Posts Tagged by 20th anniversary
|January 18, 2013||Posted by Running at Disney under runDisney Meet Ups, runDisney Races, WDW Marathon Weekend|
The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend certainly lived up to all expectations. The entire resort seemed to be overtaken by runners…I have never seen so many in one place!! To kick off the weekend, runDisney hosted one of their infamous meetups that I was lucky enough to be invited to.
I met up with Jenn from Eat, Sleep, Run Disney bright and early and we walked over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the 6:30 am check-in. This was the largest meetup runDisney to date with over 100 people in attendance. It was great to see so many fellow runDisney fans, catch up with old friends and meet new ones! We were all given white runDisney t-shirts upon arrival, which was a nice change from the usual black shirts. Unfortunately, there were cotton and not tech shirts, which weren’t the best for that super humid morning. But beggars can’t be choosers, I am happy with any runDisney shirt 🙂
Mickey, Donald & Goofy were all there in their awesome track suits and as good Disney fans do, we all lined up to get our pictures taken. I absolutely LOVE the Studios and it was great to get this photo op on an empty Hollywood Boulevard.
We were greeted by Tony, Bob & Darrell from Disney Sports and given instructions on how the 2.5 mile run portion of the meetup was going to go. There were 2 groups, one for strict runners and one for run/walk. The runners were going to keep a 9-10 minute mile pace and Bob was leading the pack. However, I heard it was more of an 8 minute mile! The run/walkers were led by Jeff Galloway and they were doing 30 second intervals.
I had unfortunately been battling a nasty cold in the days leading up to the meet. In fact, I had a fever of 100.2 just the day before! In order to save myself for the marathon a few days later, I opted to not run that morning. I was bummed to not get the experience of running through the Studios and meeting the characters, but my health had to come first. Good news is I got some fun pics of the Galloway group starting off!
Look at some of the characters they encountered along the way!
The second half of the meet was held at Lights, Motors, Action! I walked over there with the rest of the runDisney staff and waited for the runners to arrive. It was a pretty cool entrance.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill truck was there to provide breakfast sandwiches for everyone. They looked delicious, but sadly I couldn’t have one because they all had eggs. Egg allergy fail! 🙁
We were once again welcomed by Bob Hitchcock and Tammy Jacobson of runDisney, but they were quickly interrupted by none other than Joey Fatone! He made a grand entrance and came cruising in on the “director’s truck” from the show. Joey was gearing up to run the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge in place of his wife who recently sustained an injury. He answered many questions from the group and admitted to barely training and being very nervous about the weekend ahead. He also said that N’Sync won’t be getting back together, which was a serious bummer 🙁
Earlier in the week, runDisney announced a new partnership with New Balance making them their official running shoe. Members of the New Balance team were on hand to give us an overview on what to look for in a proper running shoes and the different varieties they have to offer. They also talked about what went into designing the new runDisney shoes that were available for a brief time at the Expo.
Since this was the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon, it was expected that there would be a few elite runners on hand. The expo had some amazing speakers lined up for that afternoon and I was excited to see many of them at the meet up. They offered some great tips for distance running and answered questions from the audience. Bart Yasso admitted that his favorite race costume was when he dressed up like a penguin for the Marathon du Medoc in France where there are 23 wine stops along the way. Now that’s my kind of marathon!
Next up was former NFL linebacker Eddie Mason. He spoke about the importance of focusing on core strength to bring more balance to the body and how Cigna is leading this charge. Core strength is something many runners overlook, but can be just as important as getting those long runs in. He also talked about how you need to listen to your body and rest if needed. You need to let your body heal in order to get stronger. Great tips!
Our final speaker was Drew Carey who was supposed to run in the full marathon, but is recovering from a broken clavicle…ouch! He told stories about his experience at the Disneyland Half Marathon, what really goes on at the Price is Right (spending WAY too much time on this topic!) and also admitted to hating Sounds Dangerous, the show he stars in at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They really need to get rid of that already!
Bob introduced one last special guest before the morning ended, Adriano Bastos. Bastos is a seven time winner of the Walt Disney World Marathon and was going for his 8th win this year. He adorned with numerous Disney tattoos and gets a new Mickey on his forearm for each race he has won. Very cool!
Before we left for the day, the Fab 5 came back out and we were able to get more photos. I just love their running outfits! All of the elite runners and celebrities were also on hand for photos. Joey Fatone obviously had the longest line 🙂
runDisney always puts on great events and this certainly did not disappoint. What a great way to kick off marathon weekend and get everyone excited for the big races ahead!
Who would you have been most excited to meet at the runDisney meet up?
