Posts Tagged ‘half-marathon’

How To Run America’s 25 Biggest Half Marathons

How To Run America's 25 Biggest Half Marathons

Runners on the Coney Island Boardwalk. (Courtesy NYRR)

Want to run one of the biggest half marathons in the U.S.? You’ve got to know when to sign-up.

Registration for the 2016 Airbnb Brooklyn Half opens Thursday, January 28 at noon ET. (I’m one of its race announcers.) It’s the largest half marathon in the U.S., and sells out quickly.

The Brooklyn Half is also one of the best deals out there: $65 for New York Road Runners members and $85 for non-members. For that you get a start at the Brooklyn Museum, the course through bucolic Prospect Park, and a finish on the iconic Coney Island Boardwalk, plus the incomparable Airbnb Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance, which has re-imagined the race expo into something bigger and better—a party with munchies, music, and more. It is, without contest, the best race “expo” I’ve ever seen. And I don’t make that claim lightly. Then there’s the Airbnb Brooklyn Half After-Party in a baseball stadium. That’s some serious bang-for-your-buck.

Like the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, many of America’s biggest half marathons sell out before race day. So here’s how and when to register for the 25 biggest 13.1-milers in the U.S.

25 Biggest Half Marathons in the U.S.

1. Airbnb Brooklyn Half

New York
26,440 finishers in 2015
25,645 finishers in 2014
#5 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next race: May 21, 2016
Registration: Opens January 28, 2016 at 12 p.m. ET. Typically sells out in a few hours. Entry via NYRR’s charity Team For Kids is available now.
Why Run? Brooklyn at its best, with a waterfront pre-party, stadium post-party, and course that highlights some of Brooklyn’s iconic landmarks with a finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

2. Nike Women’s Half Marathon

California
23,362 finishers in 2015
24,448 finishers in 2014
#8 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next Race: The race is moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2016. Stay tuned for dates and more info.
Registration: Typically via lottery. More info coming on January 29, 2016.
Why Run? The world’s largest women-focused race has traditionally offered a Tiffany & Co. necklace in place of a finisher medal, plus stellar on-course support.

3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Nevada
23,100 finishers in 2015
25,227 finishers in 2014
#7 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next Race: November 13, 2016
Registration: Not yet open. Get a reminder e-mail.
Why Run? Finish along the lit up Las Vegas Strip at night, with music every mile and a major headliner—think Kid Rock or Macklemore & Ryan Lewis—for your pre-race entertainment.

4. OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

Indiana
22,466 finishers in 2015
25,524 finishers in 2014
#6 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next Race: May 7, 2016
Registration: Open now
Why Run? Run a full lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway—2.5 miles of track—home of the Indianapolis 500, with 100 entertainment acts to keep you pumped all 13.1 miles.

5. Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Florida
21,495 finishers in 2015
20,243 finishers in 2014
#12 among half marathons in the world in 2014
Next Race: January 7, 2017
Registration: Opens April 26, 2016 at noon ET. Not a lottery, but the half marathon and all other weekend events sell out within a few weeks to a few months. Charity and tour provider entries will also be available.
Why Run? Part of the country’s largest running festival, you’ll journey from Epcot through Magic Kingdom and back as you rub elbows with Disney characters and runners dressed as them. Finish the half-marathon and marathon on back-to-back days and you’ll earn a special Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal. Run all four of the weekend’s adult races for the Dopey Challenge. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Run America’s 20 Biggest Marathons in 2016

How To Run America's 20 Biggest Marathons in 2016

The TCS New York City Marathon finish line (Courtesy of NYRR)

Want to run one of the biggest marathons in the U.S.? You’ve got to know when to register.

Registration for the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon lottery opened on Thursday, January 21 at noon ET. (I’m one of its race announcers.) It’s the largest marathon in the world, and one of the toughest to get into.

Like the TCS New York City Marathon, America’s biggest marathons are in demand as some of the largest in the world. And most of them sell out before race day. So here’s how and when to register for the 20 biggest 26.2-milers in the U.S. Many of these races offer half-marathon, 10K, 5K, or other races distances, too.

