Archive for the ‘runDisney’ Category

Less Than A Week?!?!?!

Less than a week?!?

Gulp. Just one week into the New Year, I’ll be flying down to Orlando; inevitably it’s because of a runDisney event. It’s for “Marathon Weekend” which has now morphed into a nearly week long series of events. These events include: a 5K fun run, a 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, post-race character breakfasts, race retreats, Pasta in the Park parties, a celebration at Downtown Disney and of course as with all runDisney events, a Health and Wellness Expo. In addition to the four separate races, runDisney is offering two challenges: the Goofy Challenge (Half Marathon and Full Marathon—39.3 miles) and the Dopey Challenge (all four races—48.6 miles). Marathon Weekend is the hallmark of runDisney events. While they strive to make every event great, Marathon Weekend is where it all got started and draws the most attention.

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One testament to how popular Marathon Weekend is, arguably one of the running community’s largest presences, Runner’s World partners with runDisney to offer special packages that provide extras beyond what runDisney regularly offers.

This year, I have been fortunate enough to partner with Travel On A Dream to participate in the Runner’s World Dopey Challenge. Entry into the Runner’s World Challenge has included:

•Registration into the Dopey Challenge

-Bibs for the 5K Fun Run, Minnie 10K, Donald Half Marathon & Mickey Full Marathon

-Race shirts for all four races as well as the Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge

-A rubberized medallion for the 5K and five medals for the three races and two challenges (pending completion of each race)

•“Preferred” corral placement for each of the four races–a two corral bump up, no longer an automatic placement in corral B

•Race retreat for the Half and Full Marathon

-Pre-race: hot and cold beverages, fruit and bagels, dedicated stretching area private port-a-johns, and separate bag check

-Post-race: nutritious buffet, massage, private port-a-johns, bag pick-up and live results

-Entrance into the WDW Marathon Weekend breakfast following the 5K & 10K races

•Special escorted walk-out from retreat area to starting line

•A ticket to Pasta in the Park (character buffet dinner in the Millennium Pavilion at Epcot, with a DJ  and a special viewing area for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth)

•A 16 week training plan designed by Runner’s World experts

•Weekly emails from famed runner and coach Burt Yasso

•Twelve months of access to Runner’s World experts about fitness, nutrition, training and injury prevention

•A private internet forum to interact with fellow Runner’s World Challenge participants

•A copy of “Runner’s World: Complete Book of Running”

•A Runner’s World tech shirt

•Four months of premium Runner’s World Personal Trainer

•Private packet pick up at the ESPN Wide World of Sports during the Health and Wellness Expo

•VIP access to the post-race celebration at Downtown Disney

So far, I have seen quite a benefit from being a part of the Runner’s World Challenge group—and most of the benefits of the package are not tangible until being there. I cannot wait to be able to experience the extra perks; specifically the race retreats and delayed walk out, just in case its frigid this year.

Look for updates on Twitter, Facebook and here on the blog over Marathon Weekend to follow my journey to prove just how Dopey I am.

Are you going to be at Marathon Weekend, racing, spectating or just visiting? Let me know and we can meet up. Photo ops are always welcome!

You can follow Todd on Twitter @ToddC4 and follow his race at #irun4ToaD. Good luck Todd!

My favorite part of a runDisney Expo

One of the things I look forward to the most at a runDisney Health and Fitness Expo is visiting the runDisney vendor booth and getting to see (and handle) medals for up and coming races.
Here are the medals for the Wine & Dine ½ and for 2014 Marathon Weekend medals. They also had the Tinkerbell + Princess Coast to Coast medal.

I’m looking forward to adding all of these to my collection. What are your thoughts on the medals?

2013 Wine & Dine

The new medal design for the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Pluto 5K

Family 5K Fun Run medallion. Hopefully for the 2014 Marathon Weekend so each of the Fab 5 can be on their own piece of bling.


