Posts Tagged by beach club resort

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Race Recap – Part 2

Part 1 of my Walt Disney World Marathon recap left off just outside of Animal Kingdom.  I was halfway through the race and still feeling really good.  My friend Katherine (KO) found me just as we were leaving the parking lot at Mile 14.  It was really great to see her and have someone to talk to.  My iPod decided to die right when I turned it on, so I had been running with no music and no one to talk to this whole time.

We made our way onto Osceola Parkway and began the trek to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS).  I had run Osceola during the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon so I knew I was in for a long haul.  What I didn’t expect (since those 2 races are run at night) is how bad the sun was going to be during this stretch.  It was almost 9:00 am and the sun was at full blast over the trees and there was barely any shade.  We continued on with the 3/1 run/walk pace for a while, but I found that I needed to walk for longer periods of time.  Osceola also has a ton of overpasses which means hills…not fun!

Traffic on World Drive from Osceola Parkway

Traffic on World Drive from Osceola Parkway

B and my mom were meeting me on Osceola right before we made the turn into WWOS and I couldn’t wait to see them!  Just knowing they were there was making it easier to push through the heat.  B took some fun photos while he was waiting…those cups are quite the sight!

Mile 17 Water Stop...cups, cups and more cups!

Mile 17 Water Stop…cups, cups and more cups!

Seriously awesome costume That hat must have been hot!

Seriously awesome costume
That hat must have been hot!

Oh...here I am!

Oh…here I am!

I immediately dove into the bag I packed and grabbed more body glide to lube up under my sports bra (TMI again??).  I was trying to avoid chafing at all costs…I have no shame and did that right on Osceola Parkway in front of thousands of my friends.  I also switched out my sweaty headband, gave B my dead iPod, restocked my Gu, filled my water bottles and grabbed some crackers.

Diving into my bag of goodies

Diving into my bag of goodies

Look it's Katherine...in the cutest Aurora costume I might add!

Look it’s Katherine…in the cutest Aurora costume!

B said I was looking good at that point…totally the opposite to what I was starting to feel.  I really wanted to just jump in the car with them and go grab a beer, but no…KO and I took off into WWOS.  As we entered the complex there were sponges…ooohhh sponges!  VoluntEARS were handing out sponges soaked in water that were the most amazing things EVER!  I have to admit that when I first saw there were sponges on the course, I was a little grossed out by them but I was totally wrong…the cold water was perfect in that heat.  I just wish I would’ve kept it for later in the race.  Fail!

I won’t go into much detail about WWOS because the whole 3 miles spent in there was my demise.  I really didn’t enjoy this part of the course.  There was barely any shade, it was hot, humid and most of all it was boring.  Around mile 18, my legs started getting sore and I was mentally starting to break down.  This was the farthest I’d ever run (we won’t get into my lack of training here…that’s for another day) and the heat was beating me down.  At least this guy was here to cheer me up a bit…

32 Sign

We ran through Champion Stadium and on to the mile 20 spectacular we heard so much about.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but I felt like the spectacular wasn’t all that spectacular.  Yes, the giant sized puppets were very cool, but I was more blown away by them when they were out during Wine & Dine when they were all lit up.

Mile 20 Spectacular

Mile 20 Spectacular

34 Mile 20 Puppets

Giant Tigger!

Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see Goofy, Mickey and Donald waving and greeting all of us and the 20 mile banner was pretty cool.  I just think that between the heat and the oncoming exhausting I was looking forward to a SPECTACULAR and I just got a small party.

Look who made an appearance!

Look who made an appearance!

Mile 20

Mile 20

Ok, all that was left was a 10K…I could totally do that.  It was a mental battle from here on out.  Yes, my quads were screaming and I was starting to feel some blisters forming on my feet, but I could push through that.  My goal was to just get through the next 2.5 miles to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and I knew that I could easily get through the rest.

These 2.5 miles sucked.  You know that wall you always hear about…well I hit it here.  I had nothing left in me.  There were buses set up at mile 21 for people to get on who couldn’t go any further and I seriously considered hopping on, but I sucked it up and kept trucking.  I had people counting on me to finish…I was counting on me to finish!!  I need to thank my friend Cindy who was virtually cheering me on for the entire race…her encouragement really helped here!!  How awesome is she?!?!

Thanks Cindy xoxo

Thanks Cindy xoxo

I was glad to see my favorite green army men on the on ramp to World Drive…they always make me laugh.  Some runners were doing push ups with them which was awesome…I would’ve loved to partake and show off my hard work from CrossFit but I just didn’t have it in me.  My friends Jenn & Danielle did though…bad ass ladies, bad ass!