20 Biggest Marathons in the U.S.

1. TCS New York City Marathon

New York
49,365 finishers in 2015
50,386 finishers in 2014
#1 in the world in 2014
Next race: November 6, 2016
Registration: Lottery open now until February 21, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Drawing is March 8, 2016. If you’re lucky enough to have a guaranteed entry, you must claim it during this one-month window. Entry via NYRR’s charity Team For Kids is available now. Other charity entries will become available in after the drawing in Spring. Entry via International Travel Partners is also available.
Half Marathon? No, but a 5-miler and 5K take place in the week before the race. Registration will open later in the year.

2. Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Illinois
37,395 finishers in 2015
40,595 finishers in 2014
#2 in the world in 2014
Next Race: October 9, 2016
Registration: Lottery opens March 15-April 12. Runners with guaranteed entry, such as legacy finishers, time qualifiers, charity runners, and international tour group runners, can apply between March 8-April 12. Charity entries will be available.
Half Marathon? No

3. Boston Marathon

Massachusetts
26,612 finishers in 2015
31,932 finishers in 2014
#6 in the world in 2014
Next Race: April 18, 2016
Registration: Closed. Next registration window for 2017 qualifiers will open September 2016. Charity entries are available.
Half Marathon? No, but registration for the 5K opens Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

4. Marine Corps Marathon

Washington, D.C.
23,184 finishers in 2015
19,689 finishers in 2014
#12 in the world in 2014
Next Race: October 30, 2016
Registration: Lottery will open March 24-30, 2016. Selected runners will be notified on March 31. Charity entries will be available. Travel agency entries are available. Bib transfers will also be allowed.
Half Marathon? No, but there’s a 10K and Kids Run.

5. Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon

California
21,940 finishers in 2015
21,508 finishers in 2014
#10 in the world in 2014
Next race: February 14, 2016
Registration: Open now. Not a lottery, but usually sells out before race day.
Half Marathon? No, but there’s a 5K. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

They colored my green shirt purple for this green screen pic! (Island Photos)

I ran the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015 with race sponsor GORE-TEX, returning to the City of Brotherly Love for the third time as a runner. I’d scored a personal best at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012, ran my third fastest 13.1-miler at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2014, and I was back to give the half-marathon another go on Sunday, November 22.

Nearly 22,000 runners finished races at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, with 10,899 finishers in the half-marathon, another 9,159 in the marathon, and 1,910 in the 8K. And approximately 60,000 spectators lined the course to cheer us on. My husband, Phil, joined me, along with a bunch of our running teammates.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

We are the champions! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The event is a big city race with a small town feel. Unlike more crowded marathons in New York and Chicago, runners wander into corrals just 15 minutes or so before the race’s 7 a.m. start. The vibe is relaxed and unhurried. It feels like the city simply wants you to relax and have a good time. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is at the start and the finish passing out high-fives to runners, setting the tone for a friendly race experience.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Expo fun! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Expo

The Comcast Health & Fitness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center has a great selection of vendors. Last year, I bought some last minute race items. This year, I picked up some Clif Shots and a Christmas present for Phil. Plus, it’s fun to try some GORE-TEX shoes and splash around in the water pools at the GORE-TEX booth.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Comcast Health & Fitness Expo (RunKarlaRun.com)

Seriously you guys, if you run in the rain or snow, you need a pair of these shoes. They’ve been a game-changer for me. New Balance, Brooks, Asics, Saucony, The North Face, Salomon, and La Sportiva all make running shoes with GORE-TEX lining. Just look for models with GTX in the name.

How does it work? The GORE-TEX lining has more than 9 billion pores per square inch. Each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water. That means rain, puddle water, snow, and the like can’t get into your shoes (unless they spill over the top). At the same time, those pores are 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule, so sweat can get out.

Your feet stay dry, your shoes stay breathable. It’s a win-win. If you’re among the 75% of runners who head outdoors in cold and wet weather, have ever run in soggy shoes and waited days for them them to dry out, check out some GORE-TEX kicks. I’ve genuinely become an evangelist for this brand. I love it.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

We’re ready to run! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Start

Phil and I left our hotel—1.5 miles to the start—at 5:45 a.m. and found a cab within 5 minutes. We were on site by 6 a.m. How’s that for no muss, no fuss? That’s what I mean about Philly being a low-key race. You could never do that in New York. Don’t get me wrong: the New York City Marathon is my favorite race ever, but it’s refreshing to run a big-city race where getting to the start isn’t an ordeal.

