Posts Tagged by minnie mouse

The 2015 Walt Disney World 10K

While Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has been around for over two decades, the Walt Disney World 10K is still in it’s infancy.  Heather is a veteran of Marathon Weekend and knew after seeing the Minnie medals at last year’s inaugural race, she had to have one of her own.  


Marathon weekend is one of my favorite Disney trips of the year. Last week marked the 3rd year my family participated and the first time I did the 10k. Last year I walked the half marathon and was incredibly jealous of the adorable Minnie Mouse medals, so I knew I had to get my hands on it this year.

It started out at packet pickup on Thursday which went smoothly, no lines and we picked up 3 packets in about 15 minutes. (My husband’s 1/2 marathon, kids race and 10k). We even ran into Sean Astin! Sean was running the Dopey and was such a sweet guy chatting with my husband and I as we took a ton of pictures.

sean astin

sean astin2

Once that excitement was over we made our way through the expo.  Sadly I could find no merchandise for the 10k. While I understand that most people running are also running the Dopey it would have been nice to have some Minnie merchandise for the 10K runners. I started to feel at the expo that the 10K was the ugly stepsister of the weekend.

My morning started with my 2:15 am wake up call and our group (my dad and sister plus picture taker hubby) was up and out the door by 3:00 am. Since we were staying close but off property we wanted to make sure we got there early in case parking was an issue. Thankfully it was not and I was thrilled to have a warm place to hang out for a few minutes since it was 46 degrees out. I am from Miami so any dip below 70 is sweater weather so I was thankful I brought some sweaters I picked up from Goodwill to toss once I warmed up on the course. (Great tip! Goodwill is a good place to get inexpensive throw away clothes for chilly race mornings!) 

wearing 3 sweater and 2 shirts

Once we decided that we could brave the cold we headed to the pre-race party where the DJ had a ton of people dancing and energy was pretty high. There were tons of great costumes and TONS of Dopey bibs. There was a nice photo background for people doing the dopey challenge but the only one for us was the Disney marathon weekend background, I would have really liked to have a 10k background. There were no professional photographers there so you were free to take pictures with your own camera.

pre race photo

pre race

It was freezing before the race and some racers found their way into a large white tent. I asked a few people what it was and no one had an answer but it turns out it was the tent set up for massages following the half and full marathons. For the 10k though it was a perfect place to try and warm up.

dancing to stay warm

I was in corral E and knew that I would be walking this race and only stopping to meet characters or pictures of something awesome or someone I never see around the parks. I had done the 5k and the 1/2 marathon in the past which had some great stops so I was hopeful to see some hard to find characters on this course too. I only planned on stopping at something I had not seen before because I always get super paranoid about pace requirements which I always come close to thanks to nerves and lines at bathrooms.

The race stated with 10 minutes between each corral so even using the bathroom before getting into my corral I knew I had to stop at the first one. I was near the front of my corral since I always seemed to miss the fireworks and I didn’t want that to happen this time. Once we got the go ahead we started and I was already wishing the bathroom was closer. The first one wasn’t until around the 1 mile mark and lines were long so I kept going. It would have been awesome to have a few more potties at that stop as there were tons of men and women running toward the trees because lines were 10 people deep.

The course was a bit boring for first 3 miles which was only street and back lot, with a couple of character stops but it was pretty light on the music and had no crowd support. Thank goodness for voice command, I called my husband around 3 miles to pump me up mid way through the race. It worked I was got the support I needed and then the streets started to get familiar until finally around mile 3.5 we got to Epcot!

heading back into epcot

Once we got into the park it was an entirely different race. You can almost feel the excitement from the crowd and everyone’s pace gets a little faster with that extra pep in their step. Running through the parks never gets old! Entering Epcot and walking through the countries was great and there were tons of professional photographers along that stretch of the race. I was sure to keep a smile on my face since you never know when the camera is pointed at you. Once you make your way through he countries you head out onto the boardwalk. This was the first race that I would be on the Boardwalk and I was super excited, I was hoping for some good crowd support and the people there were just what I needed for the last mile or so. Leaving the Boardwalk and heading back into Epcot I started to get a little teary because I could hear the excitement at the finish, music was pumping and everyone around me was bursting with energy. I was thrilled to see my runner hubby at the finish and he got some photo proof I actually finished.

almost there

Once I crossed the finish there were lots of volunteers giving medals and I finally got my hands on the Minnie Medal! The medal is really nice and has a really vibrant ribbon.

proof i am almost there

finish line

got my minnie medal

Overall I would probably do the 10K again because it is a doable distance that I could walk with little or no training. There were tons of walkers and kids on the course and lots of smiling faces. You could tell people were having a blast through the course. There were enough water stops and no fuel on this course but there was food for purchase at the start and finish.