Inaugural Minnie 10K medal


2014 Donald Half Marathon medal


2014 Mickey Full Marathon medal


2014 Goofy Race and a Half Challenge medal


Inaugural 2014 Dopey Challenge medal

2014 Pink C2C

2014 Special Coast to Coast medal for completing the two women focused half marathons, the Tinkerbell Half at the Disneyland Resort and the Princess Half at the Walt Disney World Resort.

RunDisney Updates, Rumors and Goings On

It’s National Running Day in the USA, so I thought it would be an appropriate time to make sure you are up to date on some of the happenings with runDisney.

Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland 5K

Last week, the course for the Disneyland 10K was certified by the USA Track & Field Road Running Technical Council. For this certification, a course map needs to be submitted showing the route so it may be measured to prove the correct distance. Thanks to the internet and public record, here is the map for the Disneyland 10K. Continue reading

Registration proves runDisney demand is high


RunDisney opened registration to everyone on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Although the percentage of registrations didn’t sky rocket quite as fast as when they opened registration for the Disneyland Half Marathon, new Disneyland 10K and Dumbo Double Dare, they are edging on the brink of selling out in a few short hours.  The number of participants at Walt Disney World races is larger than their counterparts at Disneyland, which can make it difficult to compare directly.  Regardless of which coast, the new 10K distance is proving to be very popular.  The Disneyland 10K sold out in less than a day and the WDW “Minnie” 10K sold out in just over 7 hours.  The new challenge races (Dumbo Double Dare and the Dopey Challenge) with their extra miles, back to back racing days, and extra medals are also becoming hot ticket events. The Dumbo Double Dare (19.3 miles in two days) sold out in less than an hour.  The Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles in four days) went to above 95% capacity in less than two days.  Even the Family 5K Fun Run events for both weekends sold out in less than 48 hours; whereas in the past, it would take a few months.

Both the Disneyland 2013 Half Marathon Weekend and Walt Disney World 2014 Marathon Weekend opened their registration early.  Attendees of the WDW 2013 Marathon Weekend Expo and the Tinkerbell 2013 Half Marathon expo had the opportunity to have early registry for the Disneyland 2013 Half Marathon Weekend event.  Annual Passholders, DVC members and Disney Visa card holders were all given early opportunity to register for the WDW 2014 Marathon Weekend events.

Despite the rising cost to enter a runDisney event, they seem to be selling like hot cakes.  We will have to wait a few months to see if the hype and hysteria that have been drummed up around these races is worth it.

runDisney Sticker Shock

Early registration for runDisney’s banner events opens this week to Runner’s World Challengers, Annual Passholders and DVC Members. One discussion that usually springs from signing up for a runDisney event is the price point. In line with much of what Disney offers, it does not come cheap. That being said, I think you get a lot of bang for your buck. In case you haven’t investigated race pricing, here is a chart with the 1st tier pricing (available until June 18th) for the 2014 Marathon Weekend along with some other races I looked up.

Race (Distance in Miles)


Cost Per Mile

WDW 5K Family Fun Run (3.1)



WDW 10K (6.2)



WDW Half Marathon (13.1)



WDW Full Marathon (26.2)



WDW Goofy Challenge (39.3)



WDW Dopey Challenge (48.6)



Rock n Roll Cleveland Half (13.1)



Rock n Roll Nashville Half (13.1)



Rock n Roll Nashville Full (26.2)



Rock n Roll 2013 Tour Pass


Entry into up to 30 races.

Detroit’s International Full (26.2)



Detroit’s International Half (13.1)



Detroit Free Press 5K (3.1)



As you can see, runDisney events are more expensive than other events held around the country.  But do you get your money’s worth?  Let me give you some examples of why I feel the cost is so much higher and then you may be better able to answer that question for your situation.

