When my husband first told me about Cinque Terre in Italy, he described it as his favorite place on earth. Those are strong words coming from a man who has lived in six countries on three continents and traveled to another 25.
After spending three nights on this rugged section of the Italian Riviera three hours south of Milan, I understand Cinque Terre’s appeal. It’s the perfect place to work up a sweat and an appetite for local Italian fare.
Nestled among the cliffs along the Mediterranean’s Ligurian Sea are the “Five Lands” of Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. This collection of fishing villages cut into the hillside on steep man-made terraces dates back to 643 AD. Some 5,000 residents live within the 4,226 acre Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
You won’t find cars here. Connecting the villages are a 19th century rail line and ferry system that seems to run on Roman time.
But the area’s main attraction and thoroughfare is a series of hiking trails that carry wayfarers from town to town. Read the rest of this entry →
Registration for the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation opens at 12 p.m. EDT on June 10, 2014. The Disney half marathon race weekend will take place January 15-18, 2015 at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Events include the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races, plus the Star Wars Rebel Challenge. Runners who register for the challenge and complete the 10K and half marathon on back-to-back days will earn an extra medal. Like every Disney half marathon, the weekend will also feature a runDisney Health and Fitness Expo, along with Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party and more Star Wars and Disney-themed entertainment. Course maps have yet to be released, but the races will run through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim, Calif. Read the rest of this entry →
Star Wars Half Marathon Comes to Disneyland. (Photo: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.)
After teasing out details via social media with the hashtag #LetTheWookieWin, runDisney has announced today its newest race: Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation slated for January 15-18, 2015 at Disneyland Resort in California.
Get your Star Wars costumes ready. (Photo: Preston Mack / WDW)
The race weekend will include the title Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races, plus the two-race Star Wars Rebel Challenge following in the footsteps of the popular Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Runners who register for the challenge and complete the 10K and half marathon on back-to-back days will earn a special challenge medal. The weekend will also feature a Health and Fitness Expo, Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party, and more Star Wars and Disney-themed entertainment.
Lucasfilm and runDisney have teamed up with presenting sponsor Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace company best known for its Dream Chaser spacecraft to sponsor the event. Course maps have yet to be released, but the races will run through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim, Calif. Read the rest of this entry →
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Photo: Kent Phillips/Disney)
I’ve gotten this question a lot and in many varieties: What Disney hotels are best for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend?
There is no “best” hotel for any runDisney race. The best hotel for you for any race depends on many factors: what you want to do while you’re at Walt Disney World, who is in your party, and what your price point is, among other things.
I’ve stayed at eight different Disney hotels (four of which Disney comped for me during runDisney events) and two off property hotels while visiting Walt Disney World. But my hotel recommendations for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are based on two main factors: Whether or not you have spectators in your group and what you want to do while you’re not running.
If Your Group Includes Runners Only
Walt Disney World Half Marathon finishers. (Photo: runDisney)
If everyone traveling with you is running a race, all the Disney hotels are great.
All the Walt Disney World Resorts are official “host” hotels for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and offer event buses to shuttle runners to and from the start and finish of each race. The buses are comfortable and efficient, both before and after the race.
Having stayed at Disney hotels on the Monorail loop, on the BoardWalk and elsewhere on property for runDisney events, there’s not much of a difference from a runner’s perspective. The event buses got me where I needed to go and back every time from all those different areas.
A Dopey Challenge runner races around the BoardWalk. (Photo: runDisney)
So if all the people in your group are runners, I would pick the hotel that makes your days easiest and meets your price point.
Are you looking for a great pool to rest your legs each day while doing Dopey Challenge? Is there one park in particular where you want to spend most of your time? Do you want to be close to the Expo to stalk runDisney New Balance shoes? Different hotels are better suited for each of those scenarios.
The Wishes Nightime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom. (Photo: Disney)
If it’s Magic Kingdom you’re after, any resort on the Monorail loop is fantastic: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, soon to become Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as it undergoes major renovation.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground also have water taxis to the park.
The perks of each? The Contemporary Resort has my favorite quick-service restaurant, Contempo Cafe, and Magic Kingdom fireworks viewing from the hotel. Plus, it’s the next stop after Magic Kingdom on the Monorail. So at the end of a long day in the park, you’re home in a jiffy. Read the rest of this entry →
Finishing Run For The Parks in Central Park. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Regular readers know I host On The Run, New York Road Runners’ Web and TV show about running. It’s a job I genuinely love that has one flaw: I don’t get to run any of the races I cover for the show. It’s OK. I’ve run most of NYRR’s major events in the past: TCS New York City Marathon, NYC Half, Brooklyn Half, Staten Island Half, Fifth Avenue Mile, the list goes on.
Thankfully, NYRR puts on dozens of other races throughout the year. I’ve done a New York Road Runner’s 4-mile run in April every year since 2007, except 2012. It’s traditionally my first fitness test of the year. Basically, this one is my annual wake-up call.
Stretching in Central Park after my 6-miler on Saturday. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
First, I’m lucky to call Central Park home turf. The day before the race, I logged 6 miles, much of them through the park. After a winter of hiding out on the treadmill and running errands on the city streets, Central Park kicked my butt. It’s both an unusually beautiful and challenging place to run.
My splits at this race were a case in point. Mile 1 is uphill and (and pretty crowded): I ran 9:20. Slow for me. Too slow. Mile 2 is mostly flat: I ran 8:39. Mile 3 is a series of three hills: I ran 9:01. Mile 4 is largely downhill: I ran 8:35. Read the rest of this entry →
Chef Mickey and Minnie greeted runners at the finish of Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon on Nov. 9, 2013. (Photo: runDisney)
Registration for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend from November 8-9 at Walt Disney World in Florida opens Tuesday, March 4 at 12 p.m. EST.