Despite heightened security at all of the start area entry points, we waited less than 5 minutes to get into the staging ground.

We found a bank of port-a-potties close to the entrance that no one seemed to be using. So we didn’t have to wait in line at all. Love that! The bathrooms near the corrals closer to the start time are much more crowded.

Baggage was easy to find, and by the time we’d used the bathroom and dropped off our bag, we still had 35 minutes to kill before the start. Read the rest of this entry →

27

Nov 2015

Race Report: Runner’s World Half & Festival

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Larisa & Karla cheer, Mark & Kristin run (RunKarlaRun.com)

When Runner’s World puts on an event in their hometown, they do it right.  Runner’s World Half & Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is basically fantasy camp for runners. All participants—not just bloggers—at the weekend’s events had the opportunity to meet Deena Kastor, Bart Yasso, and the entire Runner’s World team. Seminars, running clinics, kids races, a dog run, pasta party, and other events filled our days and nights with all things running.

Runner’s World brought me out to the race as their guest, along with a cadre of other bloggers. My quest? Run four races in three days for a total of 26.2 miles.

I was only half successful, thanks to plantar fasciitis. Despite that, I had a ton of fun.

I’ve already recapped the Altra Trail 3.8-mile Trail Race and Runner’s World 5K & 10K. Now on the menu is the Runner’s World Half & Festival!

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Post-race band! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Runner’s World Half Marathon

Thanks to shooting pain in my heel—which turned out to be plantar fasciitis and the beginning of a heel spur—I opted not to run the Runner’s World Half Marathon. Instead, I headed out to cheer near Mile 11 of the course with two other injured bloggers—my roomie for the weekend, Jess at RacePaceJess.com (who’d sprained her ankle at the Altra Trail Run), and Larisa at LarisaDixon.com, who’d hurt her calf and pulled out of the race.

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Along the course (RunKarlaRun.com)

We had a blast. We clapped, we yelled, we cheered, we laughed, and had a great time. We spotted most of the other bloggers Runner’s World had brought out for the event.

Then Jess hobbled back to the hotel on her swollen ankle, and Larisa and I walked to the finish so we could cheer in Kristin at BamaGirlRuns.com, who was walking the whole race after recovering from a broken ankle.

Working as a race announcer, I love to cheer runners on. But I’m usually at the start or finish (or both) of a race or running myself. I’m rarely on the sidelines along the course.

So I surprised by how many runners thanked us for cheering as they went by, or gave us a thumbs up, or nod, or smile, or came in for a high five, something other form of acknowledgement.

It’s funny. Because I’m the kind of runner who will often nod or smile or fist pump or some such as a way of thanking spectators as I go by. So I don’t know why I was so surprised when other runners thanked me! I guess it was just fun to be on the other side of the fence. Loved paying it forward!

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Cheering with Larisa (RunKarlaRun.com)

Runner’s World Festival

The days leading up to the half-marathon constituted the “festival,” which was jam-packed with activities. Here are my highlights from the weekend:

Deena Kastor

What would Deena do? It’s become my new running mantra after hearing Deena Kastor speak at the Runner’s World Half & Festival.

Race Report: Runner's World Half & Festival

Deena Kastor! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Deena shared lunch with the bloggers and gave an open seminar at the expo. At each, she shared some of the ways she uses positive thinking to pull through in races. Running is as much a mental sport as a physical one. I believe it and research bears it out. (I wrote about it for Shape.com) And the best runners use every (legal) trick in the books—physical and mental—to be tough on race day.

What stuck with me? Before a race Deena said she thinks of three reasons why she will succeed and commits them to memory. When she needs to did deep or is struggling in an event, she recalls those things to keep her going. I love that. Going to try it myself this weekend at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon. And in a moment of doubt, I’ll ask myself: What would Deena do? Read the rest of this entry →

Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Runners at the Disneyland Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)

The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in Anaheim, California celebrated its 10th anniversary over Labor Day Weekend with more than 29,000 runners.

