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
Angela Brito of Ecuador is the first female at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon. (Preston Mack/Disney, photographer)
The Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend presented by Cigna from January 7-11 at Walt Disney World in Florida wraps up Sunday with the title event, a 26.2-mile tour of Mickey Mouse’s realm.
The medal haul from the Dopey Challenge. (Photo: runDisney)
The four-day extravaganza is the largest running festival in the U.S. with 84,150 registrations and an estimated 65,000 finishers in the weekend’s five events: Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World 5K and runDisney Kids Races.
Here’s a look at Mickey Mouse’s favorite race by the numbers.
Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 By The Numbers
209,000—runners who take part in runDisney events each year
84,150—registrations for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The 2015 Retro Mickey and Minnie shoes (runDisney)
UPDATE 1/14/15: Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend
Runners can sign up at nbvirtualqueue.com using their bib numbers starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, January 15 for an early chance to buy the shoes at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo. Everyone else (and runners too) can sign up at 6 a.m. on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17. The queue is first come, first served. Scroll down for more info on buying the New Balance Disney running shoes.
2015 Disney Running Shoes Unveiled
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna from January 7-11 is just around the corner, which means the arrival of the 2015 New Balance Disney running shoes!
2015 Retro Minnie Shoes (runDisney)
New Balance announced they’re releasing a new limited edition runDisney shoe for 2015: Retro Mickey and Retro Minnie 990v3 inspired by Steamboat Willie, the black and white film that introduced the iconic mice to the world in 1928. The new pairs of kicks (above) debut at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo starting January 7.
The black and white shoes in men’s sizes ranging from 7 to 15, and grey and white in women’s sizes ranging from 5.5 to 12, have musical notes on the front sole, images of Mickey and Minnie, character signatures and Mickey heads on the liners. They will sell for $185. Check out a 360 degree view of the shoes and scroll to find out how to buy them.
The 2014 shoes
2014 Disney Running Shoes Return
Didn’t get your hands on any of the 2014 shoes? Not to worry! New Balance is bringing them back to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in Florida and Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation from January 15-18 at Disneyland in California. That includes the stability 860v4 Sorcerer Mickey & Pink Minnie Disney running shoes and the neutral 890v4 Goofy & Cinderella Disney running shoes.
How To Buy New Balance Disney Running Shoes in 2015
Want to snap up a pair of the 2014 or 2015 Disney running shoes? They’re only available at runDisney race expos throughout the year. Your first chance is coming up soon at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
The only way to get a spot to buy the shoes is through NBvirtualqueue.com. At Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, two of the four expo sales days are reserved exclusively for runners, with the general public able to make an appointment to buy shoes during the other two days. Read the rest of this entry →
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.
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.
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 →
Runners, your last chances to buy the 2014 Disney New Balance shoes are here: Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World in Florida from November 7-8, and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in California from November 14-15.
The procedure for buying the Disney New Balance shoes will be the same for each race. Registered runners have the chance to get an appointment at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo on Friday of each race weekend. The general public can march straight to the expo on Saturday. Runners can also go to the expo on Saturday.
How To Buy Disney New Balance Shoes At Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
Registered runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, November 7 to get an early bird appointment to try on and buy Disney New Balance shoes.
2014 Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse Shoe
You can reserve one style and size through the virtual queue, and pick up to five more pairs at your appointment.
Spectators and other shoppers can buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.
After you sign-up, you’ll get a text or e-mail confirming your group letter and a time to return to the expo. Then you’ll get a second notification when it’s time to high-tail it to the expo for your appointment. Head to the New Balance tent to check in near the West Entrance to the Jostens Center. They’ve got a queue that tells you when it’s your turn. Read the rest of this entry →
Looking to change-up your racing calendar? Check out three of my recent stories at SHAPE.com. I picked 10 mile runs, 10 costume races and 10 night runs around the U.S. Many of them aren’t even single race weekends, but running series with multiple events all over the country and the world. So forget long runs, basic black tanks, and early morning alarms. Switch it up with a mile dash, costumed caper or run that finishes after twilight.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon (Courtesy of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series
Who hates early race morning alarms? I do! So make like Darth Vader and give yourself to the dark side at these runs that go bump in the night. From Disney to the desert, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Energizer Night Run to Electric Run, glow powder to illuminations, these races—from 5K to 75K, trail and road events, fun runs and more—will keep you up at night. And yes, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is on the list—one of my all-time favorite races!
The Chiditarod in Chicago (Photo: Kirstie Shanley)
I loves me a running costume. So I picked 10 top costume races—some of them are multi-race series around the year and the country—where runners get their get-up on. From dashing Disney characters, galloping gorillas and sprinting Santas to centipedes, shopping carts, and barely there underwear, I want to run every single one of these. So many costume ideas… Read the rest of this entry →
Peter Pan-inspired runners at the TInker Bell Half Marathon. (runDisney)
Disney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 is 99 percent sold out as of press time. The Pixie Dust Challenge, Tinker Bell 10K, Never Land 5K and runDisney Kids Races may be sold out, but you can still run during the women-focused race weekend at Disneyland in California from May 7-10. Limited bibs are available via charity and tour groups. Runners must register directly through the groups listed below to participate.
