Posts Tagged by joey fatone

A Mad runDisney Meet Up Through Disneyland!

To say that my first trip out to Disneyland was magical is an understatement, but who knew it would be mad?!  Well runDisney did of course!  With the new Disneyland 10K theme focused around Alice in Wonderland, it was only fitting that the runDisney meet up theme would be centered around the film as well.

As with most runDisney meet ups, the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend meet up started at the crack of dawn.  Over 50 runners met under the Sorcerer’s Hat at the Disneyland Hotel bright and early to run our way through the parks, we must be mad to do that!

01 RD-DL-Meetup

runDisney BFF Amanda & I!

runDisney BFF Amanda & I!

We made our way over to Downtown Disney to get the low down on the run from Tony Morreale of Disney Sports and get some great tips on good form running from the folks at New Balance.

03 RD-DL-Meetup

04 RD-DL-Meetup-New-Balance

Let’s Make Excellence Happen  is the motto when it comes to running and New Balance, and they are dedicated to helping runners achieve their goals in a safe and healthy way.  We were given the four main goals of good form running, which are:

  • Posture
  • Mid-Foot
  • Cadence
  • Lean

They came up with a great mnemonic to remember this by: Party’s Make Cinderella Late…genius!  We walked through each goal and were encouraged to try to use these tips as we ran through the parks.  Easy for them to say…I knew I would be distracted by all the Disney goodness on our run 🙂  Luckily there is a video available to brush up on good form running while at home.

Then guess who interrupted our lesson??  The White Rabbit of course!  And as usual, he was LATE!  But what else were us Disney runners to do, but chase him??

05 RD-DL-Meetup-White-Rabbit

So we took off in pursuit of the White Rabbit and into Disneyland, but obviously I had to stop for a pic with Joey Fatone first…we did become BFFs at the WDW Marathon meet up after all 😉

Sarah-Joey-Fatone

Off we ran through Downtown Disney and into Disneyland Park.  Even though I had visited the park for the 2 days prior, there was something magical about being there at dawn.

06 RD-DL-Meetup-Disneyland

And then running down Main Street USA with Joey Fatone (totally surreal for this ‘Nsync fan) and through Sleeping Beauty Castle made it even more magical.

07 RD-DL-Meetup-Main-Street

08 RD-DL-Meetup-Castle

As we entered Fantasyland, I noticed the group in front of me slowing down and wondered what was happening.  Then I saw Alice and was so excited for a fun photo op!

010 RD-DL-Meetup-Alice

What I wasn’t expected was that we were going to be able to ride the Mad Tea Party!!  As a Walt Disney World native, I must say I LOVE this version of the attraction.  It is out in open and the lanterns are so whimsical.  I often find it difficult to get someone to ride the tea cups with me in WDW because of all the spinning, so I was excited to get to experience this in Disneyland with no wait!

011 RD-DL-Meetup-Teacups

09 RD-DL-Meetup-Sarah-Amanda

But what made the experience even better was riding with these folks:

012 RD-DL-Meetup-Teacups

How many celebrities can you cram into a tea cup?

Yes, there is video…

I totally could’ve stayed on there all day, but we had to move on.  We ran through Tomorrowland and back down Main Street towards Disney California Adventure.  Do I look excited??

014 RD-DL-Meetup

We headed towards Cars Land, which was equally as beautiful in the early morning hours, and then on to Hollywood Land and what else but the Mad T Party area!

013 RD-DL-Meetup-Carsland

There we were greated once again by Alice who was now joined by the Mad Hatter.  I LOVE this character…he is always so fun to interact with 🙂

015 RD-DL-Meetup

We were welcomed by Bob Hitchcock of Disney Sports and treated to a continental breakfast and some much needed coffee.

016 RD-DL-Meetup

Bob Hitchcock

Then the highlight of the morning…something I totally was not expecting.  Bob and Faron Kelly of runDisney Marketing unveiled the new runDisney medals for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon Weekends!  O.M.G.  they are gorgeous!  I can’t wait to get that new Wine & Dine medal in 2 short months!!!

017 RD-DL-Meetup-MedalsTo say the group was excited is an understatement.  Bob and Faron fielded questions about upcoming events and any new races that runDisney has planned, but didn’t give up too much.  Faron just eluded that runDisney is “efforting” new races…does this mean a Disneyland Paris race is in our future??  We can only hope!