Yes sir!

Yes sir!

Our friend Carrie caught up to us here and it was so great to see her!  She was struggling as well, so we all tried to motivate each other to get through this last stretch of HOT highway!  At the mile 22 water stop, I really slowed down to refuel.  I don’t normally drink Powerade, but I knew with this heat that I had to make it a priority.  From the beginning of the race I was taking a Powerade and a water at every stop and mixing them together.  Early on I also took a salt packet at the recommendation of my CrossFit coach (thanks Jay!) and I think the combination of all of that really kept me hydrated through the race.  I just had to force myself to keep drinking.  Carrie & KO were a ways ahead of me and I motioned for them to keep going….I didn’t want to hold them back and I really needed to get my head back in the game.

Finally, my favorite hotel was in sight, the Hollywood Tower Hotel 🙂  This meant we were entering the Studios, this meant we were in the home stretch!

The Studios!

The Studios!

Just as we entered, there was a food station with chocolate!  Normally I would’ve loved this, but I just couldn’t bare the thought of eating that in the heat.  I would’ve loved an ice pop or something!  We weren’t in the Studios for long, but it was just what I needed.  Running down Hollywood Boulevard was amazing!  The park was open to guests and they were cheering us on!  We hadn’t had a good cheering squad since Champion Stadium and the energy here was perfect.

Running down Hollywood Boulevard

Running down Hollywood Boulevard

As I was leaving the Studios, I got a text from B checking in on me.  People were coming across the finish line severely dehydrated and he wanted to make sure I kept drinking.

Awesome hubs :)

Awesome hubs 🙂

Apparently, I wanted to die because that’s the second person I told.  Ha!  Well something happened after this text…I got some sort of second wind!  I popped my last Gu and headed down the the pathway to the Boardwalk.  At the mile 24 water stop, the volunteers were giving “Dasani showers” by just pouring the bottle over our heads.  BEST!  This must have rejuvenated me because I picked up my speed and started really running again!

2.2 to go!!

2.2 to go!!

Love this guy!

Love this guy!

I was shocked to see Carrie and KO again as we passed the Beach Club…someone really lit a fire under my ass!  I think they were just as shocked to see me too.  KO decided to start running with me and Carrie just encouraged us to go on.  We passed the last water stop and finally, we were in Epcot.  This was it…I was almost there!

Entering World Showcase

Entering World Showcase

We had run into our friend Todd just before Epcot, who is part of the WDW Radio Running Team and he said the whole group was right in the UK cheering.  And man were they cheering…that was awesome!  My friends Jillian and Kelly were also there…I’m sure I looked to be in a very different state from when they saw me earlier in the Magic Kingdom.  I almost ran over and grabbed Jillian’s beer, but I had to focus on this last mile.  I was very close to the 7 hour mark and was determined to finish under that.

World Showcase was horrible.  If you’ve ever walked around there on a warm day, you know it can be like the Bataan Death March.  Now try doing that after running 25 miles…WORST!  It felt like it was going on forever and ever and ever.  But finally, we made it to Future World and I knew what was in store…my favorite gospel choir!

A beautiful sight!

A beautiful sight!

As I rounded the corner towards the Epcot parking lot for those last .2 miles, I was in shock.  The amount of people who were there cheering was insanely overwhelming.  It was nothing like I had ever seen before.  It literally stopped me in my tracks and I became overwhelmed with emotion.

Look at all those people!!

Look at all those people!!

Even MORE people!

Even MORE people!

And there she was…the finish line.  I had made it all 26.2 miles.

The Finish Line!!

The Finish Line!!

I crossed strong with tears in my eyes.  I couldn’t believe I actually just did that and to be honest, I still find it hard to believe.  Running a marathon never seemed like a possibility to me.  I’m an ex-smoker, I have ulcerative colitis, I’m clearly overweight…people like me don’t run marathons.  Well guess what…I DID!!

26.2 DONE...BOOM!

26.2 DONE…BOOM!

I staggered over to the medal area to find my friend Aurora who was giving out medals.  She actually found me first and put that beauty around my neck.  She gave me a huge hug and I just started balling.  Aurora had given me my first half marathon medal at Princess less than a year before and now she was giving me my first marathon medal.  Couldn’t be anymore perfect than that.

