Tag Archives: runDisney

The Newest runDisney Challenge!

26 Mar

Have you heard about runDisney’s Dopey Challenge that was recently announced?

During WDW Marathon Weekend, runners can choose to participate in the Dopey Challenge which would require runners to complete the weekend’s 5K, innaugural 10K, Half Marathon and full Marathon events over the course of the four day weekend! That’s a total of 48.6 miles! For several years, individuals have had the option of completing Goofy’s Race and Half Challenge for the successful completion of the half and full marathon, but this new challenge definitely ups the ante even more!

Runner’s that complete all four events, walk off with SIX medals (from the four individual races, the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal and the Dopey Challenge medal), shirts from each event and, most importantly, insane bragging rights having completed this intense challenge!

You can read the official announcement on the Disney Parks Blog HERE.

It’s an interesting idea. I’ve been toying with the idea of the 2014 WDW Marathon being my first full marathon and had been considering the Goofy Challenge as an option, but now the Dopey Challenge is intriguing me! In all seriousness, I realize it would be a huge commitment and require a lot of work but there’s a large part of me that questions IF I could do it or IF it would be crazy to try having only run a couple half marathons so far.

As someone who has LOVED all my runDisney experiences thus far, I’m sure all four events will be incredibly memorable races!

runDisney Fan!

runDisney Fan!

All of the 2014 WDW Marathon Weekend events open for registration on April 9th. I know I’ll be running at least one, but I will definitely be using the next week or two to make that decision! I’m sure all the events will fill up pretty quickly. Whatever I end up deciding, I’m already incredibly exciting for these 2014 races!

Disney Princess Half Marathon, Part 2: Miles 1 through 5

15 Mar

The Princess Half Marathon started with a super early wake up call.

Up Before Daylight

Up Before The Sun

As a chronic over sleeper and lover of the snooze button, I decided to set a few back up alarms.

Runners were supposed to be at the start line by 5AM, but a lot of the roads leading to Epcot closed as early as 4AM. So even though my roommate and I live about 15 minutes from Epcot our goal was to leave between 3AM and 3:15AM. We weren’t sure how bad traffic might be, but we made it to Epcot without any major delays. Since we had gotten there pretty early we took a few minutes to wait in the car and relax before heading to the starting area-without the sun up, it was still quite chilly!

In the Epcot parking lot, Disney had set up their pre-race area which included bag check, concessions, merchandise and various photo ops. There was also a DJ pumping up the crowd and a VIP Race Retreat area. We chose not to wait in line for any of the organized photo spots, but did spend a couple minutes taking pictures in this area.

Ready to Run!

Ready to Run!

We didn’t have any bags to check or need to use the restroom, so we decided to make the walk to the starting area. It is quite a bit of a trek, probably about 20 minutes to where the race actually begins.

DSC03249

There were roughly 26,000 people running, so Disney breaks the group into several “corrals”. I was in corral C but my friend had been placed into corral F. While Disney requires you to stop at Runner Relations at the race expo in order to move to an earlier corral, if you want to move back it’s usually not a problem. I opted to move back so that I could at least start the race with my roomie.

She was planning on following the Galloway method with a 1 minute walk/1 minute run plan. I had never run more than a mile two in this manner, so I wasn’t sure it was something I’d feel good sticking with for the 13.1. I decided to give it a try with the hopes of cutting down on the risk of injury since I’ve had trouble with my hip in the past and to enjoy some of the run with my friend.

We had quite a bit of time before our wave would be starting, so we were able to get comfy for a bit and do some stretching. runDisney has some really entertaining race announcers, so I enjoyed listening to their banter and the interviews they conducted. Actor Sean Astin was there and completing the Coast to Coast challenge and Ali Vincent the first female winner of the Biggest Loser was also running for a charity, so it was fun to hear their story! They also interviewed a woman who was the last finisher of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland who was determined to continue on her health and fitness journey and  complete her second half at WDW too! It was inspirational to hear her story and see the drive and determination that she brought to the run.

Waiting Our Turn

Waiting Our Turn

Soon, it was time to get the first wave of runners started with the help of the Fairy Godmother and an explosion of fireworks! A great thing at the runDisney races is that each corral gets the same sendoff at the start line. It’s helps keep the energy up and keeps you anticipating your turn at the start line.

Soon, it was our turn. Our corral was directed up to the start line relatively quickly.

Approaching the Start

Approaching the Start

The announcers were preparing us for the start and soon the Fairy Godmother was getting ready to count us down!

Countdown Time

Countdown Time…and a Lady’s Head 🙂

And then, with some more fireworks, we were off!

Fireworks Start

Fireworks Start

The course starts out right outside of Epcot, on Epcot Center Drive and makes it’s way up World Drive towards the Magic Kingdom. This can be a long stretch of road, but Disney does a great job at filling the course with fun entertainment along the way which makes it a lot of fun!

Mile 1

Mile 1

Each mile has a fun decorative marker. We didn’t stop for many pictures on the way, but I did manage to get a picture of each one along the way! With the large number of runners, the clocks aren’t super accurate past the first corral but it’s always great to see how far you’ve come.

I tried to catch on the go shots of a lot of the entertainment as we ran.

The Princesses

The Princesses

Bird Puppets

Bird Puppets

Mile 2!

Mile 2!