Once we all composed ourselves, it was was time to move on to some other fun presentations.  First was a sneak preview of the new ABC series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland starting this fall.  Apparently this is a blending together of Alice in Wonderland and Aladdin, where Alice falls in love with the Genie…interesting!  I’m a big fan the show Once Upon a Time, so this is right up my alley.  Check out the official trailer here:

Next up was Cindy Lynch, the 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon 1st place women’s finisher.  I always find it fascinating to hear from elite runners like this because I will NEVER be in their league, but they always offer great advice on how to improve you training and race routines.  Some tips Cindy offered are:

  • Interval runs, tempo runs and long runs are the essentials for race training.
  • Don’t forget to take in the scenery!
  • Roctane is great for fuel while running.  She takes one every 30 minutes.
  • While negative splits are always a goal, even she struggles with them.  (I’m glad it’s not just me!)
019 RD-DL-Meetup

Cindy Lynch

Official runDisney Nutritionist, Tara Gidus, spoke next on how to properly fuel for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge and how recovery in between the races will be the key to our success.  She also went on to tell a funny story about how someone recently called her a buzzkill on the runDisney blog because she broke the myth that just because you’re training doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want.  So if you ever run into Tara at a race, make sure to tell her she’s a buzzkill 😉

Tara Gidus

Tara Gidus

My favorite running coach, Jeff Galloway, shared his story of how he began running.  Who knew that super skinny Olympian was once a fat, lazy teenager??  I never would’ve guessed it!  Well he was until he joined his cross country team at the age of 13 that he began running.  He did it because he wanted to be part of a team, which is how he feels about runDisney events.  We are all part of one big team, encouraging each other along the way.  That couldn’t be more true.

021 RD-DL-Meetup

Jeff Galloway & Bob Hitchcok

Ali Vincent, the first female winner of The Biggest Loser, and Sean Astin (Goonies, Rudy, Lord of the Rings) continued with the motivational theme and their struggles with staying on track.  Ali finds motivation in races.  Once she is signed up for a race, it gives her that push to keep training even though she hates getting up in the morning.  She has even signed up for the Dopey Challenge in January!  Sean shared a wonderful story about running with his daughter and how the Galloway run/walk method helped to get her out there.  They have found what motivates them and stressed the importance of finding ours!

Ali Vincent

Ali Vincent

Sean Astin

Sean Astin

Joey Fatone, fresh off his VMA performace, finished the presentations by talking about his emotional journey completing the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge over the 2013 WDW Marathon Weekend for his wife.  He also follows the Galloway run/walk method by doing a 1:1 ratio.  He even compared the excitement of finishing a race to the N’Sync reunion…interesting 🙂

Joey Fatone

Joey Fatone

No runDisney meet up would be complete without some great giveaways.  A few lucky attendees won the official runDisney New Balance sneakers, runDisney laptop cases, runDisney travel bags and even a race entry for the 2014 season!  Giveaway ALL the runDisney swag!

This was another fun and memorable event!  What a great way to get a completely different perspective on the parks as well as some very useful tips along the way.  It’s also a great way to meet your fellow runDisney enthusiasts…we’re all a bit mad in our own way 😉

Faith, Amanda & Myself

Faith, Amanda & Myself

Photo Courtesy of Disney Sports

Photo Courtesy of Disney Sports

Have you ever attended a runDisney Meet Up?  What speakers would you like to see there?

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this as media.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I am 100% obsessed with runDisney events.

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, Oh the Fun We Had!

I hope that you’ve been following my Disneyland and Dumbo Double Dare adventure over the past few days through Twitter, Facebook & Instagram!  It has been an amazing trip and I have SO MUCH to share with you.  It’s been difficult for me to keep up with writing the past few days because of everything that has been going on, but be prepared to get bombarded with race recaps, the runDisney Meet Up, Disneyland dining, my experiences as a first timer and so much more!  Until then, here is just a preview of a few of the things I’ve been up to.

Seeing the tiny Sleeping Beauty’s Castle for the first time and falling in love with the quaintness of Fantasyland.

Sleeping-Beauty-Castle

I was FINALLY reunited with my favorite motormanic, Mr. Toad!

Mr-Toad-Kiss

Discovered my new favorite attraction anywhere – Hemlich’s Chew Chew Train!  I’m coming for you little animal crackers….

Hemlichs-Chew-Chew-Train

Ate and drank some incredible meals…whoa!

Carthay-Lounge-Collage

Trader-Sams

Attended the runDisney meet up and got to ride the Tea Cups with Joey Fatone!

Meet Up Group Shot

Sarah-Joey-Fatone

Ran a few races…a total of 21.3 miles in 3 days…and once again did it with my runDisney BFF Amanda!

10K-Carsland

I had tea with my friend Sid and Sean Astin following the Disneyland 10K…No big deal, right?!?!?!?!

10K-Tea-Sean-Astin

I had a really fun meet-up as well!  It’s always fun to chat runDisney!!!

Disneyland-RAD-Meet-Up

And the best part…ALL THESE MEDALS!!

2013 Medals

Thank you to everyone who I met this weekend for your encouragement and for everyone who followed along online and pushed me through some of the tough times.  I don’t only run for me, but I run for you and to show that with enough determination you can do anything, so matter your size, age, etc…!

Now, bring on the Tower of Terror 10-Miler!

Dumbo, The Big Fat Elephant in the Room

Well it’s been no secret that my training for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge has been severely lacking.  A few months ago I put together this fantastic training plan to keep myself on track and I set a goal of trying to finish the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2 hours and 30 minutes.  How long did I stick with it?  All of two weeks…sigh.

Dumbo

Something that I’ve learned about myself in the the past few years of race training is that I am NOT good with schedules like this.  I did the same thing for the WDW Marathon last year and the same thing happened.  So here I am, less than 6 weeks away from 2 challenging races and I’m finding myself not properly trained.  And I’m getting worried…

For the past few months, I’ve really been focusing on CrossFit.  I love the variety, the challenge and the community.  I find myself pushing harder than I ever thought possible and  it is incredibly rewarding.  It feels kind of like getting a race medal every time I finish a WOD…pretty damn cool!  But because of this, my mileage has declined.  The thought of getting out there by myself and pounding the pavement for an extended period of time seems daunting when I could go feel like a badass and and laugh with my friends at CrossFit in a fraction of the time.  I started CrossFit to help improve my running, but I never thought I would enjoy it so much that it would begin to take the place of my running.

This past Sunday I went out for my first training run in a few weeks.  My goal was 5 miles, but I only made it to 3.2.  I felt great starting out, but then the boredom and exhaustion set in.  I went out too fast (as usual!) and I also think I’ve been dealing with some dehydration from the extreme heat of the past week, so I really wasn’t feeling my best physically.  All of this culminated in me just wanting to go home and having an overall feeling of discouragement.  I KNOW I’m strong, I KNOW I can run long distances, but my body (and my brain) are telling me other things right now.  What is going on??

I think I’ve come to the realization that as much as I LOVE runDisney races, I really don’t enjoy training.  Where is my fairy godmother to come and make this training business easy so I can just go out an enjoy the races?!?  Basically, I have no excuse and just need to suck it up.  I HAVE to get out there these next few weeks and get some more miles under my belt before the big DDD or else I’m going to be in a world of hurt.  Plus, did you hear that Joey Fatone is going to be running Dumbo for his Coast-to-Coast?  I can’t look like a jackass in front of my bestie!

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

I probably won’t make my goal of finishing the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2:30, but all I know is that I will finish.  Yes, I’m frustrated with myself for not putting my best effort into training for this race, but I WILL put my best effort into the race itself…that I’m sure of.

How is your training going for Dumbo Double Dare?  Do you struggle with race training?

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Race Recap – Part 1

So I left of in the days leading up to the marathon recovering from a cold and nervous as hell about this race.  Oh…did I fail to mention that?  Yeah, I was NERVOUS!

01 Marathon Tattoo

My alarm went off at the oh so lovely hour of 2:30 am and even though I only had 5 1/2 hours of sleep, I popped right up.  I didn’t sleep very well and I think I was running purely on adrenaline.  I stuck with my nutrition plan and made an english muffin with almond butter and a cup of green tea.  I also downed one last cup of Emergen-C and took some immune system booster vitamins.

I was happy I took the time the night before to lay out all of my clothes and the supplies that I would need to get ready.  It made getting ready much less stressful.  I taped up my legs and hip flexor with KT Tape, slathered on a ton of Body Glide (TMI?) and got dressed.  I made sure my fuel belts were stocked and recheck the bag of supplies I was having B bring me later in the race.  I was as ready as I was going to be…let’s do this!

Amanda & I ready to race!

My partner in crime Amanda & I ready to race!

I met up with a bunch of other media folks in the lobby of the hotel and we hitched a ride over to the Epcot parking lot.  We were given the unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of the starting line before any of the runners arrived.  It was so cool to see the event staff getting set up and ready for those 25,000 runners to arrive.  I’m a logistics geek…what can I say?  We were also able to watch many of the pre-race interviews (sadly I didn’t get to interview Joey Fatone 🙁 ) and see the wheelchair racers get set up.