Disclosure: I was invited to attend the entire weekend as media. My hotel expenses, meals and park admission were provided by Disney. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I am 100% obsessed with runDisney events.
|January 10, 2013||Posted by Running at Disney under runDisney Races, WDW Marathon Weekend|
It’s here…it’s finally here! The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend starts TODAY!! The Health & Fitness Expo opens at 9:00 am at the ESPN Wide Wold of Sports Complex with vendors and great speakers. The races kick off tomorrow with the 5K, followed by the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday.
Make sure to review all the details in the final race instructions, as it includes transportation information, corral start times and more! You should also check out this handy dandy pace calculator that Jenn over at Eat, Sleep, Run Disney put together.
runDisney has also provided these fun (and slightly cheesy) videos full of important information for the weekend.
If you are reading this first thing in the morning, I am probably on a plane headed to MCO. My plan is to head directly to the Health & Fitness Expo and then check in to my hotel for some relaxation time! I’m actually not feeling so hot…I think a head cold is underway 🙁 So I’m going to be doing a lot of resting and hydration prior to the big race on Sunday.
Hope you all have a safe journey to Walt Disney World and I hope to see you over this exciting weekend!
|January 8, 2013||Posted by Running at Disney under runDisney Races, WDW Marathon Weekend|
If you are participating in the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, you may have read about the Perfect 20 in the official program. This is an amazing group of 95 individuals who have run all 19 consecutive Walt Disney World Marathons and are about to attempt their 20th this year! I had the opportunity to speak with a few of these runners and found out some fun facts about the past 20 years of Disney races.
Seth Elsheimer runs over 25 marathons per year and has recently moved into doing Ultramarathons. He is a serious runner. He started running in the early 1990s, at which time there weren’t many marathons being held. Seth is from central Florida, so when Disney announced they would be holding a marathon, he figured this would be a good opportunity. He has continued to run the race for the past 19 years because it is a convenient location and he kept seeing improvements to the course. Seth has only run the WDW Marathon, which he says has been both his fastest and slowest marathon, as well as his warmest and coldest race. Oh that Florida weather!
Susan Glickman is a mother of 2 from south Florida. She ran the first Disney marathon race because she was part of the first Jeff Galloway Marathon training program in Miami. A few members of her running club decided to run the race and Susan was in. She has continued to run every year since to see what Disney would do next! Susan loves to take photos on the course and really takes in the Disney experience. She has even ridden Expedition Everest during one of the marathons! In addition to the marathon, she participated in Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge for the first 5 years it was offered, Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon, and she also runs numerous other races around Florida.
The first few years of the race were very different from the current state of the WDW Marathon. Elsheimer recalls running past sewage treatment plants and very desolate areas of the property. As more attractions were added, the race got more interesting. The course went through the Walt Disney World Speedway when it first opened in 1996, which was a highlight for Seth. I’m sure he’s very happy to hear that runners will be rounding the Speedway again this year for the 20th Anniversary Marathon!
The addition of Animal Kingdom in 1999 added an entirely new adventure to the course as well. This is one of Susan’s favorite areas and she looks forward to it every marathon. Where else can you take your photo with live animals while running a marathon?!
Besides changes to the course, Susan and Seth both commented on the popularity and size of the race as being the biggest change they’ve seen over the years. The first marathon had about 5,000 participants and you could still register at the Health & Fitness Expo, which remained the case until only a few years ago. This year, there are over 26,000 runners taking part in this marathon. That’s a big difference!
Susan has a few great traditions that she’s kept up over the years. After each race, she goes to Waffle House with other members of her running team and orders a pecan waffle with a double order of smothered hash browns. Sounds like the perfect post-race meal to me! When she returns home, Susan hangs all of her medals in her kitchen with her family around her as they say a Jewish prayer of thanks. She sure has a lot to be thankful for…look at all those medals!
Disney has certainly honored the Perfect 20 over the years. They have been Grand Marshalls in numerous parades and have received commemorative trophies and plaques celebrating their accomplishments. By far the greatest recognition came in 2003 during the 10th Anniversary, when all of the Perfect 10 at that time had their bib number retired. They now are able to run with that same number every year…how cool is that?!? I’m looking forward to seeing how they will be honored for the 20th!
When I asked Susan and Seth how long they planned to keep running the WDW Marathon, I got the same answer…”As long as I can.” As a first time marathoner, I found this answer to be encouraging and inspiring. There must be something about this race that keeps them coming back year after year. Is it the entertainment, the characters, or just simple pixie dust? All I know is that I can’t wait to find out this weekend and join the WDW Marathon club.
|December 13, 2012||Posted by Running at Disney under WDW Marathon Weekend|
We are now just under a month away from the start of the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! I’m not sure if I’m excited or incredibly nervous about running my first full marathon…maybe a little of both with some “what the hell was I thinking” thrown in there.
