Posts Tagged by ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

2015 Princess Weekend Merchandise & runDisney New Balance Shoes

Probably the best part about runDisney race weekends is all of the exclusive merchandise available at the Health & Fitness Expo.  There’s nothing like having some great commemorative items to take home with you to remember your big accomplishment!

Princess Half Marathon Weekend is right around the corner and there are some great new items you’ll be able to pick up.  Let’s check them out!

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Frozen has taken over as the main theme of the weekend and you can find snowflakes and characters on many of the items.  There is also the addition of a pink runDisney Magic Band to go with the blue design that was introduced over Marathon weekend.

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This is the 2nd year for the Glass Slipper Challenge and they have knocked it out of the park with these turquoise and black designs.  I just LOVE that wine glass!

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Ahhh BondiBands…my running must have!  Look at all of designs you’ll have to choose from!

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Another new addition to the race merchandise are these fun phone cases…looks like they can be customized too!

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And of course, no Princess Weekend would be complete without the ultimate accessory, a Disney Dooney & Bourke purse!  These new Princess designs are whimsical and fun…perfect for this royal event.

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Earlier today, New Balance released NEW design in their runDisney collection that will be release over Princess Half Marathon weekend.  Over Marathon Weekend the new Steamboat Willie inspired 990v3 shoes and now they are introducing 860v5’s in similar designs and capturing the spirit of the Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Polka Dot Minnie designs from the 2014 collection.

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The shoes will only be available at Health and Fitness Expos during the runDisney event weekend. To minimize waiting in line for shoes, New Balance has created a virtual queue to let you know when it’s your turn to be fitted and make your purchase. Starting on Thursday, February 19, starting at 6 a.m. runners can sign up at NBvirtualqueue.com using their bib number. Non-runners can sign up daily, pending inventory.

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Are you excited about the new designs or are they leaving you feeling a little grey??

As a reminder the Fit for a Princess Expo will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the hours are as follows:

  • Thursday, February 19th, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, February 20th, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, February 21st, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

If you are an AP holder or DVC member you may be eligible for discounts at the Expo, so don’t forget to bring your cards and always ask!  New Balance shoes generally do not get discounts.

What are you looking forward to getting this year?? 

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2015 WDW Marathon Weekend Kids Races!

What better way to get kids active and healthy then to get Mickey Mouse involved?!  runDisney Kids Races are held during every race weekend, but we don’t hear much about them.  They seem to get lost in all the hoopla around the big races, when in reality they are probably one of the highlights of the weekend!  I mean they are just TOO CUTE!  Well after Melissa ran the 10K this year, she headed over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where her son participated in the Kids Races for the 3rd year.  You might die over his tracksuit!!

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Disney’s Kids Races are my favorite part of Marathon Weekend. This is how Disney hooked our family for the races. There truly is something for every member of the family at Marathon weekend. You can walk any of the races or run your heart out from young to old. This year is our 3rd year doing the kids races and the changes that Disney made this year were FANTASTIC.

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Packet pickup for the kids was easy and fast. Unlike the adult races you get the shirt right there with your child’s bib so it makes the process just a little faster without having to go to a second location at the Expo. This year the kids race shirt was blue! I was thrilled as the last 2 shirts my son has were white which were stained and pretty unwearable before we even left the parks. However a this blue shirt will be around until it does not fit!

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My son was running the 200m dash for ages 4-6, so he was the second batch of kids running as they start with the 100m. The kids races started at 11:00 am on the dot with the first wave of 100m little runners. The 100m dash is for kids 1-3 and usually the most fun to watch. Lots of crying kids who just don’t understand what they are supposed to do while everyone and Mickey Mouse cheer them on.

My sons distance would be starting around 11:20 am and he actually ran at 11:25 am. You can always count on Disney for being punctual! There are no set corrals for the kids race however they do start in waves. Parents and kids just line up at the start line and go when they are told. My husband waited with my son while I got a spot close to the finish line to take some pictures.

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This year they started at a different part of the track running in the opposite direction as last year. I felt that this gave way more opportunities for pictures. The center of the track also felt less congested from last year and they started less children in each wave which was fantastic. I did not see one parent knock over a child do to over crowding and it also gave the kids a bit more space to run their little hearts out.

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I love that parents can run with their kids but kids also have a parent claim tag attached to their bib that you can get your kids at the finish line. With so many kids and parents around it doesn’t hurt to have the claim ticket just in case you get separated.

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At the finish line Mickey Mouse is waiting for the kids to give hugs and high fives before the kids get their hard earned medals. Just like the adult races once you get your medal there is water and snacks for some post race fuel. 200m is a long distance so my son was sure to make sure he had some snacks!

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After the race we explored the 2 tents of activities located in the center of the track. One of the tents had caricature artists and the other had arts and crafts for the kids to do such as crown making and coloring stations. It was nice to have something to do before and after the race. Since the kids races are very short it did help expand their experience. We did not wait in the line for caricatures since it was pretty cold and windy but they did have some adorable car magnets with the kids race distance on them.

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My son said it was the best race yet and I have to agree. Overall the Disney kids races do not disappoint. They truly have a way to make the kids feel like they are a big part of marathon weekend and entertain us parents at the same time. Plus where else at Disney could you have a cool experience, a Disney shirt, race medal and some snacks for under $20!

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Melissa Rubenstein is a Family Chiropractor in Miami and a Homeschooling Mom.  She is married to a streak runner and has completed numerous runDisney races. 

First Look at the 2015 runDisney New Balance Shoes!

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New Balance and runDisney have released the new design for the 2015 shoes today and there is something definitely missing…color!  Well that is on purpost you see…  This limited edition 990v3 design features Retro Mickey and Minnie inspired by Steamboat Willie and celebrates the classic heritage of Disney and New Balance.  This is a lighter weight, stability shoe that provides support and superior cushioning.

The men’s shoe is black and features and images of Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie on the heel along with his signature.

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The women’s shoe is grey and features a classic image of Minnie Mouse and her signature as well.

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These shoes will be available beginning tomorrow, January 7th at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex via the New Balance Virtual Queue.  Runners can sign up at NBvirtualqueue.com using your bib number starting Wednesday, January 7 at 6:00 am.  All other guests can sign up Thursday, January 8 at 6:00 am.  Set your alarms!

If you are into more colorful shoes on your feet, fear not because the 2014 designs will also be available at the Expo.

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And for all of you West Coasters running during Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, these will be available at that Health & Fitness Expo as well.

So what do you think??  Do you like the new retro design??

Personally, I’m a big fan!  One of the things that I love about New Balance shoes are they’re retro looks.  In fact, I even own black and grey pairs of the classic 574s!  So to incorporate runDisney into a similar shoe is pretty rad in my book.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Sticking Together for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Talk of rain began in the days leading up to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. There is always afternoon rain in Orlando as the 4:00 pm thunderstorms roll through, so I didn’t think much of it at first. However once race week rolled around, the sense of dread started to set in. It was looking more and more like the rain was going to arrive late Saturday night and on through Sunday morning. This was not just a passing storm…

Fun fact…I have never ran in the rain before. Maybe through a few sprinkles on a training run, but for no longer than 3 miles or so. Another fun fact…I hate having wet shoes. This is one of the reasons I’ve never done a Warrior Dash, Spartan Race or similar mud-themed race. Wet shoes = blisters and an unpleasant time.  Wait…are those really FUN facts?? Sigh…

So I arrived on Thursday before the race and enjoyed all things Food & Wine and even went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time.  I was having a blast…life was grand!!  Then I woke up Saturday morning to grey skies and a not so promising weather forecast.  I can’t say I was thrilled about the race at this point, but I was just going to make the best of it. I knew that I had a bunch of friends that were going to be in corral H with me so my new goal was to get through it with as many laughs along the way as possible.

My running buddy Amanda and I decided that since the rain was imminent our best bet would be to leave her car at Epcot so we could make a quick exit after the race incase we were soaked. We were able to park close enough to the finish line (or so we thought) that I left my gEAR bag in the car instead of schlepping it all the way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to check it. So we boarded the buses to the starting line and our journey began…

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Since we hit quite a bit of traffic on the way over, we didn’t have much time to check out all the pre-race festivities, but I did notice that they made some nice additions this year. There were quite a few concessions available including a beer cart for the spectators. I actually found that to be a cruel joke because I had to run 13.1 miles to get my beer, but here was a cart right at the start line!

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There were also quite a few picnic tables set up which was a nice alternative to sitting in the damp grass.

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However our friends Kevin and Carrie decided to sit in the grass because they were sporting the trendy look of the day…trash bag chic.

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After a quick stop at the sea of porta potties and some hugs and well wishes from friends, it was time to head into the corrals.

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Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

It was great to see that even with the threat of rain, the spirit of many of the runners was still going strong. There were tons of great costumes around and many were themed around the theme of the race, food and wine! Here is my favorite…she’s a Dole Whip!!

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The sprinkles started around 15 minutes before the start of the race so out came the ponchos and ziplock bags.  Earlier that day we took a trip to Walgreens to stock up cheap ponchos.  Well worth the trip off property to grab them for $1.49 instead of spending almost $10 for a Disney poncho.  You won’t feel bad tossing it if you need to either.

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Hey did you know that you can use your iPhone through a ziplock bag??  It was a HUGE revelation among the group…minds were blown.

Since we were in corral H, we didn’t actual get going until about 30 minutes after the start of the race.  The rain was turning into more than just a sprinkle at this point and the winds were picking up so we were all anxious to get going.  This is the first runDisney race that I didn’t get photos or video of the start line because of the rain, but I was happy to see that each corral was still getting a spectacular fireworks show! Once we got going I couldn’t help but laugh at how loud this race was due to the noise from all the ponchos and garbage bags moving around 🙂  I ditched my poncho after the first mile as it was making me quite warm, but this was something I would come to regret later.

