Posts Tagged by Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Registration is Now Open for the 2014 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend!

disney-princess-half-logo

Registration is now open for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon taking place February 20-23, 2014!!

This magical race weekend is obviously inspired by the Disney Princesses and is the epitome of girl power!  With tiaras shining brightly and tutus primped and primed, over 25,000 runners will once again be taking the streets of Walt Disney World to to earn the sparkliest bling in the land.

2013 Princess Medal

While men are by no means excluded from participating in the race (in fact we LOVE to see them out there in their princess attire!), the unique thing about the Princess Half Marathon is that the first two corrals are reserved only for women to guarantee that a woman will be the winner of the race.

New for 2014 are the additions of the Disney Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge where you get a 3rd medal for completing both the 10K and half marathon.  There is also the new pink Coast to Coast medal that can be earned by participating in both the Tinker Bell and the Princess Half Marathons.  The Royal Family 5K will be taking place again with a Cinderella theme this year, as well as the Kids Races which look like they will be held at Epcot this year.  Information for all the race events are as follows:

Disney Princess Half Marathon (February 23rd at 5:30 am)

  • $160 by August 13, 2013
  • $175 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $190 on or after November 20, 2013

Disney Enchanted 10K (February 22nd at 5:30 am)

  • $95 by August 13, 2013
  • $110 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $125 on or after November 20, 2013

Glass Slipper Challenge (February 22nd & 23rd)

  • $270 by August 13, 2013
  • $290 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $310 on or after November 20, 2013

Cinderella Royal Family 5K (February 21st at 6:15 am)

  • $60 per participant

runDisneyKids Races (February 21st & 22nd)

  • $15 per Kids Dash participant
  • $30 per One Mile Run participant

For 2014, there is a new way to register as a 2-Princess Team, as well as new perks for you and your teammate!  Unlike in years past where a team would register together, now each individual runner will register for either the Princess Half Marathon or the Glass Slipper Challenge (There is no team division for the Disney Enchanted 10K).  Then the team will have to register separately for an additional $15.  Yes that’s right, there is an additional fee for running as a team where there hasn’t been before.  But there are additional perks that will now be available, such as a commemorative sash and a special team photo area at the expo.  Hopefully other surprises will be in store as well!

Before any of the races, all participants must stop by the Fit for a Princess Expo to pick up your race bib, t-shirt and do all the shopping your heart desires.  The expo runs from February 20 – 22 and it has been confirmed that it will be returning to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this year after a tight squeeze at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  I’ve attended the expo at both locations and you can read my experiences at the 2012 and 2013 expos to see the difference.

Welcome

If you’re looking for the ultimate VIP experience over Princess Weekend, then the Race Retreat may be for you!  For an extra $120 (yowza!!), you will have access to various pre and post-race amenities, such as a temperature controlled tent, snacks, private bathrooms, a commemorative item and more.

There are also various dining events over the weekend that you can attend.  The first event is immediately following the 5K on February 21st with an all new Breakfast.  Here you can enjoy a breakfast buffet with items such as quiche, breakfast burritos, french toast and more, as well as special character meet and greets and photo ops.

Returning for 2 nights this year (February 21st & 22nd) is the Pasta in the Park Party.  This family oriented event takes place in the World Showplace Pavilion inside Epcot and includes a buffet dinner of pasta (duh!), character meet and greets, and a reserved viewing area for Illuminations.  Pricing for both of these events is as follows:

Pasta in the Park Party Tickets

  • $52 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $28 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast

  • $37.50 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $17.50 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

And let’s not forget the most important part of any race, the spectators!  There are 4 different package levels available and range from a newsletter at no cost to the platinum package that includes entry into the race retreat.  You can get all the details of the packages here and the pricing is as follows:

ChEAR Squad

  • Bronze – No Charge
  • Silver – $39 per package
  • Gold – $65 per package
  • Platinum – $115 per package

New information about the 2014 race weekend is available here regarding logistics and procedures.  Also, make sure to visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend including details on the CheEAR Squad, packages, transportation information, park tickets and more.

Pre-sales for the Glass Slipper Challenge sold out in 2 days this past week, so I’m sure the event itself will sell out very quickly.  So if you are interested in participating, I would register as quickly as possible!

I LOVE this race weekend and have had the best time over the past 2 years running it with my friend Amanda!  It’s a great girls trip 🙂  You can read my race recaps from this year here: Royal runDisney Meet Up, Fit for a Princess Expo, and Princess Half Marathon Race Recap.