The celebration kicked off with a special Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Anniversary Party with Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration “Paint the Night” Parade. The weekend culminated on Sunday with the main event itself—13.1 flat miles through Disney California Adventure theme park, Disneyland theme park, the streets of Anaheim, and Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels, with a finish at Disneyland Hotel.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2015 medals (Photo: runDisney)

Half marathon finishers took home a 10th anniversary medal, shaped like a diamond for Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration. Among them were 436 potential “legacy” runners who’ve participated in all 10 Disneyland Half Marathons since 2006.

New Balance also released a new pair of Donald Duck runDisney shoes for the occasion.

Here’s a look at the Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 by the numbers.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

29,500—total race registrations for the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, including runners participating in multiple events

18,000—runners in the Disneyland Half Marathon

10,000—participants in the Disneyland 10K

6,000—entrants in the Disneyland 5K

6,000—challengers in the Dumbo Double Dare who run the 10K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday

1,500—children in the runDisney Kids Races

1:05:29—Disneyland Half Marathon course record, set in 2012 by Jimmy Grabow

436—number of “legacy” runners who will have competed in all 10 Disneyland Half Marathons

83—age of the oldest Disneyland Half Marathon runner
Read the rest of this entry →

06

Sep 2015

Fall Running Schedule: 13.1, 26.2, and 200, Oh My!

Fall Running Schedule

Running is East Hampton, NY with Cinderella (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

This is it, folks. The moment I have have been waiting for: My fall running schedule 2015, aka the season when I finally run a sub-2 hour half marathon. There, I said it. I’m throwing down. I know, I know. I’ve said it so many times before. And so many times I have failed. But if at first you don’t succeed…

This is the one goal that has eluded me. My white whale. My holy grail. My impossible dream. A mere 30 seconds stand between my personal best and dream time. Those 30 seconds are coming off the clock.

It all starts August 31. Thanks to the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project, I’ve got a personalized (and complimentary) training plan to see me through.

But that’s not all. After that, I’ve got another goal I’m working toward: a winter 2016 marathon PR. I haven’t run a marathon since 2013. So the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project put together a seamless 24-week training plan for me that takes me all the way through four tune-up and two goal races in a running schedule that spans September to February.

Here’s the run down. And, of course, I’ll share more info about each race as it approaches!

Fall Running Schedule

Great Fjord Run (Photo: VisitNorway.com)

Great Fjord Run

Norway, September 5, 2016

What?! Norway? You bet! My husband, Phil, and I are headed on vacation to Sweden and Norway today. Naturally, I started poking around and found that the Great Fjord Run near Bergen just happens to be taking place while we’re there. So of course, we built our trip around it, as one of Norway’s premier running events with 6,000 participants from more than 30 countries. The event includes 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids races and a walk. We’ll be running the half-marathon!

VisitNorway.com helped me put together an itinerary that includes touring Oslo and hiking the Fjords in Flam and Bergen. I’ll be posting to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter throughout the trip if you want to follow along.

Easy Run: Since it’s the beginning of my running schedule and the end of vacation, this will be a fun run for us with no delusions of running fast. Plus, we’ll want to take in the scenery as we cross three bridges where the waters of three fjords meet. So my training plan has me running this one at an easy pace.

Fall Running Schedule: Halves & Relays & Marathons, Oh My!

(Photo: Reach The Beach Relay)

New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

New Hampshire, September 18-19, 2015

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay has been on my bucket list for a while. When New Balance invited me to be their guest as part of a media team, I jumped at the chance. Reach The Beach takes teams of 12 runners 200 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore. Each team member runs three legs of the relay, totaling about 16.6 miles over the the course of 24 hours. We start Friday afternoon and finish Saturday evening, running around the clock in shifts through 36 transition areas. This will be my first relay and my first race in New Hampshire. Mountain vistas, serene lakes, and a covered bridge or two are on the menu. I can’t wait!

