Posts Tagged ‘runDisney’

May The Course Be With You! Disney Unveils New Star Wars Half Marathon Event for Walt Disney World

by on August 25, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Do you feel that? The force appears to have awakened at Walt Disney World and fans of both runDisney and Star Wars have something to cheer (or is it chEAR) about.

Disney announced today that a brand new Star Wars Half Marathon Event will be introduced in 2016 to the official runDisney lineup. Unlike the Star Wars half that takes place in Disneyland and focuses on the light, the Walt Disney World version will channel the Dark Side of the Force.

The event weekend will take place April 14-17, 2016 and will include a 5k, 10k, and half marathon. It will also include a special challenge race for those who complete both the 10k and the half called the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge. Little ones will also be able to compete in their very own kids races too!

Among the half’s many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that takes runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

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runDisney Events: What to Do? Where to Stay? What to Eat?!

by on August 10, 2015

522 (2)You’re doing it, you are going to finally do a runDisney event! Now you just have to figure out, well…everything else. Don’t worry, I’m here to help.

So you’ve just gotten to Walt Disney World and you’re excited because it’s fantastic. But if you’re visiting for a race, it might be wise to chill…just a little bit. Try to plan the trip in such a way that saves the bulk of park touring for the post-race portion of the stay. Seriously, all of that walking will add up, even for the seasoned runner, and it is easy to tire out before the big day even arrives. Consider trying to get accustomed to a sleep schedule that will allow for ungodly early wakeup call, or a late night running party on race day (depending on the event). Getting to sleep early two nights before a morning race is a great idea, it will help with being sleepy enough to doze off the night before the race, before too many of the pre-race jitters set in.

Where exactly should you be sleeping, and taking your post-race ice bath? Staying on property is likely the easiest option as certain “host resorts” will have transportation available to the race. When planning to utilize Disney bus transportation to the races, it is important to understand which resorts will be host resorts. These specific resorts will vary based on the individual race. A travel agent or the runDisney website will likely offer race-specific vacation packages for race weekend stays. Staying off-property, or at a resort that does not offer race transportation, and renting a car is definitely a fine option, too! The roads tend to get very busy on race morning/race night, especially since road closures have to begin before the race starts. Always allow extra time to travel to a race, and once you’ve allowed extra time, add an additional half hour to that.

The day before the race (or the day of the race for evening events), be sure to take it easy on the turkey legs and popcorn. Theme park food is notoriously overly salted, and extra sodium coupled with walking around in the Orlando (or Anaheim) sun for hours can potentially leave one dehydrated or under-hydrated for race time. Remember to keep drinking lots of water, and try to stick to your normal diet as best you can on the day or days leading up to the event. Even new runners will have certainly trained and know what their bodies can handle eating close to run time. The goal here is for the digestive system to be as neutral as possible, don’t allow it to freak out because of overly greasy or fried foods. Have some bananas, maybe some rice. You’re welcome.

It is becoming more and more common for restaurants on property to offer a pre-race menu the night before/day of a race. The menu typically features carb heavy pasta dishes, which are a great choice for keeping your energy levels up. runDisney also offers a “Pasta in The Park Party” add-on option to race registration. The party features a pasta buffet and a character meet and greet the evening before the race. If neither of these options sound appealing, ordering a simple rice or pasta dish from a quick service or table service restaurant will also do the trick! Consider Portobello at Downtown Disney, Via Napoli or Tutto Italia in Epcot, Tony’s Town Square in Magic Kingdom, or Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation. Just stick with what you know. Though there are plenty of restrooms along the course, runners will certainly want to limit their bathroom stops during the race.

With dinner covered, let’s not forget about breakfast! Some of us can’t have a bite to eat before running, and others are able to indulge a little bit more. It is important to plan morning meals (for morning races) the night before, since runners need to be at the starting line well before the race begins. Many quick service locations will have snacks available for purchase specifically meant for race mornings (offerings will vary). Obvious rule of thumb, choose something you would normally eat and drink before a training run. The resort room will have a coffee maker for a little caffeine jolt before the big race, and there are cups of water near the starting line, just after bag check if needed!

Anyone accustomed to running with a water belt or water bottle should definitely have it handy on race day. Plenty of water and Powerade will be provided on the course, but a small reserve of water can’t hurt! In the event a water stop was too crowded, too slow, or simply not convenient for stopping, it’s great to be able to drink at will. Don’t rely solely on the water belt or bottle, and be sure to hydrate at normal increments during the run. The same thing goes for gels or goo packs. Certain flavors might not be available on the course, so if there is a favorite that keeps you going, bring your own just in case! First time racers, please make sure to discard trash in proper receptacles, or at least keep it to the side of the road for easier pick-up, and less tripping for those of us who are clumsy. During the Full Marathon, the food stops will also include bananas or oranges which are a perfect fuel source. For races in Disneyland, spectators will sometimes offer Twizzlers, pretzels, or other snacks. This is probably the one time it is okay to consider taking candy from a stranger, as long as you are hungry enough.

