Posts Tagged ‘5K’

Race The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half With Me!

Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival

Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival

That’s right! From June 6-8, I’ll be at Boston College in Newton, Mass., for the inaugural Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival as part of the official blogging crew. (Read: They’re covering my race entries, hotel and some meals.) And me? I’ve got discount codes for you.

Why Heartbreak Hill? Boston College sits at the top of the famous Heartbreak Hill section of the Boston Marathon. It’s a rare chance for runners who aren’t yet fast enough to qualify for Boston, myself included, to run this storied stretch of road. Consider me pumped.

The weekend of races includes the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon on Sunday and the Runner’s World 5K and Runner’s World 10K on Saturday. For you challenge lovers, take on multiple races. The Five & Dime is back-to-back 5K and 10K races on Saturday; the Hat Trick has you run the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon. All runners receive a finisher’s medal and shirt—tech for the half, event shirt for the 5K and 10K.

All three courses start at the Boston College campus. The 5K is a looped run around the college and Chestnut Hill Reservoir. The 10K and half marathon head west to Commonwealth Avenue and the hills of Newton, Mass. The 10K is an out-and-back run, as is the half-marathon, which also includes a large loop around the Brae Burn County Club. Miles 9.5 to 13 of the half cover the storied Heartbreak Hill section of the Boston Marathon, giving the race weekend its name. Read the rest of this entry →

I’m In SHAPE Magazine! Running Diva Dash Minneapolis

SHAPE April 2014

April’s SHAPE

If you’re a SHAPE Magazine subscriber, flip to page 104 where you’ll find me, yes, me!

SHAPE and EAS Sports Nutrition brought me on as a hired gun for the 2014 SHAPE Diva Dash series. I had so much fun at the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash that it was easy to say yes. I’m sharing training tips in ads for the race and EAS in the April and May issues.

Then I’ll be running the SHAPE Diva Dash in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul on May 31, 2014.

The SHAPE Diva Dash is a series of 5K obstacle runs for women that are light on mud and barbed wire and heavy on the kinds of obstacles you might find at a playground: monkey bars, rope climbs and other challenges that test strength, speed and balance.

With 10 races around the U.S., each course is different and includes 10-12 obstacles. Terrain might be a combination of pavement, grass and trails. The most fun part is you won’t know what they’ll throw at you until race day.

SHAPE Diva Dash 5K Obstacle Race

Team “I ♥ NY” is ready to rock! (Photo: Cindy Gordon)

I ran the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash in New Jersey last October. It certainly helped bring out the playground kid in me. I did the race with four of my friends, dressed in matching “I ♥ NY” gear.

Diva Dash races have one competitive wave and multiple non-competitive wave starts. We ran the race in one of the non-competitive waves, stayed together, and had a blast. We giggled through the whole thing. It was the perfect antidote to a long and laborious marathon training season. The race was just two weeks before my big fall marathon, perfect timing for a taper fun run. 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: 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:

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 →

Rest In Peace Running Streak

Walt Disney World Marathon, Cinderella running costume, running streak

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.

And then I did the unthinkable: I didn’t go for a run. I ate a Dole Whip pineapple float at Magic Kingdom instead.

Sure, I walked a few miles around Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I even jogged a few steps to hurry to nab Fast Pass tickets for a few rides. But I did not run the requisite mile.

And so, my running streak ended after 46 days and 166 miles, averaging 3.6 miles a day. I started with a race in the first week and ended with three races (1, 2, 3) in the last week.

Here’s the run down of its final days since my last recap. 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 →

Running Goals For 2014: I Feel The Need For Speed

running goals

Thanks for the thumbs up, Maverick!

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 →

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 →

Year in Review: Top 13 Races and Top 13 Posts of 2013

Toronto Waterfront Marathon, year in review

Finished! (Photo:

Oh, 2013. Without setting out to do it, I ran 13 races in 2013. And I wrote a whole lot about them. Welcome to my year in review.

I started the year with a bang at the Walt Disney World Marathon. And I’m ending with a bang with the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak.

In between, the year was filled with a roller coaster of highs and lows.

There was the thrill of a new 3-mile PR after the low of a hip injury. I’m the klutz that fell off a horse. It knocked me out of the game for a few weeks and sent me into physical therapy.

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.

So here are my 13 races of 2013. Read the rest of this entry →

I’m Going To Walt Disney World…Half Marathon!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Minnie cheers runners at the 2013 Wat Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

That’s right. In just three weeks, I’ll be at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend from January 8-12, and running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

The folks at runDisney graciously invited me and I just couldn’t say no.

Am I running the marathon again like last year? Um, no. With just a few weeks preparation, I’m not quite in marathon shape. Sure, I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20 and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on November 9, but that 13.1 miles was my last long run. The longest I’ve gone since then is 6.5 miles.

As tempting as it would be to tackle the marathon or, even more, the Dopey Challenge, I’m “just” going to run every other race that weekend instead. That’s right, I’ll be tackling the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon on three consecutive days. Read the rest of this entry →

Why Do You Run Disney? I Run Disney Because…

run Disney

Kids and kids at heart at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. (Photo: runDisney)

112 years ago today, a man was born who would have a profound influence on my own life, my family, and millions of other people worldwide. On December 5, 1901 Walt Disney was born in a small house on the northwest side of Chicago. I grew up not too far from there, 30 minutes due west of the city and Walt’s first home.