The runDisney Kids Races sold out first in 4 hours and 20 minutes. The Pasta in the Park Party followed, selling all its tickets in 24 hours. And the Tinker Bell 10K filled up in 48 hours. Only the Pixie Dust Challenge and Tinker Bell Half Marathon had openings for about a month.
Tinker Bell (runDisney)
The sell-out paced behind the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, which reached capacity at 30,000 runners weekend wide in two days.
Possible explanations? The addition of two more race weekends at Disneyland—Star Wars and Avengers Super Heroes—spreading out West Coast demand over more races. Disneyland previously had just two—Tinker Bell and Disneyland Half Marathon. With four race weekends, runners have more choices.
Also, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 is the first time the event will be held over Mother’s Day Weekend in May instead of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend in January.
Still Want To Run?
If you really want to run any of the sold-out races at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015, you can still register through a charity or tour group. Contact the following organizations directly to find out how to run the races with them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money and tour providers may require purchase of a travel package. Read the rest of this entry →
Melissa Hernandez wins the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon. (Jimmy DeFlippo/runDisney)
Registration for the 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend opens Tuesday, August 12 at 12 p.m. EST. The women-focused race weekend will take place from May 7-10 at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The race is the fourth largest women’s running event in the U.S. with 11,948 finishers in 2013 and 13,143 finishers in 2014.
2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend
Runners get their Tink on. (runDisney)
In addition to the title half marathon, the 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend also includes the new Pixie Dust Challenge, Never Land 5K, Tinker Bell 10K and runDisney Kids Races. Courses for the weekend’s races run through Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and the streets of Anaheim with music, entertainment and Disney characters, not to mention thousands of costumed runners.
The runDisney Health and Fitness Expo is free and open to the public Thursday, May 7 through Saturday, May 9. That’s where runners pick-up their bibs and race gear, can find official runDisney merchandise along with the coveted runDisney New Balance shoes, other retailers showcasing running apparel and products, and a speaker series with tips for training, racing and eating before the big day.
A ticketed Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Pasta Party takes place inside Disney California Adventure on Friday, May 8 with a buffet dinner, Disney characters and other entertainment.
Runners who register for the challenge and complete both the Tinker Bell 10K on Saturday, May 9 and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday, May 10 earn a fairy-themed medal in addition to a medal for each race. To qualify for the medal, you must register for the Pixie Dust Challenge itself and not the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and Tinker Bell 10K individually. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners get their Tink on at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. (runDisney)
You asked, runDisney answered. Disney’s running branch today announced the addition of the Pixie Dust Challenge to the 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in Anaheim, California from May 7-10.
Yet, race challenges have proven especially popular among runDisney fans, often selling out first among each weekend’s events. The 2015 Glass Slipper Challenge filled up first in 1 hour and 45 minutes despite technical difficulties when registration opened for the Disney Princess Half Marathon and the 2015 Rebel Challenge reached capacity in just 25 minutes before any other Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend event. Read the rest of this entry →
Missed out on registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including the sold-out Glass Slipper Challenge and Enchanted 10K? Limited bibs are available via charity and tour groups. Runners must register directly through the groups listed below to participate in those three events from February 19-22 at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Frozen’s Elsa makes an appearance at the Princess Half. (runDisney)
Regular registration is still available for the Disney Princess 5K and runDisney Kids Races, both of which will feature a Frozen theme and finisher medals. At publication time, the 5K was 65 percent full and the kids races were 55 percent sold.
Tickets are also still available for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast and Pasta in the Park Party, both on Friday and Saturday, and the Race Retreat on Sunday. Though the Race Retreat and Breakfast are each 52 percent full. Free, non-ticketed events include the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo from Thursday through Saturday and the Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney on Sunday.
The Glass Slipper Challenge, where runners complete the Enchanted 10K and Disney Princess Half Marathon on back-to-back days, sold out first in 1 hour and 45 minutes after an hour of technical problems between runDisney.com and the Active.com registration system. Registration opened at 12 p.m. ET on July 15. At 12:34, runDisney posted on Twitter: Read the rest of this entry →
Here’s what runDisney has planned for 2015, including a Frozen themed 5K and Kids Races with medals to match.
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
Disney Princess Half Marathon
Disney Princess Enchanted 10K
Disney Glass Slipper Challenge
Disney Princess 5K themed to Frozen
runDisney Kids Races themed to Frozen
Other race options include:
Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge
Disney Castaway Cay Challenge
The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back, including a run through Cinderella Castle. The 10K, 5K courses and Kids Races go through Epcot.
The weekend also includes the Happily Ever After Party in Downtown Disney—a post-race celebration on Sunday—and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from Thursday through Saturday. Both events are free and open to the public.