And don’t forget about 2012, my FIRST half marathon!: Tangled Royal Family 5KFit for a Princess ExpoPrincess Half Marathon – Pre-RacePrincess Half Marathon – The RacePost Race Snacks, and listen to my full recap on the Be Our Guest Podcast.

Will YOU be a Disney Princess in 2014?!?

A Royal runDisney Meet Up!

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend is full of tutus, tiaras and sparkle unlike any other race out there.  With all of these runDisney fanatics in one place (myself included), it’s no surprise that the coveted runDisney meet up/ tweet up was a seriously hot ticket.  So hot in fact, the Disney Parks Blog was brought to a screeching halt a week before the event!  I mean it’s understandable, right?  Where else can you run through an empty Disney park being led by some seriously elite runners?!

The meet up began at 6:30 am with check-in at the entrance to Epcot.  I love this time of day at Walt Disney World.  Everything is quiet, peaceful and just coming to life…a stark difference from the throngs of people that would be arriving in a few short hours.

Good Morning Epcot!

Good Morning Epcot!

5K & Half Marathon Finish Lines!

5K & Half Marathon Finish Lines!

We all checked in, signed our lives away to Disney waivers and were given a runDisney t-shirt.  I LOVE these shirts…the women’s cut is great!

Amanda & I in runDisney Gear

Amanda & I in runDisney Gear

What a gorgeous morning, despite the insane humidity.  There is something different about Florida skies that we just don’t have up here in Connecticut.  The clouds are breathtaking…what a treat!

SE Sky

Before the morning started, we had some time to chat with the runDisney folks, celebrities and fellow runners.  It was great to see a lot of new faces at the meet up and also reunite with some old friends from past races.

Me & Tony from Pacebook Running Club

Me & Tony from Pacebook Running Club

Amanda, Susan and I Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Amanda, Susan and I
Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Group Shot

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Before I knew it, it was 7:00 am and we were ready to start our run!  We were briefed by the runDisney team on the course, a 3-mile run around World Showcase and Crescent Lake finishing in the Germany pavilion.

SE_Bob

Tony_Start

There were two groups that went out.  The first was a faster group keeping a 9 minute mile pace and led by reigning Princess Half Marathon champion Rachel Booth.  I’m nowhere near fast enough to keep up with that crew, so I decided to stick with the group led by Jeff Galloway.  I’m a huge fan of Jeff’s, so any chance I get to run with him I will.  Plus, the 30 sec run/ 30 sec walk intervals are more my speed.

We went through Future World and clockwise around World Showcase Lagoon…and look we saw some Princesses along the way!

Run_1

Future World

Run_2

Norway

Snow White in Germany!

Snow White in Germany!

When we reached the International Gateway, we headed out towards the Boardwalk Resort and around Crescent Lake.  This is a gorgeous area for a morning run, but running around there was bringing back some painful memories of the Walt Disney World Marathon a few weeks prior!

We entered back into Epcot and circled back towards Germany where a nice breakfast (they still need some healthier options!) and some much needed cold water were waiting for us.  We were welcomed by Bob Hitchcock and Faron Kelly of runDisney who told us a bit about the history of Disney’s Princess Half Marathon and gave us ladies some serious props for making running so popular.  Did you know that this race has grown from 7,000 runners in 2009 to 27,000 in 2013?!?  Go ladies!

Bob Hitchcock

Bob Hitchcock

Faron Kelly

Faron Kelly

Jeff Galloway and Tara Gidus, official nutritionist for runDisney, took the stage next to give us some helpful tips for the race.  A heat advisory had been issued for the weekend and they helped prepare us for dealing with that, including proper nutrition, hydration and pace.  Rachel Booth, two time Disneyland Half Marathon winner and reigning Princess Half Marathon winner, also made a brief appearance.  What an amazing athlete!!

Tara Gidus & Jeff Galloway  Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Tara Gidus & Jeff Galloway
Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Rachel Booth

Rachel Booth

Next up were the truly inspirational moments of the morning.  Ali Vincent, the first female winner of The Biggest Loser, spoke about her weight loss journey and how adopting a healthy lifestyles completely changed her life.  She had a few gym towels to give away and had a very unique way of choosing who received them.  She asked everyone who had ever lost weight to raise their hands and then asked people to put down their hands based on how much weight they had lost, getting up to 100 pounds.  It was quite amazing to see how many people had lost significant amounts of weight and be able to congratulate them for their accomplishment.

