids Races. Something for the whole family! From the Diaper Dash for future runners 12 months and under to the 48.6-mile Dopey Challenge during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, there truly is a race experience for everyone at runDisney!
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Faron Kelley, Vice President of ESPN Wide World of Sports, runDisney and Disney’s Water Parks, who shared some insight about our beloved brand. Faron has been with the Disney sports team since 2008 and was a part of the creation of the runDisney brand in 2010.
Q: Why do you love runDisney?
A: Why I love it is simple – we empower people to make their running dreams come true!
Q: What is your favorite part of a runDisney event?
A: The thousands of smiles, tears, high fives and hugs that we see at the finish line of every race. NOTHING is better than that moment when you witness all the hard work and dedication pay off!
Q: Do you have a favorite race weekend? Why?
A: Each one is so unique! I love the costumes at Star Wars (both Light and Dark Side), the heroic overlay of Super Heroes weekend (I’m a HUGE Marvel fan!), the girl power at Tinker Bell and Princess, and the nostalgia of Disneyland Half. And then there is Paris – BEAUTIFUL! But if you made me pick – it has to be the one that started it all – the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
Q: Let’s talk about the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo – as a runner, where do you make sure to stop?
A: I love seeing the creativity of design that comes out with every race. But it always seems like I can’t leave the Expo without a new pair of socks, a bag full of energy gels and some kind of new muscle massaging device. It’s also great that the Expo is open to the public and anyone can enjoy it!
Q: Has your family participated in a runDisney event?
A: Both of my children have run in the Kids Races and my son is excited to take on his first Half Marathon soon. My sister and two nieces are also huge runDisney fans, with many medals to their credit.
Q: If you had to pick one event weekend to run, which would it be and why?
A: This one is tough – too much like picking your favorite child. But I can say after training in the Florida heat all summer, the Disneyland Half Marathon is always a welcome race with the cool morning California breezes. Likewise, running in Paris last year was nothing short of unbelievable. That race had some of the best views I’ve ever seen!
Q: Can you share one of your favorite memories from runDisney races?
A: This one is easy! It happens every race weekend. I always stay until the last runner crosses the finish line, and it is the amazing combination of sheer determination blended with the cheering of the crowd make everything we do totally worth it.