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.
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 →
Smiles for women’s cut race shirts at the 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)
An Open Letter To Race Directors Everywhere
Dear Race Directors,
Earlier this year, runDisney announced they are offering women’s cut running shirts at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon in addition to the “unisex” race shirts they’ve handed out for the last 20 years.
Women all across the U.S. shouted a collective “Amen!” to Disney’s news. Why? We’ve been grumbling about this for years: under our breath, to other runners, and, on occasion, to you.
Disney recognized what you should too: women now account for the majority of runners. The tide has turned and women are the main driver in the current running boom.
So here are all of the reasons why you should have women’s cut running shirts at your next major race as part of your registration kit. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners pass a Mickey Mouse hot air balloon at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida. (Photo: Todd Anderson/runDisney)
Want to run the Walt Disney World Marathon 2014 presented by Cigna or even the Dopey Challenge? You still can. The races may be sold out, but a limited number of charity and tour group entries are still available for runDisney fans who want to toe the line in Walt Disney World in Florida from January 8-12.
Kim Smith passes the Cyclone roller coaster on her way to victory at the Brooklyn Half. She ran the race as a half marathon training run. (Photo: NYRR)
Sometimes races aren’t about racing. Toeing the line in competition is exhilarating, but sometimes it’s good to use the occasional race as a training run or fun run, especially during half marathon training.
Kim Smith won the 2013 Brooklyn Half on May 18 in a new course record of 1:11:24. But the three-time Olympian from New Zealand who lives and trains in Providence, RI wasn’t even racing. She ran the half-marathon as a tempo-pace training run, as she told me in pre- and post-race interviews for “NYRR On The Run at the Brooklyn Half.”
“I’m going to treat it as a workout,” Smith told me at the race pre-party the day before.
Indeed, Smith’s half-marathon personal best is 1:07:11, a full four-minutes faster than her finish time in Brooklyn.
“It was a pretty relaxed effort,” Smith said after the race. “I didn’t go all out.”
She said she’s training for the track season and will be back in New York City on Saturday, June 8 to race the Oakley New York Mini 10K, a New York Road Runners event that usually attracts a stellar competitive field. The women-only race boasts a $10,000 prize for first place, and past champions include the legendary Grete Waitz, Olympic-medalist Deena Kastor and World Champions Lornah Kiplagat, Edna Kiplagat and Linet Masai.
Kim Smith breaks the tape at the 2013 Brooklyn Half in course record time, though 4 minutes slower than her personal best. (Photo: NYRR)
I found Smith’s decision to run, but not race, really encouraging. Never mind the fact that not racing for her still might mean winning and scoring a course record. What’s important is that she set-out to do the race as a half marathon training run and did just that.
In my mind, there are three types of races for mid-packers like me: personal record attempts, training runs, and fun runs. Pros and elite runners have a fourth type that will likely elude me my entire running career: running for the win or the podium. Though I did once place in the top 10 women at a small local race, out of 65 ladies. While that will likely be my claim to fame for a long time, the other three types of runs will always have a place in my racing repertoire, especially during half marathon training. Read the rest of this entry →
The Walt Disney World Marathon finish. (Photo: runDisney)
Tribesports asked me to create a guide to the Walt Disney World Marathon course for their social networking site for active minded folks. “Whether you’re a novice or a pro, we think seeing your friends sports activity, and sharing yours will make you want to be more active and do more sports,” their website states. Seems like a good premise to me, since that’s what the blogging community does in a different way.
So I thought I’d share my Walt Disney World Marathon Guide here as well since it highlights the race in a different way than my race report. If you’re thinking of signing up for the Walt Disney World Marathon—registration is still open for the 2014 race—here’s a play by play of what you can expect on the course.
Guide to the Walt Disney World Marathon Course
Runners fill Magic Kingdom. (Photo: runDisney)
The Walt Disney World Marathon is the crown jewel in the runDisney series of races. Nearly 25,000 runners tackle the 26.2-miles around “the World,” many dressed in costume in homage to their favorite Disney characters. The vibe on-course is as much party as road race with Disney’s signature entertainment lining the way: marching bands, DJ’s, cheerleaders, acrobats, rock bands, and, of course, those famous Disney characters. Read the rest of this entry →
The Walt Disney World Marathon (Photo: Marathon Foto)
Last week marked the sixth anniversary of my very first running race back in 2007. Last fall, I chronicled how I went from a person who loathed running to someone who loves it. How much do I love it? Over these last six years, I’ve run 53 running races with number 54, the UnitedHealthcare Providence Half Marathon, in one week and numbers 55, 56 and 57 already on the books.
