Runners at the Marine Corps Marathon. (Photo: Cpl. Bryan G. Lett/US Marine Corp)
Still deciding what marathon you want to run in the next 12 months? I am! The 15 biggest marathons in the U.S. are a common place to start.
Over the last few months, I’ve been posting when lotteries and registrations open for many popular races, from large runDisney events to a small 7-miler in Key West, half-marathons in New York to major marathons all over the U.S. It’s always frustrating to discover a race you want to run is already sold-out.
So here’s how and when to register for America’s 15 biggest marathons. Some of them are even among the biggest marathons in the world. And guess what? Most of them sell out before race day.
Half-marathoners, keep in mind that many of these events have 13.1-mile races the same weekend. So if you don’t want to go 26.2, you’ve still got options.
Runners, assemble. The time has come to register for the runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend. Registration for the inaugural event at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., opens Tuesday, March 25 at 12 p.m. Eastern. The race weekend is November 14-16, 2014.
The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend is themed around the Marvel universe and its stars: Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Iron Man among others. The weekend will include a Half Marathon, 5K, Kids Races, Health & Fitness Expo, Pasta Party, and, of course, super hero themed entertainment and characters.
Captain America runs Disney. (Photo: runDisney)
If I was a betting woman, I’d bet on this one selling out quickly. The two existing Disneyland events have proven especially popular for runDisney.
The 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon, which took place on January 19, sold out its 15,000 race spots in less than two days.
And the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, scheduled for August 28-31, had the quickest sell-out in runDisney history. All 35,500 of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend‘s running bibs sold out within 12 hours and 13 minutes. The Dumbo Double Dare, where participants complete both the Disneyland 10K and Half Marathon on back-to-back days, 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.
Chef Mickey and Minnie greeted runners at the finish of Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon on Nov. 9, 2013. (Photo: runDisney)
Registration for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend from November 8-9 at Walt Disney World in Florida opens Tuesday, March 4 at 12 p.m. EST.
It’s no secret that the Wine and Dine Half Marathon is my favorite half marathon. I ran the 2013 race as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney. In 2011, the event was my first runDisney race and where my husband proposed. So it will always be a sentimental favorite.
But that’s not the only reason I love this race. Marriage proposals aside, it has the best post-race party I’ve ever been to, at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon starts at 10 p.m. outside the ESPN Wine World of Sports Complex and takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, past Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and finally to the finish at Epcot.
Once there, runners can party until 4 a.m. with Epcot all to themselves. Admission to the Finish Line party is included in race registration, along with a $10 Disney gift card and a complimentary beer, wine or soda at the finish.
My husband and me with the real Aladdin and Jasmine. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Friends and family can also buy tickets to the Finish Line Party, where select Epcot attractions like Test Track and Soarin’ remain open into the wee hours. The party also includes all the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kiosks, live bands, DJs, and meet and greets with Disney characters. My husband and I got a photo with Aladdin and Jasmine while we were dressed as Aladdin and Jasmine at the 2013 race. In 2011, we photographed ourselves around the world. Read the rest of this entry →
In case you live under a rock, the Avengers are a Marvel Comics super hero team that includes Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Iron Man, among others. The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend themed around the Marvel universe will include a Half Marathon, 5K, Kids Races, Health & Fitness Expo, Pasta Party, and, of course, super hero themed entertainment and characters.
“runDisney races are a natural fit because our comic book Super Heroes embody many of the same brand attributes as runDisney, such as heroism and intensity with a heavy dose of fun,” said Dan Buckley, president of TV, Publishing and Brand Management for Marvel Entertainment. “This race weekend will have a very distinct atmosphere that will appeal to comic book fans and runDisney fans.”
If Disney characters were runners, what kind of runners would they be?
The Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend of races kicked off today with the Cinderella Royal Family 5K, and continues Saturday with the inaugural Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. Not to be forgotten is the first ever Glass Slipper Challenge, where runners complete both the 10K and half-marathon. Talk about medal envy; I’ve got it bad. You know I love me some Cinderella.
So in honor of the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I thought I’d share another installment of my runDisney Running Profiles.
Previous installments have looked at Sleeping Beauty as the runner who needs some rest and recovery, Alice in Wonderland as the newbie runner who has fallen down the running rabbit hole, and Cinderella as the hard working back-of-the-pack runner.
But who better to spur runners on this Princess Half Marathon weekend than Disney’s best cheerleader, Belle?
Beauty & the Beast: The Coach and the Runner
Great coaches—in running and in life—are the people who bring out the best in us. They cheer us from the sidelines, encourage us when we’re down, expect more of us when we give them less, and help us show the world, and ourselves, just how great we really can be. Never is that more apparent than when watching the Olympics.
In the Disney universe, the greatest coach of them all is Belle from Beauty & the Beast. And the Beast is a quintessential runner.
I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new New Balance Disney shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them. Here’s the scoop on how to get your hands on them at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
First, the New Balance Disney shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers.
But New Balance is now offering runners with bibs at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend a way to register early to buy the shoes before all those non-runners, who are merely trying to capitalize on the craze.
How To Buy New Balance Disney Shoes For Runners With Bibs
Starting at 6 a.m. each day of Disney’s Fit For a Princess Expo from Thursday, February 20 through Saturday, February 22 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, runners can visit www.nbvirtualqueue.com to enter their bib number and sign up early for a reservation at the New Balance expo booth. There, they can try on and purchase the New Balance Disney shoes.
Runners can reserve one style in a specific size ahead of time, and can buy three additional pairs in any style and size from the non-reserved inventory. Once registered, New Balance will send you a confirmation text with your group number, confirmation number, return time and requested style and size.