Once the race is over (yay! You did it!), there will be a snack box, banana, water, and Powerade at the finish. The snack box usually contains some type of salty snack, a mini Luna or Clif Bar, and a wildcard option. Waiting for friends, or hanging around the finish area can sometimes go longer than planned, bring an extra energy bar or snack in your checked bag to have after the race. You can never have too many snacks, especially after running a Half Marathon!

Now that all of this eating, drinking, and resting advice has been diligently followed, it’s time to go out and enjoy the parks! Eat and drink anything! Everything! Enjoy hobbling around World Showcase, just make sure to wear that medal!

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So, You’ve Decided to runDisney: A Starters Guide

by on August 3, 2015

114So, you’ve decided to runDisney. Well, congratulations! Whether this is your very first race or you have 50 races under your proverbial water belt, runDisney races are like nothing you can experience anywhere else.

runDisney events stand out for the obvious reason of on course entertainment (it is Disney, after all). Depending on which race you choose (we’ll get to that), you can meet a whole host of characters you might not see during your casual park touring. Even more so than entertainment, Disney races are extremely popular because, let’s face it, you’re running through friggin’ Disney World (or, Disneyland but we’ll get to that too!). If you grew up going to the parks and you’re a total fanatic, you get to see a side of the World that you simply can’t see any other way. If it’s your first visit, well, you might not want the surprises ruined, but wow you’re in for an amazing journey.

There are so many races from which to choose, and lately runDisney has been adding some new events here taking away some events there with regularity, but it’s important to have at least a vague idea of what you’re getting into. Let’s start at the beginning, on our marks, get set, let’s go!*

*Please note that although I would love to, I am not able to run every race every year (I did it once, though!). Courses are subject to change, and experiences may vary since the time I ran most of these races (2014/2015). Please be sure to check course maps before registering, as race details are subject to change from year to year!

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Lessons from My 1st runDisney Event

by on March 30, 2015

runDisney Expo

Your runDisney Experience begins at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, where you’ll find everything you need to prepare at Expo!

Committing to run your first big race is a bit overwhelming, particularly when it’s a runDisney event. There are a lot of things you don’t know as a novice, things that a more experienced runner might not even think about. If you’re thinking about registering for a runDisney event – particularly a future Princess Half Marathon – here are some things I learned from my first Glass Slipper Challenge.

Find Your Perfect Fit

While runDisney offers a lot of special opportunities, not every event is right for you. It’s not always easy to find extensive information, and even consulting other runners may not give you a clear picture of what to expect.

Running challenges – like the Glass Slipper Challenge – look like great fun when you’re signing up months in advance, but don’t forget that you’ll actually have to RUN those races eventually, and running for consecutive days can take a big toll on your body. You still want to enjoy your race AND your vacation, so be confident, but also realistic before you decide to be Dopey. There’s always next year!

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A Tale of Two Runners and runDisney

by on February 15, 2015

To the shock and utter amazement of those that know me well (and even myself), I am contemplating signing up for a runDisney event in 2016. I have scoured every inch of the runDisney website and read many other people’s blogs about their experiences. However, I had concerns about what hotel was the right one to stay at for these events, so I asked two previous runDisney racers: Dave Russ, a casual runner who mainly does 5ks to support local causes, and Jordan Viebranz, a more seasoned runner who loves sharing his experiences and motivating others to participate.

rundisney_logo

What runDisney event(s) have you participated in?

Dave: I did the Tower of Terror 10 miler in 2014.

Jordan: I participated in the Goofy Challenge this year. Last year (2014) I participated in the 10k and the full marathon.

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Run-down of runDisney Events at Walt Disney World in 2015

by on January 4, 2015

January 7-11 runners from all over will gather for the largest and longest of the runDisney events at Walt Disney World for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. 2015 marks the 21st anniversary of the first running of the race, which was held on January 16, 1994. Marathon Weekend is a jam packed five days of running, eating, shopping, and celebrating fitness and Disney. Runners walk (or run) away with some serious bragging rights and some awesome medals to go along with it – not to mention, some really cool swag from the Health and Fitness Expo.