Restrooms. I have to tinkle.  (Yes, now as I am writing this. And again while you are reading it. And again once you are done reading it.)  I can usually make it on a 4-5 mile outing without finding facilities.  A half marathon is near impossible for me.  It’s how my body works.  RunDisney provides a copious amount of port-a-pots.  Yes, there may be some lines pre-race.  Fifteen thousand people trying to take care of business in 400 units in a short amount of time will cause lines.  Once the course, there are frequent facilities.  And when running through a park, the brick and mortar restrooms are available. Here is a course map of a half marathon I did a couple years back.  This is my nightmare course.  Note the two boxes halfway on the long out and back.  Those are not banks of port-a-pots.  There were two–one on either side of the 6’ wide course.  There were a whopping ten at the start/finish area.  Twelve bathrooms for 5,000 racers (not including spectators).

Health and Fitness Exposition.  This is one of the things that a lot of people gloss over for runDisney events.  I too am guilty of doing it.  You’re at Disney World (or Disneyland).  Why do you want to sit and listen to lectures?  The expo has far more to offer than just that.  The vendors that set up are genuinely dedicated to your experience and helping you make the most of it.  The sponsors usually have giveaways and freebie swag.  You can sign up friends and family for runner tracking (wouldn’t dear Aunt Sally love to get a text after you crossed the first timing mat of your ½ marathon, well before dawn?).  Sit down for a minute or two and listen to one of the guest speakers.  You don’t need to invest the whole day in listening to all of them, but a couple minutes could give you an epiphany.

Runner safety.  With all things Disney, safety is paramount.  There are multiple first aid stations along the course.  There are cycling paramedics riding on the course, alongside racers.  Road hazards are minimized due to Disney’s infrastructure and where they cannot be, they are highlighted and racers given notice on course (i.e. speed bumps, terrain changes).

Pre-race, Post-race and On Course Entertainment.  There are no other races that can offer what runDisney can in this arena.  Photo ops with characters, running through a castle, racing through the magic; after all it is Disney.  There also seems to be much less ‘quiet’ run time.  There is almost always music of some sort along a course.

Disney branding.  Like it or not, items that carry the Disney name cost more; staying at a Disney resort, dining at a Disney eatery, cruising aboard the Disney Cruise Line, or taking an Adventure by Disney.

Would I say that every event that someone wants to do be a runDisney event?  No.  Would I suggest that a novice runner give a runDisney event a try if they were a Disney fan?  Absolutely.

What are your thoughts?  Can you justify the price difference to do a runDisney event?  Is it something you would make a trip out of or just participate if you were already planning on being there at that time?

Are You Dopey?

Editor’s Note:  Today’s blog is from our running friend, Todd Carrier.  Todd will be doing a series of blogs for us as he prepares for several races in the next 9 months.  Thanks Todd!

RunDisney recently announced their new ultimate race event, The Dopey Challenge.  This will consist of four races (totaling a staggering 48.6 miles) and if you complete them all within the required time limits will net you six medals.  Why would someone want to get up well before the rooster crows for four consecutive days while on vacation at Walt Disney World to run nearly fifty miles?  I certainly cannot speak for everyone, but I can give you my reasons.

  1. I never thought I would say it, but I like to run.  It’s cathartic.  I know folks who golf to relieve stress or use scream therapy to feel more balanced.  For me, I take to the road.  It’s just me and my shoes and Mother Nature.  Running relaxes me, I feel better after doing it and sleep through the night after a run.
  2. Doing an event with runDisney is pretty spectacular for a Disney fan.  Most distance events take you through at least one of the theme parks.  While you are passing through, you are one of very few people in the park.  And the on course entertainment is pretty hard to beat.
  3. I like medals. RunDisney has some high quality ones, too.  The Dopey Challenge will produce six medals for racers who successfully complete the challenge.  A medallion for the Family 5K Fun Run, a medal each for the Minnie 10K, Donald Half and Mickey Full Marathons, a medal for doing the Goofy (Donald & Mickey) and a Dopey medal for completing the series.

So what will it take to reach this lofty goal of runDisney’s Dopey Challenge?