The weekend’s ticketed events include the Pasta in the Park Party on Friday and Saturday nights in Epcot with a buffet pasta dinner, Disney character Meet & Greets, DJ, face painter and a reserved viewing spot for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” a light, laser, and fireworks show; the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast on Friday and Saturday after the 5K and 10K, respectively; and VIP Race Retreat Packages, which give runners access to a suite of pre- and post-race amenities. Read the rest of this entry →
The pretty in pink “dress for Cinderelly,” as the mice sing, sounded perfect to me. I’ve always loved the dress the mice made with love, crafted from Cinderella’s mother’s gown. It’s a dress fit for a princess.
Pretty in Pink!
How To Make The Cinderella Pink Dress
Registration opens Tuesday, July 15 at noon EST for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. If you want to put together your own Cinderella pink dress for the race, here’s my step-by-step “How To” turn this basic skirt and tank…
Basic tank and skirt (RunKarlaRun.com)
into this Cinderella pink dress!
Gather all the pieces for the costume. I have zero background in sewing, so the sewing tools I used were:
Charities and tour groups offer entries into the sold out Star Wars Disney races. (Photo: Disney/Ali Nasser)
So you didn’t get into any of the Star Wars Disney races from January 15-18 at Disneyland in California, including the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars Rebel Challenge, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races? You’ve still got a chance. Charity and travel providers offer limited entries for runners who register and run with them.
The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend sold out in two hours, nearly matching the runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend sell-out record of 1 hour and 48 minutes for all races. The Star Wars Rebel Challenge, where runners complete the Star Wars 10K and Star Wars Half Marathon on back-to-back days, sold out first in 25 minutes. The runDisney Kids Races followed in 40 minutes. The Star Wars 5K filled up in 1 hour. The Star Wars 10K was gone inside of 1 hour and 40 minutes, and the Star Wars Half Marathon closed in 2 hours.
Tickets are still available for the Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party on January 15. The event in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland will offer character meet-and-greets, entertainment, dessert and select attractions like Space Mountain, Star Tours, Astro Orbitor, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. At publication time, the party was 65 percent full.
But if you really want to be a part of the Star Wars Disney races, you can still register through a charity or tour group. Contact the following organizations directly to find out how to run the races with them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money and tour providers may require purchase of a travel package. Read the rest of this entry →
Star Wars Half Marathon Comes to Disneyland. (Photo: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.)
After teasing out details via social media with the hashtag #LetTheWookieWin, runDisney has announced today its newest race: Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation slated for January 15-18, 2015 at Disneyland Resort in California.
Get your Star Wars costumes ready. (Photo: Preston Mack / WDW)
The race weekend will include the title Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races, plus the two-race Star Wars Rebel Challenge following in the footsteps of the popular Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Runners who register for the challenge and complete the 10K and half marathon on back-to-back days will earn a special challenge medal. The weekend will also feature a Health and Fitness Expo, Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party, and more Star Wars and Disney-themed entertainment.
Lucasfilm and runDisney have teamed up with presenting sponsor Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace company best known for its Dream Chaser spacecraft to sponsor the event. Course maps have yet to be released, but the races will run through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim, Calif. Read the rest of this entry →
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Photo: Kent Phillips/Disney)
I’ve gotten this question a lot and in many varieties: What Disney hotels are best for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend?
There is no “best” hotel for any runDisney race. The best hotel for you for any race depends on many factors: what you want to do while you’re at Walt Disney World, who is in your party, and what your price point is, among other things.
I’ve stayed at eight different Disney hotels (four of which Disney comped for me during runDisney events) and two off property hotels while visiting Walt Disney World. But my hotel recommendations for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are based on two main factors: Whether or not you have spectators in your group and what you want to do while you’re not running.
If Your Group Includes Runners Only
Walt Disney World Half Marathon finishers. (Photo: runDisney)
If everyone traveling with you is running a race, all the Disney hotels are great.
All the Walt Disney World Resorts are official “host” hotels for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and offer event buses to shuttle runners to and from the start and finish of each race. The buses are comfortable and efficient, both before and after the race.
Having stayed at Disney hotels on the Monorail loop, on the BoardWalk and elsewhere on property for runDisney events, there’s not much of a difference from a runner’s perspective. The event buses got me where I needed to go and back every time from all those different areas.
A Dopey Challenge runner races around the BoardWalk. (Photo: runDisney)
So if all the people in your group are runners, I would pick the hotel that makes your days easiest and meets your price point.
Are you looking for a great pool to rest your legs each day while doing Dopey Challenge? Is there one park in particular where you want to spend most of your time? Do you want to be close to the Expo to stalk runDisney New Balance shoes? Different hotels are better suited for each of those scenarios.
The Wishes Nightime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom. (Photo: Disney)
If it’s Magic Kingdom you’re after, any resort on the Monorail loop is fantastic: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, soon to become Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as it undergoes major renovation.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground also have water taxis to the park.
The perks of each? The Contemporary Resort has my favorite quick-service restaurant, Contempo Cafe, and Magic Kingdom fireworks viewing from the hotel. Plus, it’s the next stop after Magic Kingdom on the Monorail. So at the end of a long day in the park, you’re home in a jiffy. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!