The Star Wars Half Marathon start at Disneyland (Photo: runDisney)
Registration for the Star Wars Half Marathon 2016—The Dark Side opens Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 12 p.m. Eastern. The race will storm Walt Disney World in Florida from April 14-17, 2016. The race weekend follows the original Star Wars Half Marathon—The Light Side at Disneyland in California from January 14-17, 2016.
Light Side or Dark Side? (Photo: runDisney)
The new Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Weekend will include a 5K, 10K, Kids Races, multi-day race challenges, and a three-day runDisney Health & Fitness Expo.
Runners who complete the inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Challenge, by running the 10K and half marathon on consecutive days, will earn a Death Star-themed medal. Runners must register for the challenge and not each race individually.
And if you complete both Star Wars Half Marathons at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, also known as the Kessel Run Challenge? Fans take home a Millennium Falcon starship “Coast-to-Coast” medal.
The Star Wars Half Marathon will get a new 13.1-mile course through Walt Disney World. Runners will fly through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finish at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Read the rest of this entry →
My sister and I run through Cinderella Castle. (Photo: MarathonFoto)
When I was 8 years old, I promised myself I’d never forget what it feels like to be a kid.
The inciting incident was simple enough: a grown-up yelled at me, essentially, for having fun—the kind of fun a kid has on warm spring days, doing cartwheels, playing, and running like a girl is apt to do. Maybe I accidentally cartwheeled into her, or maybe I was giggling too loudly. Whatever I’d done, it was completely innocent.
But her grumpy admonition, that I wasn’t being “lady like,” stung. As I sat sulking, staring at the grass stains on my pants, I promised myself I would never be that grumpy grown-up, that I would never forget the glee of childhood, that I would never forget the Barbie slogan of the era: “We girls can do anything.”
It was a solemn promise that I’ve held close to my heart. I run Disney races—dressed in costume as a parade of princesses who stir the child-within—because of that promise. In other words, I run like the girl I used to be and the child at heart I continue to nurture.
I ran the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon as a media guest of runDisney, with my sister by my side, and wrote about it for Shape.com.
It was my second go at the race. I’d run it in 2012 dressed as Cinderella with my real-life Prince Charming by my side, in costume too. Having my husband pace me to my then half-marathon PR is still one of my favorite running experiences ever.
But I found running a women’s race with one of the most important women in my life to be another running career highlight.
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.
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.
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?
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.
The Avengers half marathon and other races run through Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim with Disney’s signature entertainment lining the course—characters from Marvel’s The Avengers, bands, cheerleaders, and more. Runners who register for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge will earn a challenge medal in addition to bling for each race. To qualify, you must register for the challenge—not register for each race individually.
The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon start (Photo: Scott Brinegar/runDisney)
The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend also includes runDisney Kids Races in Downtown Disney, runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at Disneyland Hotel, and a pre-race Pasta in the Park Party inside Disneyland Park on Friday, November 13.
How quickly will the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend events sell out? If the most recent Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is any indicator, faster than a flash of lightning. The wine-themed half marathon at Walt Disney World sold out in about 30 minutes. The 2014 Avengers half marathon and other weekend events filled up in under 2 hours.
The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon finish (Photo: Scott Brinegar/Disney)
The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend from November 13-15, 2015 at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA just got mightier. The runDisney race is adding a new Captain America 10K and Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, which includes running the 10K and half-marathon on back-to-back days.
Multi-day challenges have proven especially popular for runDisney, often selling out first among events. The new Infinity Gauntlet joins Dopey and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, Rebel Challenge at Stars Wars Half Marathon Weekend, Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Pixie Dust Challenge at Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, and Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. The Infinity Gauntlet Challenge will include 19.3-miles of running.
The half-marathon medal (Photo: Scott Brinegar/Disney)
Like the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, the Captain America 10K will run through through the Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim. Runners who register for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge will earn a challenge medal in addition to bling for each race. You must register for the challenge—not register for each race individually–to qualify.
