It was a record sell-out for the runDisney event. The Dopey Challenge, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K and Disney Family Fun Run 5K all sold out within 24 hours. The Walt Disney World Marathon filled up in 21 days, shattering the nearly 4 months it took the 2014 race to sell out.
Mickey Mouse & Snow White at the Kids Races. (Photo: runDisney)
Entries remain available for the runDisney Kids Races and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where runners complete both the half marathon and marathon on back-to-back days. For the 10th running of the event, runners will earn a special anniversary Goofy-themed medal. As of press time, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is 62 percent full and the runDisney Kids Races are 50 percent sold.
But if you really want to run any of the other events at the Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend from January 7-11 in Florida, you still can if you register through a charity or tour group.
Contact the following organizations directly to find out how to register for the races through them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money for participating in the race, and tour providers may require purchase of a travel package. 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 →
Thanks to Danielle at Live, Run, Grow for including me in her Liebster Award group of blogs!
In grade school, I absolutely hated chain letters. But I actually enjoy reading Liebster Award posts, even if they are the blog equivalent of chain letters. They’re a fun way to learn something new about other bloggers and spread some blogger love.
Here are the rules:
You must link back to the person who nominated you
You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
You must create 10 questions for your nominees
You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees
I’m not a fan of “musts.” Play along if you like, and if not, no worries!
Danielle’s Liebster Award Questions
1. If you could run any race in the world what would it be?
This is tough. I’m torn between a fast, iconic race in a fun city, like the Berlin Marathon or a destination race in a locale I’ve always dreamed of visiting, like the Marathon International de Moorea in French Polynesia. When I dream, I dream big!
That could be me in Moorea! (Photo: Te Moorea Club)
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon start. (Photo: Preston Mack/Disney)
It’s no secret that the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is one of my favorite race weeks of the year alongside the TCS New York City Marathon. And registration for the 2015 race opens Tuesday, April 22 at 12 p.m. EST.
Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend
The Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 Weekend will run from January 7-11 at, you guessed it, Walt Disney World in Florida. The weekend is the largest running festival in the U.S. with 60,000 finishers in five races and two race challenges: Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K, Disney Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney Kids’ Races, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and Dopey Challenge. Plus, the 2015 races and challenges will all have new medals.
The medal haul from the Dopey Challenge. (Photo: runDisney)
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge dares runners to complete the half-marathon and marathon on back-to-back days, and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2015 with a special 10th anniversary Goofy medal. The Dopey Challenge, in its second year in 2015, asks runners to take on the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon on four consecutive days for a special Dopey-themed medal.
The Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 weekend also includes the free Disney 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.
Dopey Challenge runners come into the finish at Epcot. (Photo: Preston Mack/Disney)
If you want to run with Runners World, get in there now. Registration for the Runner’s World Challenge is already open and 99 percent full, as of press time. Registration for all the other events will open Tuesday, April 22 at 12 p.m. ET.
The weekend is usually runners’ first chance to buy the newest edition of the coveted New Balance runDisney running shoes, as well. In both 2013 and 2014, 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.
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon sold out in August in just under four months, with most of the other races filling more quickly. The Dopey Challenge? Yep, it sold out faster than you can name all seven dwarfs. Expect the 10th anniversary edition of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge to reach capacity quickly this year too, even though it was the last to fill in 2014. You may have a bit more time to contemplate the 5K, 10K and half-marathon, but not much. Most runDisney races are selling out faster and faster year over year, and I’m sure the Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 will be similar. Read the rest of this entry →
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.
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.
I’m attending the weekend as a guest of runDisney and I’ve got just one more race and one more Disney running costume to don: The Walt Disney World Half Marathon. A photo of my costume is below.
In case this is your first visit to my blog, I’ll start with this: I’m obsessed with Cinderella. Why? I have no idea. She’s just my boo. She has been since I can remember remembering things. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2104 collection of Disney New Balance shoes. (Photo: runDisney)
UPDATE 11/4/2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend:
For the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, 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 runDisney New Balance shoes. For the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 14. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday during each race weekend. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.
