Posts Tagged by goofy

First Time Running Disney at the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon

Your first race is something you will never forget.  Your first runDisney race is a memory of a lifetime!  I remember every second of mine like it was yesterday.  This year, Celissa’s first half marathon AND runDisney race was the Disneyland Half Marathon.  Just look at all the fun she had!

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It never crossed my mind that I would one day run a half marathon. I never pictured myself running such a long distance and saying that I am a runner. But today, I am extremely proud to say that I am a half marathoner!! Not only did I complete a half marathon; I completed a runDisney half marathon!!

I signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon under heavy medication after having my wisdom teeth pulled out. I disliked running but I have always wanted to participate in a runDisney event. A couple of weeks after signing up and after my little sister pushing me, I downloaded the training plan by Jeff Galloway and started my new running road to complete the half marathon in once piece.

Well August came fast and it was time to head to Disneyland to attend the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo. I had read that the expo had been chaotic in the past, but it was such a breeze. I was so excited to get my bib and t-shirt!! Words cannot express the emotions going through my body at the time. This non-runner was going to try to complete a half marathon.

After my mom, sister, and I picked up my bib, we headed to the expo. WOW! We were completely overwhelmed by how many vendors there were. We were able to visit the KT tape table who graciously retaped my shins since they were giving me problems throughout my training. We were also able to see Sean Astin from The Goonies and Lord Of The Rings speak about his experience as a runner. He is such a great speaker and gave us great advice on keeping positive throughout our runs.

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The next morning, we were up at 3:10 a.m. on race day. I stayed calm as I put on my Goofy costume, but the excitement was creeping up.

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As I packed my last Gu in my running belt, all I could think of was what if I was picked up by the sweepers? What if I overheated? Is that possible? Then before I knew it, we were walking towards the Disneyland Hotel and trying to find our way to the corrals. As we followed every runner that was headed the same direction, I started to calm down and enjoy the positive energy that was radiating throughout Downtown Disney. Everyone had a smile on their face amidst the humidity that was starting. We finally made it to the corrals and I had to part with my family since they were not running.

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I was on my own. I was placed in corral J since I had never ran before and did not submit a running time. Once I reached my corral, corrals A and B were off and the song “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen started playing. Then corrals C and D were off. And then corral E. F. G. H. I. As we started to move closer to the starting line, I had noticed that we had been standing in the same place for close to an hour. Even before my feet realized that they were hurting, we were off! Here we go!!

We reached Mile 1, which seemed to be right around the corner. Mile 2 was filled with school marching bands, color guards and drumlines. They cheered everyone on as we passed by.

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We had finally entered California Adventure and immediately ran into the Green Army men from Toy Story. I continued running and finally hit Paradise Pier! It was so neat seeing all the colors coming from Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

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I continued running and before I knew it, I was out of California Adventure and into Downtown Disney. While running towards Disneyland, I was able to see my mom and sister waving and gave them high fives as I ran by. Running into Disneyland was AMAZING! Somehow the feeling doesn’t compare to that of just walking in. I ran onto Main Street and saw the drummers from the Soundsational Parade. They totally kept the atmosphere positive and upbeat.

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As I headed down Main Street, I was able to stop and took a picture with the Three Caballeros (minus Donald).

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The course took us in front of the partners statue and into Frontierland, having us pass Thunder Mountain and into Fantasyland. I had just missed Dumbo flying in the air when I took my picture, but there wasn’t a line so I asked the cast member to take a picture.

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All the cast members were so helpful and never hesitated to take pictures. I passed the carousel and heard Cinderella’s step sisters yelling at us from the horses. I continued the course and ran into Sleeping Beauty’s castle!!! This is one of the highlights of the entire race and it was fantastic to hear music coming from the castle!

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We ran out of the castle and into Tomorrowland where I was able to take a picture with Darth Vadar!

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The course went from Tomorrowland then between the Matterhorn and Finding Nemo. As we were running to ToonTown, we saw Jafar and Maleficent out for pictures as well as Dr.Facilier and Cruella De Ville. I ran into Toon Town and got a picture with the Army Men from Toy Story. I thought it was so neat to begin and end the course throughout the parks with the green army men.

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We headed out of Disneyland and into the backlot where we were greeted by the custodial staff and the beautiful Clydesdale horses.

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From then on was all highway. There were plenty of water and Powerade stations to refuel yourself along the way. So many marching bands and cheerleaders, florklorico dancers, Polynesian dancers, and rows and rows of classic cars entertained us.  Thank you spectators for getting up so early to cheer us on!!