I am thrilled that there is a race distance in between the 5K and 1/2 marathon distance and hope the 10K grows so it has a strong pack of 10K participants in a sea of Dopeys.

Of course the best part of participating in Disney Marathon Weekend is walking around the park wearing the race shirt and the medal. No mater what the size or shape of the person who is wearing the medal there is a sense of unity and accomplishment and it’s amazing to be a part of. The true highlight though is the family picture of all the racers wearing their medal in front of the castle, it’s pure Disney Magic.

back at the expo


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!


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.


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


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 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.


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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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!




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.


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.




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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Registration Information for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Registration for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend opens today at noon!  How did this get here so quickly?!?


The festivities take place January 7 – 11, 2014 with over 50,000 runners converging on Walt Disney World.  This race weekend is the ultimate runner’s family vacation.  There is something for everyone!  From the youngest in the family to the Dopiest of runners, you are sure to find an event for you.  Registration opens today at noon and you can click here to register for any (or all) of the events.   

Most races saw a 5-6% increase in pricing this year.  The prices are as follows:

Dopey Challenge

  • $530 by June 24, 2014
  • $560 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $590 on or after August 20, 2014

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge

  • $360 by June 24, 2014
  • $380 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $400 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World Marathon

  • $170 by June 24, 2014
  • $185 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $200 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

  • $170 by June 24, 2014
  • $185 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $200 on or after August 20, 2014

Walt Disney World 10K

  • $105 by June 24, 2014
  • $120 between June 25 and August 19, 2014
  • $135 on or after August 20, 2014

Disney Family Fun Run 5K

  • $60 per participant by September 23, 2014
  • $70 on or after September 24, 2014

runDisney Kids’ Races

  • $15 per child by September 23, 2014
  • $20 on or after September 24, 2014

Mickey Mile

  • $30 per child by September 23, 2014
  • $35 on or after September 24, 2014

Race Retreat Packages

  • $120 Full Marathon
  • $120 Half Marathon
  • $225 Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
  • $225 Dopey Challenge

Pasta in the Park Parties

  • $54 per adult
  • $30 per child

Don’t forget that DVC members receive a discount on runDisney events!  Make sure to visit your member page to obtain the discount codes.

As usual for most runDisney events, packet pick-up will be required at the Health & Fitness Expo held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex beginning Wednesday, January 7th.  There are so many other great events over the weekend, like the Pasta in the Park Party, Cool Down Party and more!  Visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend.

You can also check out some posts from the past few WDW Marathon Weekends to get you excited!



So what race will you be running over Marathon Weekend?  

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Dopey Challenge: Four Days of Disney Running

When the Dopey Challenge was announced last March, I have to admit I was a bit shocked.  48.6 miles in 4 days…that sounds insane to me!  But over 7,000 took part in the challenge over Marathon Weekend and I have to admit, it looked like a blast!  Kristina is one of those Dopey runners who took on the challenge and as you will see, she loved every minute of it!  Plus, she has some great tips for any of your future Dopey runners…enjoy!


Months ago, back in April 2013 if I remember correctly, I anxiously awaited the registration date for the 2014 Dopey Challenge. In my head I knew the prospect of running 48.6 miles over four days, waking up when some people are just going to bed to stomp pavement through four Disney parks was going to be a challenging task, but my heart was without reservation.


This year marked my third year running in the Disney Marathon Weekend. My first year I ran the half marathon and last year I ran the Goofy Challenge.