I grabbed my food, a Powerade, 2 waters and set off to find my family.  People were dropping like flies all around me from dehydration and the heat.  They had a health official right after the water making everyone who passed her open up a bottle and take a drink or she wouldn’t let them pass.  It was a little scary so I just kept on drinking to be safe.

I found my Mom first and she gave me a huge hug.  I can’t say enough how important it was to me that she was there supporting me…it really made what I just did worth while to see the smile on her face.  And then there is B…sigh.  I can’t write this without tearing up because he has been the most amazingly supportive husband through this whole journey.  He listens to all my craziness about running and travels with me to these races.  He listens to me complain when my legs are sore and pours ice in my recovery bath even when I protest.  He’s my #1 cheerleader.  Oh and the best part, he had a beer waiting for me after the marathon 🙂

Post race beer...hellz yeah!

Post race beer…hellz yeah!

Thoroughly enjoying my beer...I look exhausted!

Thoroughly enjoying my beer…I look exhausted!

The family reunion area was hectic, but I did manage to run into Andy from Attractions Magazine.  We had been talking a lot before the race since it was a first marathon for both of us, so it was great to see him!

50 Post Race_2

Hey Andy!

We got on the bus back to the hotel and all I wanted to do was get in an ice bath and a shower!  My official time was 6:55:13, almost an hour longer than I had hoped.  But with all the challenges I faced (being sick, heat, humidity, etc…) I am just happy that I finished!  I’m not sure I will ever do this again.  The distance was just too long for me, but we’ll see.  All I know is,  I can officially say that I’m a marathoner and that’s pretty awesome 🙂

MARATHONER!

MARATHONER!

 

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.

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Final Race Instructions

Final race instructions are now available for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend!  It’s only 16 days away!

The instructions include all of the information you will need about the races, transportation and other events around the weekend.  Let’s take a look:

Since the Health & Fitness Expo is usually everyone’s first stop, we’ll begin there.  The Expo will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS) on Friday, November 9th from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturday, November 10th from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  All race participants  MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and goody bag.  The goody bag also doubles as 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.  If you are unable to attend the expo, instructions are included on how to have someone pick-up your packet for you.  Participants for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K, and the Disney Kid’s Races all MUST go to packet pick-up.

Also included on the first page are some helpful race etiquette tips like how to handle water stations and to make sure you yell encouragement to your fellow runners!  I like that one because you are guaranteed to get encouragement right back.  Disney runners rule! 🙂

Page 2 has all of the information you will need for Race Day.

  • Host Resort Transportation  The following are a list of host resorts where buses will be available to bring participants to and from ALL events surrounding the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  This includes the Expo, half marathon, 5K, kids races, and after party.  For the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, runners must be on a bus by 8:00 pm to ensure they make it into their corrals on-time at WWOS.  Shuttle service will be suspended between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm because of road closures, but will recommence at 10:00 for the Finish Line After Party at Epcot.
    •  Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
    • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
    • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
    • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
    • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
    • Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
    • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
    • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
  • Driving Directions  If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events.  An important thing to note is that there will be NO parking or guest drop off at WWOS (race start) on the evening of the race.  Runners and spectators will need to park at the Epcot and take shuttles to WWOS.  Runners must be on a shuttle by 8:00 pm, so make sure to leave extra time to park your car and wait in line for a shuttle.  Good news is that the parking fee will be waived for runners and spectators arriving at Epcot after 6:00 pm.  Yippee!
  • Costumes This is one of the best parts of Disney races…the costumes!  Runners get so creative and it’s so fun to see.  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.
  • 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.  All bags must be checked by 9:00 pm in the start area at WWOS.  Bags will then be transported to Epcot and available for pick-up at in the finish line area and must be claimed by 2:15 am on the morning of November 11th.  Unclaimed bags will be moved to Epcot Guest Relations.  I have a feeling that this back pick up will be similar to that for the Princess Half Marathon, which went really welll, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned by the process if you are new to runDisney events.
  • Start Corrals  The start corrals will be located in the parking lot of WWOS.  The race begins promptly at 10:00 pm, so you will want to make sure you are in your corral with plenty of time to get in the spot you want.  Your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or one behind you.   You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.  I will be in Corral C, so make sure to come say hi!
  • Starting Times  The following are scheduled start times for the corrals at WWOS:
    • 9:58 am – Wheelchair Start
    • 10:00 am – Corral A Start
    • 10:05 am – Corral B Start
    • 10:10 am – Corral C Start
    • 10:15 am – Corral D Start
    • 10:20 am – Corral E Start
    • 10:25 am – Corral F Start
  • 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…oh and smile for the camera 🙂
  • Pacing Requirements Remember, you must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line.  Keep this in mind if you a planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time.  Pace cyclists will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.
  • Changing Tents  Changing areas will be available in the finish line area at Epcot so you can get out of those sweaty clothes to enjoy the Food & Wine Festival.  You’ve earned that Fisherman’s Pie in Ireland!
  • Finish Line  I’m so glad that they moved the finish line to the Epcot parking lot this year.  This will allow for more room for spectators to view the race and they’ve even added a long line of bleachers!  This is the same area where many of the other runDisney races finish and it always seems to run smoothly.  Oh and see that little orange box?  That’s a beer tent!
Looking for the course map?  You can find it here!  More information is also available over on the runDisney website.  Don’t forget to get your copy of the 2012 DFB Mini-Guide to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival to plan for the Finish Line After Party!  I know I’ll be stuffing my face with some Food & Wine goodness and an ice cold beer!  Can’t wait to see you there 🙂

