In case you live under a rock, the Avengers are a Marvel Comics super hero team that includes Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Iron Man, among others. The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend themed around the Marvel universe will include a Half Marathon, 5K, Kids Races, Health & Fitness Expo, Pasta Party, and, of course, super hero themed entertainment and characters.
“runDisney races are a natural fit because our comic book Super Heroes embody many of the same brand attributes as runDisney, such as heroism and intensity with a heavy dose of fun,” said Dan Buckley, president of TV, Publishing and Brand Management for Marvel Entertainment. “This race weekend will have a very distinct atmosphere that will appeal to comic book fans and runDisney fans.”
If Disney characters were runners, what kind of runners would they be?
The Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend of races kicked off today with the Cinderella Royal Family 5K, and continues Saturday with the inaugural Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. Not to be forgotten is the first ever Glass Slipper Challenge, where runners complete both the 10K and half-marathon. Talk about medal envy; I’ve got it bad. You know I love me some Cinderella.
So in honor of the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I thought I’d share another installment of my runDisney Running Profiles.
Previous installments have looked at Sleeping Beauty as the runner who needs some rest and recovery, Alice in Wonderland as the newbie runner who has fallen down the running rabbit hole, and Cinderella as the hard working back-of-the-pack runner.
But who better to spur runners on this Princess Half Marathon weekend than Disney’s best cheerleader, Belle?
Beauty & the Beast: The Coach and the Runner
Great coaches—in running and in life—are the people who bring out the best in us. They cheer us from the sidelines, encourage us when we’re down, expect more of us when we give them less, and help us show the world, and ourselves, just how great we really can be. Never is that more apparent than when watching the Olympics.
In the Disney universe, the greatest coach of them all is Belle from Beauty & the Beast. And the Beast is a quintessential runner.
I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new New Balance Disney shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them. Here’s the scoop on how to get your hands on them at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
First, the New Balance Disney shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers.
But New Balance is now offering runners with bibs at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend a way to register early to buy the shoes before all those non-runners, who are merely trying to capitalize on the craze.
How To Buy New Balance Disney Shoes For Runners With Bibs
Starting at 6 a.m. each day of Disney’s Fit For a Princess Expo from Thursday, February 20 through Saturday, February 22 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, runners can visit www.nbvirtualqueue.com to enter their bib number and sign up early for a reservation at the New Balance expo booth. There, they can try on and purchase the New Balance Disney shoes.
Runners can reserve one style in a specific size ahead of time, and can buy three additional pairs in any style and size from the non-reserved inventory. Once registered, New Balance will send you a confirmation text with your group number, confirmation number, return time and requested style and size.
My first running medal from the 2007 New York City Marathon. (Photo: Christy Hourihan)
I wore it for the rest of the day, unable to believe that I had actually finished a marathon. But the medal eventually found its way into a drawer. Over the years, medal after medal joined it.
No more. Those medals aren’t just pretty pieces of metal and ribbon. They’re tangible representations of all the hard work that went into each race. More importantly, they’re reminders of what I’ve overcome as a person and as a runner.
I came to the sport from square one, having overcome a bone tumor that plagued me for a decade and caused me to walk with a limp. I’ve gone from hating running to loving it to rearranging my life and career around it. I’ve gone from running 11:30 minute miles to 8:00 minutes miles. And I’m still growing as a runner, running personal bests and loving experiencing races all over the world. I think that’s important to remember. Read the rest of this entry →
This Dole Whip Pineapple Float celebrated the end of my running streak.
That’s right, my running streak has officially died. As my husband predicted, it passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 12, the day after the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, which I ran as a guest of runDisney.
As Walt Disney World Marathoners and Dopey Challengers arose at 3 a.m., I slept in until 8:15 a.m., the latest I’d slept all week.
“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!” Me too, Belle!
It’s a tale as old as time: wearing Disney running costumes to races. OK, maybe it’s not a tale as old as time, but for me it does go back to the 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon, where I donned my first of many Disney running costumes and emerged a changed woman.
But it also means choosing one carefully. No wigs, no hats, no elaborate accessories, and, most importantly, I need to have my hair pulled back. Cinderella was perfect because she wore her hair in a bun to the ball. I almost always wear my hair in a bun when I race.
So I finally settled on the perfect Disney gal to guide me to a new running frontier: Beauty and the Beast’s Belle. Read the rest of this entry →
We’re nearly a week into 2014 and my first three races of the year—the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon—are already upon us.
I guess it’s finally time to write down my running goals for 2014.
When I look at them, one thing comes to mind: I’m a Maverick. I want to go faster. In 2013, I made the realization I’m a Speed Demon, not an Endurance Monster. I love speed workouts. I hate long runs. I run a 6:46 mile, but have struggled to break 2 hours in the half-marathon. Speed, not distance, has been good to me. So I’m giving into that for 2014.
But let’s see how I did on my 2013 goals, first.