So now on to the races. Wednesday night I was in bed before 10:00 pm to wake up at 4:20 am for the 5k race. This was “sleeping in” compared to the mornings for the 10k, half and full marathons. I caught the 5:00 am monorail to EPCOT and made it to Corral A by 5:45 am. Shortly thereafter, we were taken to the starting location.


The race went by so quickly! We were on the roads then back in EPCOT, which is always so much fun to run in! I didn’t stop for any character photos because the lines were really long. I found the double edge sword of the Dopey Challenge was weighing the benefit of going slowly versus the benefit of getting off my feet quickly. For this race my decision to run slowly was overcome by my excitement and I ran a little bit too fast. But, I figured the 5k would not detriment me when running the full marathon.


Tips for the 5k: run the race you want. If you want to be speedy, be speedy. If you want to walk, walk. If you want every character picture, go for it. This race, compared to the heavy training for a marathon, should feel like a walk in the park. 🙂

Thursday night was another early to bed night. The 10k race packs a little more punch as it’s double the distance of the 5k and more comparable to a training run. This race  was fun because my mom and two sorority sisters ran this race. The one sorority sister also ran the Dopey Challenge!





This was a great first year for the race. I loved being able to run the boardwalk side of the Boardwalk Resort, and to run the Yacht and Beach Club side as preparation for the full marathon.

A downfall of the 10k was the waiting time in the corrals. I started back in Corral C with my friend and the wait was slightly aggravating. This was echoed by my mother who was in Corral D and felt her muscles tightening up waiting for her corral to start. I don’t know how or if Disney can fix this because the course is very narrow in some locations and I’m sure they planned the start times accordingly. Perhaps Disney needs to implement smaller and more corrals next year to combat this problem.  Another issue with this race, but something that can easily be fixed, is the lack of Powerade at the water stops. Because the race, like all Disney races, is early, my friend got hungry on the run. One Powerade stop would have been helpful.






Tips for the 10k: treat this race like an easy training run. There were plenty of character stops, port-a-potties and water stops, but one stop with Powerade would have been nice. The distance is definitely manageable for someone running a marathon, but it’s best and safest to treat this as a training run in preparation for the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. It’s good to give your muscles a rest.


On to the half marathon. This race is no slouch. 13.1 miles even after months of marathon training is a long distance. This race was really important because it marked my sister’s first ever half marathon! I was so excited for her!


My friend from the 10k was also running making this Saturday half marathon such a special time. I was in Corral C, my friend was in Corral E and my sister was in Corral F, but we all decided to join my sister in Corral F to make the waiting more enjoyable.


The corrals started much faster for the half and that was appreciated. We started off with a nice easy pace. Even though this was the third time I’ve run the half marathon, I still got teary eyed entering into Magic Kingdom! There is nothing quite like seeing the mass amount of people along Main Street! I even spotted my friends parents so we stopped for some pictures!



During the race I accidentally separated from my sister and friend. However, after two miles of solo running I met a wonderful lady named Dawn. She was great! We ended up chatting for about two miles. Meeting people on the course is one thing I love about runDisney races! Good luck getting your Boston Qualifier, Dawn!

I received an update on my sisters progress around the 9 mile or so mark. I realized if I sped up a little I’d be able to catch her. I gradually increased my pace and met up with her around mile 11. It was awesome to be able to finish the last two miles of my sister’s first half marathon with her! We got some really cute pictures together too 🙂



Tips for the half marathon: if taking the 5k and 10k slowly is not your style, I, without a doubt, recommend making it your style for the half marathon. 13.1 miles is not an easy distance and running it hard will not make for much fun in the full marathon. The phrase “slow and steady wins the race” should be applied here. Run the race conservatively – about as slow as an easy run – unless you want this race to be the race you push yourself in to get a PR or a good half marathon time. When you approach a water stop, I am a big proponent of running to a cup, then running to a location off in the grass so I can walk while drinking. I have not effectively mastered the running while drinking. Nine times out of ten I end up with water up my nose, water down my shirt and a sip in my mouth. Not the best way to hydrate. Enjoy the sites because there is nothing quite like seeing Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom or running down Main Street with the crowds roaring with applause for you! Also, the walk to the half marathon start is about .7 of a mile. I always walk on the grass. It takes pressure off the feet, ankles, knees and hips and gets you to the start a bit faster.