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I headed towards the Honda Center, which I had never seen before, and then the course lead us onto the Santa Ana trail which was dry but gorgeous. And hot! The sun had decided to peak his head out and join us for a 13.1 mile run.

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We continued running and finally saw the Anaheim Angles Stadium! Oh. My. Goodness! Running into the stadium was amazing!  Everyone in the stands made us feel like rockstars! It ended too soon, but that meant that we were close to the finish line!

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Miles 10 to 12 became extremely blurry since I had pulled a muscle and was running with a little bit of pain, but I was still determined on finishing strong and upright. We passed some more encouraging cheerleaders who were yelling that we were almost there.  And there it was…the back of the Hollywood Tower Hotel! Next came mile 12 and I could hear the cheering getting louder!

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We passed the back of California Adventure and rounded the corner that lead us to the Disneyland Hotel. I saw it! Mile 13! I felt my smile getting wider and my eyes get teary because I, the non runner, made it to mile 13.

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I saw my little sister close to the finish line and I heard her yell “You’re almost there! Take a selfie” WHAT!?! I turned and almost fell and thought GEEZE that would have been awful to be feet away from the finish line and fall!

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I ran to the right to give Minnie a high-five and crossed the finish line SMILING!! I turned to see my sister and she was cheering her head off. My sister is my inspiration for running! I ran this race for her! She is the runner in our family, but sadly, she was attacked by dog and injured one of the discs in her lower back. I ran this race because right now she can’t. I also ran this race because I wanted to prove to myself that I could! And Disney made it more magical. I received my medal and just couldn’t stop staring at it. I met up with my family and the waterworks started! 13.1 miles! Not a lot of people can say that they ran a half marathon!

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I am now a half marathoner and I am so happy that runDisney was my first! It was such an amazing event! All the soreness and pain that is caused by training is so worth it at the end. I wanted to pick my favorite part of the race but the whole race was my favorite part. From start to finish. If you think you can’t do, you CAN! And once you cross that finish line and receive your medal, you will be so happy that you signed up!

I have signed up for the Avenger Half Marathon in November and I can happily say that I have become obsessed with running. I feel the strength in my legs and lungs. I will continue to run and train until I can cross that finish line with my sister.

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I am a runner!! Yup, I said it.  See you all at the starting line!

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*****

Celissa has been a lover of Disney since she first kicked in her mothers tummy 29 years ago. She now enjoys running and hopes to run along side her sister in the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon. She hopes to one day work for the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank,Ca. She has amazing support from her mom, dad, sister and husband.

A Celebration for the Final Finishers

A common fear that many runners have is not finishing a race.  We are always worried about staying on pace and occasionally look over our shoulders for the dreaded “Balloon Ladies” and sweeper vans.  What you may not know is that finishing last in a runDisney race is often as big of a celebration (if not bigger!) as it is for the winners!

Since race spectators mean so much to me, I often like to stay after I complete a race and cheer on the runners that are still coming in.  Well that’s if there is enough time left after I finish!  After the 2014 Princess Half Marathon, I made a point to spend some time cheering the runners on and I really wanted to see the last few come in.  I’ve heard they do something special and I wanted to see if for myself.

It was SO inspiring to see these final runners coming in.  You could see that many of them were struggling, but pushing through the pain.  Many had tears in their eyes and huge smiles on their faces as they saw the finish line in the distance.  And of course, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy were there in their regal attire to give them that last little push!

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I just LOVE how Mickey is bowing to the Princesses coming by!  The woman below had hurt her knee and was wearing a brace, but man was she determined to finish.

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Then came the final finishers.  I overheard that the woman in the center had recently lost her 2 children in a fire and she was completing this race for them.  She was arm in arm with her 2 friends and you could just see the mix of emotions on their faces…joy and sorrow.  It was incredibly emotional.  The characters ran to meet them and they all walked to the finish line together.

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The strength she showed was simply amazing and bravo to runDisney for highlighting that.  A half marathon is a TOUGH journey and no matter how long it takes you to complete one, it should be celebrated.  Those final runners show incredible perseverance and deserve that medal as much as the first place finisher.

Have you ever seen the final finishers at a runDisney race?  What have you overcome to finish a race? 

