Posts Tagged by 5K

A Look at the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend – The Dark Side Medals

The highly anticipated Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend – The Dark Side is only a few short weeks away and runDisney has released a look at the amazing medals.  I think these might be the coolest ones yet!

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Let’s look at the detail…

Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side

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Super cool spinner featuring Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.

Star Wars 10K

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Dark Side Challenge

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Received for completing the 10K & Half Marathon.

Kessel Run Challenge

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Received for those who completed this race and the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side in Disneyland back in January.

Star Wars 5K

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Star Wars Kids Races

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Dare I say that I am siding with The Empire and prefer these medals to the The Light Side Weekend??  And can you believe the GIANT Millennium Falcon you will receive for the Kessel Run Challenge?!  That is definitely a goal of mine for the future…how about you?

Which medals do you prefer, The Dark Side or The Light Side??

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Preview of the 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Merchandise

It’s hard to believe that Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend starts TODAY after all of the craziness surrounding Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend only a few days ago.  But it is here and runDisney has released a preview of some of the gear you will find at the Expo to prove it!  Right off the bat, I’m in love with the retro design on everything…super cool!  Let’s take a look:

Star Wars Half Marathon Gear

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Star Wars 5K, 10K & Rebel Challenge Gear

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Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Gear

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I would like ALL of the drinkware please.  They really did a knock out job with these designs!

2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Dooney & Bourke Bags

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I have to say I’m not in love with the white background for these bags.  I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t get one of the 2015 bags, but you live and learn.  My only hope is that they will come out with a darker design for the Dark Side Weekend in May.  Fingers crossed.

Remember, if you are headed to the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo, make sure to arrive early if you have your heart set on a particular item.  Interested in snagging a pair of the new 2016 New Balance runDisney shoes, including the Ariel Vazee Pace?  Don’t forget to sign up for the Virtual Queue in order to get your pair.

Well I’m certainly jealous of everyone running this weekend and getting this gear!  The Expo opens today at the Disneyland Hotel at 10:00 am PST and will be open through Saturday to pick up this merch, visit with numerous other vendors and hear the great runDisney Speaker Series.

What are you looking forward to getting?

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Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Announced for Walt Disney World!

For those of us on the East Coast, our wishes have been answered!!  Today runDisney has announced that a second Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend will be coming to Walt Disney World on April 14-17, 2016!

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This weekend is called “The Dark Side” and will feature all of the dark forces in the galaxy.  Along with the Half Marathon, there will be a 5K, 10K and Kids Races.  There will also be a challenge called the Dark Side Challenge, the counter to the Rebel Challenge in Disneyland, for those taking on the 10K and Half Marathon.  This will feature a special Death Star medal…say wha?!?!?

Better yet for those taking on the Kessel Run Challenge, running the Star Wars “Coast to Coast” in one year, will receive a Millennium Falcon inspired medal…O.M.G!!!  This is a huge incentive for those already registered for the Star Wars Half in Disneyland to add another race to their schedule.  I simply can’t wait to see these medals!

The race weekend will go on sale September 22nd, with possible DVC and Passholder advanced registration a week or 2 earlier.  Stay tuned for updates.

Here is the official press release:

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – runDisney is summoning the Force today to announce another Star Wars-inspired intergalactic journey, this time to the dark side.

The “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side” enters the galaxy April 14-17, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and pays homage to the dark side forces of the Star Wars universe. This new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.

“Ever since we launched the Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort, runners have been clamoring for more, so we’re thrilled to bring the Star Wars franchise together with the runDisney brand to Walt Disney World Resort,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “If the inaugural Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort is any indication, this new running adventure to the dark side is sure to be the out-of-this-world experience that runners have come to expect at runDisney events.’’

The new Star Wars race at Walt Disney World Resort will be a journey of personal achievement all its own, involving kids’ races, a 5K and a 10K in addition to the half marathon, plus a variety of Star Wars experiences, medals, events and merchandise inspired by a galaxy far, far away. Among its many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that propels runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge — running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Jedi and Sith Lords who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing the Star Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative “Coast to Coast” medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship. Race registration opens Sept. 22 at www.runDisney.com.

The addition of this second Star Wars race continues the recent wave of significant growth and popularity of runDisney events domestically and internationally. This is the second new runDisney race announced for 2016, joining the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 23-25 at Disneyland Paris), and the fourth addition to the runDisney series in the last two years (Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Jan. 2015 and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 2014).

Each year more than 200,000 runners sign up for runDisney events, which often sell out in record time.

“We are committed to creating extraordinary experiences and events that appeal to runners of all ages and attract even more fans of our various brands and franchises to the sport of running, creating opportunities for them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle,’’ said Bisienere.

Will you be going to the Dark Side next year?  Are you as excited as I am?!