I received a few questions about elevation for the race, so I thought I’d take a look at both the half and full marathon courses and map out their elevations using Map My Run. Let’s take a look:
Walt Disney World Half Marathon
I haven’t run this race, but I did run the Princess Half Marathon which is on the same course. It is mainly flat with a few hills on the overpasses, but they are manageable.
Miles 1 – 4 are almost completely flat with a small downhill going onto World Drive. This is a great stretch to start the race with because it is fast and there is usually a good amount of entertainment on World Drive.
You will encounter your first hill just before Mile 5 as you go under the waterway between Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Be careful here because the course is narrow and it tends to get very crowded. Good news is you’re about to enter the Magic Kingdom! Sadly, you are only in the Magic Kingdom for about 1 mile, but it’s the best mile of the race. You will hit Mile 6 while in Frontierland and by the time you leave the park you will be halfway done!
**TIP: Make sure to use the bathrooms while you’re in the park to avoid the Porto Johns!! You will thank me for this later :)**
Miles 7 – 9 continue to be flat. Here you are heading down Floridian Way, past the Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts and back onto World Drive. After Miles 10 & 11 are where you will hit your next set of hills…it’s like a cruel joke that these come towards the end. The first is the worst. It’s a slanted, circular on ramp leading to the overpass that takes you back towards Epcot. Then just after Mile 11 you come across an even steeper overpass…yikes! But that’s it, you’re now in the home stretch and get to run through Future World and to the finish line. Don’t forget to enjoy the gospel choir right at the end…they are amazing!
Walt Disney World Marathon
From the looks of it, the marathon course seems to have a lot more elevation changes…oh boy! As if I wasn’t worried about the distance, now I have hills to worry about! Ok, maybe I’m overreacting here…humor me 😉
Miles 1 – 8 are basically the same as the half maraton above. During mile 8 you enter a new part of the course, the Walt Disney World Speedway. My hope is that it will be on the inside portion of the course that is flat and not along the banked track…that wouldn’t be fun.
After the Speedway, the next 3 miles are spent on Bear Island Road heading towards Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’ve never been down this road, but from Google Maps it looks very wooded and isolated. You also run past some sort of environmental treatment plant…nose plugs anyone? My hope is that they will have a fair amont of entertainment back here to keep us occupied on this long stretch.
Just after mile 12 you enter Animal Kingdom in a backstage area near Rafiki’s Planet watch. The next mile is spent running through Asia, past Expedition Everest (take a ride if you dare!), through Dinoland USA and out into the parking lot.
Good news is, you’ve just completed a half marathon. Bad news is, you have to do it all again! Hopefully a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) wind will kick in at this point and you will continue on strong for the next 4 miles as you head out of Animal Kingdom and down Osceola Parkway towards the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Be warned that the steepest overpass of the entire course is here on Osceola Parkway, so pop that Gu before hand! 🙂
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is new to the marathon this year for the 20th anniversary celebration and we will be spending 3 miles here winding all throughout the complex. runDisney has been tight lipped about the 20th mile celebration that they have promised for the 20th anniversary which will be taking place in Champion Stadium. I know I can’t wait to see what this surprise celebration is…any guesses on what it will be?!
You will pass the mie 20 marker as you are leaving the complex and the next 2.5 miles take you over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There is a great downhill here (of course followed by an uphill) so use that to your advantage as you start fading at this point. Well maybe you won’t be fading, but I know I will be! You enter the Studios by Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, run up the Streets of America, past the Great Movie Ride and down Hollywood Boulevard as you exit the park. There is only about 1 mile that is run through here and most of it is backstage, which is a bit disappointing since they got about 3 miles out of the Studios for Wine & Dine.
Only 2.5 miles left as you exit the Studios and head along the pathway towards Crescent Lake and Epcot! The pathway narrows as you pass the Boardwalk and gets congested with spectators, so be prepared to slow down a bit here. I love this resort area in the morning as they are waking up and it is starting to get bright out. Unfortunately, I probably won’t come through here until close to noon so it will be lunch time for me! But for you fast runners, make sure to appreciate the sights for a second as you zoom through.
Two final (and killer!) uphills here. The first is as you are leaving the Beach Club resort and heading into Epcot, and the second is after you pass through the International Gateway and up into World Showcase. Good news is that there is only 1 mile left after this and it is all spent through Epcot. The course heads right and you get to run around all of World Showcase. By this time, the park will be open when most of us are going through so I know having all of those spectators in there is really going to help push me though!
You exit Epcot in the same area as the half marathon and out into the parking lot to cross the finish line!! Oh and don’t forget about the gospel choir 🙂 I have a feeling that those last .2 miles are going to be the longest ever.
Well I don’t know about you, but after going through the course in detail and seeing all of the amazing things that are in store, excitement is actually taking over!!! Yes, I haven’t been training like I should be but I still think I can do this! Who’s with me?!?!
What are you most looking forward to on either the half or full marathon courses?