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Final Race Instructions

 

Yesterday, runDisney sent out the final race instructions for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend!  We’re just 15 days away people!

The instructions include a TON of information about both the race and event around the weekend.  Let’s take a look:

First we have information on the Health & Fitness Expo which is taking place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Friday, September 28th from 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm and Saturday, September 29th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  All race participants  MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and goody bag.  The goody bag also doubles as 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.  If you are unable to attend the expo, instructions are included on how to have someone pick-up your packet for you.

Next is a TON of information on Race Day.

  • Host Resort Transportation  The following are a list of host resorts where buses will be available to bring participants to and from ALL events surrounding The Twilight Zone Tower or Terror10-Miler Weekend.  This includes the expo, 5K and kids races.  Runners must be on a bus by 8:00 pmto make it to the corrals by 9:15 pm at the latest.
    •  Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
    • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
    • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
    • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
    • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
    • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
    • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
    • Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
    • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Driving Directions  If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events.  An important thing to note is that there will be NO parking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the evening of the race.  Runners and spectators will need to park at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and take shuttles to the Studios.  Runners must be on a shuttle by 8:00 pm, so make sure to leave extra time to park your car and wait in line for a shuttle.
  • Costumes This is one of the best parts of Disney races…the costumes!  Runners get so creative and it’s so fun to see.  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.  If find this interesting, since this is the photo on the runDisney website for the event.  Maybe this is a new policy…

  • Bag Check  I was pleasantly surprised by what a smooth process bag check was at the Princess Half Marathon, so don’t be concerned by the process if you are new to runDisney events.  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.  All bags must be checked by 9:00 pm in the Film Lot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Bags will be available for pick-up at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Theatre and must be claimed by 2:30 am on the morning of September 30th.
  • Runner Staging  The corrals will be located on the south side of the Film parking lot past the bag check area.  Your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or one behind you.  All runners MUST be in their starting corral by 9:15 pm.  Corrals will then be walked down to the starting line (starting with A), which looks to be on the other side of the main toll plaza at the south entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.  I will be in Corral C, so make sure to come say hi!

  • Starting Times The following are the scheduled start times for each corral.
    • 9:55 pm – Wheelchair Start 1
    • 9:58 pm – Wheelchair Start 2
    • 10:00 pm – Corral A Start
    • 10:05 pm – Corral B Start
    • 10:10 pm – Corral C Start
    • 10: 15 pm – Corral D Start
  • 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 Remember, you must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line.  Keep this in mind if you a planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time.  Pace cyclists will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.
  • Changing Tents  Changing areas will be available outside the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Theatre after the race so you can get out of those sweaty clothes to enjoy the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash.
Other information includes race etiquette, a runner’s checklist and where to get your results following the race. I’m getting so excited for this race!  It will be my first nighttime race and what better way to do so than in the shadow of the Tower of Terror?! What corral are you in?  Are you wearing a costume?

 

Price Breakdown of the Runner’s World Challenge for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

This week runDisney announced the Runner’s World Challenge as part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend taking place January 11-13, 2013.  My initial reaction to this news was: “I must sign up for this now!”  Then I saw the price of $1,649 for Marathon participants and I put the brakes on that.  That is way out of my budget for a weekend trip for the race.

