Archive for the ‘Parks’Category

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Is Open

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Opens

(Photo: runDisney)

Registration for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon from September 22-25, 2016 is open for runners who want to book a tour package through a Disney travel partner. Limited bib-only race registrations will open February 16, 2016 for individuals who want to register without a travel package. Runners will also be able to register via charity partners.

Runners can book directly by phone through the Disneyland Paris Reservation Center. The U.S. phone is 011 33 160 30 20 30. Packages include at least three nights hotel, one three-day park ticket, and a half-marathon or 5K registration.

Guests can also work with travel agency partners. Magical Racecations and GET Travel Sports are two U.S. agencies. Packages may include race registration, hotel, park tickets, breakfast, park transportation, and other options. Seven other agencies in the U.K. and other countries have packages for runners as well.

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be headed to the race to write about the event! (runDisney is covering some, but not all, of my expenses.)

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Race Information

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Info is Here

(Photo: Disney)

The Disneyland Paris races tour runners through two Disney Parks. The Disneyland 5K on Saturday, September 24 takes runners down Main Street, U.S.A., past Sleeping Beauty Castle, through Hollywood Boulevard, and around the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The Disneyland Paris Half Marathon on Sunday, September 25 will lead runners down Hollywood Boulevard and past the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney Studios Park. At Disneyland Park, the course goes through Main Street, U.S.A., past Sleeping Beauty Castle, and through the villages that surround the Disney Parks before circling back to Disney Village on the way to the finish line. And like all runDisney races, runners will find Disney characters and entertainment all along the way.

The runDisney Kids Races on Saturday, September 24 offer 100m, 200m, 400m, 1K, and 2K courses (instead of 800m and 1 mile in the U.S.).

Runners can also buy tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party at Walt Disney Studios Park and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disney Village in the evenings before the race.

In true runDisney fashion, the race will be part of the new Castle to Chateau Race Challenge. Runners who complete the half marathon at Disneyland Paris and a half-marathon at either Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in the same calendar year will earn a special medal for the occasion, much like the Coast to Coast Race Challenge. Read the rest of this entry →

Cave of Wonders: Touring Cappadocia Turkey

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Cappadocia at night (RunKarlaRun.com)

When adventure calls, I answer. In July, I journeyed to the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon and 20K as a guest of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in conjunction with Argos in Cappadocia. My story for Shape.com focused on the race: What It Took to Conquer (Part of) the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon in Turkey.

What does it take to run 160 miles through the scorching Turkish desert? Experience, sure. A death wish? Maybe. As a road runner, I’m no stranger to long routes, but I knew signing up for the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon would be a mythic and mettle-testing adventure, even for a multi-marathoner like me.

I signed up for the RFC 20K—my first trail race ever—along with two more days of running. But I quickly learned that nearly 13 miles through Cappadocia would be the most difficult—and beautiful—miles I’ve ever encountered. Of the 100 races and countless runs I’ve logged on six continents, none has been as hot, hilly, humbling, and exhilarating as Runfire Cappadocia. How tough is this race? The winning time at any given road half-marathon is between 1 hour and 1 hour, 20 minutes. The winning time at the RFC 20K was 2 hours, 43 minutes. That winner was the only person to finish under 3 hours.

In addition to the race, I toured the sites of Cappadocia. Breathtaking. Stunning. Unique. Pick the adjective. Throw around some superlatives. Cappadocia deserves it.

Cave Dwelling & Hot Air Balooning in Cappadocia Turkey

Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia. (RunKarlaRun.com)

After 16 hours of travel from New York City on the delightfully luxurious Turkish Airlines (think foot rests and menus even in economy class), I made it to Argos in Cappadocia hotel in the village of Uchisar, my home for the next few days.

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Argos in Cappadocia (RunKarlaRun.com)

Like many of the region’s buildings, Argos is a collection of hollows hewn from hoodoos. Once a monastery housing an extensive wine cellar and 3-mile tunnel cutting through the base of the rock, the hotel now features manses with street front facades, cave interiors, and a farm-to-table restaurant.

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Argos’s terraces (RunKarlaRun.com)

A sunrise hot air balloon ride with Royal Balloon served as my introduction to the region in central Anatolia, Turkey’s heartland.

Cave of Wonders: Touring Cappadocia Turkey

Sunrise over Cappadocia (RunKarlaRun.com)

While soaring over rock formations known as “fairy chimneys,” it was easy to appreciate the grandeur of the terrain I was about to run. Read the rest of this entry →

08

Oct 2015

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Info Is Here

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Information

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris (Photo: Disney)

UPDATE 10/13/15: Registration is now open for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. Pricing, schedule, and more information is available here:
Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Is Open

* * *

Finalement! More information about the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend has finally arrived. Disney’s first race weekend outside the U.S. will take place September 22-25, 2016, kicking off with a three-day runDisney Health & Fitness Expo starting Thursday, September 22 at Disneyland Paris Disney Events Arena.

The Disneyland Paris 5K and runDisney Kids Races will run Saturday, September 24, followed by the main event, the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon on Sunday, September 25. Runners can also buy tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party at Walt Disney Studios Park and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disney Village in the evenings before the race.

“We could not be more excited about the upcoming runDisney event,’’ said Tom Wolber, President of Euro Disney S.A.S. in a press release. “It will make Disneyland Paris the world’s third Disney destination to host this successful sporting series that offers a whole new running experience for the young and young-at-heart.’’

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Info is Here

Mickey Mouse and friends escort runDisney finishers across the line. (Photo: runDisney)

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Registration

Registration through runDisney Travel Providers is slated to open October 13, 2015. The list of tour companies offering travel packages for the weekend has not been released yet.

Runners can also register to run for charity starting October 13, 2015. The list of participating charities will be released on that date.

For individuals who want to register without a travel package or charity partner, limited race registrations will open February 16, 2016.

Pricing for all of the weekend’s events has not been announced yet.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Race Information

The Disneyland Paris races tour runners through two Disney Parks. Read the rest of this entry →

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Minnie cheers runners at the Wat Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

Registration for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend opens Tuesday, April 28 at 12 p.m. ET. Disney’s signature running event kicks off the new year from January 6-10 at Walt Disney World in Florida. The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna is the largest running festival in the U.S. with more than 65,000 finishers in five races and three race challenges: Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World 5K, runDisney Kids’ Races, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Dopey Challenge, and Disney Castaway Cay Challenge.

Race Report: Walt Disney World Marathon 2016

Runners dash through Cinderella Castle. (Photo: Todd Anderson/runDisney)

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge dares runners to complete the half-marathon and marathon on back-to-back days in order to earn a Goofy designed medal. The Dopey Challenge asks runners to take on the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon on four consecutive days for a special Dopey-themed medal. The Castaway Cay Challenge is for runners who opt to add on a 4-night Bahamas cruise from January 11-15, run a 5K race or longer at the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 weekend, and complete the Castaway Cay 5K on Disney Cruise Line’s private island.

The Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 weekend also includes the free runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, free Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney, ticketed Pasta in the Park Party, ticketed breakfasts after the 5K and 10K, ticketed Race Retreat before the half and full marathons, and Runner’s World Challenge race packages.

Registration for the Runner’s World Challenge is already open and 50 percent full as of press time. Registration for all the other events will open Tuesday, April 28 at 12 p.m. ET.

New Balance Releases New Disney Shoes For Princess Half

The 2015 New Balance runDisney Retro Collection

The weekend is usually runners’ first chance to buy the newest edition of the coveted New Balance runDisney running shoes, as well. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 new styles of the shoes went on sale for the first time at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The shoes aren’t available online and can only be purchased at runDisney race expos.

For more information about the races, pricing, or to register for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016, visit runDisney.com.

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend Sell-Out Times?
Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

The Magic Kingdom archway (Photo: runDisney)

The 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend broke all of the event’s previous sell-out records. The Dopey Challenge, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World 5K all sold out within 24 hours. The Walt Disney World Marathon filled up in 21 days, shattering the nearly four months it took the 2014 race to sell out.

Only Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and runDisney kids races had availabilities lingering longer. Read the rest of this entry →

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Disney Race Weekends

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Offers Disney 'Marathon Weekends'

Runners at the Walt Disney World Marathon (Photo: runDisney)

During my latest visit to Walt Disney World for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I stayed at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for two nights to get the scoop on their Marathon Weekends, offered during many runDisney races since 2011. Marathon Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the adjacent Waldorf Astoria Orlando offer runners complimentary transportation to runDisney half-marathons and marathon, an included pre-race breakfast and send-off party, discounted rates that include late check-out, a runner’s concierge, and more.

Disney 'Marathon Weekends' at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Deluxe Double Queen guest room (Photo: Hilton)

My room was large, comfortable, and clean with a beautiful view of the pool and Walt Disney World beyond. And best of all, it was within the gates of Walt Disney World Resort—a 10-minute drive to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios—with free transportation to the parks. I thoroughly enjoyed the hotel and would stay there again in a heartbeat when visiting or running Walt Disney World. The value and bang-for-your-buck is exceptional.

As a mid-week guest I wasn’t able to experience the Marathon Weekends myself, but chatted with folks in the know, got a look at some of the runner amenities like the welcome bag, and took in much of what the resort had to offer. I ran the property, lounged poolside in a cabana, made use of guests’ 10% discount at the Waldorf Astoria spa, hit the lobby coffee shop—which has some amazing pastries, by the way—and more.

Here’s the low-down on Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends, early bird Marathon Weekend rates for the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon, and runner-friendly amenities at the resort. Read the rest of this entry →

Run Sold-Out Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Races

Register For 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Through Charity

Nick Arciniaga wins the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon. (Photo: Jimmy DeFlippo/runDisney)

The 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in Anaheim, California from September 3-6 sold out in a matter of hours. But you can still register for the Disneyland Half Marathon, Dumbo Double Dare, the Disneyland 10K, and Disneyland 5K through charity and tour groups.

The Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland 10K, runDisney Kids Races, and Disneyland 5K all broke their sell-out records from 2014. The Dumbo Double Dare and Disneyland 10k closed in approximately 30 minutes in 2015. The runDisney Kids races filled up in about 90 minutes and the 5K followed in roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes. The Disneyland Half Marathon sold-out the next day. Tickets for the Pasta in the Park Party, 10th Anniversary Party, and ChEAR Squad remain.

But if you really want to be a part of the sold-out Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, 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. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money for participating in the race, and tour groups may require purchase of a travel package. Read the rest of this entry →

Goodbye 2014! Griffith Park Run To The Hollywood Sign

A Griffith Park Run To the Hollywood Sign

(Phil Hospod)

Greetings from sunny California! I’m here for a New Year’s runcation, and so far, I’m cleaning up. I’ve logged 11.5 miles in two mornings. But today’s run was the best: a Los Angeles Griffith Park run to the Hollywood Sign in the Hollywood Hills.

Space Shuttle Endeavor

I arrived late Monday night and awoke to a cold, rainy day on Tuesday. What to do in LA on a rainy day? I visited with a dear friend and her kids at the California Science Center, where we saw the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

A Griffith Park Run To The Hollywood Sign

Endeavour (RunKarlaRun.com)

A Griffith Park Run To The Hollywood Sign

Endeavour’s tail (RunKarlaRun.com)

It was pretty incredibly to see this beast up close and personal. The tones and textures of the tile and thermal blankets that line the shuttle are so interesting in person. We had a great time at the museum.

Griffith Park Run To The Hollywood Sign

This morning, I awoke to sunrise looking over the Hollywood Hills from The Line Hotel in LA (my husband, Phil, works for the company that owns the hotel). The rain cleared away any trace of the city’s famous smog, leaving a glorious, clear sky. This was one of those clear days where you really can see forever.

A Griffith Park Run To The Hollywood Sign

Hello Hollywood! (Phil Hospod)

So Phil and I hopped in our rental car and headed for a run in the city’s sprawling Griffith Park, a 4,310-acre oasis in the Santa Monica Mountains and home to the famous Hollywood Sign. (Yup, it’s five times the size of New York City’s Central Park). Read the rest of this entry →

31

Dec 2014

Final Expedition Everest Challenge Registration Opens

Registration for Final Expedition Everest Challenge Opens

Yeti! (runDisney)

This is it, runDisney fans: your last chance to run the Expedition Everest Challenge at Walt Disney World in Florida. Registration for the May 1-2, 2015 race weekend opens Tuesday, December 16 at 12 pm ET. After that, runDisney will bid namaste to the Yeti’s signature event.

Final Expedition Everest Challenge Registration Opens

Cargo net crawl (runDisney)

The Expedition Everest Challenge is a mash-up of a 5K obstacle run and scavenger hunt through Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park starting at 10 p.m. Themed to the Expedition Everest roller coaster and its mythical (or real?) Himalayan Yeti, runners complete about five miles total between the 5K and scavenger hunt.