2015 Marathon Swag ©Disney

2015 Marathon Swag ©Disney

In 2015 there are three more runDisney events at Walt Disney World to look forward to. Below is a briefing of all 2015 events and their costs, along with whether or not registration is still open (as of the time this article was written. It is best to check the event’s webpage and with runDisney directly for up to date availability).

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

January 7-11, 2015 (see race results here after the races)

All races sold out.

  • Marathon – 26.2 miles through all four parks and the Wide World of Sports complex; $170-200
  • Half Marathon – 13.1 miles through Magic Kingdom and Epcot; $170-200
  • Goofy Challenge – 39.3 miles by completing both the Marathon and Half Marathon; $360-400
  • 10k – 6.2 miles around Epcot and the Epcot Resort area; $105-135
  • Family Fun Run 5k – 3.1 miles through Epcot; $60-70
  • Dopey Challenge – 48.6 miles by completing ALL four events above (5k, 10k, ½ marathon, marathon); $530-590
  • Castaway Cay Challenge – 3.1 miles around Castaway Cay plus completion of one of the above races; $65 (plus a booking on the Disney Cruise 4-night Bahamian cruise)
  • Runner’s World Challenge – completion of the Dopey Challenge; $999 (along with the normal runDisney bling you received quite a few bonuses that included preferred coral placement, help with training, access to a private website, entry into the Pasta in the Park and Race Retreat events)
  • Kids Races – 1 mile Mickey run, 400m dash, 200m dash, 100m dash, Diaper Dash (all dependent upon age); $15-30
  • Non-racing events – Health and Fitness Expo, Pasta in the Park Party, Breakfast, Race Retreat, Cool Down Party, and the ChEAR Squad; prices vary per event

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Disney Cruise Line: RunDisney Castaway Cay 5K Photo Report

by on November 12, 2014

My recent sailing on the Disney Wonder brought with it several surprises, the biggest of which – for me – was biting the bullet and signing up for my first official runDisney event, the Castaway Cay 5k. I had no plans to participate in the event before the cruise, as it would clearly cut into my buffet time, but when researching a Castaway Cay 5k question from a TouringPlans reader, I temporarily lost my mind and signed up for the race. I will now present a gripping tale of human triumph and the 100% totally true story of how one man overcame all obstacles, including Mother Nature herself, to take home the elusive Castaway Cay 5k medal.

CastawayCay5K_bibs

Castaway Cay 5k bibs.

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Observations from Downtown Disney (Fit2Run, Theme Park Tagalongs, New Bridge to Saratoga Springs, Construction Walls)

by on September 9, 2014

Time to head back to Walt Disney World’s shopping and dining district, Downtown Disney (DTD). In my last several photo reports of DtD I have skipped over just how many construction walls have popped up all over the place, so today we’re going to get up close and personal with those, as well as a new bridge connecting DTD to the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. We’ll also check out the Fit2Run store on the West Side, look at some new merchandise at World of Disney, artwork at Art of Disney, collectibles at D-Sreet and give a full report on whether or not Theme Park Tagalongs actually do what they say they do (as I had my doubts when I first saw them). So sit back and get ready to take a tour through the construction capital of the world (and don’t forget that clicking on any picture will bring up the full size version). Ready? Well let’s get to it!

 

DTD_MoreWalls

All roads lead to more walls.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! August 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on August 31, 2014

MMM positiveHave we reached the end of August already?!  What a month. We saw a new hard ticket event – Villains Unleashed – have its first ever party (and possibly last ever considering all the refunds that were given out to unhappy guests). Speaking of hard ticket events, Disney announced the first ever hard ticket event during a hard ticket event with the Sinister Soiree experience during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We said goodbye to the American Idol Experience and hello to Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens Tampa, which finally allowed human beings on months later than expected. The “busy” season is finally over, and with kids back in school, we Florida residents can finally enjoy the slow days at the park where Anna & Elsa only have only a two hour wait!

With that out of the way, who is ready to hit the Outlets?!

Our first find is FRONTIERLAND PLUTO. I bought one of these as I enjoyed the elaborate theming. From the ‘coon skin hat, the various supplies being carried on his back and sides, and the moccasins on the paws, this is one plush that stands out from the rest. I’m also a sucker for the big tongue sticking out in in pure puppy happiness.

IMG_8306

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Incorporating Disney into Everyday Life

by on July 19, 2014

t_logo_fbRecently, fellow blogger, Daisy Lauren, posted tips to beating your post-Disney blues. Inspired by her article, I have compiled a list of ways to keep the Disney magic flowing once you return home. Keep track of how many you’ve done and put your total in the comments!

Here we gooooooo….. (Peter Pan reference anyone? Yes? No? Okay, let’s move on.)

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