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The Final Expedition Everest Challenge

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Well folks, this is it.  The final running of the Expedition Everest Challenge.  I remember the first year the challenge took place, I was in Walt Disney World for our honeymoon.  I tried to convince B to do it, but that idea got shot down quickly.  I guess his idea of a honeymoon did not include running a 3 mile obstacle course.  I was more intrigued by the scavenger hunt portion of the event, but that still had no appeal to him.  Turns out it was a good thing we decided not to do it because there was a monsoon that evening.  We returned from a night in the parks dodging rain storms and came across numerous soggy, miserable looking runners in the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  But enough about that, let’s get to this year’s race!

Part 5K, part obstacle course, part scavenger hunt, the Expedition Everest Challenge is one of the most unique race weekends runDisney has to offer.  It is definitely more about fun and friendly competition than serious racing.  All of this ends with a fun afterparty in the shadow of the mountain itself.  Oh and you get some super cool medals!

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Let’s take a look at some of the race details…

Packet Pick-Up

For this final year, runDisney has moved packet pick-up to the Animal Kingdom Parking lot.  Unlike other races, there is no Health & Fitness Expo to attend.  There is sure to be some runDisney commemorative items and great photo ops available, but don’t expect a big vendor show to pick up last minute race needs. Packet pick-up hours are:

  • Friday, May 1st: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 2nd: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Participants in all of the races MUST attend packet pick-up to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and collect race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag.  The gEAR bag doubles at the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, such as pins.  If you are part of a team, both team members must be together to get your packets.

Resort Transportation & Parking

Bus transportation will be available for participants staying at resort hotels to and from packet pick-up and the race. Buses will run during the following times:

  • Friday, May 1st: 11:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
  • Saturday, May 2nd: 7:30 am – 1:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 2:30 pm)
  • Saturday, May 2nd: 7:45 pm – 9:00 pm & 10:15 pm – 3:00 am

These are the host resorts for the weekend:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation.  Parking will be at the Animal Kingdom parking lot.

Costumes

Costumes are one of the best parts of any Disney race and this race seems to bring out some of the best! Yetis, Wilderness Explorers, you name it!  The Disney Parks Blog has some great ideas for costumes if you haven’t figured yours out yet.

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Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  This is for your own safety, especially during a night race!  So who are you dressing up as??

Bag Check

Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.  Bag check will be located in the Animal Kingdom parking lot from 8:15 pm – 1:30 am.

Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race.  The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around if you are planning on staying for the after party.

Race Bibs

Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo.  Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly.  Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible.

Pacing Requirements

You must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile for the 5K adventure run.  If you fall below this pace you will will run the risk of getting swept.  Pace cyclists will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.  Your final time will be based on your cumulative time for the 5K adventure race and scavenger hunt.

Aid Stations

There will be 2 water stops along the course.  One along the 5K adventure race and one at the start of the scavenger hunt.  There is also a first aid station at the start and finish line.

5K Adventure Race & Scavenger Hunt

The 5K Adventure Race will begin promptly at 10:00 pm in the Butterfly parking lot at the Animal Kingdom.  Runners must arrive no later than 9:00 pm.  There are a few obstacles along the course that you can complete individually or as a team.  The course will be closed at 11:45 pm.

After completing the 5K, participants will receive their first clue for the scavenger hunt.  Answers to all of the clues will be found throughout Animal Kingdom.  Once all clues are completed, teams and individuals must cross the finish line back in the Butterfly parking lot.  The course will be closed at 1:00 am.

Post-Race Party

The Post-Race Party will take place from 10:30 pm – 2:30 am in the Dinoland USA area of Animal Kingdom.  Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids and all of the attractions in Dinoland will be open during the party.  Race registration includes access to the party and spectators can still purchase tickets here.  Wristbands for the party must be collected at packet pick-up.

Everest at Night

More information on the Expedition Everest Challenge is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend.  Also, check out some of my packing tips as your get ready to travel and one of my plans for prepping for night races.  Lastly, check out recaps from 2014 & 2012 from some great guest writers here on RAD.

If you’ll be in WDW for the Expedition Everest Challenge, head over to Starbucks at Downtown Disney’s Westside from 3:00 – 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 2nd for a fun meet-up with my friends from Kingdom Magic Runners!  You’ll meet some fellow runDisney enthusiasts and get some fun giveaways too!  Get more details and RSVP here.

This is the only WDW race weekend I haven’t participated in and I’m pretty bummed that it won’t be returning.  I LOVE scavenger hunts so this really is right up my alley.  Sadly it’s just never worked out with my schedule.  I hope you all have a wonderful time and enjoy ever moment of this unique race!  If you are interested in writing about your experience, send me an email and I’ll feature you’re story here on RAD!

Good luck finding the Yeti!

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Traveling From Australia for a Dopey 50th Birthday

When Andrew first contacted me and told me about the adventure he had planned for his 50th birthday, I was beyond excited to share his experience here on RAD.  Andrew and his family traveled halfway around the world as he took on the Dopey Challenge.  He might have recruited them to run a bit with him as well.

