Aladdin and Jasmine!
It’s Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon time, and what better way to celebrate than wearing Disney running costumes?
It’s been such a busy fall between running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and reporting from the ING New York City Marathon and all of race week, that I’ve barely had time to anticipate my next race.
But here I am at Walt Disney World, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon MeetUp is already behind me, and I’m ready to run a victory lap around Walt Disney World to close out my 2013 running year.
What better way to do that than with Disney running costumes? You know I love a good running costume.
Thankfully, my husband, Phil, does too. We’ve run four Disney races together, with two of them all gussied up.
The Wine & Dine Half Marathon won’t be any different.
Running in costume is a slippery slope.
At our first Disney race, the 2011 Wine & Dine Half Marathon, we wore our usual running clothes, largely because we didn’t know any better.
Yes, the majority of the runners were dressed like us, in shorts, tanks, and technical tees.
But there were those others—those fun-loving folks dressed in Disney running costumes in homage to their favorite Disney characters.
Come January 2012, we headed to California for the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland.
Phil and I weren’t running it together. I toed the line in corral A, which is reserved exclusively for ladies at the race, and he lined up in corral C, the first corral that allows men.
But I decided I wanted to have some running costume fun. In the days before the race, I marched over to one of the Disney merchandising stores in Disneyland and bought myself a child’s XL Tinker Bell costume complete with wings.
Amazingly, I was able to will myself into it. It was a bit short for me. A body suit was built into the dress and I couldn’t get the straps over my shoulders. Apparently, my torso is just slightly longer than an extra-large child, which sounds about right. I was 5’8 by the age of 14, after all.
So I tucked the straps into the dress and pinned the top of Tink’s gown to my sports bra to hold the darn thing up. Then I slathered myself in as much BodyGlide as my skin would hold and ran the race.
I’d tried talking Phil into dressing as Peter Pan, but he was hesitant. He liked the idea, but we wouldn’t be running together. I was actually surprised. Phil rarely passes up an opportunity to dress in costume, especially a couple’s costume.
He was a “dance biscuit” to my Beyonce from the Saturday Night Live skit with Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg, Bobby Moynihan and Paul Rudd. Two of his friends filled out the “dance biscuit” trio.
We’ve dressed as a pair of the 99 percent… fighting for the right to party, just to name a few.
At the Tinker Bell half, we ended up running much of the race together anyway.
Though he started two corrals behind me, he caught up to me around Mile 3; he’s much faster than me, with a 1:26 half-marathon personal best to my 2:00. Of course, he had no problem spotting me in my Tinker Bell costume.
Once together, he decided to stick with me for the next seven miles.
So there I was, in my glittery Tinker Bell costume beside a mere mortal in a red technical shirt and sweatband.
At the Mile 10 marker, he bid me adieu to run a tempo paced 5K of his own to the finish.
But one thing was certain: during those seven miles, he became a fan of Disney running costumes. He admitted that he kind of wished he were wearing one.
At our next Disney race just one month later, the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon, we debuted our own Disney running costumes. He told me he’d wear whatever I wanted, as long as it was comfortable and I put it together for him. Done and done.
There was only one Disney couple suitable, in my mind, for the occasion: Cinderella and Prince Charming. Our dog is named Cinderella, after all.
I adorned a solid white technical shirt with Prince Charming’s regalia and paired it with red running shorts.
Once we stepped out of our hotel dressed as the royal couple, we’d never go back to plain shorts and tees at a Disney race ever again.
We got cheers, compliments, and shout-outs throughout the race. So much so, that it actually helped push us forward.
My Prince Charming ran by my side the entire race and I nabbed a personal best, along with our Coast to Coast Race Challenge Medals.
So when we decided to run the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, it was a foregone conclusion that we’d rustle up some Disney running costumes again, especially since we’d be running side-by-side once more.
I told Phil he could pick this time. He asked me to give him three options along with photos and a concept of how we’d create it. Narrowing it down to just three was the hard part. Then he chose among them.
Much to my surprise he didn’t pick one of the two human costumes I’d given him, but instead opted to be a mouse—Jacques to my Cinderella in rags.
Now the time has come for our third couple running costume at a Disney race. Once again, I gave him carte blanche to choose. But this year, he knew exactly who he wanted to be.
The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is where we got engaged two years ago. Phil proposed during the Finish Line Party while we were eating in Morocco.
So I wonder if it’s coincidence or by design that he chose Aladdin and Jasmine, two characters who often appear in Morocco for photos with runners at Disney races that go through the World Showcase.
I have a picture of my sister and me with Aladdin and Jasmine in Morocco during the 2012 Royal Family Fun Run 5K.
And a shot of Phil and me with the royal pair in Morocco during the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon.
So Aladdin and Jasmine it is.
The best part, and the reason why I suspect Phil chose him, is that Aladdin actually looks a lot like Phil—right down to the dark brown hair and hairless chest. Phil’s of pure Polish descent, not Persian or Arabian. But he did live in Iran for two years when he was a child. Maybe that counts for something.
Me? It’ll take a bit more Disney magic to transform this blue-eyed, redhead into the black-haired beauty of Jasmine. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Just you wait.
So the next time you see us, we’ll be ready in our Disney running costumes for a magic carpet ride around Walt Disney World—from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, to the finish line of Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Epcot.
Have fun, runners! If you see me out there, be sure to say hi.
I’m attending Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon courtesy of runDisney and New Balance. But as always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences and Disney is no exception. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.