There were 6 of us who decided we were going to stay together and run through the suck…remember the goal was laughter!  I had run this race with my friend Jim back in 2012 so I was happy he was in my corral again this year.  Unfortunately he was dealing with an injury and by mile 2 he encouraged us to just keep going after much protest.  Marc and Tiffany pulled ahead at some point and we lost them for a while, so Amanda, Charles and I trudged along to Animal Kingdom and we were actually making decent time when we hit the 5K mark.

By the time we got there, the rain was coming down hard.  The uneven terrain of the park was a bit treacherous and the paths were crowded due to all the construction going on.  This is also where I stepped in my first puddle…wet shoes, my favorite!  Blech.  When we left the park and made our way around the parking lot, all that was going through my head was “I’m COLD!”  Being soaking wet in the dark when it’s 58 and windy is not fun.  Here’s where I really regretting ditching that poncho.  I was hitting a low point and seriously considered stopping…but I just kept moving.

As we got close to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the rain began to taper and I could feel my motivation coming back a bit.  We were more than halfway done and the best part of the course was coming up.  I couldn’t help but smile when I turned the corner to see one of my favorite sites, the Hollywood Tower Hotel!

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It seemed safe to take out my phone now and I was happy to get back to my usual habit of snapping tons of photos along the course.

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Just before we reached the Streets of America, I got a text from Tiffany asking where we were and to my surprise her and Marc were just ahead of us enjoying the Osborne lights!!  We were so happy to be reunited that we just had to dance it out and Marc got it on video 🙂

We all actually spend a good amount of time here and soaked it all in.  It seemed that a lot of other people were doing the same thing and enjoying the break in the rain.  I’m not a huge Christmas fan, but you can’t help but smile and be happy when surrounded by all of this.

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We were all feeling pretty beat up from being cold and wet so we just banded together to finish the race.  Oh what a welcome sight Spaceship Earth was….just beyond that was the finish line!

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This had been a mental and physical challenge from the moment we crossed that finish line, but it would’ve been much more difficult if we didn’t all stick together.  It was a great feeling to have this support team by my side and I think everyone felt the same way.  We all knew that we were going to cross that finish line together and we did it hand in hand 🙂

After the race I grabbed up a mylar blanket that the voluntEARs (BIG thanks to the voluntEARs the stuck it out in the rain for us!!) were oh so thankfully handing out and we made our way through the maze to get out. I also grabbed my free beer and we high tailed it to the car.  I was a bit disappointed to not go in and enjoy the Finish Line Party, but I was so wet, cold and tired that all I could think about was a hot shower and my comfy bed at the Waldorf.

This was my worst race time by A LOT and there were many times that I was cursing myself for doing it, but looking back now, I actually had a great time.  I have made so many wonderful friends and have great memories from my journeys running at Disney…this was just another one of those times.  I’m lucky enough to be able to complete these races and share these stories…there nothing bad about that.  Even with all the rain, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is still one of my favorite races and I hope to continue doing it for years to come.  I mean, who doesn’t like free beer after a race?! Cheers!

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The Kindness of the Running Community

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon Expo was, um, crowded. This was the first, and probably last, time I will show up at a race expo first thing in the morning. I arrived early because I wanted to get it out of the way so I could go enjoy my day in Walt Disney World and also to grab a pair of the Disney New Balance sneakers. It’s a good thing I did because the line was already super long 30 minutes before the Expo opened!

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After grabbing the shoes, it seemed like the best time to head over to the official runDisney merchandise booth. Certain items have been known to sell out quickly so it made sense to just go there first. It was a bit chaotic, but manageable. I grabbed the few things I wanted (pins, vinylmation and a water bottle) and got in line to check out.

The morning started off chilly but quickly warmed up. Plus with all the bodies in the Expo, I was quite warm in my tech hoodie. So I tied it around my purse…something I’ve done countless times. Well sometime between paying for my runDisney merch (a remember seeing it in line!) and walking to the Expo exit, my hoodie feel off. In a panic, I retraced my steps to find it but no luck. This all happened within about 2 minutes…no hoodie!

I was super bummed because 1. it is my favorite running hoodie and 2. I was planning on wearing it for the cold, rainy race the next night. I headed up to the Services Center at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and filled out a lost item card, but had little hope that it would be returned.

What do you know? The next morning I received a call from Sharon at ESPN saying she thought she found it. Oh My! Well low and behold, when I arrived, there it was. Sharon seemed just as excited as I was to reunite me with my hoodie and she truly made my day…and race!

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I’ve always thought that the running community is made up of special people. There is something kind and supportive within all of us. Probably because we have all endured the humbling experience that is running. This experience just proved that point!

So thank you kind person who found my hoodie and took it to lost and found.  Because of you I was able to run a warmer (sadly not drier) Wine & Dine Half Marathon!

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Do you feel the same way about the running community?  Have you ever lost one of your favorite pieces of running gear?

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