The start of the 2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler. (Photo: runDisney)
I already reminded you that registration for the 7 Mile Bridge Run in the Florida Keys opens Tuesday, February 11 at 6 a.m. EST. But another popular Florida race opens registration the same day: the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler.
I’ve never run either race, but have run other races at Walt Disney World as media courtesy of runDisney.
Registration for the 2014 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend from October 3-4, 2014 at Walt Disney World opens Tuesday, February 11 at 12 p.m. EST.
This race doesn’t sell out as quickly as, say, the Disneyland Half Marathon or the 7 Mile Bridge Run, but it will sell out.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is dedicated to the villains as the Disney baddies come out in the dark with a nighttime race that starts at 10 p.m.
At the 2013 race, 9,480 runners finished the 10-mile course that starts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, heads to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Champion Stadium, and finishes at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror back at Hollywood Studios.
Runners disguised as Cinderella’s step sisters pose with Snow White’s evil queen disguised as an old woman. (Photo: runDisney)
But what I imagine is the best part of the race comes after the finish at the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash at Hollywood Studios, where rides like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Star Tours and Toy Story Mania stay open just for runners and their guests. Admission to the party is included in race registration for runners. Friends and family can buy tickets too.
Other races at the weekend include the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run and runDisney Kids’ Races, including a Diaper Dash for babies and 1-mile run for older kids. Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo will be in full swing too. All those events take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend benefits Autism Speaks, a charity that funds research for treatments, causes, prevention and a cure for autism, raises awareness of autism, and advocates for autistic individuals and their families. Read the rest of this entry →
The Disneyland 10K and 5K finish. (Photo: runDisney)
So you didn’t get into any of the Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 races including the Dumbo Double Dare, the Disneyland 10K or the Disneyland Half Marathon? It was a record sell-out for runDisney this year. But limited entries are still available through charity and tour groups.
The major Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races and events sold-out even faster than the 26 hours from last year for a new runDisney record.
All 35,500 of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend‘s running bibs sold out within 12 hours and 13 minutes. The Dumbo Double Dare, where participants complete both the Disneyland 10K and Half Marathon on back-to-back days, 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.
But if you really want to be a part of the Disneyland Half Marathon 2014 races from August 28-31, 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. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)
UPDATE: The Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney Kids Races and Welcome Event featuring Runner’s World are now sold-out. Limited entries are available through charity and tour groups. Registration is still open for the Pasta in the Park Party.
The 2013 Dumbo Double Dare medal (Photo: runDisney)
The race weekend from August 29-31 in California includes the Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K and runDisney Kids Races. Runners, friends and family can also buy tickets to the Pasta in the Park Party and ChEAR Squad packages for the half marathon.
Participants run through Angel Stadium at the Disneyland Half Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)
If you want in on the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, and especially the Dumbo Double Dare, be prepared to register right away. The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K and Dumbo Double Dare sold out in just 26 hours. The 10K and Dumbo Double Dare sold-out first, with the half-marathon closing just a few hours later. Read the rest of this entry →
runDisney invited me to be their guest at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. I was running the first three of the four races, so the Walt Disney World Half Marathon was the finale to my running weekend.
I’ve never run this race before; I was really looking forward to it. I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2012, which had a nearly identical course but with a slightly different start and finish, and I had a blast at that race.
I had one goal and one goal alone for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon: get a picture with Cinderella while dressed as Cinderella.
Minnie Mouse presides over the Walt Disney World 10K. (Photo: runDisney)
The Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, January 10, 2014 was the second of four races at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon.
runDisney invited me to be their guest at the race. Some 7,000 runners were completing all four races as part of the Dopey Challenge. Another 3,000 runners, like me, were just along for the ride.
It was the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K with a brand new race patron and medal: Minnie Mouse.
I can’t believe Minnie is only just now getting her own race. (UPDATE: A few readers have pointed out that Minnie Mouse used to host a Women Run the World 15K, known as the Minnie Marathon, that was eventually replaced by Disney’s Princess Half Marathon in 2009. Glad this isn’t Minnie’s first race!)
Going into the Walt Disney World 10K I had just two letters on my mind: PR. I desperately wanted to break 54 minutes and my personal best of 54:09. I was well trained and ready to run. But I had four things working against me come race day.
Pausing for a pic in Epcot with my mom during the Disney Family Fun Run 5K. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
This year, I took the name of the Disney Family Fun Run 5K seriously and did it with my family—my mom to be precise.
runDisney invited me to be their guest at the race. When I asked her if she wanted to join me at Walt Disney World, she jumped at the chance and quickly pronounced her desire to do her first 5K.
The Disney Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, January 9, 2014 was the first of four races at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon with some runners doing all four for the Dopey Challenge.
The 5K was the first of three races for me. I was doing everything but the marathon, and in costume, of course.
I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new Disney New Balance shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them.
First, the shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers. There’s at least one personal shopping company already advertising their services around the shoes. (UPDATE: I’ve been told that particular company got shut-down at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.) Oh, Capitalism.
So you have to attend a runDisney race expo in person. There are currently seven runDisney race weekends throughout the year. Here they are for 2014:
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, January 8-12, 2014
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, January 16-19, 2014
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, February 20-23, 2014
Expedition Everest Challenge: Walt Disney World, May 3, 2014
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, August 29-31, 2014
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend: Walt Disney World, date TDB
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, date TBD
You don’t have to actually register for any of the races to buy the shoes. The expos are free and open to the public. But you do have to get to Florida or California at the right rime.
Second, to buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, folks have to make a reservation at the Disney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They’re trying to minimize lines at the New Balance booth, which were mayhem last year.
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!