An empty starting line...

An empty starting line…

The Road Ahead...

The road ahead…

OMG what am I about to do?!?!?!

OMG what am I about to do?!?!?!

Marathon Joe interviewing Bob Hitchcock of runDisney

Marathon Joe interviewing Bob Hitchcock of runDisney

I found Joey Fatone again!

Joey Fatone going for Goofy!

The runners started piling into the corrals and what was a ghost town one second was FULL the next.  This meant it was time to get going.  We were brought back to the starting corrals and patiently waited for the race to start.

Runners at the start line!

Runners at the start line!

In the corrals...ready to race!

In the corrals…ready to race!

Before I knew it, the National Anthem was being sung and the 20th Walt Disney World Marathon was minutes away from starting.  The most moving thing I saw during the day happened during the National Anthem.  Just behind me a man stoically raised an American flag and quietly stood there as the Anthem was being sung.  I have no idea if he was a war veteran or just a very patriotic citizen, but it was an amazing show of patriotism.  I was wondering what he did with the flag after the Anthem.  Did he run the entire marathon with it?!

10 National Anthem

Before I knew it Mickey began the countdown, the fireworks went off and the marathon was underway.  Please forgive the foul language in the following video…I couldn’t contain myself!

Mickey, Donald & Goofy counting us down!

Mickey, Donald & Goofy counting us down!

Before I got sick, my goal time to finish the race was 6 hours.  I knew that this might not be a possibility now, plus I knew the weather was going to slow me down a bit.  The forecast had been saying it was going to be in the low 80s with high humidity, which are less than ideal running conditions.  I decided to go at my steady 3 minute run/ 1 minute walk pace for as long as I could and then just go with the flow.  My goal on that day became to just finish.

The first 5 miles went by incredibly fast.  I kept a steady 13 minute per mile pace and I was feeling really good!  Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy that first stretch of World Drive after the first mile of the race.  It’s flat and a great place to really get your stride.  Oh and you have this great sight straight ahead, which always makes me run faster!  (I apologize in advance for any blurry photos and video…I was movin’!!)

Going through the Magic Kingdom toll booths just before mile 3.

Going through the Magic Kingdom toll booths just before mile 3.

I was so excited to see Jack & Sally near the TTC, but the line had at least 20 people and I didn’t want to waste that much time.  I decided that I wasn’t going to stop for character photos if the lines were long (most lines were very long!) because I knew I was going to need all of the time I could get on the back end.

Jack & Sally!

Jack & Sally!

The 5 mile marker was just outside of the Magic Kingdom and I crossed that at 1:07.  I was feeling awesome and was so excited to get into the park!  This was my favorite part of the Princess Half Marathon.  When you enter Main Street USA and see all of those people cheering from you, you can’t help but get a little emotional.  It’s quite amazing…

Entering the Magic Kingdom

Entering the Magic Kingdom

I was so excited to see the WDW Radio crew right ahead of me cheering like crazy!  My friend Suzannah saw me and called out my name…it is so amazing to see a familiar face, so thank you Suzannah for that!

WDW Radio Cheer Squad!

WDW Radio Cheer Squad!

As I turned that corner to see Cinderella’s Castle, I couldn’t help but smile.  They had kept the holiday lights on the castle just for the races…what a beautiful sight!  Further down Main Street, I also saw my friends Jillian and Kelly.  Jillian just ran her first half marathon the day before (congrats girl!) and it was so great to see her out there cheering all of us on 🙂

Running down Main Street USA!

Running down Main Street USA!

Look at that castle :)

Look at that castle 🙂

The course winds through a lot of the Magic Kingdom.  From the hub you head right through Tomorrowland and through New Fantasyland where there are a TON of character meet and greets!  Of course the best part of the Magic Kingdom is running through Cinderella’s Castle.  And what better way to do it than to be greeted by trumpeters!!

I just ran through the castle!!

I just ran through the castle!!

From there we wound through Liberty Square where I saw this guy with the best costume of the day…full on Snow White!

Yes, that's a dude

Yes, that’s a dude

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but the best thing about Disney races are the real bathrooms!  When you go through any of the parks, all of the bathrooms are open so make sure to make a pit stop here instead of at one of the Portalets.  My favorite restroom in the Magic Kingdom is the one between Frontierland and Adventureland.  It’s very large so you have less of a change of waiting in line.