The second Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend will also include the Avengers Super Heroes 5K, runDisney Kids Races, Health & Fitness Expo, and a pre-race Pasta in the Park Party.
Registration opens April 7, 2015 at 12 p.m. Eastern. For more information visit runDisney.com.
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.
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 →
Charity runner at Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Weekend of races sold out in an unprecedented 30 minutes when registration opened Tuesday, March 17, with both the half-marathon and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K getting snapped up within a half hour. But you can still run the November 6-7 races at Walt Disney World by registering via the runDisney Charity Groups or Travel Providers Programs.
Registration is still available for the runDisney Kids’ Races and Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste. But don’t dawdle. The Kids Races were 90 percent full and Pre-Race Taste 85 percent full as of press time. Visit rundisney.com for more info or to register.
Cheer! Runners get a complimentary drink at the finish. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com
No doubt the race weekend received a popularity boost as the only fall event at Walt Disney World in 2015. Previous years saw the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in October, another nighttime race that may have split the pool of interest among runDisney fans. But with no Tower of Terror in 2015 and Expedition Everest Challenge making its final bow in May 2015, Wine & Dine becomes the only nighttime race in runDisney’s repertoire and the only fall offering at Walt Disney World.
It doesn’t hurt that the race also has the best post-race festival known to runner kind, in the form of the Finish Line Party at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which keeps Epcot open until 4 a.m.
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Charity Groups Program
runDisney Charity Groups offer guaranteed entries, discounted Walt Disney World Resort hotel rates, specially-prices Walt Disney World theme park tickets, and discounts on other race weekend amenities. Check with each group individually for their requirements and benefits. To register, contact each group below. Read the rest of this entry →
Registration for the 2015 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World from November 6-7 opens Tuesday, March 17 at 12 p.m. EST. The race celebrates its sixth year.
Bling! (Photo: Marathon Foto)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this might be my all-time favorite half-marathon. I ran Disney Wine and Dine in 2011 and 2013, as part of press trip courtesy of runDisney and New Balance, and loved every minute. I hope to keep running it for years to come. My husband proposed at the Finish Line Party after the race in 2011, so it’s our anniversary race of sorts.
But the proposal isn’t the only reason I love Disney Wine and Dine Half. The night-time race means dazzling Disney park lights and one killer after party that bumps all night long. This race is the best bang for your buck of all of runDisney’s half-marathons.
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon starts at 10 p.m. outside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and traditionally takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, past Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and finally to the finish at Epcot. It’s a route runners won’t find at any other half-marathon. The Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Disney Princess Half Marathon share the same course. But Disney Wine and Dine is truly unique.
Plus, the race finishes with the best post-race party I’ve found—at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which stays open until 4 a.m. just for runners. Admission to the Finish Line party is included in race registration, along with a $15 Disney gift card and a complimentary beer or wine at the finish. Read the rest of this entry →
It’s official! The much-anticipated inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon is coming to France from September 23-25, 2016. Disney announced the new race at the start of the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World in Florida on February 22, 2015.
No other information about the race has been released just yet. But you can register your interest at DisneylandParis.com to get more details about the event and registration when it’s released.
My husband has been trying to get me to Paris since we first met seven years ago. As a native Montrealer, he speaks French fluently, attended French school while living abroad as a child, lived and worked in Paris in college, and loves all things French. Methinks this will finally get us to book the trip. I’ve only been to Paris once about 15 years ago. So I’m definitely overdue. I think a runDisney race is the perfect excuse.
How about you? Aspirations to run the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon in 2016?
As a member of the media, I have attended runDisney events courtesy of Disney. But as always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.
Running with my Prince Charming at Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. (Photo: brightroom)
Although this weekend snuck up on me, I’m incredibly excited. It will be my seventh runDisney race, second time at Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, and the first doing the Glass Slipper Challenge. For a gal who named her dog Cinderella, this is pretty exciting stuff.
