Archive for the ‘Parks’Category

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 →

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Comes To Disney

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

Runners dressed as Captain America. (Photo: runDisey)

UPDATE: The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend sold out in under 2 hours. If you still want to run the 5K or half-marathon, you can through charity and tour groups. Read about it at Run Disney’s Avengers Half Marathon For Charity.

Fanboys and fangirls, get your super hero costumes ready! runDisney announced today the Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland slated for November 14-16.

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.”

It’s the fall Disneyland half-marathon runDisney fans have been waiting for. Read the rest of this entry →

Run Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 Races For Charity

Disneyland Half Marathon 2014

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 →

Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 Registration Opens

Disneyland Half Marathon 2014

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.

Run Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 Races For Charity

* * *

Registration opens for the Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 Weekend on Tuesday, January 28 at 12 pm EST. I’ve never actually run the Disneyland Half Marathon, but did run the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon in 2012, courtesy of runDisney. Running Disneyland and Anaheim was one of my favorite race experiences.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2014

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.

Last year, 15,872 runners finished the Disneyland Half Marathon and another 7,839 finished the Disneyland 10K. Over 5,000 of them finished the Dumbo Double Dare. Runners came from all 50 U.S. states and 15 countries for the races.

Disneyland half marathon 2014

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 →

Race Report: Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Disney World Half Marathon

Goofy and Donald Duck at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon finish. (Photo: runDisney)

The Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, January 11 was the third of four races at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon.

Disney World Half Marathon

Done! (Photo: MarathonFoto.com)

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.

It was my sixth Disney race and I had yet to achieve that feat. Read the rest of this entry →

Brooklyn Half Marathon 2014 Registration Opens

half marathon training run, Kim Smith, Brooklyn Half Marathon

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 →

20

Jan 2014

Race Report: The Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K

Walt Disney World 10K

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!)

Of the three races I was running at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend—the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K, and Walt Disney World Half Marathon—I was most excited to earn that Minnie Mouse medal.

Minnie Mouse medals! (Photo: runDisney)

Minnie Mouse medals! (Photo: runDisney)

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.

  1. Sleep deprivation
  2. Humidity
  3. A blister
  4. Dopey Challenge runners

More on that after a breakdown of the race itself. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Disney Family Fun Run 5K

running streak, Disney Family Fun Run 5K

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.

My Mom’s First 5K Read the rest of this entry →

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2014 Slideshow

Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Cinderella running costume

Cinderella did it! Three races in three days. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Read my full Walt Disney World Half Marathon Race Report!

Three days. Three races. Three costumes. Two theme parks. And lots of fun.

I ran the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as a guest of runDiseny. My full race reports are still to come!

But here are the pics I snagged while dressed as Cinderella, in the dress the mice made for her, at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, January 11.

Hope everyone who ran this weekend had great races!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Slideshow Read the rest of this entry →

My Disney Running Costumes: Drumroll Please…

Disney running costumes

Esmeralda from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

If you’ve ever poked around, “Run, Karla, Run!” you know I loves me some Disney running costumes.

This year at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which I’m attending as a guest of runDisney, I got to come up with three—count ‘em—three Disney running costumes for the Disney Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, Walt Disney World 10K on Friday and Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday. Read the rest of this entry →

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Schedule

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, runDisney

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.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Schedule Read the rest of this entry →

2014 runDisney New Balance Shoes Are Here!

runDisney New Balance shoes

The Cinderella shoes. (Photo: runDisney)

After the sneak peek of the new runDisney New Balance shoes last month and at the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, which I attended as press courtesy of New Balance and runDisney, photos of the full shoes are finally here, and with the beautiful backdrop of Cinderella Castle and Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat too. Scroll down for a slideshow and video of the shoes up close.

runDisney New Balance shoes

The 2014 runDisney New Balance collection. (Photo: runDisney)

Highlights of the Cinderella shoes include ribbons for laces, glass slipper silhouettes inside and Cinderella on the heel. The Goofy shoe has a rainbow of the dog’s signature colors, Mickey Mouse ears inside and Goofy on the heel. The Minnie Mouse shoe has eyelash details around the laces, a polka dot tread and Minnie on the heel. The Mickey Mouse shoe has a star and moon tread, Mickey Mouse ears inside and Mickey on the heel.

The kids shoes are mini-versions of the adult Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse shoes. Read the rest of this entry →

02

Jan 2014

Happy 2014! Holiday Running Streak Finish: Week 5

running streak finish

Happy New Year! Starting it with a run.

Happy New Year! It’s 2014 and I’m already starting off the year right: with a victory.

I did it! I made it all the way through to the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak finish, running at least 1 mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day.

I finished the streak strong, with my highest mileage tally yet: 30.52 miles. Now I’ve got a solid base for some serious races in 2014.

The Holiday Running Streak was a really invigorating experience, so much so that I’m planning to continue the streak for as long as I can.

Whether that’s one more day, one more week or even one year, I’m going to keep on plugging. Let’s see how far I can go.

Here’s to a new year of running and all the excitement it brings!

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak Finish: Week 5 Read the rest of this entry →

Running in Hawai’i, Big Island: Where to Race, Run, Stay

running in Hawai'i

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
running in Hawai'i, triathlon

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.

Running in Hawai’i
running in Hawai'i

Kona Marathon Map

Just want to run? Tackle the Kona Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K or 5K on June 22, 2014, or the Big Island International Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K on March 16, 2014.

Big Island Road Runners put together many local races like Hilo To Volcano 50k Ultra Marathon and Relay on January 18, 2014 and Mana 10s—your choice of a 10K or 10-miler on Mana Road in August.

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

running in hawai'i

Views from a run on Ali’i Drive. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Ali’i Drive

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 →

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