Running Goals For 2013
1. Get even faster
SUCCESS! I make this goal every year because it works for me. Last year I wrote: “In 2013, I’m going to try to knock out a 5K and 10K PR.” Done and done. I knocked out the following personal records in 2013: Read the rest of this entry →
I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new Disney New Balance shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them.
First, the shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers. There’s at least one personal shopping company already advertising their services around the shoes. (UPDATE: I’ve been told that particular company got shut-down at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.) Oh, Capitalism.
So you have to attend a runDisney race expo in person. There are currently seven runDisney race weekends throughout the year. Here they are for 2014:
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, January 8-12, 2014
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, January 16-19, 2014
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, February 20-23, 2014
Expedition Everest Challenge: Walt Disney World, May 3, 2014
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, August 29-31, 2014
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend: Walt Disney World, date TDB
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, date TBD
You don’t have to actually register for any of the races to buy the shoes. The expos are free and open to the public. But you do have to get to Florida or California at the right rime.
Second, to buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, folks have to make a reservation at the Disney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They’re trying to minimize lines at the New Balance booth, which were mayhem last year.
Goofy high-fives finishers at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)
No Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up
I’m attending the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as press courtesy of runDisney, and I just got word from the folks there that there will be no Meet-Up for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend this year. With four races over the course of four days for the first time in the history of the event, it’s understandable. I’ve interviewed a number of folks on the runDisney team about the logistics of putting on these events. It’s mind-boggling. Don’t believe me? Read the article I wrote about it, Planning Disney Races Takes More Than Magic. But runDisney says they will be doing plenty of Meet-Ups later in the year. So stay tuned for those.
I know that will disappoint many runners who were hoping to get in on a possible Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up this year. But there are plenty of other events to keep you busy while you’re not running.
There was the high of running in Hawai’i and the low of getting sick for my fall marathon. And there was the redemption of a 5K PR after marathon season was over.
If 2013 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t win them all. But you can still have fun trying.
This photo of me with my finisher’s medal at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is proof of that. I was sick, failed to run a marathon personal best like I wanted, but still managed to enjoy the race. My smile says it all.
And you know what? When you give a goal your best and fail, it makes the successes even sweeter. I ran 6 of the 13 races either as fun runs or training runs and I ran 7 of the 13 races as races, pushing with everything I had. I managed to PR at three of them, and scored a few PRs in workouts without even trying, too. I’ll save those for my Goals of 2014 post.
Running through Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. (Photo: Phil Hospod)
Hawai’i Island is the triathlon Mecca of the world. But Hawai’i is also a great running vacation destination, as my husband, Phil, and I learned on a trip there in August, which was sponsored by the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau. When it comes to running in Hawai’i—whether you’re going there to race, to train or just for fun—there are many iconic, unforgettable places to get in a jog.
I put together a “Running Vacation” guide to Hawai’i, the Big Island in my column at The Washington Times Communities. Here are some highlights and embellishments.
What To Race
Triathlons in Hawai’i
A cyclist on Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway (Photo: Phil Hospod)
To compete in the Ironman World Championship, athletes must earn a spot at a qualifying race, gain entry through a lottery or win a bib at a charitable auction. But that’s not the only triathlon on Hawai’i Island.
The Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i on May 31, 2014 is the only Ironman World Championship qualifier held on the island, with a start and finish on the Kohala Coast.
Or try the Lavaman Triathlon Series with Olympic distance races at Keauhou on November 24, 2013 and Waikoloa on March 30, 2014. And many other triathlon events take place on the island throughout the year.
And Peaman puts on a free series of events throughout the year. There are lots of year-round options for running in Hawai’i.
Where To Run
Views from a run on Ali’i Drive. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
The most famous spot for running in Hawai’i might be Ali’i Drive. The iconic road is seven-miles long from start to finish with markers every mile. Winding through Kailua-Kona, the oceanfront road features prominently in most races in Kona, including the Ironman World Championship and Kona Marathon.
Phil and I made sure to get in a run along the route while we were staying at the Sheraton Kona, which is perfectly situated and the end of Ali’i Drive. Read the rest of this entry →
Only I have discovered that 2 miles is the new 1 mile.
Without consciously setting out to do it, I upped my mileage with longer “rest” days. Instead of 1 mile, I decided to get in 20 minutes of easy cardio.
The result? I feel amazing. I honestly can’t believe how well the streak is going and how totally normal running every day feels. I’m over the tiredness I felt in Week 2.
Ask me again in another few weeks, but for now, running and I are besties.
Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 3
Wednesday, December 11: 2.05 miles
I had some errands to run that were roughly 1 mile away from home. So I ran there. And ran back. Love sneaking in easy miles that way. Plus, in certain neighborhoods and times of day, running is actually faster than the subway, bus, or cabs. Oh, to live in New York City.
Thursday, December 12: 6.25 miles
This was a gentle progression run on the treadmill. I watched TV, instead of listening to music as usual, and the miles just flew by. I could have kept going and going and going. It was my longest and overall fastest run of the week. Some days, you’re just on. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!