Ali Vincent

Ali Vincent

Most inspiring of all was April Holmes.  Wow…just wow.  After a train accident 12 years ago resulted in April losing her left leg below the knee, she set out to be the fastest Paralympic athlete in the world and accomplished that many times over.  April has won numerous gold medals in the Paralympic Games in both 2008 and 2012 and continues to break World Records every year.  Her story of loss and overcoming the odds almost brought me to tears and motivated me to try and be better in everything I do.  She left us with this: “Your gold medal comes from being better than you were yesterday.”  From now on when I’m having a tough day, I will think of April and her strength.  Simply amazing.

April Holmes

April Holmes

The final presentation was from the folks over at Senses Spa, which recently opened at the Grand Floridian Resort.  They talked about various recovery techniques including foam rolling and massage.  Two lucky attendees were chosen for the demos!

Massage Demo

Massage Demo

Now it wouldn’t be a runDisney event without some giveaways.  The folks at New Balance were on hand to talk about the success of the new runDisney shoes that debuted over Marathon Weekend and they gave away a few pairs!  Look who chose the winners…Sean Astin!

Sean Astin

Goonies Never Say Die!

New Balance assured everyone that there would be plenty of shoes at the Expo that weekend, but encouraged people to get over there early just in case certain sizes sold out.  Good advice because the Expo was CRAZY!  More on that later…

The meet up wrapped up with an appearance by none other than Princess Minnie!  I mean obviously she would be there.  We also found out that is was Sean Astin’s birthday, so everyone joined in to sing to him!

Minnie & Bob

Happy Birthday Sean!

Happy Birthday Sean!

We all headed outside and were given some great giveaways of H2O products, a water bottle and other small tokens from the sponsors.  Princess Minnie and a few other Disney princesses were waiting for us for exclusive photo ops…score!  Minnie and I shared a few laughs and we’re now BFF.  Would you expect anything less from me?  The meaning of Sarah is Princess after all 🙂

Besties!

Besties!

S A & Minnie

The 3 Best Girlfriends!

Rapunzel!

Rapunzel!

Snow White confirmed the Dwarfs were hard at work in the mines...

Snow White confirmed the Dwarfs were hard at work in the mines…

And that concludes another magical runDisney meet up.  These events are so fun and give you a great opportunity to learn more about runDisney and get inspired to become a better athlete!  If you are interested in attending one of these meet ups, watch the Disney Parks Blog for an announcement about a week before any runDisney race weekend.  The competition is fierce, so you’ve got to be quick!  Hope to see you at the next event 🙂

 

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.

Princess Packing Chaos

It’s no secret that packing for race weekends stresses me out.  Why?  Well I like to have all the comforts of home while I’m away, so I always tend to over pack and then end up having to cut things out, which turns a simple task into a multi-day event.  Yes, I know this is crazy, but it is my process.

I use the guest room as my “staging area” and it currently looks like this…

Notice the extremely detailed list??

Notice the extremely detailed list??

Organized chaos!

Organized chaos!

My running gear isn’t even included in this mess, so I think I’m already over extending myself!  I was looking back at my packing list from last year’s Princess Half and my gear has definitely expanded.  I now have post-race clothes to change into (I HATE being in sweaty clothes once you cool down!), a stretch strap, the Stick, KT Tape, blister band-aids, ankle braces (just in case!), Voltaren Gel, Body Glide, and I’m sure a few other things I’m forgetting.  I think my list expands after every race because there is something “I wish I had” at the last race.

So I have 2 more days to finish this craziness and try to keep my bag under 50 lbs.  This is a challenge considering my bag for Wine & Dine came in at 49.7 lbs!

Just made it for Wine & Dine!

Just made it for Wine & Dine!

Do you stress over packing or am I just crazy?  (This is definitely a possibility…B would probably confirm that.)  What are your MUST HAVES for race weekends in Walt Disney World?  

A RAD Princess Meet Up!

We are only 9 days away from the start of the 5th anniversary of Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  Can you tell I’m getting excited from all of the Princess posts lately?!  The races, the expo and all of the official events happening over the weekend are going to be great, but what I’m most excited about is meeting all of you!  Come hang out and meet some of your fellow runners for a pre-Princess party…it’s going to be a blast!