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How best might a runner celebrate a ‘big’ birthday and have the family join in as well?  The Dopey Challenge provided the answer!

Exactly one year ago (and the date of the 2014 WDW marathon) I set the challenge for me and my family: I’m going to run this event next year for my 50th birthday and you’re invited to come with me, but there’s a catch – you have to join me in at least one leg of the Challenge each!

And with that, baited by the idea of an overseas trip (and not really understanding the 3:30 am wake-up times!) the Dopey Challenge for 2015 became a year-long family adventure. From planning the rest of the trip, raising the funds, making the bookings – and training – it was a step up for each family member. But the running was where the big steps were required;

  • for the 14 year old who had never run longer than 10k to run a half,
  • the daughter who isn’t into running to run a 10k,
  • the 16 year old to get out of bed at 3:30am!,
  • the wife to go from 0 kilometers as a runner to a full marathon in exactly 12 months.

Now the other challenge was traveling half way round the world. From Australia to Orlando. From summer to winter. From time zone to who knows what time zone it is! We joked that jet lag might actually help!!

After a white Christmas we hit Orlando and thought it was just as cold! We stayed in a family room at the All Star Resort and it was just the right size and space. We bought 6 day tickets and had marathon Sunday ‘off’. The four events made an incredibly memorable birthday experience that lasted for four days!

The Family 5K was first – and it should have featured Elsa on the medal and not Pluto… it was a truly Frozen event!

These guys had great costumes …. And at least some warmth!

These guys had great costumes …. And at least some warmth!

Despite the cold we had great fun. We started in Corral A which helped get the race over with faster and we dressed up as Peter Pan and Captain Hook. We met a fellow runner whose surname was ‘Hook’ and he even asked to have a photo with us! We got lots of comments about how strange it was for Peter and Hook to be doing something together to which we assured them this was a once-off!

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How hard is it to order a drink around here!!

The 10K was a heat wave by comparison!

After a day at Hollywood Studios – and the last sighting of Mickey’s hat – we got up for the 10K.  Tinker Bell joined me this time and boy was she glad she didn’t have that costume on the day earlier!

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A highlight was the cheerers chanting “Pan and Tink! Pan and Tink!” That really lifted us over the finish line! Another highlight was my 16 year old son racing – and winning – his age group and coming 11th overall 🙂

Magic Kingdom here we come …..

The Half Marathon was a long day!   Not only because of the 3:30am start but because we started in Corral P, the last corral (because one of us didn’t have a qualifying time).

Again it was very cold but there was a lovely warm camaraderie in the very last group. Running with my two super guys was terrific fun as Captain America, Mr. Incredible and Hercules. Once the cold thawed out we got into the run but the lines for character photos were SO long by this stage we pushed on, most of the time on the grass to go around the walkers. No one complained though, they all just enjoyed the experience. For some pretty fast teenagers, this shows how the crowd experience at runDisney events is bigger than individuals.

Sharing my sons first official half marathons was a great feeling for a Dad!

Sharing my sons first official half marathons was a great feeling for a Dad!

Epcot here we come!

Epcot here we come!

Marathon day was amazing.

For this one I was worried about the crowds but the Disney organization really shined. We had so many character photo opportunities, often just running straight into the front of the line. Everything was well spaced and, compared to Corral P, the experience was much more pleasant.

I really enjoyed some of the different experiences – like the Speedway and Wide World of Sports (the track and the baseball ground).

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A light sprinkling of rain at Hollywood Studios was refreshing rather than wet (especially compared to the next day’s thunderstorm). My wife and I ran as Jasmine and Aladdin and two of our favorite photos were with the ‘Aladdin’ characters because of the over-the-top welcome we received!

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Taking along you own personal cheer squad really helps!

And then before you know it, Donald and Pluto greet you at the finish line and you’re wearing 6 medals around your neck and you’re officially “Dopey”. That last kilometer is really a bit of a blur!

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So how do you capture the four days (and year’s journey) in words? I got the kids to wear costumes! I captured it all with (maybe) a million photos! I got to run and experience their running ‘firsts’ as well. We wore medals and enjoyed the Parks together. I still can’t think of another experience where we could do all these things as a family together.  A great birthday overall with a ripper celebration dinner on marathon night at Downtown Disney.

I’ve been disappointed with some posts I’ve been following where runDisney is criticized for many things. Apparently some people think it’s possible to create a perfect Disney experience with 30,000 runners. The logistics were great, any question was answered happily, lots of goodies, great bling. In fact the next running event is going to be hard to match up to this one.

My key bits of advice:

  • Get a time registered or beware of ending up in Corral P. OK if you’re a walker or slow, but if you’re anything of a runner it makes a long hard slog of an event.
  • Make a dinner reservation for the night to make it pleasurable and not like some who wandered around fruitlessly.
  • Get the photo pack – and take in as many opportunities as you can.

The 51st birthday celebrations are going to seem a little low key compared to this!!

 

 

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