But even more important than earning a Cinderella-themed medal is the woman who will be by my side: my sister.
Back in 2012, my husband (then fiancé) and I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon as Cinderella and Prince Charming, where he paced me to a new personal best. I’d been training hard and was really excited for the race.
My sister and her kids came along for vacation too. My niece and nephew ran in the runDisney Kids Race, and Sis was out there early on half-marathon morning cheering me on along the course and at the finish.
She’s long been one of my best supporters, coming out to root for me at the Chicago Marathon, New York City Marathon, and other races, often with a home-made sign in hand. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2015 New Balance runDisney Retro Collection (Photo: Disney)
New Balance and runDisney are at it again! New Balance announced the release of another pair of Disney shoes for the 2015 runDisney Retro Mickey and Minnie collection.
The new 860v5 are a performance shoe meant to compliment the previously released 990v3 recovery Retro Mickey and Minnie shoes. Steamboat Willie, Mickey’s Mouse’s debut character in 1928, was the inspiration for both styles, along with New Balance’s classic styling. Using black, grey, and white like the original black-and-white film, the shoes also feature musical notes and images of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
The 860v5 is a stability shoe with soft cushioning for runners who overpronate moderately. Two levels of foam make up the midsole with a lightweight TBeam for stability and arch support, along with an asymmetrical heel counter for added stability. The upper is a stretch air mesh with no-sew overlay for lots of wiggle room in the toes. And mono mesh paired with an underlay create a secure mid-foot wrap. Read the rest of this entry →
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 →
Registration for the Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 Weekend presented by Cigna opens Tuesday, February 10, 2015. The title half-marathon celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. For the occasion, runDisney has added a special 10th anniversary medal and Disneyland Half Marathon Anniversary Party to the schedule.
The race weekend from September 3-6 in Anaheim, California includes the Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Dumbo Double Dare, and Disneyland 5K, all presented by Cigna. And don’t forget the runDisney Kids Races, Pasta in the Park Party, Disneyland Half Marathon Anniversary Party, and free runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, where runners can snap up a pair of the coveted New Balance runDisney sneakers.
The new Disneyland Half Marathon Anniversary party on Thursday, September 3 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. will be a ticketed event with entertainment, character meet and greets, and Disneyland attractions like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain. Runners at the party will also have exclusive access to Disneyland’s “Paint the Night” Parade, part of the park’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration.
The Disneyland Half Marathon tours runners from Disney California Adventure Park to Disneyland Park and through the streets of Anaheim and Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels. The flat, single loop course has a reputation for fast times, that is, if you don’t stop to take photos with the Disney characters, marching bands, and other entertainers lining the way.
Last year, 15,979 runners finished the Disneyland Half Marathon and another 9,608 ran the Disneyland 10K. Over 5,700 of them completed the Dumbo Double Dare, running the 10K and half-marathon on back-to-back days. Runners came from all 50 U.S. states and 26 countries for the races.
Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 Sell Out Times
If you want to run at the Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 Weekend, be prepared to register right away. All of the 35,500 bibs at the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon sold out in 12 hours.
Dumbo Double Dare runners (Photo: runDisney)
The Dumbo Double Dare 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.
Will 2015 prove to be an even faster sell-out? The 10th anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon is sure to lure some extra runners. The Dumbo Double Dare and Disneyland 10K are now in their third year.
The new Star Wars-themed race weekend includes the title Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K, runDisney Kids Races and the two-day Star Wars Rebel Challenge, where runners complete the 10K and half-marathon on back-to-back days. All told 23,000 runners are scheduled to take part in the races, with many of them registered for multiple events.
Runners earn finisher medals themed to the franchise, with characters from the movies appearing along the course.
Here’s a look at runDisney’s newest race weekend by the numbers.
Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend By The Numbers
209,000—runners who take part in runDisney events each year
28,950—registrations for the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend