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
Training was going swimmingly with four solid weeks of outstanding runs, including a weekly tempo run and fartlek workout, as I outlined in my Running New Year’s Resolutions for 2015. I started working toward those goals early.
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
We’re now one week into 2015, which means I should set some running New Year’s resolutions!
I wrote 10 Running Goals You Should Make for 2015 for SHAPE.com, a collection of resolutions that will make you a healthier and happier runner. Some of them I’m already good at doing, like “Work Hard, Play Hard“—pairing hard-lined PR goals with ones that are more fun, like taking a runcation. Others, I need to work on, like “Prioritize Injury Prevention“—I could certainly be better about dynamic warm-ups, strength training, rolling, and other preventative measures.
So here’s a look at how I did with my personal goals in 2014 and how I’m going to tweak them for 2015. As always, I want to build on my successes and learn from my failures.
New Year’s Resolutions For 2014 Analyzed and Tweaked For 2015
Chasing Cinderella (Phil Hospod)
1) 2014: Get even faster
I make this goal every year. I finished my very first race, a 4-miler, at an 11:34 pace. Now, almost eight years later, I run a 5K at a 7:59 pace. I’ve gotten much faster over the years. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that.
How’d I do in 2014? So-so at this one. I nabbed three PRs: 8K/5-mile road, 10K road, and ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon.
Why do I say that’s so-so? I still have 8K and 10K track times that are faster. The IAAF and USATF log track and road records separately, so I do too. That said, track records tend to be faster than road ones. The track is a nice flat, predictable surface. The road is not. My 8K PR was set on a hot, muggy day whereas the track PR was on a nice, cool fall day. So I’ll take it. Same with my 10K PR. I set it during the same fall track workout as my 8K, whereas my new road PR was the first half of the hilly Staten Island Half Marathon. So, all in all, I’m happy with both of those.
As for my triathlon PR, I was deliriously happy with that. It was the second time I’ve raced an ITU Sprint Distance course and I walloped my swim, bike, and run times. OK, so maybe I did get faster in 2014.
2015: Run tempos
This year, rather than focusing on PRs, I’m going to focus on faster overall paces in targeted workouts. I’m excellent at the easy run, and those will remain just that—easy. But what I’m not great at are tempo runs. I don’t do them, and it reflects in my racing. So for 2015 my “Get even faster” will be dedicated to hitting those tempo paces, which will hopefully pay off on race day. Read the rest of this entry →
The Bermuda Triangle Challenge (Photo: Bermuda Tourism Authority)
Bermuda Triangle Challenge PR Attempt
When I first wrote about the Bermuda Triangle Challenge 12 weeks ago, I threw down the gauntlet: “I will run a personal best at one of the three events. I’m not sure which one I’m going to target yet, but I’d love take down any of my 1 mile, 10K or half-marathon PRs.”
But which one to choose?
At the Philly Half, I showed some serious closing speed that I didn’t know I had in me, finishing the last two miles of the race in 8:37 and 8:49 and with an overall time of 2:05:46. As a result, part of me is tempted to go for the half-marathon PR. But honestly? I’d rather not have it hanging over my head all weekend. I think I want to just enjoy the scenery on that one.
Plus, if the weather is on the warm side, that will put the kibosh on that. I’d rather bask in the glory of having run my best half-marathon in two years and take down a shorter distance before working up to the 13.1-mile PR has proven to be my personal Everest. Plus, the year that I ran my 2:00:30—my current PR—I ran 2:05:15 eight months before, awfully close to what I just ran in Philly. I think asking five minutes less of myself after just two months might be a stretch. So scratch PR-ing at the half. Read the rest of this entry →
I ran the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014 as a guest of race sponsor GORE-TEX, returning to the City of Brotherly Run and Sisterly Endurance for the second time as a runner. I’d scored a personal best at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012 and I was back to give the Philadelphia Half Marathon a go on Sunday, November 23. Meanwhile, my husband Phil was out to run his fastest marathon ever.
The City of Brotherly Love (Island Photo)
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, mostly flat and fast course.
Nearly 25,000 runners finished races at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, with 12,795 finishers in the half-marathon, another 10,364 in the marathon, and 1,699 in the 8K. And approximately 60,000 spectators lined the course to cheer us on.
The Marriott was about a mile to the start of the race, so you could easily walk or cab if you wanted to save your legs like we did. On Saturday after the meet-up, we headed to the Rodin Museum near the start and then out to dinner in Center City.
The Thinker at the Rodin Musuem (RunKarlaRun.com)
It was all walkable from our hotel (though we cabbed to the museum because it was raining).
On Sunday after the race we walked back to the hotel, showered, and returned to the market for some post-race cheese steaks, cannolis and other goodies. It really was a great location to stay as a running tourist.
The Bermuda Marathon & Half Marathon (Photo: Bermuda Tourism Authority)
Three races in three days, in one of the most storied spots in North America. I’m taking on the Bermuda Triangle Challenge at the Bermuda Marathon Weekend from January 16-18, 2015! I’ll be attending the event courtesy of the race’s organizers. I’ve never been to Bermuda, but it’s long been on my travel bucket list. Pink sand beaches, colonial towns, and hiking trails, all just a 2-hour flight from New York City.
“You go to heaven if you want to,” Mark Twain wrote to a friend in 1910. “I’d rather stay here in Bermuda.”
The Atlantic island may have given its name to the infamous “Devil’s Triangle,” but it has also inspired writers like Twain and William Shakespeare, who scholars believe based his play The Tempest on a real-world shipwreck on the island’s shores.
But Bermuda has also inspired legions of runners. The Bermuda Marathon Weekend marks its 40th anniversary in 2015, and I can’t wait to be a part of the celebration.
The Bermuda Marathon & Half Marathon (Photo: Bermuda Tourism Authority)
Bermuda Marathon Weekend
At the Bermuda Marathon Weekend, runners have a buffet of races to choose from: marathon, half-marathon, 10K and two iterations of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge, which dares runners to survive three races over three days. Challengers can choose from the Bermuda Triangle Half Marathon Challenge or the Bermuda Triangle Marathon Challenge. The weekend’s events also include a Health & Fitness Boutique expo, Finish Festival and Victory Celebration.
The hotel headquarters for the 2015 Bermuda Marathon Weekend is the Fairmont Southampton, perched on a pink sand beach with a dive center, tennis courts, full-service spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and a championship golf course. It’s also family friendly with day and evening kids camps.
The hotel offers free round-trip ferry services to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess in the capital city of Hamilton, where most of the race events start and finish.
Today is my five-year blogiversary! And I’m celebrating the best way I know how: going for a run. On Sunday, October 19 I’m running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco as part of a Nike media group. When I cross the finish line and earn my Tiffany & Co. necklace, it will be a reminder of just how far I’ve come since I launched “Run, Karla, Run!” back in 2009. And how far we’ve all come together.
Before the 2009 Chicago Marathon. (RunKarlaRun.com)
It’s appropriate that my five-year anniversary is occurring around a race. My very first post was about running the 2009 Bank of Chicago Marathon on the anniversary of my father’s death. I’m from Chicago and the course runs right past my dad’s old office, a place I spent many weekends growing up. Running that race on that day in that city was bittersweet for me. You can read that first post, and its follow-up if you’re curious.
Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, where my dad worked. (Phil Hospod)
But opening my blog with a post about the town where I got my start as a writer—on my high school newspaper, where I eventually served as editor-in-chief— was a fitting beginning to my career as a running reporter, which has taken me from Chicago and my home in New York City to places I never would have dreamed of five years ago: to far-flung locales like Israel, Peru and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, to new career frontiers like hosting a web and TV show for New York Road Runners on ABC in New York, to seeing my byline in publications like SHAPE and Canadian Running, RunnersWorld.com and Active.com, and right here on RunKarlaRun.com.
Now, I’m off to my first race in San Francisco. Rather than try to PR on the city’s fierce hills, I’m going to use the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco as a litmus test. This time, it’s all about my marathon pace for the upcoming GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon in November. Can I run 13.1 miles at my goal marathon pace? If I can, will it feel easy enough? It’s time to find out.
Lessons From The Track
Last month, I hit the track with a Nike+ NYC training group, including some of the ladies who are joining me in San Francisco. We ventured to Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York City where we ran a workout led by Nike+ Head Coach Chris Bennett. It consisted of a warm-up, dynamic stretches and drills, strides across the infield, a speed workout on the track, cool down and foam rolling. Read the rest of this entry →
I feel like pulling aHarold Zidler from Moulin Rouge! and screaming, ‘Everything’s going so well!’ But I know that training can change as quickly as the wind. So instead, I’m simply grateful that I’m motivated and on track. That certainly isn’t always the case.
Um, yerp. Of course, as Yeats wrote: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” Hold it did not. The train fell off the tracks.
A week later, I missed my long run for no good reason whatsoever—life simply got in the way. The following week, I set out on Saturday for my long run of 12 miles, only to eke out 6. I wasn’t feeling well at all—a sore throat and general tiredness soon gave way to a full-blown cold with fever and chills. It was ill-timed. My husband, Phil, and I were on our way to Peru and Panama the next day for a two-week running vacation.
Machu Picchu! (RunKarlaRun.com)
Sick on Vacation
We left on Sunday morning and got to the base town for Machu Picchu on Monday afternoon. I spent three flights and one train ride to Machu Picchu and the first full day on the ground in Peru incredibly sick. As Phil walked around town, I laid in bed shivering and desperately trying to get warm and healthy. We had tickets to tour Machu Picchu, the impetus for our trip, on Tuesday, the next day. There was no way I was missing that.
The classic Machu Picchu shot (RunKarlaRun.com)
Thankfully, my fever finally broke on Monday night after almost three full days. We bussed to Machu Picchu early Tuesday morning, toured the ruins, and hiked Montana Machu Picchu, the mountain that gives the site its name. It was a big push for me, and I was incredibly tired, but I really didn’t want to miss it. All told, we were on our feet for 10 hours and hiked 5,560 ft of elevation change, topping out at 10,112 ft.Read the rest of this entry →
When my husband, Phil, and I planned our last-minute whirlwind trip through Peru and Panama, I started searching for races that might be happening while we were there.