Here are the details:

JULY 9, 2012 – (New York and Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) – Imagine a weekend where you run through Disney theme parks, experience Disney entertainment and are rewarded with a unique Disney medal, all while running side-by-side with Runner’s World editors who helped you train and encouraged you along the way.

The 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which are part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, are the latest races to be designated Runner’s World Challenge events. Participants will virtually train with Runner’s World editors leading up to race weekend, and then on race weekend have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive VIP race experience with Runner’s World editors all hosted by runDisney at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL.

The weekend consists of the Half Marathon Jan. 12, 2013 and the Marathon Jan. 13. Those who choose to can run the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where participants must complete the Half Marathon on Saturday, followed by the Marathon on Sunday to qualify for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal.

More excitement awaits runners taking on the challenge of the Disney Marathon, which marks two decades of magical miles of Disney entertainment, one-of-a-kind medals and family memories. The 20th anniversary race will feature a new course routing through the Walt Disney World Speedway and Champion Stadium ballpark at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; enhanced entertainment at Mile 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary; a commemorative 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse medal and a new post-race party in Downtown Disney.

Interested runners can signup at RunDisney.com or Runnersworld.com or call 407-939-7781 for more information.

 “We’ve planned 2013 to be the biggest year ever for the Runner’s World Challenge, and we’re excited to be collaborating with a great new partner for this kick off in January at Walt Disney World for the 20th anniversary Disney Marathon Weekend,” said David Willey Runner’s World Editor-in-Chief and Rodale Inc. Active Living Group General Manager.  “Our editors are already gearing up training plans, logging miles, and preparing for this unique event.  As with all of the Runner’s World Challenges, our readers can count on receiving expert advice and personal engagement with our editors while training for this special weekend.”

“The opportunity for our runners to have personal access to some of the leading minds in the running industry through the Runner’s World Challenge is going to be hugely beneficial to anyone running our half marathon and marathon that weekend,’’ said Faron Kelley, Director of Sports Marketing and Communication at Walt Disney World. “With so many races taking place around the country, partnering with the running experts at Runner’s World will further differentiate our Disney Marathon Weekend and noticeably enhance the overall race weekend experience for the thousands of runners who are expected to participate in our 20th anniversary event next year.”

Challenge participants will have exclusive access to a Challenge-only website where they can ask questions that will be answered by Runner’s World editors. They can also share their best tips on nutrition, injury prevention, health issues and other essential training topics as they get ready to run at Disney.

This exclusive package created for participants in this special Runner’s World Challenge weekend at Walt Disney World includes:

  • Entry into the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon or Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge with preferred corral placement
  • Three night stay at Disney’s Yacht or Beach Club Resort
  • Private packet pick-up and hospitality suite at the resort
  • Keepsake 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend gift
  • A Runner’s World Challenge tech shirt
  • Course strategy session with the Runner’s World experts and editors
  • Exclusive shakeout run with the Runner’s World editors
  • Entry to the Pasta in the Park Party on Saturday night Jan. 12 at Epcot® with Runner’s World VIPs & editors
  • Private transportation to and from the start and finish lines
  • Entry to the Race Retreat which includes pre and post race hot and cold beverages, dedicated stretching area, and private portalets & bag check, post-race buffet, massage and live results
  • Post-race celebration on Sunday night at the Cool Down at Downtown Disney

The price for half and full marathons participants is $1,649 and for the Goofy’ Race and Half Challenge is $1,899.  This sticker shock led me to breakdown the price to see if this price is warranted.

Race Registrations

  • Half Marathon & Marathon Registration = $150 (current rate)
  • Goofy’s Race & a Half Challenge = $320 (current rate)

Additional Weekend Events

  • Pasta in the Park Party = $47.50
  • Race Retreat = $99

Hotel Accommodations

  • 3 nights at the Yacht or Beach Club Resort = $1,300 (estimate for standard room rack rate)

If we add this up, the total for the half and full marathons is $1,596.50 (a $52.50 savings) and the total for the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is $1,766.50 (a $132.50 savings).

Yacht Club

Well now it doesn’t look as expensive, but is a commemorative shirt, a keepsake item and the strategy sessions worth what you would safe?  Or is it the prestige of running with the Runner’s World elite that’s worth the extra cost?  You also need to ask yourself if you would take advantage of these additional events or stay at a deluxe resort if it wasn’t part of the package.  I’m a DVC member, so I wouldn’t pay for a deluxe resort.  I would either use my points or stay in a value resort for race weekend, so obviously this package doesn’t make sense for me.  But if you are planning on running one of the races and are already booked in a deluxe resort, this might be a great option for you.