Tune-Up: My Run S.M.A.R.T Project training plan has me using this as a tune-up at half-marathon race pace. So it will be my first chance to test my fitness once my running schedule starts. I doubt I’ll be running all 16.6. miles at half-marathon race pace, but hopefully I’ll do a leg or two at a fast clip. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

My sis high-fives Mickey at the finish. (Photo: MarathonFoto)

How much fun did my sister and I have at the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon? Her Mickey Mouse high-five at the finish line pretty much says it all.

When my sister decided to run her first half-marathon, there was no doubt which race it would be. She’d run her first 5K with me at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in 2012. As a family, we did everything there was to do at the time: Pasta in the Park Party, Kids Races, 5K, and my husband and I ran the Half Marathon.

So naturally, we decided to return for my sister’s 13.1 debut in 2015. I attended the race as a media guest of runDisney to write a story for Shape.com about our experience. You can read it here: Why I’d Rather Run With Women.

First, we tackled the Disney Princess Frozen 5K dressed as Disney’s most infamous sisters, Cinderella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine. We had too much fun, despite wearing tank tops in a 33-degree race.

Race Report: Frozen Disney Princess 5K

Anastasia and Drizella (Photo: runDisney)

Then, I ran the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K on my own, dressed as Cinderella in tatters, just so I could earn that beautiful Glass Slipper Challenge medal.

Finally, for the half-marathon, our choice was obvious. My sister and I are totally Elsa and Anna. Right down to our birth order, hair, coloring, and temperaments, she’s definitely an Elsa and I’m completely an Anna. We’re a match made in runDisney heaven.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Elsa & Anna! (Photo: MarathonFoto)

Yup, we learned to love team costumes from an early age.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Twinsies! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Disney Princess Half Marathon: The Course

The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from just outside Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and back.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

The Course

The first five miles are a long, and sometimes lonely, stretch of road on the way to Magic Kingdom. Disney lines this section of the course with bands, DJs, and character stops, but at other parts you’ll simply hear the sound of 20,000 pairs of feet pattering away.

Highlights of the first five miles include the car entrance to the Magic Kingdom near Mile 3, which makes for a great photo opp.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Friends Tara and Lesa are runDisney photo superstars! (Photo: runDisney)

Throngs of spectators and Taiko drummers at the Ticket & Transportation Center near Mile 4 always give me a boost.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Drummers! (Photo: runDisney)

And a dancing DJ pumping tunes at the overpass leading to the Contemporary Resort near Mile 5 is also a fave of mine.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Dancing DJ at the overpass (Photo: runDisney)

Mile 5 to 6 is by far the most exciting of the course: the run through Magic Kingdom. No matter how many times I do it, it never gets old.

From the Mile 5 marker, the course is lined with Disney cast members and spectators cheering you on. You’ll hear them before you see them—the roar of the crowds waiting on Main Street USA as you run toward Cinderella Castle. I get so pumped every time.

But before the castle, you’ll turn into Tomorrowland, run through the back of Fantasyland, then through Cinderella Castle from the carousel side and out the front. There are tons of characters, photo opps, and course photographers along the way in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, before the castle, through the castle, and in front of the castle.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

We nailed our Cinderella Castle shot! (Photo: MarathonFoto)

Then you’ll turn into Liberty Square before exiting the park through Frontierland. You’ll find a few more characters awaiting you in this section as you pass the Mile 6 marker and again once you exit the park. Read the rest of this entry →

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 For Charity

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 For Charity

Photo: runDisney

Missed out on registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including the sold-out Disney Glass Slipper Challenge and Disney Princess 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 18-21, 2016 at Walt Disney World in Florida.

While the half-marathon, 10K, and challenge sold out inside of 5 hours, regular registration is still available for the Disney Princess 5K and runDisney Kids Races. At publication time, the 5K was 75 percent full and the kids races were 80 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. 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.

Run the sold-out Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 via Charity or Tour Groups

(runDisney)

Still Want To Run?