RAD Princess Meet Up

Saturday, February 23rd at Noon

Captain Jack’s Margarita Bar

Downtown Disney Marketplace

DTD RAD Meetup

If you’re not familiar with Captain Jack’s Margarita Bar, it is located at the Downtown Disney Marketplace.  It is just across the way from Pin Traders and there are numerous tables right on the water with blue and white striped umbrellas.

margaritastand

Photo Source: WDW for Grownups

Photo Source: WDW for Grownups

Photo Source: WDW for Grownups

Thank you all for your feedback on dates, times and locations for the meet up.  This seemed to work best for the majority and I’m hoping we’ll have a great turnout!  So grab lunch at Earl of Sandwich or maybe a yummy cupcake from Babycakes (but make sure to bring me one 😉 ) and come meet your fellow RAD runners for a pre-Princess strategy session!  As always, I will have buttons for everyone…hope to see you there!!

BUTTONS!

BUTTONS!

RSVP on my Facebook page HERE!

2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Final Instructions

Princess 5th LogoFinal race instructions are now available for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon!  It’s only 11 days away princesses (and princes)!  I can’t believe this race is here again…it has been a whole year since my first half marathon!

The following are instructions for the Princess Half Marathon and include all of the information you will need about the race, transportation and other events around the weekend.

2013 Princess FI pg1

2013 Princess FI pg2

If you are looking for information on any of the other events happening during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, you can find them here:

This year, the Health & Fitness Expo is being held at an all new location…Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  I’m actually really excited about this change of venue for the Expo.  If you’ve ever been to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for packet pick up, you’ll know that it is a serious trek to get around the facility.  I’ve never been to the Coronado Springs convention facility, but from maps I’ve seen it looks much more manageable.

Princess Expo Map

The Expo will take place on Friday, February 22nd from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturday, February 23rd from 9:00 am – 6:00 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.

Because of the new location, it is very important to note the transportation restrictions for getting there.  There will be no parking and no Guest drop-off at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort during Expo hours. You will need to take the event transportation provided at all Walt Disney World Resorts to get to the Expo.  If you are not staying on property, you will have to park at Downtown Disney West Side and take the transportation provided from there.

Here is all of the information you will need for Race Day.

  • Host Resort Transportation  All Walt Disney World resorts, including Shades of Green and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, will have transportation available to bring participants to and from ALL events during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend
    • On race day, bus service will begin at 3:00 am and runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am to ensure they make it into their corrals by the 5:00 am cut-off time.
    • Shuttle service will be suspended between 5:00 am and 7:00 am because of road closures, but will recommence for spectators after 7:00 am.  Traffic into the Epcot parking lot will also be suspended at this time and all cars will be routed to the Magic Kingdom Parking lot where spectators can take the monorail to Epcot.
    • After the race, buses will be set by resort in the Family Reunion Area to take all participants back to their resorts until 10:30 am.
  • Driving Directions  If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events.  As usual, Disney says to EXPECT SIGNIFICANT DELAYS so make sure you leave yourself enough time.  Road closures will begin at 3:30 am, so you will want to try to arrive at Epcot before then.  If that isn’t possible, be sure to arrive at Epcot and be parked by 4:30 am since it is about a 20 minute walk to the starting corrals from the parking lot and you must be in there by 5:00 am.
  • 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.  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.  The bag check tents are located in the Family Reunion Area in the Epcot parking lot.  All bags must be checked by 4:30 am prior to walking over to the start corrals.  Bags must be picked up by 10:30 am at the same location.  I checked a bag for the Princess Half Marathon last year and the process was seamless, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned by the process if you are new to runDisney events.
  • Start Corrals  The start corrals are located on Epcot Center Drive.  It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the starting corrals from the holding area, so you will want to head over there no later than 4:30 am.  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.

Princess Individual Corrals

Princess Team Corrals

Princess Family Reunion Area

  • Starting Times  The following are scheduled start times for the corrals:
    • 5:30 am – Wheelchair Start
    • 5:35 am – Corral A Start
    • 5:42 am – Corral B Start
    • 5:49 am – Corral C Start
    • 5:56 am – Corral D Start
    • 6:03 am – Corral E Start
    • 6:10 am – Corral F Start
    • 6:17 am – Corral G Start
    • 6:24 am – Corral H 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 and smile for that camera 🙂
  • Team Bibs  If you registered as a team, you will receive a second commemorative bib with your team name on it.  This should NOT be worn in place of your individual bib or your time won’t be tracked.
  • 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.
Looking for the course map?  You can find it here!  More information is also available over on the runDisney website including the Official Program for the weekend.
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