If you are interested in the Runner’s World Challenge, you can find more information on the runDisney website.  Don’t worry if you have already registered for any of these races, your race registration will be refunded when you register for the challenge.

What do you think of this partnership?  Are you registering for the Runner’s World Challenge?

Epcot Resort Area Jogging Trail

I love the Epcot resort area.  It’s home to some of the most beautifully themed resorts, fantastic restaurants (Flying Fish Cafe in particular!), and picturesque scenery.  It’s the perfect escape from the parks to relax and grab a drink.  But did you also know that it’s also a great place to run?

I’ve walked this area many times over the past 20 years, but on a recent trip I decided to lace up my running shoes and give it a go.  (Quick confession: I’ve been hesitating to write this post because this is the route that caused my psoas injury.  Yes, I know that’s silly…part of my charm.)  I got up early one morning and drove over to the Beach Club, which is where I started my loop.  The day was just starting and a few bleary-eyed guests were wondering around with their cups of coffee.  There is something extra magical about Disney first thing in the morning…

Crescent Lake...Gorgeous!

I started my run by heading counter clockwise towards the Yacht Club.  The terrain changes here from a concrete path to a wooden boardwalk, which then curves around towards the Dolphin.  This is where you encounter your first hill.  The bridges that go over the waterways are deceptively steep and I was certainly not expecting that.

Yacht Club Boardwalk

Bridge to the Boardwalk, Swan & DHS

Now here is where I got confused.  I haven’t been over in this area for years and I had forgotten which paths went where….there are a lot of them.  Instead of going left into the Boardwalk area, which also has the path to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I stayed right and headed towards the Swan.  Oh and there was another giant bridge here.  Let’s just say I chose poorly…  But I did get some nice pics of the Swan and the Dolphin hotels, so it wasn’t a total loss.

The right way...

Dolphin Hotel

Swalphin Pool & Beach Area

Morning Swans...

Instead of heading back over that hateful bridge, I decided to bear right at a path that went next to the Swan which I figured headed over to the Studios.  I saw 2 other runners go that way, so I knew it couldn’t be that bad.  That was until I saw the path come to an end.  Thankfully those other runners were in front of me, so I could see where to go.  The sidewalk went up and over another over pass (a super steep one I might add), but this time it was E Buena Vista Drive…a very busy road.  I was totally confused and really should have planned this better.

The Boardwalk

The Swan jogging path
Note my guide runners up ahead

The not so fun hill to E Buena Vista Drive
Trust me, it's steeper than it looks

Once I crossed over the waterway, I was FINALLY on the right trail.  This is the primary walking trail that leads from the Epcot resort area to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  There were a few more runners on this side and also some early birds heading to DHS for rope drop.  This side also had a lot more shade since the sun was starting to get strong.  I LOVE this path.  DHS is my favorite park and this give such a wonderful preview.  You can see Tower of Terror looming in the distance and hear the various movie soundtracks faintly in the background.

The RIGHT path!

DHS in the Distance

Getting closer...

Tower of Terror...BEST!

Next time I run this trail, I will definitely remember to bring my Annual Pass so I can pop in and pay a visit to the Hollywood Tower Hotel. 😉  But sadly, I turned back and headed towards the Boardwalk…

Here comes a Friendship Boat

Heading back to the Boardwalk

It looked like they had just washed down the boardwalk when I got back to the Boardwalk Hotel.  I think this is where hurt my leg because it was a little slippery.  It was either that or all of the overpass hills.  Either way, this is where I remember the pain starting.  It wasn’t only the wet boardwalk that made it difficult, the smells coming from the Boardwalk Bakery were SO good that all I wanted to do was stop and get a cinnamon roll!  This area had a much higher energy and was more crowded than the rest of the trail, so keep that in mind when you’re running in this area.

The Boardwalk

Yacht & Beach Club from the Boardwalk

Dolphin from the Boardwalk

I made my way back to the Beach Club and ended up doing 2.3 miles.  This is a little farther than the what is on the trail map, but that’s because I got lost.  There are a lot of walkways in this area, so make sure you look at a map before you head out.  You can get one at any of the front desks of the resorts in this area.

Even though I personally have a bit of a bad association with this trail, I still love it.  It’s absolutely beautiful and offers such varied scenery that you will never get bored on this run.  I will definitely give it another try on a future visit.

Have you ever run the Epcot resort area jogging trail?  Share your experiences!