If you really want to run any of the three sold-out races at the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016, 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.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Charities

runDisney Charity Groups offer guaranteed entries, discounted Walt Disney World theme park tickets, special Walt Disney World hotel rates, and discounts on other amenities at the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Weekend of races. Check with each group individually for their requirements, benefits, and to register with them. Read the rest of this entry →

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Lauren Passell wins the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon (Photo: Disney)

Registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals opens Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 12 p.m. ET. The women-focused race weekend will take place at Walt Disney World in Florida from February 18-21, 2016. The race is the sixth largest half-marathon in the U.S., according to Running USA, and the second largest women’s running event with 20,770 finishers in 2014.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Registration Opens

(runDisney)

The Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Weekend includes the titular Disney Princess Half Marathon, Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, Disney Glass Slipper Challenge, Disney Princess 5K, and runDisney Kids Races.

The Disney Glass Slipper Challenge asks runners to complete both the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday for a total of 19.3 miles. They’ll earn three medals total: one for each race and one for the challenge. To qualify, runners must register for the Challenge, not each race individually.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back, including a run through Cinderella Castle. The 10K and 5K courses traditionally run through Epcot and the Disney BoardWalk area.

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. Read the rest of this entry →

Harnessing the Power of Running Like a Girl

Harnessing the Power of Running Like a Girl

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.

I make no bones about it: I really enjoy women-focused races. My first 10K was the Oakley New York Mini 10K, the original women’s road race. I’ve since sung the national anthem at that event and worked it as a race announcer, too. I’ve gone on to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland, and SHAPE Diva Dash in New York and Minnesota. I believe that races that focus on women still have a place in the fabric of our sport. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

Wet, windy, and fun! (Photo: Phil Hospod)

A wet, windy morning welcomed runners to the inaugural Bristol Independence Rhode Race Half Marathon on Sunday, June 28. The event is the newest part of the month-long celebration that is 4th of July in Bristol, Rhode Island. The hamlet on Narragansett Bay is home to the nation’s oldest 4th of July parade, which celebrated its 230th anniversary in 2015.

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

Waiting for the parade to start with my family (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

How serious is the town of Bristol about the parade? Bristol officials actually got Congress to pass legislation allowing a red, white, and blue stripe to act as the center road divider—in place of a double yellow line—year round. To wit, from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s  “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices:”

Section 353(b) STRIPES — Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a red, white, and blue center line in the Main Street of Bristol, Rhode Island, shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of Section 3B-1 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices of the Department of Transportation.

That’s how serious Bristol is about its 4th of July Parade.

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

The carnival (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

A host of festivities mark the month-long build-up to the parade, including a free concert series in Independence Park, a Drum and Bugle Corps Competition including bands from around the U.S., tours of a visiting Navy ship, a carnival, fireworks, and now the half-marathon among them.

The Bristol Independence Rhode Race Half Marathon was also my first race since February’s Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I was one of 462 finishers at the inaugural event. It’s great to be back!

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

Running in my Red, White, and Blue.

Running Costume

What’s a theme race without a running costume? You know I loves me some sparkle. So in honor of Independence Day, I busted out my running stars and stripes. Amazingly, I already owned all of these pieces in my running wardrobe. The only new addition was the giant red, white, and blue bow.

Here’s what I wore from bottom to top, with handy affiliate links in case you want scoop up any of them yourself (and help me keep this blog running in the process):

ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 17 Running Shoe

Runningskirts Stars & Stripes Compression Socks

Sparkle Athletic White Sparkle Running Skirt Read the rest of this entry →

08

Jul 2015

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

Mirinda Carfrae leads a class at Mile High Run Club. (Photo: Ironman)

Want to learn to run fast on tired legs? If you’re a half-marathoner, marathoner, or triathlete, methinks you do. I’ve got a Miranda Carfrae running workout for you from the best runner in Ironman, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae herself.

On Tuesday afternoon, I headed to Mile High Run Club in NYC at the invitation of Ironman to meet Rinny, try one of her favorite run workouts while she coaches on the mic, and interview her for a Q&A at Shape.com.

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

Running with Rinny (Photo: Ironman)

As a reporter and broadcaster, I’ve met and interviewed some of the world’s best athletes—from runners like Meb Keflezighi to winter Olympians like Apolo Ohno. I’ve watched them cruise to gold medals and major marathon wins, interviewing them before and after.