UPDATE 10/2/2014 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend:
For the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, October 3 to get an appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday, October 4. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.
For the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. PDT each morning that the race expo is open to get an appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday, August 30. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.
UPDATE 2/20/2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend:
New Balance has instituted a new shoe buying process for runners at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Here’s the scoop:
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 eight 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, October 3-4
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, November 7-8
Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, November 14-16
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.
Goofy high-fives finishers at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)
No Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up
I’m attending the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as press courtesy of runDisney, and I just got word from the folks there that there will be no Meet-Up for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend this year. With four races over the course of four days for the first time in the history of the event, it’s understandable. I’ve interviewed a number of folks on the runDisney team about the logistics of putting on these events. It’s mind-boggling. Don’t believe me? Read the article I wrote about it, Planning Disney Races Takes More Than Magic. But runDisney says they will be doing plenty of Meet-Ups later in the year. So stay tuned for those.
I know that will disappoint many runners who were hoping to get in on a possible Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up this year. But there are plenty of other events to keep you busy while you’re not running.
There was the high of running in Hawai’i and the low of getting sick for my fall marathon. And there was the redemption of a 5K PR after marathon season was over.
If 2013 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t win them all. But you can still have fun trying.
This photo of me with my finisher’s medal at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is proof of that. I was sick, failed to run a marathon personal best like I wanted, but still managed to enjoy the race. My smile says it all.
And you know what? When you give a goal your best and fail, it makes the successes even sweeter. I ran 6 of the 13 races either as fun runs or training runs and I ran 7 of the 13 races as races, pushing with everything I had. I managed to PR at three of them, and scored a few PRs in workouts without even trying, too. I’ll save those for my Goals of 2014 post.
As tempting as it would be to tackle the marathon or, even more, the Dopey Challenge, I’m “just” going to run every other race that weekend instead. That’s right, I’ll be tackling the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon on three consecutive days. Read the rest of this entry →
Kids and kids at heart at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. (Photo: runDisney)
112 years ago today, a man was born who would have a profound influence on my own life, my family, and millions of other people worldwide. On December 5, 1901 Walt Disney was born in a small house on the northwest side of Chicago. I grew up not too far from there, 30 minutes due west of the city and Walt’s first home.
Walt and Mickey watch over Magic Kingdom in the “Partners” statue. (Photo: Gene Duncan/Walt Disney World News)
So today, Walt’s Birthday, feels like the right time to reflect on why I run Disney.
Why I Run Disney
When I was about 8-years-old—just 30 minutes and 85 years from where the man behind the mouse was born—I promised myself I’d never forget what it felt like to be a kid. I was surrounded by grown-ups who had clearly forgotten.
I don’t remember the inciting incident, but I remember the day clearly.
I was sitting on the grass by the pond next to my house picking dandelions. A grown-up I didn’t know well yelled at me, essentially, for having fun—the kind of fun a kid has on warm spring days, doing cartwheels, singing, playing and like. Maybe I accidentally cartwheeled into her, or maybe I was giggling too loudly. Whatever I’d done, I thought it was innocent child’s play. The grown-up did not.
Her grumpy admonition stung. As I sat sulking, staring at the grass stains on my pants, I promised myself I would never, ever forget how it feels to be a kid.
Joey Fatone at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Photo: Preston Mack/runDisney)
Want to run any of the races at the sold-out Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend from January 8-12, 2014, the sold-out Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland from January 16-19, 2014 or the sold-out Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 23, 2014?
You still can. Here’s the scoop.
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
Dream Come True Vacations, one of the official runDisney tour providers, has several openings available for the following races January 8-12, 2014:
Walt Disney World 10k
Walt Disney World Half Marathon
Walt Disney World Marathon
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
Dopey Challenge 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!