It’s no secret that the Wine and Dine Half Marathon is my favorite half marathon. I ran the 2013 race as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney. In 2011, the event was my first runDisney race and where my husband proposed. So it will always be a sentimental favorite.
But that’s not the only reason I love this race. Marriage proposals aside, it has the best post-race party I’ve ever been to, at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon starts at 10 p.m. outside the ESPN Wine World of Sports Complex and takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, past Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and finally to the finish at Epcot.
Once there, runners can party until 4 a.m. with Epcot all to themselves. Admission to the Finish Line party is included in race registration, along with a $10 Disney gift card and a complimentary beer, wine or soda at the finish.
My husband and me with the real Aladdin and Jasmine. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Friends and family can also buy tickets to the Finish Line Party, where select Epcot attractions like Test Track and Soarin’ remain open into the wee hours. The party also includes all the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kiosks, live bands, DJs, and meet and greets with Disney characters. My husband and I got a photo with Aladdin and Jasmine while we were dressed as Aladdin and Jasmine at the 2013 race. In 2011, we photographed ourselves around the world. Read the rest of this entry →
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.”
The Disneyland 10K and 5K finish. (Photo: runDisney)
So you didn’t get into any of the Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 races including the Dumbo Double Dare, the Disneyland 10K or the Disneyland Half Marathon? It was a record sell-out for runDisney this year. But limited entries are still available through charity and tour groups.
The major Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races and events sold-out even faster than the 26 hours from last year for a new runDisney record.
All 35,500 of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend‘s running bibs sold out within 12 hours and 13 minutes. The Dumbo Double Dare, where participants complete both the Disneyland 10K and Half Marathon on back-to-back days, filled up in just 41 minutes. The Disneyland 10K sold out in 53 minutes, followed by the runDisney Kids Races, which closed in 2 hours and 48 minutes. The Disneyland Half Marathon itself sold out in 9 hours and 20 minutes, while the Disneyland 5K closed in 12 hours and 13 minutes.
But if you really want to be a part of the Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 races from August 28-31, you still can if you register through a charity or tour group. Contact the following groups directly to find out how to register for the race through them. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)
UPDATE: The Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney Kids Races and Welcome Event featuring Runner’s World are now sold-out. Limited entries are available through charity and tour groups. Registration is still open for the Pasta in the Park Party.
The 2013 Dumbo Double Dare medal (Photo: runDisney)
The race weekend from August 29-31 in California includes the Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K and runDisney Kids Races. Runners, friends and family can also buy tickets to the Pasta in the Park Party and ChEAR Squad packages for the half marathon.
Participants run through Angel Stadium at the Disneyland Half Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)
If you want in on the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, and especially the Dumbo Double Dare, be prepared to register right away. The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K and Dumbo Double Dare sold out in just 26 hours. The 10K and Dumbo Double Dare sold-out first, with the half-marathon closing just a few hours later. Read the rest of this entry →
runDisney invited me to be their guest at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. I was running the first three of the four races, so the Walt Disney World Half Marathon was the finale to my running weekend.
I’ve never run this race before; I was really looking forward to it. I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2012, which had a nearly identical course but with a slightly different start and finish, and I had a blast at that race.
I had one goal and one goal alone for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon: get a picture with Cinderella while dressed as Cinderella.
Kim Smith passes the Cyclone roller coaster on her way to victory at the 2013 Brooklyn Half. (Photo: NYRR)
Mark your calendars. Registration for the 2014 Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 17 opens this Wednesday, January 22 at 12 p.m. EST.
The Brooklyn Half Marathon may not be as famous as the New York City Marathon or NYC Half, but it should be. The event, also put on by New York Road Runners, is a world-class race on the verge of becoming very big, indeed. Mark my words: the day will come when this event is popular enough to have its own lottery. For 2014, NYRR is expecting its biggest field yet. Read the rest of this entry →
Minnie Mouse presides over the Walt Disney World 10K. (Photo: runDisney)
The Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, January 10, 2014 was the second of four races at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon.
runDisney invited me to be their guest at the race. Some 7,000 runners were completing all four races as part of the Dopey Challenge. Another 3,000 runners, like me, were just along for the ride.
It was the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K with a brand new race patron and medal: Minnie Mouse.
I can’t believe Minnie is only just now getting her own race. (UPDATE: A few readers have pointed out that Minnie Mouse used to host a Women Run the World 15K, known as the Minnie Marathon, that was eventually replaced by Disney’s Princess Half Marathon in 2009. Glad this isn’t Minnie’s first race!)
Going into the Walt Disney World 10K I had just two letters on my mind: PR. I desperately wanted to break 54 minutes and my personal best of 54:09. I was well trained and ready to run. But I had four things working against me come race day.
Pausing for a pic in Epcot with my mom during the Disney Family Fun Run 5K. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
This year, I took the name of the Disney Family Fun Run 5K seriously and did it with my family—my mom to be precise.
runDisney invited me to be their guest at the race. When I asked her if she wanted to join me at Walt Disney World, she jumped at the chance and quickly pronounced her desire to do her first 5K.
The Disney Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, January 9, 2014 was the first of four races at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon with some runners doing all four for the Dopey Challenge.
The 5K was the first of three races for me. I was doing everything but the marathon, and in costume, of course.
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!