  • Training.  Physical preparation is obvious, but mental is required, too.
  • Perseverance.  When it’s chilly and rainy out or hot and humid miles need to be logged.
  •  Time.  Running a long distance endurance event doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Dedication.  Often people compare training for a marathon to be the equivalent to a part time job.  Being prepared will take more than the occasional jog around the block and exercise routine.

I look forward to sharing my journey and some insight with you over the next nine or so months until Marathon Weekend 2014 (January 8-12, 2014) when I take on the Dopey Challenge.

Registration opens on Tuesday, April 9th at noon EST at

Marathon Weekend 2014 will consist of five days of race centered events. Here is a look at some of the events for Marathon Weekend:

Wednesday January 8 Thursday January 9 Friday January 10 Saturday January 11 Sunday January 12
Health & Wellness Expo Health & Wellness Expo Health & Wellness Expo Health & Wellness Expo
Kids Races Kids Races Kids Races
Family 5K Fun Run Minnie 10K Donald ½ Marathon Mickey Marathon
Pasta in the Park Pasta in the Park Pasta in the Park Cool Down Party

I would expect the Minnie 10K to sell out quickly along with the Dopey Challenge, as new events have had a recent track record of doing just that with runDisney.

Expedition Everest Challenge? What’s Happening to Me?

I admit it.  I am not what you would call active.  I don’t know that I would go as far as saying couch potato, but I do have an aversion to exercise.  It’s boring, it makes me sweat, it’s all things I don’t like.  My idea of exercise is doing yard work, shoveling snow, going for a walk, cleaning the house.  There is a purpose in each of those activities.

A bit over a year ago, I committed to completing a 5k as a fundraiser for Running for Rescues.  There was more of a purpose to exercising here.  It was helping rescue animals.  I thought I could do this.  After all, a 5k isn’t that long, I have certainly walked that much at Disney World.

My training started as the weather got better in the spring.  I bought a good pair of walking shoes and my husband and I started walking.  Within a couple weeks, we were able to complete a 5k in just over an hour.  We continued training, walking at least a mile a day.  Then in July, we completed an unofficial 5k while on a cruise in Cozumel.  Our time was under an hour!

In September, our village had a 5k that we decided we could try.  This would be our first official race.  We did good, completing the race in 56:15.  Not bad, it was a start!  In October, despite Hurricane Sandy, we managed to get in our 5k on our ToaD Fantasy sailing.  Our time was definitely better, but it wasn’t official so I can’t say exactly how long it took us.

As we were discussing the next ToaD sailing, we realized that the Expedition Everest Challenge would take place the day that we get off the ship.  It starts at 10:00 pm at Animal Kingdom and we would be off the Oasis of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale by mid-morning at the latest.  This was doable!  Many of our cruisers decided they would be signing up.  It came down to my husband and I.  Would we fly home right after the cruise?  Would we go to Disney World and see everyone compete?  Or would we participate ourselves?  We discussed it and decided why not participate!

This would not be just a regular 5k though.  The race, as I said before, starts at 10:00 pm.  It is listed as a 5k trek with obstacles.  Oh no!  What did we get ourselves into?  The runDisney site describes the event:

Take a run on the wild side and uncover the mystery of the clues!

Take a run on the wild side during the Expedition Everest Challenge, a thrill-packed, timed endurance event that combines a 5K adventure run through Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park with the challenge of a scavenger hunt. Your nighttime adventure starts in base camp where you’ll begin a journey along an obstacle strewn course. Then get set for all the excitement of a scavenger hunt in the spectacular setting of Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Complete the challenge and escape with a special edition Compass finisher medal.

I asked some friends how involved this would be and they all said we can handle it so we signed up!  The only glitch when I signed up was the Pacing Requirement.  We must be able to keep up a 16 minute mile pace or we will be picked up and transported to the finish line.  Our first official time was an 18 minute mile so we have a little work to do!  Time to get training.

Maybe with our new interest in racing events we should think about a ToaD running team.  What do you think?  Will you join us at the Expedition Everest Challenge?

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