Us On The Go!

Us On The Go!

Paparazzi Shot of the Men of Disney

Paparazzi Shot of the Men of Disney

And soon we were approaching the entrance to the Magic Kingdom!

Here it Comes

Here it Comes

The Magic Kingdom (Toll Plaza)

The Magic Kingdom (Toll Plaza)

If you’re not familiar with Disney, this can be a little deceiving, as you still have about three miles until you actually enter the theme park! While I was aware, it was still the first, of many, milestones for me!

After passing through the Magic Kingdom toll plaza, the course makes its though the Magic Kingdom parking lot, by the Richard Petty Driving Experience and towards the Ticket and Transportation Center.

Mile 3!

Mile 3!

Lightning McQueen by Richard Petty

Lightning McQueen by Richard Petty

Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters

Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters

This was the first spot on the course where a lot of spectators were present cheering the runners on. I always get a kick out of reading all the inspirational and funny signs that have.

Haha!

Haha!

The green one above is a bit hard to read, but says “I took the monorail, it was faster”. Definitely one of my favorite Disney themed signs!

Mile 4!

Mile 4!

The next stretch took runners back onto the road by Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Cones, Cones and More Cones

Cones, Cones and More Cones

As someone who has frequently seen individuals preparing the course, I never cease to be amazed by the sheer number of cones used on this portion of the course!

As you get closer to the Contemporary, you approach a pretty steep decline in the road followed by a steep incline as you pass under a water bridge connecting to lakes.

Down and Up

Down and Up

The course also gets a little narrow, making the crowds a bit of a challenge, but Disney must realizes runners can use a little motivation and has a DJ above looking to keep the energy up!

DJ Pumping Up the Crowd

DJ Pumping Up the Crowd

After making it back up the hill, which was mostly challenging due to the thick crowds of runners, there were some neat decorative puppets/parade floats and the mile 5 marker.

The Genie!

The Genie!

Sebastian

Sebastian

Mile 5!

Mile 5!

With the passing of Mile 5, we were close to making our way onto Main Street of the Magic Kingdom…

Disney Princess Half Marathon, Part 1: Preparing for the Half!

14 Mar

At the end of February, I was lucky to have the opportunity to participate in runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon. The second of the three half marathon’s that take place at Walt Disney World, the Princess Half Marathon is geared towards women and the opportunity for them to embrace their inner princess!

I hadn’t been sure if I’d be able to participate (and definitely hadn’t been training) but I found out I could run the week prior which was fantastic news!

Disney races are BIG on wearing costumes, so my first task that week was coming up with a costume. Despite being a huge Disney fan, I can’t say I have a favorite princess, so I opted to dress like Minnie Mouse! Priorities, right? 🙂

Through Pinterest, I was able to find a tutu tutorial and made a red tutu, only needing some tulle and elastic from the craft store to create it. I paired my tutu with black running capris, a red tank top and some sequined Minnie Mouse ears that I bought in the gift shop at the resort where the expo was held.

It was a quick creation, but it worked out pretty well! I tend to get easily annoyed by my running gear- the way my ear buds cord bounces, for example-  but surprisingly the tutu and  ears didn’t bug me at all! Maybe it was the adrenaline during the race? If I recylcle the costume in the future, I would make sure to find a red tech shirt, rather than the tank top I wore. All I had was a cotton tank, which wasn’t horrible but I know I could have been more comfortable. “Fashion” clearly won out though.

The race expo took place at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort on the Friday and Saturday prior. Typically, the expo is held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, but due to other events taking place there the expo took place at the convention center at Coronado Springs instead. The convention space seemed a little smaller than what would have been available at Wider World of Sports but since I got there when it opened on Friday, packet pick up was actually a breeze.

I was able to pick up the packets for both myself and my roommate, commemorative pins we had pre-ordered and our race shirts very quickly. I made my way through the official runDisney merchandise area, but decided against purchasing anything as the line was a tad long and I had to get to work. I do wish I had bought one of the 13.1 car magnets, though. I tried to get one after the run, but they were all sold out.

The busiest area at the expo by far, was at the New Balance booth. New Balance partnered with Disney to create limited edition Mickey and Minnie inspired sneakers, that are only sold at the runDisney race expos. You can view them here on the runDisney blog! They are a pretty fun offering and I’d love to see some more styles that pay homage to other characters!

 

While my trip to the expo was relatively quick, it was good experience for me. I did hear that the expo got pretty crowded later in the day and on Saturday. It was also challenging logistically as expo visitors had to take a shuttle to the resort in order to get to and from the expo due to limited parking at the resort so that seemed to get a bit rough for some visitors!

All that was left after the expo was work on Friday and Saturday, a  quick roommate fashion show to “model” our race day gear and some sleep!

Minnie's Ready!

Minnie’s Ready!

 

And just try and ignore the dog treat on my carpet aaannndd the size sticker still on my tank top!

Race recap coming soon!

 

 

Oops, I Did It Again

13 Mar

And registered for two more races! It always seems that I can never sign up for just one race at a time.

I’m officially registered for the Pig Run of Lake Nona  on March 23rd.

Pig Run

Pig Run

 

Annnnnnddd runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon! Super pumped for this one!

 

Wine and Dine

Wine and Dine

 

Both should be a lot of fun! Registering for runs is such an easy addiction though!