Finally, the full marathon, the last leg of the Dopey Challenge! Granted this is also more than half of the overall 48.6 miles. When my alarm sounded at 3:00 I was out of bed and ready to roll. My dear friend Chrissy, who was on the trip with me and my family, was kind enough to come to the start with me. I needed the company and the distraction. I was close to tears waiting for the monorail. I think all the excitement I felt from the races was about to pour out of me.

I followed my half marathon tip and walked on the grass to the start. But, I had to use the restroom. My goodness were the lines long. And, they only grew as I got closer to Corral C. So, I parked myself in a line and waited about 20 minutes to use a port-a-potty. By the time I got in Corral C I had five minutes until the official start. Talk about cutting it close! I found the 3:35 pace group and decided to hang on with that pace for as long as I could. I met another lovely runner named Andrea waiting to start the race. It was so wonderful talking with her for a few miles. I felt badly that I didn’t see her at the finish because I wanted to tell her I made it to the finish sub 3:35.

Back to the race, though. It was not easy. From the moment we took off I felt like I was running too fast. I kept thinking this isn’t going to end well. I’m going to hit the wall way too soon. The run through Magic Kingdom was a great boost as it always is and I took my first gel just after running under Cinderella’s Castle. By the time I saw my parents at the Grand Floridian, just after mile 7, I thought the crash was going to come. Fortunately, it didn’t.

The next point of near crash potential was at Animal Kingdom. I saw my sister and friend Chrissy, but not my parents. I felt defeated a little at that point. I later learned the transportation was a nightmare and my parents were stuck on a bus.

Anyway, I continued along at whatever pace felt comfortable, keeping the 3:35 pace group in sight. I got a resurgence of energy on my way to the wide world of sports complex. I felt good and knew that I had less than a half marathon left. I kept thinking in terms of training runs and knew I could make it across the finish line. The wide world of sports complex was filled with such great energy too!

I kept my pace steady and plugged along to Hollywood Studios. Making the right turn into Hollywood Studios is an exhilarating feeling. There are just over three miles left. A distance so manageable, but these usually feel like all the other miles combined. I don’t know if I hit a true marathon wall or if I was just so tired from the cumulative effect of all the other miles. I couldn’t feel my arms, my eyelids were heavy, my breathing was more labored. Not fun. Then, I heard the shouting of my name! It was my sister and Chrissy again! What an awesome surprise! Spectators deserve a medal for being such great support! Chrissy told me I was right on pace for a BQ (Boston Qualifying time) so I pushed on and knew I could do it if I made it through these last two and change miles.

They were the hardest miles of the race but certainly the most rewarding. I came into EPCOT and pushed as hard as I could to the finish. I crossed the line in 3:34:33 and met another great lady named Melinda! She told me I got the Boston time! Woohoo!!


Tips for the marathon: I heard a number of people say they planned to take the marathon slowly. In my opinion if you’ve had a great bout of training, go hard in the marathon. I also followed the half marathon advice and walked after the water stops. It doesn’t significantly hurt the overall running time and it’s a far better way to hydrate. But, it’s important, in my opinion, to walk in the grass near the trash bins. Walking down the water stop aisle can be a recipe for disaster. A non-running tip is to MAKE FRIENDS! I had such a blast talking with so many different people this weekend and would highly recommend chatting it up on the course. One thing I love about running is how friendly the running community is to others in the sport. Whether your goal is a time goal, to do the race without walking or to just finish make sure to have fun! If you’re considering the Dopey Challenge, don’t let the fear of the 26.2 mile distance keep you from running it. This is a race in the happiest place on earth!


Big congrats Kristina on finishing the Dopey Challenge AND qualifying for Boston!!  Wear those rad shoes with pride!!


Kristina Drnjevich is an assistant prosecutor in Northeast Ohio. In her free time, she loves to run, do yoga, read and spend time with friends. She ran her first half marathon in 2011 and her first marathon in 2012. She’s run, including the races from the Dopey Challenge, six half marathons and three full marathons. The runDisney Marathon Weekend has become a tradition for her family ever since she ran the half marathon in 2012!
Find Kristina here:   Twitter   Instagram

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