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The Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge Part II – Disney Princess Half Marathon

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Ahh that 2:30 am runDisney alarm…  Slightly a bit more rested than the day before, Amanda and I went through the motions of getting ready in the dark and getting all of our running gear in order.  Would you believe that 2 days in a row I forgot to put deodorant on for the races?!?!  My apologies to everyone around me…  We headed to the bus, bleary eyed, but ready for Part 2 of the Glass Slipper Challenge!

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This was the 3rd year Amanda and I ran this race together and it really has become “our race.”  I have to admit that with my recent miscarriage and other health issues, I was really considering not running this year.  I hadn’t been training and I just didn’t think I was up for it.  But a few weeks prior to the race Amanda convinced me that it was just what I needed to get myself back in gear and if we had to walk the whole thing we would.  So with that added determination we took on our 3rd Princess Half Marathon together 🙂

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Before I knew it, the countdown had begun and we were off!  There’s the start line in the distance from the haze of the firework smoke hanging heavy in the fog…

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Oh the fog?  Yeah the humidity was thick that morning, just like ALL Disney races.  We started off doing the Galloway run/walk approach with 60 second runs/30 second walks, which is what we did most of the the day before for the 10K.  Right off the bat, I was struggling.  I had no energy and was having trouble catching my breath.  I was getting very frustrated and couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Then just before mile 2 it dawned on me…I didn’t take a Gu before starting the race.  I was running on very low fuel, as that half bagel with pb and banana over 2 hours ago was clearly running low.  Well that was dumb!  I think between the combination of exhaustion and excitement, I forgot about the basics.  So I popped a Gu and in about 10 minutes was already feeling better.

My favorite part about runDisney races is “running” into friends along the way, and as we made our way to to the Magic Kingdom we ran into some great friends!

Kristen and Carrie!

Shaene!

We ran into our pal Shaene in the parking lot of the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC).  I was SO excited to see him because it was at this point in the TTC parking lot where 3 1/2 years ago that we all took off on Mickey’s Halloween 5K, our first 5K ever!  At that time were were just a bunch of Disney geeks looking for a new way to experience our favorite place on earth…look at us now 🙂

One of my favorite parts about being at the TTC for a race are the amazing drummers.  They come just after you reach the Mile 4 marker and the energy is amazing!

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Another mile and we made it to the best part of the race…the Magic Kingdom!  The sight of that castle in the distance with hundreds of cheering spectators NEVER gets old.

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Now I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I need to reinforce it.  One of the BEST things about Disney races are the real bathrooms.  Not only is it due to the lack of hot, stinky port-a-pottiness, but being about to wash your hands and splash some water on your face is so refreshing mid-race.  Look how happy Amanda is about real bathrooms!

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The best bathrooms to stop at are between Liberty Square and Frontierland.  They are large and never have a line.  Skip the first few you see and head here.

After a quick pit stop we hit Mile 6…

Then had the worst photo taken at one of the best photo ops on course.  Choose your photographers wisely people!

Then we got a good backstage look at Splash Mountain…

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And then I hit the wall…

Making that left onto Floridian Way meant the loooooong road back to Epcot and I was getting tired.  My lack of training was setting in, my feet started to hurt and I just didn’t want to go anymore.  I said to Amanda “I think this is my last half.”  I had completely lost all motivation.  She didn’t say much, but stuck with me and I sincerely thanked her.  Then I heard just what I needed…”Who else would I do this with?  This is our race.”  Sigh.  After all the crap I’d been through the weeks before I basically lost it.  I had to hold myself back from ugly crying at mile 8 and I could hardly breath.

That’s what it took me to realize why I was there.  I needed this race, I needed to struggle, I needed to wipe away all the hurt.  It finally felt great to just let it all go.  Damn I love that girl.  And that was it…for the rest of the race I had a blast.

I stole Mickey’s golf cart…

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Got to see my friend Nicole

I banged out 5 full push-ups!

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And then we finally made it to the home stretch…Epcot!

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I have a few favorite photo ops that are now becoming a tradition for me at the end of this race.  It’s actually really fun to get the same shot and compare it to the prior year!  First is this crazy Fairy Godmother, who shouts jokes to all the runners.  I love her!

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Next is a tradition I now do during all of my half marathons since I did it during my first…take a photo at the Mile 13 marker.  I remember being SO EXCITED that I had made it 13 miles and that excitement never seems to get old 🙂

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We crossed that finish line and I started balling (queue the ugly cry!) because I really didn’t think I would be able to accomplish this challenge.  My body was not ready for 19.3 miles, but I managed to squeeze it out.  I don’t know how, but I did!  I had done this challenge before with the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, but this was so much harder and meant so much more to me.