Luckily, I found the Marathon RPP Scotiabank in Lima on Sunday, September 21, which bills itself as Peru’s biggest race with 20,000 runners. Interestingly enough, the winners of the race get all-expenses paid trips to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. Funnily, both Phil and I ran that Toronto marathon in 2013—Race Report: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Kismet? I think so.
Maraton RPP Scotiabank Lima Registration
Maraton RPP Scotiabank in Lima
So I turned to Google Translate to figure out the details on the Maraton RPP Scotiabank website. Contrary to the name, Peru’s “red tide” is not a marathon but a half-marathon with a 10K option as well. Perfecto! Both Phil and I are training for the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon in November and the race fit in well with our training plans.
I clicked “Inscripciones” only to discover that the registration process is anything but easy. Runners must first pay 50 Soles (about $17) in person to an escrow account at a Scotiabank. Then, 24 hours later, register online with their bank receipt. So I went into problem solving mode. 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 →
Buen viaje! I’m off for a 12-day trip touring Peru and Panama! It’s a last-minute adventure—and by last-minute, I mean my husband, Phil, and I decided on the vacation and booked our flights exactly one week ago. We still don’t have all of our hotels sorted. Details, details.
What’s important is that we’re going to straight to Machu Picchu, which has been on my lifetime bucket list as long as I can remember. I’ve written about the Inca Trail Marathon in the past, and while we booked too late to hike the trail (trail passes sell out months in advance), we’ll still get to tour the ruins and hike one of the mountains around the ancient Inca citadel.
After Machu Picchu, we’ll spend a few days in Cuzco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the capital of the Inca empire. With Machu Picchu at nearly 8,000 ft. and Cuzco at11,200 ft., Phil and I keep joking that we’re altitude training for the upcoming GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon and the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco leading up to Philly. We’re just hoping we don’t get altitude sickness like so many people I know. (Shout-out to running and blogging friend, Elle at a Fast Paced Life, who just went to Peru, too.)
Maraton RPP Scotiabank in Lima
Then we head to Lima for one last Peruvian adventure: running the Maratón RPP Scotiabank. After we’d already settled on Peru and come up with a tentative itinerary, in my usual way, I started Googling to see if there were any races going on when we’d be around. I found three: The Panamericana Running 10K and 5K in Cuzco, The Terry Fox Run 5K/10Kin Lima and the Maratón RPP Scotiabank in Lima.
Rather than put ourselves through a race at elevation in Cuzco, we got really excited about the idea of the Maratón RPP Scotiabank, which bills itself as the largest running race in Peru with 20,000 registrants. Contrary to the name, it’s not a full 26.2-miles race, but an event with half-marathon and 10K options. Obviously, Phil and I were in. More on that later…
Since we are flying Copa Air through Panama, and Copa Air allows free stopovers in Panama City, we decided to end the trip in the land that connects North America and South, the Caribbean to the Pacific. We’ll spend two nights in Panama City and two nights on the beach in the Gulf of Panama. Yep, I can’t get Van Halen’s “Panama” out of my head. Especially now that I’m sitting in the Panama City airport surrounded by stands selling Panama hats.
I’ve never been to either Peru or Panama. Excited? Crazy excited! We’re hiking, running, touring and relaxing in two countries that have long been on my radar. Perfecto.
A few weeks ago, I announced that I’m running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco on October 19 as part of a Nike media group. I was waiting for Nike to release the course map before I decide if the race will be the scene of my sub-2 hour half marathon attempt.
Well, the course map is finally here! For the 11th edition of the race, Nike has drawn a completely new route through San Francisco.
Like years of yore, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon starts in San Francisco’s Union Square.
But instead of heading north to the Marina and Presidio, the first three miles take runners through the city streets, including the iconic Alamo Square neighborhood with its rows of Victorian houses.
San Francisco’s Alamo Square neighborhood. (Nike)
Miles 4 through 8 tour the bucolic 1,017-acre Golden Gate Park before another mile through the often-foggy Richmond District. Read the rest of this entry →
Irina Mashkantceva wins the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (Philadelphia Marathon)
It’s official. I’m running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014 on Sunday, November 23! I’d been debating which marathon, if any, to run this fall and I’ve finally committed to running Philly as a guest of sponsor GORE-TEX.
While I considered—and was invited to—a few other marathons in the U.S. and Canada, I decided on Philly for a few reasons.
Pausing for a photo just before a PR finish at the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (RunKarlaRun.com)
2) Redemption: I feel like I have unfinished business in Philadelphia. Back in 2012, I’d been zipping along on target for a 4:14 finish when a quad cramp struck after the 20-mile mark and decided to linger. I lost 14 minutes in the last 10K, as I stopped to stretch the cramp a few times, jogging slowly in between. While I was ecstatic about my finish time, a new personal best, I knew I had even more in me. I want to return to Philly and run the time I should have two years ago: 4:15. 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 →
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!