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Exciting News for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend: A 10K Race, New Medals & More!

Disney Princess Half Marathon

BIG announcements from runDisney today about the 2014 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend scheduled for February 20-23, 2014!  You know this is my favorite race, so I couldn’t be more excited about the news!!

The Princess 10K
Jumping on the success of the 10K races for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and WDW Marathon Weekend, it seems like a no-brainer that they would add a 10K to Princess Weekend.  This gives runners of all abilities the opportunity to take part in this magically royal weekend!  I always encourage new runners to take part in the Princess Half Marathon since I had such a wonderful experience with it as my first big race.  The atmosphere is so upbeat and fun…I’m so glad even more people will now be able to participate.

Disney Glass Slipper Challenge
Well of course there is a new challenge, which obviously means MORE BLING!  For those princesses (and princes) looking for even more of a challenge, you can sign up for the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday and receive the inaugural Disney Glass Slipper Challenge Medal.  Oh you know that will be around my neck!  And don’t forget you will get the medals from the individual races as well.

Special Edition Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge
For runners participating in both the Tinkerbell Half Marathon (January 17-19, 2014) in Disneyland and Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, you will receive a Special Edition Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge Medal!  The medal will still feature Walt and Mickey, but it will have a pink overlay and a pink lanyard.  How cute is this?!?

Special Coast to Coast Medal Special Coast to Coast Medal CU

Registration for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon opens June 11, 2013.  A limited number of runners will have the opportunity to register for both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon at that time to secure your spot in the Coast-to-Coast Challenge.  The official registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon will open on July 9, 2013.  No word if a discount will be given for early registration of both races, but if you’re a DVC Members or Disney Visa Cardholder, don’t forget to use your discount codes.

So what do you think of the new announcements for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend?  I’m clearly beside myself!!  Bring on the challenge!!

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Full Press Release

Princess Half Marathon Weekend Adds New Race, New Challenge and New Medals

Women-focused event to offer 10K, new challenge and special-edition medals fit for a Princess; Special Princess and Tinker Bell half marathon registration available June 11

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA (April 26, 2013) – Building on the success of its women-focused events, runDisney is broadening the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort next year by adding a 10K and a new two-race challenge.

The Princess 10K gives runners of various levels more opportunities to run through Disney theme parks and receive a specially-designed finisher medal. And runners looking for an even bigger challenge can sign up for the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total) to earn the inaugural Disney Glass Slipper Challenge Medal to go along with medals from each individual race.

The Princess Half Marathon Weekend, scheduled for Feb. 20-23, is one of two women-focused runDisney events. The other is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January at Disneyland Resort in California.  Both races are among the largest women-specific running events in the country and focus on healthy active lifestyles for women and girls.  For instance, after nearly 7,500 runners ran in the inaugural Princess Half Marathon event in 2009, the popularity of the race has grown considerably with more than 26,000 registered runners for last year’s race.

Also new in 2014 is a special edition runDisney Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge Medal for runners participating in the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January and the 2014 Princess Half Marathon five weeks later at Walt Disney World.  Finishers receive the coveted medal featuring the likeness of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse with a pink overlay and lanyard.

Registration for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon opens June 11 at www.runDisney.com.  A limited number of runners will have the opportunity to register for both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon at that time.  Those not securing an early registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon will have a second chance when on-line registration officially opens on July 9.

-More-

Both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekends include signature runDisney events including a health and fitness expo geared towards women, kids races, a family fun run 5K, as well as featured half marathons for both weekend.

For more information and to register for runDisney events, visit www.runDisney.com.

New Information for 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

2014 Marathon Weekend

Registration for 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend opens today at noon!  Who’s excited?!?

runDisney has been taking all of the feedback provided by the running community and they are making 2014 better than ever.  I had the opportunity to speak with a few runDisney executives yesterday to get the inside scoop on some changes coming to Walt Disney World’s largest race weekend.  Ready??

  • Reduced Race Capacity.  A lot of the feedback from this year’s Marathon Weekend was that the course was too crowded.  In 2014, there will be 2,000 less runners in the full and half marathons (mainly in the half).  This is sure to make for a better race experience and will allow runners to keep their pace throughout the course.
  • More Corrals Added.  This will also help to spread out the runners throughout the course and will also ensure that runners with similar abilities will be placed together.  This may lead to an earlier start time for the race, but most likely will just mean a later final finish for the races.  An interesting fact is that the biggest priority for the full and half marathons, is to get all of the runners through the Magic Kingdom as early as possible, so that will determine the start time.
  • Proof of Time.  This will now be required for everyone who can supply it (an estimated 95% of runners).  This must be submitted by November 1st in order to ensure proper corral placement.  There were issues with corral capacity when runners would submit new times at Runner Relations at the Expo, so that will no longer be offered.  There was concern expressed about this date in that it is only a few days before the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, which would be a great qualifier for a better time.  runDisney will be taking this into consideration and we might possibly hear an update in the future.  You can find more information on the time requirements here.
  • Fitted Ladies Shirts!  Until now, the Princess Half Marathon was the only race weekend that had ladies cut.  Well now our dreams have come true and we’re getting them for Marathon Weekend.  And I’m super excited that they will remain long sleeved!
  • New Medals.  We knew the there were brand new medals for the new 10K (featuring Minnie Mouse) and the Dopey challenge, but there will also be a new Marathon medal as well!  The designs are still being created, but they are sure to be revealed in an exciting manor just like the 20th Anniversary medal.  There will also be a new medallion for the 5K, which will be based on one of the Disney films.
  • New Family Events.  In addition to the Kids Races, there will new be ticketed breakfast events with characters for the entire family to enjoy.  The Pasta in the Park party will be continuing as well.