Looking back at six years of racing, it occurred to me that certain races have a special place in my heart. Every runner has that race they look forward to every year, the race they’ve always dreamed of running, the race that moved them in unexpected ways. These are mine.
So without further ado, here are my “Races to Remember,” the running races that left the biggest impressions on me, culled from my six years out there on the road.
Desiree Davila (in black) poses with runners at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Meet-Up. (Photo: runDisney)
Olympian and 2011 Boston Marathon runner-up Desiree Davila is no stranger to running Disney. I had a chance to catch up with the American running star at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January. We chatted about her recovery from injury, goals for the future and, of course, running at Walt Disney World.
“This is the only place in the world where people go, ‘I’m just doing the marathon,’” Davila said with a laugh.
Indeed, runDisney unveiled for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend the Dopey Challenge, an event that dares runners to complete four races on four consecutive days for a total of 48.6 miles: the Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, a new Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, and the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday. The Dopey Challenge is already sold-out for 2014. But runners can still register for the Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where runners complete both the marathon and half marathon.
Desiree Davila, 29, didn’t run this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon. She’d been in long-term recovery from a femoral stress fracture, the same injury that forced her to drop out of the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London before the 5K mark.
After taking 12 weeks of from running, Davila slowly built up mileage and time on her feet.
“I took an extended amount of time off, let that all heal up, and I’m heading in the right direction now, making sure I’m 100 percent and slowly building mileage,” Davila said. Read the rest of this entry →
Check out the latest episode of the Mickey Miles Podcast when I chat with hosts Mike and Michelle about what makes runDisney events so much fun.
We also talk about how I got started running. If you don’t already know the story, it’s pretty crazy. I share my favorite runDisney moment, talk shop about “On The Run,” the new Dopey Challenge, the Walt Disney World Marathon and lots more.
Also, be sure to check out my new runDisney page, where you can find all of my Disney running stories in one place, including race reports, costume guides, features on celebrities like Drew Carey, tips from Jeff Galloway, a behind the scenes look at runDisney, news and more.
Run, Karla, Run goes Dopey at the Walt Disney World Marathon (Photo: Marathon Foto)
The folks at runDisney are at it again. After rolling out the biggest Walt Disney World Marathon yet—complete with a new race course and new post-race party—for the race’s 20th anniversary in January 2013, runDisney seems intent to top themselves once more with the introduction of the Dopey Challenge for the 2014 event from January 8-12.
If you think Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where runners tackle both the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon on consecutive days, was a lot of running then think again. The Dopey Challenge dares runners to conquer four races on four successive days: the Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, a new Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday. Runners who complete the Dopey Challenge will earn a whopping six medals—one for each race, one for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and one for the Dopey Challenge for running a total of 48.6 miles in four days. Read the rest of this entry →
Cinderella in rags and Jacque the Mouse. (Photo: Marathon Foto)
Wearing running costumes at runDisney races has become an art, thanks to the popularity of events like Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. The race celebrates its fifth anniversary on February 24, and probably inspires more runners to dress as their favorite Disney characters than any other Disney race.
Here’s how we put together Cinderella in Rags and Jacques the Mouse race-friendly running costumes that were both recognizable and comfortable to run in. Best of all, the only tools we needed were a needle, thread, tape, safety pins and a healthy imagination. Read the rest of this entry →
Photo stop in front of Cinderella Castle (Photo: Marathon Foto)
Hot dog! It’s one of Mickey Mouse’s favorite phrases and it couldn’t have been more appropriate for the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon on January 13, 2013. The mercury climbed to unseasonably warm temps, with a high of 81 degrees and humidity to match.
But the heat didn’t stop the 20,000 finishers—myself included. Dressed as Cinderella in Rags with Jacques the Mouse by my side (played with gusto by my husband), I soaked in the sun as I ran around the world—Walt Disney World, that is.
It was a magical run punctuated by an army of Disney characters, spectators, and volunteers who helped make it a fairy tale run to remember. 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!