The next few miles were fairly uneventful as we left the Magic Kingdom and headed toward the Walt Disney World Speedway.  The course did get very congested here as we were down to just one lane, so I had to stop and walk more frequently than I would’ve liked.  People were actually going on the other side of the cones, which was very dangerous because of oncoming traffic.  Don’t do this during a race…

The Speedway was a new element to the marathon for this year and was just after mile 8.  To get into the Speedway, there is a very steep downhill and uphill that proved to be a bit difficult for some runners.  But when we entered the track, we were greeting to the beautiful sight of the sun rising.

The sun rising above the WDW Speedway

The sun rising above the WDW Speedway

I’m not a big car person, so I didn’t think I would enjoy the Speedway all that much, but it was actually one of my favorite parts of the entire course!  It was a completely different experience from anywhere else I have run before.  All along the track vintage  and race cars were lined up and their owners were out there cheering…it was really cool!  As you could expect, various stars from the movie Cars made an appearance here as well!

Walt Disney World Speedway

Walt Disney World Speedway

Runners along the race track

Runners along the race track

Mile 9 came at the end of the race track and I knew we were now in for a long boring 3 miles up to Animal Kingdom.  The course goes up Bear Island Road which is pretty secluded (were we still on WDW property?!), but runDisney did a good job of placing various photo stops and entertainment along the way.  Santa’s reindeer and the toy soldiers were even out…they must be on their post Christmas vacation.  We also ran past the water treatment facility, which was just a gorgeous sight 😉

At this point in the day, the sun was starting to peak over the trees and the heat was creeping up.  We made the approach into Animal Kingdom and to my surprise there were a ton of animals out!  Now I’m a big animal lover and I have a small obsession with goats.  So of course I bee-lined for one of the goats and asked the handler to take my picture with him….he looked at me kind of funny due to my excitement and how I hugged the goat, but whatever…

GOAT!

GOAT!
I look totally crazy here

I immediately regretted this because now my hands smelled like goats.  Kind of gross when you want to wipe the sweat off of your face.  As soon as we entered the park, I stopped at the bathroom just outside Expedition Everest to wash my hands and splash some water on my face.

I made it to Everest!

I made it to Everest!

I had seen in prior marathons that runners have stopped to ride Expedition Everest during the race and I so wanted to do this!  This is one of my favorite attractions and where else can you ride a roller coaster during a marathon?!?  I was sad to see that the attraction wasn’t running yet so I had to just keep going 🙁  I know that is was open later in the day because I say ride photos.  But looking back, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t ride because I’m not sure I could have gotten up afterwards!

Good Morning Animal Kingdom!

Good Morning Animal Kingdom!

As we exited Animal Kingdom, we reached mile 13.  I had reached the halfway point in the race in 3:08 and was really happy with that time.  It was a little over my original goal of 3 hours for the half and I was still feeling good at this point.  No major pain, no chafing, still had energy…yeah!  Oh how things were about to change…

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Walt Disney World Marathon recap!! 

 

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.

 

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend runDisney Meet Up

The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend certainly lived up to all expectations.  The entire resort seemed to be overtaken by runners…I have never seen so many in one place!!  To kick off the weekend, runDisney hosted one of their infamous meetups that I was lucky enough to be invited to.

I met up with Jenn from Eat, Sleep, Run Disney bright and early and we walked over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the 6:30 am check-in.  This was the largest meetup runDisney to date with over 100 people in attendance.  It was great to see so many fellow runDisney fans, catch up with old friends and meet new ones!  We were all given white runDisney t-shirts upon arrival, which was a nice change from the usual black shirts.  Unfortunately, there were cotton and not tech shirts, which weren’t the best for that super humid morning.  But beggars can’t be choosers, I am happy with any runDisney shirt 🙂

Pre Meet Up

Mickey, Donald & Goofy were all there in their awesome track suits and as good Disney fans do, we all lined up to get our pictures taken.  I absolutely LOVE the Studios and it was great to get this photo op on an empty Hollywood Boulevard.

Me & the Big Cheese!

Me & the Big Cheese!

Goofy's Warming Up for the Run

Goofy’s Warming Up for the Run

We were greeted by Tony, Bob & Darrell from Disney Sports and given instructions on how the 2.5 mile run portion of the meetup was going to go.  There were 2 groups, one for strict runners and one for run/walk.  The runners were going to keep a 9-10 minute mile pace and Bob was leading the pack.  However, I heard it was more of an 8 minute mile!  The run/walkers were led by Jeff Galloway and they were doing 30 second intervals.