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After getting both of our medals, Amanda and I headed to meet B and watch the rest of the runners cross the finish line.  I love doing this and encouraging everyone on.

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We also got to see something I’ve always wanted to see…the last person cross the finish line.  What I love about runDisney is that they celebrate those that come in towards the end as much (if not more!) than the leaders.  We found out that the woman who was last to cross had just lost her two children in a fire.  She was arm and arm with her two friends dressed in rainbow tutus and Mickey, Minnie and Goofy joined them for the walk to the finish line.  Well if I wasn’t emotional enough…this just put me over the edge.  I yelled and cheered for her and I, once again, ugly cried for her…

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And like that my 3rd Princess Half Weekend was complete, but this time I had some extra bling and some extra pride to take home with me.  Those 2 days were HARD, but I’m so glad that Amanda pushed me to do them.  Sometimes you just need that cheerleader to get you over that slump.  I’m not done with running, but I will definitely be scaling back this year.  However, I do actually think I will continue to do Princess every year…it is our race after all.

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Did you run the Princess Half Marathon or take on the Glass Slipper Challenge?  Do you have any race traditions?

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the entire weekend as media.  My hotel expenses were provided by Disney.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I am 100% obsessed with runDisney events.

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Inaugural Walt Disney World Minnie Mouse 10K Race Recap

10Ks are a great race distance.  More challenging than a 5K, but not as big of a commitment as a half marathon.  It’s a great next step for beginner runners who are looking to take it up a notch.  I’m so glad runDisney added this distance to the race roster and Ashley is here to give us a recap of the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K over Marathon Weekend.  It looked like it was a great time and I love those Minnie medals!

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Soon after running the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I started signing up for more-and-more long-distance races, and I nervously signed up to run the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon. At the same time, I was excited to see that the weekend was featuring an inaugural 10k spotlighting Minnie Mouse herself! I knew I had to do it. (Hubby and I each picked 2 races for the weekend. He chose to train for the Goofy Challenge.)

I was looking forward to every aspect of our trip: the flight, the Expo, the 10k, Magic Kingdom, the half, Downtown Disney, the full, and a celebratory dinner at ‘Ohana, all of which I’ll be recapping on my blog, Running MOMmentum. Check back for updates!

{What I ate} Although we had made 3 ADRs for our trip, we didn’t really have plans for dinner Thursday night other than finding something at our resort, Pop Century. After a full day of traveling and walking around ESPN for the Expo, we were ravenous! As luck would have it, Wide World of Sports was offering a runners’ special of chicken alfredo penne pasta with a side of bread – just steps outside of Expo in the HP Field House and where Jeff Galloway was speaking! The food was quick, yummy, affordable, and the perfect carb-load! On Friday morning, I opted for a Zone bar and some Gatorade that my husband had whipped up from an airport-friendly powder mix.

{What I wore} I bought a new hot pink tank from Lululemon and paired it with purple C9 running shorts that I found on clearance at Target just in time for the race! I also sported a purple SweatyBand thin glittery headband, pearl earrings, hot pink Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s, a black and hot pink SPIBelt, and Brooks running socks. Oh and loads of (pink) KT tape on my feet.

Call me crazy, but I woke up at 2:30 on race morning to STRAIGHTEN MY HAIR. If you have curly hair like me, you can relate. (But of course, in the humid Florida air, it was curly again by the time the race started!)

Catching the shuttle from Pop Century to Epcot was no problem – I was at Epcot by 4:07 AM. I’m not sure how they assigned the corrals for this race, but I found mine pretty easily (there were only 5, A-E). My sister was in a different corral with her friends, and I headed over to wish them luck before the race. I ended up deciding to tag along with them for the run, knowing that they wanted to take it super easy before the marathon on Sunday. I knew it’d be more fun to run this race in a group.

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Just before it was our turn to run at 6 AM, I got a phone call from the superintendent of the school system where I work as a School Counselor. He was calling to notify us that schools were on a 2-hour delay due to icy roads! I had to laugh to myself, as I wore my shorts and tank top.

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True to the character of runDisney, each corral started with a beautiful crisscross of shimmery fireworks.