But getting to run a workout led by one of them? Like a Visa ad, that’s priceless.

Ever since I watched Rinny cruise to her second Ironman World Championship victory in Kona (on TV, not in person—I wish!), I had an instant girl crush. She’s such a fierce and confident runner, perhaps the best in the world of Ironman. That fierceness and confidence lacks in my own running. I tend to admire in others what I lack myself. Read the rest of this entry →

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest Half Marathon in U.S.

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest in the U.S.

Runners finish the Airbnb Brooklyn Half at Coney Island. (Courtesy of NYRR)

This was originally published 5/19/2015, but thanks to technical hijinks, I had to restore my site and re-upload a few posts. Apologies to subscribers for finding this in your inbox again!

The 2015 Airbnb Brooklyn Half on Saturday, May 16 was the largest 13.1-mile race in the U.S. and the biggest in the event’s history with 26,482 runners crossing the finish line on the Coney Island Boardwalk. I worked the event for NYRR as a race announcer.

For perspective, the three largest American half-marathons in 2014, per RunningUSA, didn’t break the 26,000 runner mark:

  1. Airbnb Borrklyn Half Largest in U.S.

    Runners on the Coney Island Boardwalk. (Courtesy NYRR)

    NYRR Brooklyn Half: 25,610 finishers

  2. One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis: 25,524 finishers
  3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon: 25,227 finishers

It’s all part of the distance’s seismic growth. Competitor.com reports that the annual number of half-marathon finishers topped 2 million for the first time in 2014 with 2,046,637 finishers. Just 25 years ago, a mere 303,000 people squeaked across a 13.1-mile finish line in 1990. That same year the Brooklyn Half Marathon had just 1,523 finishers.

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest Half Marathon in U.S.

Kids races at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half. (Courtesy NYRR)

Now in its 35th year, the race has a new title—the Airbnb Brooklyn Half—and new accompanying kids races. The NYRR Kids’ Boardwalk Run took children ages 7 to 18 on a one-mile and-and-back run along the Coney Island Boardwalk, starting and finishing at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half finish line.

The 13.1-mile course took participants from the Brooklyn Museum, past Grand Army Plaza, through the borough’s bucolic Prospect Park and to the southern reaches of Brooklyn to finish on the boardwalk at Coney Island, where the after-party at MCU Park, home of the New York Mets’ affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones, bumped until 1 p.m.

Running Inspiration
Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest in U.S.

Race announcer! (RunKarlaRun.com)

I kicked off the Airbnb Brooklyn Half as one of the race announcers, and I have to say, it’s really impressive to see how long it takes more than 26,000 runners to clear the start.

The race began beside the Brooklyn Museum at 7:00 a.m. with two waves of runners. The last person started around 8:15 a.m.

But more impressive than the sheer number of people is how excited folks are at the beginning of their 13.1-mile journey. From my perch on the start stage, I saw thousands of waves, whoops, fist-pumps, and smiles. Sure, steely eyed and focused runners could be seen too. But the overwhelming emotion I saw was pure joy and excitement. It got me really excited to toe the line in a race again. Read the rest of this entry →

30

May 2015

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Runners at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland. (Photo: runDisney)

This was originally published 5/09/2015, but thanks to technical hijinks, I had to restore my site and re-upload a few posts. Apologies to subscribers for finding this in your inbox again!

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry from May 7-10 at Disneyland in California wraps up on Mother’s Day with the title event, a 13.1-mile tour of the Happiest Place on Earth and the streets of Anaheim.

The women’s focused running festival includes the title half-marathon, Tinker Bell 10K, Never Land 5K, Pixie Dust Challenge, and runDisney Kids Races.

Here’s a look at every fairy’s favorite race by the numbers.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

The start of the Tinker Bell 10K. (runDisney)

257,600 combined miles runners will tackle throughout the weekend

32,050 total race registrants for the 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry

16,000 participants in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry

13,700 women running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, nearly 1,000 more than women who started the Boston Marathon this year

12,800 runners participating in their first runDisney race during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend 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 →

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