Here is Director of Communication and Marketing for Disney Sports, Faron Kelley, talking a little more about some of these changes:

Well there you have it, just some of the changes that will be coming to the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  I’m sure there will be much more news and a whole lot of surprises in the next 9 months leading up to the races!

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.   

Pricing for the races are as follows:

Walt Disney World Marathon

  • $160 by June 18, 2013
  • $175 between June 19 and August 13, 2013
  • $190 on or after August 14, 2013

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

  • $160 by June 18, 2013
  • $175 between June 19 and August 13, 2013
  • $190 on or after August 14, 2013

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge

  • $340 by June 18, 2013
  • $370 between June 19 and August 13, 2013
  • $400 on or after August 14, 2013

Walt Disney World 10K

  • $95 by June 18, 2013
  • $110 between June 19 and August 13, 2013
  • $125 on or after August 14, 2013

Disney Family Fun Run 5K

  • $60 per participant

Dopey Challenge

  • $495 by June 18, 2013
  • $525 between June 19 and August 13, 2013
  • $555 on or after August 14, 2013

runDisney Kids’ Races

  • $15 per child

Mickey Mile

  • $30 per child

Race Retreat Packages

  • $120 Full Marathon
  • $120 Half Marathon
  • $200 Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge

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 8th.  Visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend.

You can also check out some of the posts from my 2013 WDW Marathon Weekend experience here:

So what race will you be running over Marathon Weekend?  Me?  I will not be running the marathon again, but I will be running the brand new 10K race and the half marathon.  You can bet I will be out there cheering everyone on for the 5K and the marathon though!!  Hope to see you all in January 🙂

Princess Weekend is in Full Swing!

This is the 1 year anniversary of my first half marathon…wow!  I am so lucky to be spending it right back here in the World running my 2nd Princess Half Marathon!  As usual full recaps are coming later, but I wanted to share some fun photos from my first day here.

Amanda & I at the runDisney Meet Up

Amanda & I at the runDisney Meet Up

Lines, lines & more lines at the Fit for a Princess Expo

Lines, lines & more lines at the Fit for a Princess Expo

Got my Princess Swag!

Got my Princess Swag!

Some giraffes chillin' at the Animal Kingdom Lodge

Some giraffes chillin’ at the Animal Kingdom Lodge

My first time eating at Sanaa...OMG YUM!

My first time eating at Sanaa…OMG YUM!

So much more fun stuff to come, so stay tuned!  Best of luck to all the 5K runners this morning…smoke that course!

Oh and don’t forget…if you’re in the area, come to my RAD Princess Meet Up today at noon in Downtown Disney!  You won’t want to miss it 🙂

DTD RAD Meetup

Are you here for the Princess Half Marathon?  How’s your trip going?

A RAD Princess Meet Up!

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

RAD Princess Meet Up

Saturday, February 23rd at Noon

Captain Jack’s Margarita Bar

Downtown Disney Marketplace

DTD RAD Meetup

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

margaritastand

Photo Source: WDW for Grownups

Photo Source: WDW for Grownups

Photo Source: WDW for Grownups

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

BUTTONS!

BUTTONS!

RSVP on my Facebook page HERE!

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Race Recap – Part 2

Part 1 of my Walt Disney World Marathon recap left off just outside of Animal Kingdom.  I was halfway through the race and still feeling really good.  My friend Katherine (KO) found me just as we were leaving the parking lot at Mile 14.  It was really great to see her and have someone to talk to.  My iPod decided to die right when I turned it on, so I had been running with no music and no one to talk to this whole time.

We made our way onto Osceola Parkway and began the trek to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS).  I had run Osceola during the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon so I knew I was in for a long haul.  What I didn’t expect (since those 2 races are run at night) is how bad the sun was going to be during this stretch.  It was almost 9:00 am and the sun was at full blast over the trees and there was barely any shade.  We continued on with the 3/1 run/walk pace for a while, but I found that I needed to walk for longer periods of time.  Osceola also has a ton of overpasses which means hills…not fun!

Traffic on World Drive from Osceola Parkway

Traffic on World Drive from Osceola Parkway

B and my mom were meeting me on Osceola right before we made the turn into WWOS and I couldn’t wait to see them!  Just knowing they were there was making it easier to push through the heat.  B took some fun photos while he was waiting…those cups are quite the sight!

Mile 17 Water Stop...cups, cups and more cups!

Mile 17 Water Stop…cups, cups and more cups!

