Didn’t Get Into The Disney Marathon? Run For Charity

Disney marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon, run Disney

Runners pose in front of Cinderella Caste. (Photo: runDisney)

Disney lovers, it’s not too late the run the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna on Jan. 13. The Marathon, Half Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge may be sold-out, but there are still a few ways to get in on the runDisney action.

A record 58,000 runners have registered for the event, with 27,000 toeing the line in the half marathon and 25,000 in the Disney marathon. A whopping 10,000 participants will tackle both races as part of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which dares runners to complete the half-marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday during the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend.

If you’d like to be one of them, you still can by registering through a group, charity, or the Runner’s World Challenge, which give runners access to training advice from Runner’s World editors along with other VIP amenities.

I ran the ING New York City Marathon for a charity in 2007, and can attest to the warm, fuzzy feelings running for a good cause can give you. All charity entries have a required minimum amount runners must fundraise on their behalf ranging from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000. But many also include other perks like free park tickets, special hotel and transportation packages, racing gear, training programs, discounted race entry fees and more. Check with each charity to confirm their race packages.

Disney Marathon Charities

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training is the official charity partner and race beneficiary for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. They have entries for the marathon and half-marathon available.

A-T Children’s Project has spots for the Disney marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge.

Team ASPCA, Run for Our Sons, Joints in Motion and St. Jude Heroes are looking for runners for the half, marathon and Goofy.

My nephew shows off his medal. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

So is The MAGIC Foundation, which I was surprised to discover used a photo of my very adorable nephew showing off his Disney Kids’ Races medal on their registration page. If that face doesn’t convince you to run for a children’s charity, I don’t know what will.

Autism Speaks had two Disney marathon and nine half-marathon entries available at press time, and Team JDF, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the Tourette Syndrome Association’s Team TSA have half marathon entries up for grabs.

Other charities that participate in the Disney marathon include Covenant House, Team Diabetes, Caleb’s Crusade and American Liver Foundation. For a complete list of charities participating in the 2013 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Weekend, check here.

Regular registration is still open for the Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney Kids’ Races and the Mickey Mile. But you can run many of those through charity too. Chances are, you’ll be glad that you did.

As a member of the running media, runDisney sometimes provides me with complimentary race entry, hotel, park tickets, and some meals for runDisney events. But as always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


09 2012

8 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Running for charity is an awesome and rewarding experience! Even though we registered for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge before it sold out, we will run together with Team Lemon to support and raise money Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.

    • Karla Bruning
      Karla #

      That’s awesome! Good luck with your fundraising!

  2. Greg #

    That is an INSANE number of runners for that race!

    • Karla Bruning
      Karla #

      It is huge! I’m sure not all will make it to the start, but still, let’s hope they expand the corrals and maybe institute some waves a la NYC. They have changed the course a bit too.

      • Greg #

        I did the Donald 1/2 in 2011. The start wasn’t TOO bad. My problem came with the walkers , 3-4 across, in area where they took up the whole road. I had one yell at me that maybe I shouldn’t be running so fast..

        • Karla Bruning
          Karla #

          Perhaps unclear on the concept that in a race some people might actually be running fast :) I’m all for walkers taking part in races (I know it’s a controversial issue in some running circles). Inclusion is a good thing. But they should always start in the last corrals, not in front of runners, and never be 4 abreast. That is frustrating. My guess is they just didn’t know better.

  3. linda campione #

    I promised my son we would participate this year and missed the 5k family sign up he has been training and I don’t have to heart to tell him I missed it. We are there that week for the past 15 years and always see and speak to the runners Any idea how I can still register The children’s Miracle Network is going to require 1000 for both fo us to fundraise and I just don’t think we can do that number

    Any suggestions

    Thank you

    • Karla Bruning

      Hi Linda,

      Sorry to hear you missed the registration window. The 5Ks usually sells out pretty quickly. Did you check all the charities that have entries? Some have lower fundraising minimums–like Catch a Lift is $200 fundraising requirement per person for the 5K during WDW Marathon Weekend. I’d comb through the list on runDisney’s website to see if you can find something more doable for you guys: http://www.rundisney.com/disneyworld-marathon/registration/#charity-groups

      Also, if you’ll be booking hotel and park tickets anyway, you can book through one of the runDisney travel providers and get 5K bibs with your travel package. You can check out the list travel providers for WDW Marathon Weekend here: http://www.rundisney.com/disneyworld-marathon/registration/#travel-providers

      If you’re looking at a different weekend, like Princess, you can find charity and travel lists under the registration tab for that weekend. Those are really your two best bets. Good luck!