Walt and Mickey watch over Magic Kingdom in the "Partners" statue. (Photo: Gene Duncan/Walt Disney World News)

Walt and Mickey watch over Magic Kingdom in the “Partners” statue. (Photo: Gene Duncan/Walt Disney World News)

So today, Walt’s Birthday, feels like the right time to reflect on why I run Disney.

Why I Run Disney

When I was about 8-years-old—just 30 minutes and 85 years from where the man behind the mouse was born—I promised myself I’d never forget what it felt like to be a kid. I was surrounded by grown-ups who had clearly forgotten.

I don’t remember the inciting incident, but I remember the day clearly.

I was sitting on the grass by the pond next to my house picking dandelions. A grown-up I didn’t know well yelled at me, essentially, for having fun—the kind of fun a kid has on warm spring days, doing cartwheels, singing, playing and like. Maybe I accidentally cartwheeled into her, or maybe I was giggling too loudly. Whatever I’d done, I thought it was innocent child’s play. The grown-up did not.

Her grumpy admonition stung. As I sat sulking, staring at the grass stains on my pants, I promised myself I would never, ever forget how it feels to be a kid.

It was a solemn promise that I’ve held close to my heart. I run Disney races because of that promise. Read the rest of this entry →

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 1

holiday running streak

Running Streak Day 1! (Photo:

The Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak is on!

So far, I’ve been surprised by how easy it’s been. But much of my first week was a “vacation” week, away from my desk and cavorting with family. So it was relatively easy to make time to run every day.

Now that I’m home and back behind the computer, things are getting real. Yesterday, I squeezed in one measly mile on the treadmill sandwiched between work and an evening trip to the grocery store because I had zero, and I mean, zero, zilch, nada food in my kitchen.

I know that not every day is going to be great. Those 1-miles days are essentially my days off. But I was surprised by how laborious that 1-mile felt. Here’s hoping today is better!

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak Week 1

Wednesday, Nov. 27: 6.50 miles

I started strong one day earlier than the official start on Thanksgiving Day with six miles and six hill repeats thrown in. Bam! It felt amazing.

Thursday, Nov. 28: 2.15 miles

I wanted to run more but this was all I had time for before it was time to start cooking for the big Thanksgiving feast. But I was still riding a high from the day before. Read the rest of this entry →

Disney Princess Half Marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon, Tinker Bell Half Marathon Bibs Still Available


Joey Fatone at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Photo: Preston Mack/runDisney)

Want to run any of the races at the sold-out Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend from January 8-12, 2014, the sold-out Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland from January 16-19, 2014 or the sold-out Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 23, 2014?

You still can. Here’s the scoop.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Dream Come True Vacations, one of the official runDisney tour providers, has several openings available for the following races January 8-12, 2014:

Walt Disney World 10k
Walt Disney World Half Marathon
Walt Disney World Marathon
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
Dopey Challenge Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K Turkey Trot

turkey trot

Great T-Shirt design at the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K. (Photo:

The Trot Off Your Turkey 5K in Barrington, R.I., in Saturday, November 30 was, I’m amazed to say, my very first Turkey Trot in seven years of racing.

It was a fantastic local event with 637 runners in the 5K and 229 in the 1.5-mile run/walk. I loved everything about this race, from the flat course and bountiful post-race spread to the great T-shirt design and warm, community vibe.

It was 28 degrees at the start, so my husband, Phil, and I bundled up for a brisk run on a cloudless, blue-sky day.

A food drive and raffle raised money for TapIn, an all-volunteer, outreach program that provides food, clothing, household goods, transportation and other services to local residents in need.

The main event was a fundraiser for St. Luke’s School, where the race was held. Bib pick-up and the raffle were inside the school gym, which I very much appreciated since it was so cold outside. Read the rest of this entry →


Dec 2013

Wine Run? Here Are 18 U.S. Races For Wine Lovers

wine run, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Chef Mickey and Minnie greeted runners at the finish of Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Nov. 9, 2013. (Photo: runDisney)

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on November 9, 2013 may be over, but if you like a good wine run, there’s always next year.  Many races around the U.S. cater to grape guzzling runners.

In my column at The Washington Times Communities, I looked at races—from 5ks to marathons—in 11 states and one Canadian province aimed to please the wine connoisseur inside you. Many of them sell-out early, so put them on your calendar for next year.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

November 2014 in Florida

This nighttime half marathon with a 10 p.m. start runs through Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom theme parks before finishing at Epcot, but the real draw is the Finish Line Party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Epcot stays open to 4 a.m. for runners, with music, Disney characters, and, of course, food and wine. Friends and family can buy tickets to the party too.

Race swag includes a technical shirt, $10 Disney gift card, a glass of beer, wine or soda, one of runDisney’s iconic finisher medals, and entrance to the Finish Line Party. The weekend also includes a 5K fun run and kids races.

Harvest Stompede

wine run, Harvest Stompede

The Harvest Stompede takes runners through vineyards in Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. (Photo:

September 2014 in Michigan

Perhaps the most creatively named, this weekend of races includes a 7-mile run, 5K run and 5K walk through the vineyard rows of Michigan’s Leelanau peninsula.

Following whichever wine run you choose, runners can opt into the Harvest Stompede Wine Tour, a self-guided outing among the 23 Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association member wineries, pairing local foods with their wines. Tastes range from bratwurst and sauerkraut paired with Riesling to strawberry shortcake paired with Pinot Noir.

Race registration and wine tour tickets are sold separately. Read the rest of this entry →

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