We were off and running! The group was taking it slowly to save energy for the marathon, so I took their cue and used the time to enjoy the race. I ran holding a camera in each hand – my Canon S90 in my right hand, my iPhone in my left. These helped me remember specific details, mile markers, and times.

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Despite holding two cameras, there wasn’t much to photograph until Mile 3 at Epcot. Most of the race before Epcot was all highway, with one photo stop with Peter Pan and Wendy that we skipped. Soon we were entering World Showcase, which was a photo op in-and-of itself! We stopped to admire the gorgeous golden lights reflecting from World Showcase onto the lagoon.

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France is still one of my favorite backdrops in World Showcase. I remember stopping there for chocolate croissants last year with my family and then-7-month-old son, whom I nursed on a park bench outside the patisserie. I just love the fountains!

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Goofy was positioned soon after, but we didn’t stop to wait in line. He was, oddly enough, wearing a football uniform. (Reason?) After finishing Mile 5, I scoped out the Epcot resorts sprinkled around the boardwalk, toeing the sand and once again not believing my luck that I was not back in icy Virginia!

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The race path took us under the monorail line and behind a photo spot with Chip ‘n Dale, whom we’d see after both the half and full marathons later that weekend. Spaceship Earth came into perfect view and Mile 5 turned into Mile 6 right afterward.

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At that point, I recognized the large puppets from the Princess Half, which were leftover from the Mile 20 celebration at Disney Marathon Weekend 2013. I spotted Genie and Lumiere, but not Sebastian. The gospel choir was also conspicuously missing from the 10k, although they reappeared for the longer races.

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I’m always excited to see the finish line, but Disney races are so exciting that it’s also sad for them to be over! We began the final 0.2 mile stretch toward the finish line and decided to cross all together in a straight line. And finish we did! We were handed our medals, which felt very unceremonious to me.

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We met the rest of our boys at the finish line – they had found each other after finishing the 10k leg of Dopey. runDisney had food for us – bananas, a food box (with handles!), water, and Powerade. The food box selections remained identical for every race over the four-day race weekend. It contained: Ocean Spray Craisins, a FreshNap wipe, a tub of Hickory Farms White Cheddar, Skittles (almost my whole bag was yellow!), a Builder’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar, almond pops with blueberries, and sea salt corn chips.

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I took one picture of Minnie after the race but decided to bypass her line, since I knew I’d see her at Magic Kingdom later that day. We soon hopped onto our shuttle back to Pop Century so that we could shower and snack a bit before reapplying our sunscreen and heading out to Magic Kingdom for the day!

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*****

I’m so excited to be writing a race recap for Running at Disney today! I’m Ashley, and I blog over at Running MOMentum. I’m an elementary school counselor by day, but when I am home, I’m a cloth-diapering, nursing, babywearing mommy to my sweet boy. My husband and I are living in a toddler’s world! Blogging is my way of processing and reflecting on my experiences and relishing in the loves of my life – my faith, my family, my friends, and my experiences!

I ran cross country in high school but took a hiatus after a spinal fusion, and only recently returned to running about a year before my son was born. My favorite races have been at Disney – the 2013 Princess Half Marathon, the 2014 Inaugural Minnie 10k, and the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon! You might also catch me taking pictures, writing, finding freebies, attempting to cook, attending Bible study, scouring Pinterest, and scrolling through Bloglovin. Virginia has always been home to me, my husband, our son, and our sprightly Jack Russell Terrier, Scout.

First Look at the 2014 New Balance runDisney Shoes!

The folks over at Competitor got an exclusive first looks at the new designs of the 2014 New Balance runDisney Shoes and they are pretty cool!  If you recall, new characters and new models have been added this year to accommodate even more Disney runners out there.

Check out the designs!

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The Entire 2014 New Balance runDisney Collection

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860 Model Sorcerer Mickey and Princess Minnie Designs

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890v4 Model Cinderella Design

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890v4 Model Goofy Design

I’m definitely more partial to the design of the 890v4 model and love the colors!  It looks like the Cinderella design has ribbons for laces, which is a really fun touch.  They will also be coming with traditional laces as well, but I love the ribbons for walking around the parks between races 🙂

These will be available January 8, 2014 at 10:00 am at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo.  Last year the shoes sold out VERY quickly, but word is there will be more in stock this year.  Even if that is true, I’d recommend getting there early and expect long lines if you are interested in grabbing a pair.

You can see more photos here and for an even closer look, check out this video from runDisney!

What do you think of the new designs?  Will you be picking up a pair?

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