Runners earn a compass medal for running the 5K with three obstacles—often a tire run, cargo net crawl, and hay bale jump—then solving a series of clues around the park to complete the scavenger hunt. Participants can compete as individuals or in teams that complete the race together.

Registration for Final Expedition Everest Challenge Opens

The compass medal

Where are they running to? A late-night post-race party inside Animal Kingdom, of course, with entertainment and wait-free rides like Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, and DINOSAUR, which go until 2:30 a.m. Race registration includes entrance to the party. Friends and family can buy party tickets to join you too.

I’ve never run this one, but it’s long been on my list. That medal might be the best one in the entire runDisney collection. Maybe this will finally be the year… Read the rest of this entry →

15

Dec 2014

A 1930s & 1940s Hollywood Inspired Vintage Wedding

A 1930s & 1940s Hollywood Inspired Vintage Wedding in Rhode Island

Under the trees (Lev Kuperman)

Two years ago today, I married my favorite runner. Happy Anniversary, Phil!

I’ve previously shared how Phil and I met while training for the New York City Marathon, and how he proposed at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. To celebrate our second anniversary, I thought I’d share some photos from our 1930s and 1940s Hollywood themed vintage wedding.

A 1930s & 1940s Hollywood Inspired Vintage Wedding in Rhode Island

The Bay (Lev Kuperman)

We got married in Bristol, Rhode Island at the Herreshoff Marine Museum Pier. Rhode Island is our favorite summer destination and we wanted to share it with our families and friends. We looked at venues in Newport and Bristol, but when we saw the museum’s west-facing pier, we knew that was the spot to host our vintage wedding with a killer sunset.

A 1930s & 1940s Hollywood Inspired Vintage Wedding in Rhode Island

Inspired by Fred and Ginger (Lev Kuperman)

For our wedding portraits, we headed to the bucolic Colt State Park just five minutes away.

Finding inspiration was easy. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been enamored with the classic movie musicals of the 1930s and 1940s. Among my favorites from the era are Swing Time starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, For Me and My Gal starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, Anchors Aweigh starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson, and anything starring Esther Williams. Read the rest of this entry →

04

Aug 2014

Hiking, Running & Eating In Italy’s Cinque Terre

Hiking through Italy's Cinque Terre

Vernazza in Italy’s Cinque Terre. (Phil Hospod)

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.

Hiking through Italy's Cinque TerreAfter 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 →

07

Jul 2014

Star Wars Disney Half Marathon Registration Opens

Star Wars Disney Half Marathon Registration Opens

The Star Wars Half Marathon is coming to Disneyland. (Photo: Disney/Ali Nasser)

UPDATE: All Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend races are now sold out. If you want to run the Disney half marathon or any of the other Star Wars races, charity and tour groups have entries available.
Read more: Star Wars Disney Race Bibs Available Via Charity + Tour

* * *

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 In 2015

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Makes Its Intergalactic Arrival at Disneyland Resort in 2015

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.

Star Wars Half Marathon Comes to Disneyland

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 →

Disney Hotels For Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Choosing among Disney hotels for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

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 three 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

Choosing among Disney hotels for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

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.

The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando also offer free race transportation for marathoners and half-marathoners staying with them as part of their Marathon Weekends packages. The hotels are inside the Disney gates, have complimentary park transportation for their guests, and offer another great option for racers booking a Disney runcation. Check out my full post about their offerings.

Choosing among Disney hotels for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

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.

Parks
Chooming among Disney hotels at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

The Wishes Nightime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom. (Photo: Disney)

Magic Kingdom

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 →

Race Report: 2014 Run for the Parks 4-Mile Run

Run For The Parks 4-Mile Run

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.

Run For The Parks 4-Mile Run

Stretching in Central Park after my 6-miler on Saturday. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Today, I finished the City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks 4-Mile Run. Last year, the race on April 21 was an especially emotional one. Just one week after the attack at the Boston Marathon, New York Road Runners turned the event into a Run For Boston and benefit for The One Fund Boston. I’ve never seen so much blue in Central Park. My race report is here: An Emotional Run For Boston At Run For The Parks.

This year’s race reminded me of a few things.

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 →

06

Apr 2014

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens

wine run, Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

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.

wine and dine half marathon

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 →

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