The runDisney Team

The runDisney Team

I had unfortunately been battling a nasty cold in the days leading up to the meet.  In fact, I had a fever of 100.2 just the day before!  In order to save myself for the marathon a few days later, I opted to not run that morning.  I was bummed to not get the experience of running through the Studios and meeting the characters, but my health had to come first.  Good news is I got some fun pics of the Galloway group starting off!

The Galloway Group

The Galloway Group

Look at some of the characters they encountered along the way!

Minnie still looks fancy in her running gear

Minnie still looks fancy in her running gear

High fives with Pluto!Photo Courtesy of runDisney

High fives with Pluto!
Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Woody & Buzz!Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Woody & Buzz!
Photo Courtesy of runDisney

The second half of the meet was held at Lights, Motors, Action!  I walked over there with the rest of the runDisney staff and waited for the runners to arrive.  It was a pretty cool entrance.

Lights, Motors, Action!

Lights, Motors, Action!

Here comes Bob leading the runners

Here comes Bob leading the runners

Darrell, Heather & Jenn

Darrell, Heather & Jenn

Galloway Group

Galloway Group

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill truck was there to provide breakfast sandwiches for everyone.  They looked delicious, but sadly I couldn’t have one because they all had eggs.  Egg allergy fail!  🙁

ESPN Grill

We were once again welcomed by Bob Hitchcock and Tammy Jacobson of runDisney, but they were quickly interrupted by none other than Joey Fatone!  He made a grand entrance and came cruising in on the “director’s truck” from the show.  Joey was gearing up to run the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge in place of his wife who recently sustained an injury.  He answered many questions from the group and admitted to barely training and being very nervous about the weekend ahead.  He also said that N’Sync won’t be getting back together, which was a serious bummer 🙁

Joey Fatone & Bob Hitchcock

Joey Fatone & Bob Hitchcock

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Earlier in the week, runDisney announced a new partnership with New Balance making them their official running shoe.  Members of the New Balance team were on hand to give us an overview on what to look for in a proper running shoes and the different varieties they have to offer.  They also talked about what went into designing the new runDisney shoes that were available for a brief time at the Expo.

New Balance Demo

New Balance Demo

Since this was the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon, it was expected that there would be a few elite runners on hand.  The expo had some amazing speakers lined up for that afternoon and I was excited to see many of them at the meet up.  They offered some great tips for distance running and answered questions from the audience.  Bart Yasso admitted that his favorite race costume was when he dressed up like a penguin for the Marathon du Medoc in France where there are 23 wine stops along the way.  Now that’s my kind of marathon!

Next up was former NFL linebacker Eddie Mason.  He spoke about the importance of focusing on core strength to bring more balance to the body and how Cigna is leading this charge.  Core strength is something many runners overlook, but can be just as important as getting those long runs in.  He also talked about how you need to listen to your body and rest if needed.  You need to let your body heal in order to get stronger.  Great tips!

Eddie Cigna

Eddie Mason

Our final speaker was Drew Carey who was supposed to run in the full marathon, but is recovering from a broken clavicle…ouch!  He told stories about his experience at the Disneyland Half Marathon, what really goes on at the Price is Right (spending WAY too much time on this topic!) and also admitted to hating Sounds Dangerous, the show he stars in at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  They really need to get rid of that already!

Drew Carey

Drew Carey

Bob introduced one last special guest before the morning ended, Adriano Bastos.  Bastos is a seven time winner of the Walt Disney World Marathon and was going for his 8th win this year.  He adorned with numerous Disney tattoos and gets a new Mickey on his forearm for each race he has won.  Very cool!

Bastos

Adriano Bastos

Before we left for the day, the Fab 5 came back out and we were able to get more photos.  I just love their running outfits!  All of the elite runners and celebrities were also on hand for photos.  Joey Fatone obviously had the longest line 🙂

The Fab 5!!

The Fab 5!!

Me & Pluto!

Me & Pluto!

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Joey Fatone & I are BFF!
Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Running Legends Bart Yasso & Dick Beardsley with lil ole me :)

Running Legends Bart Yasso & Dick Beardsley with lil ole me 🙂

runDisney always puts on great events and this certainly did not disappoint.  What a great way to kick off marathon weekend and get everyone excited for the big races ahead!

Who would you have been most excited to meet at the runDisney meet up?

 

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.