Seriously awesome costume That hat must have been hot!

Seriously awesome costume
That hat must have been hot!

Oh...here I am!

Oh…here I am!

I immediately dove into the bag I packed and grabbed more body glide to lube up under my sports bra (TMI again??).  I was trying to avoid chafing at all costs…I have no shame and did that right on Osceola Parkway in front of thousands of my friends.  I also switched out my sweaty headband, gave B my dead iPod, restocked my Gu, filled my water bottles and grabbed some crackers.

Diving into my bag of goodies

Diving into my bag of goodies

Look it's Katherine...in the cutest Aurora costume I might add!

Look it’s Katherine…in the cutest Aurora costume!

B said I was looking good at that point…totally the opposite to what I was starting to feel.  I really wanted to just jump in the car with them and go grab a beer, but no…KO and I took off into WWOS.  As we entered the complex there were sponges…ooohhh sponges!  VoluntEARS were handing out sponges soaked in water that were the most amazing things EVER!  I have to admit that when I first saw there were sponges on the course, I was a little grossed out by them but I was totally wrong…the cold water was perfect in that heat.  I just wish I would’ve kept it for later in the race.  Fail!

I won’t go into much detail about WWOS because the whole 3 miles spent in there was my demise.  I really didn’t enjoy this part of the course.  There was barely any shade, it was hot, humid and most of all it was boring.  Around mile 18, my legs started getting sore and I was mentally starting to break down.  This was the farthest I’d ever run (we won’t get into my lack of training here…that’s for another day) and the heat was beating me down.  At least this guy was here to cheer me up a bit…

32 Sign

We ran through Champion Stadium and on to the mile 20 spectacular we heard so much about.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but I felt like the spectacular wasn’t all that spectacular.  Yes, the giant sized puppets were very cool, but I was more blown away by them when they were out during Wine & Dine when they were all lit up.

Mile 20 Spectacular

Mile 20 Spectacular

34 Mile 20 Puppets

Giant Tigger!

Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see Goofy, Mickey and Donald waving and greeting all of us and the 20 mile banner was pretty cool.  I just think that between the heat and the oncoming exhausting I was looking forward to a SPECTACULAR and I just got a small party.

Look who made an appearance!

Look who made an appearance!

Mile 20

Mile 20

Ok, all that was left was a 10K…I could totally do that.  It was a mental battle from here on out.  Yes, my quads were screaming and I was starting to feel some blisters forming on my feet, but I could push through that.  My goal was to just get through the next 2.5 miles to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and I knew that I could easily get through the rest.

These 2.5 miles sucked.  You know that wall you always hear about…well I hit it here.  I had nothing left in me.  There were buses set up at mile 21 for people to get on who couldn’t go any further and I seriously considered hopping on, but I sucked it up and kept trucking.  I had people counting on me to finish…I was counting on me to finish!!  I need to thank my friend Cindy who was virtually cheering me on for the entire race…her encouragement really helped here!!  How awesome is she?!?!

Thanks Cindy xoxo

Thanks Cindy xoxo

I was glad to see my favorite green army men on the on ramp to World Drive…they always make me laugh.  Some runners were doing push ups with them which was awesome…I would’ve loved to partake and show off my hard work from CrossFit but I just didn’t have it in me.  My friends Jenn & Danielle did though…bad ass ladies, bad ass!

Yes sir!

Yes sir!

Our friend Carrie caught up to us here and it was so great to see her!  She was struggling as well, so we all tried to motivate each other to get through this last stretch of HOT highway!  At the mile 22 water stop, I really slowed down to refuel.  I don’t normally drink Powerade, but I knew with this heat that I had to make it a priority.  From the beginning of the race I was taking a Powerade and a water at every stop and mixing them together.  Early on I also took a salt packet at the recommendation of my CrossFit coach (thanks Jay!) and I think the combination of all of that really kept me hydrated through the race.  I just had to force myself to keep drinking.  Carrie & KO were a ways ahead of me and I motioned for them to keep going….I didn’t want to hold them back and I really needed to get my head back in the game.

Finally, my favorite hotel was in sight, the Hollywood Tower Hotel 🙂  This meant we were entering the Studios, this meant we were in the home stretch!

The Studios!

The Studios!

Just as we entered, there was a food station with chocolate!  Normally I would’ve loved this, but I just couldn’t bare the thought of eating that in the heat.  I would’ve loved an ice pop or something!  We weren’t in the Studios for long, but it was just what I needed.  Running down Hollywood Boulevard was amazing!  The park was open to guests and they were cheering us on!  We hadn’t had a good cheering squad since Champion Stadium and the energy here was perfect.

Running down Hollywood Boulevard

Running down Hollywood Boulevard

As I was leaving the Studios, I got a text from B checking in on me.  People were coming across the finish line severely dehydrated and he wanted to make sure I kept drinking.

Awesome hubs :)

Awesome hubs 🙂

Apparently, I wanted to die because that’s the second person I told.  Ha!  Well something happened after this text…I got some sort of second wind!  I popped my last Gu and headed down the the pathway to the Boardwalk.  At the mile 24 water stop, the volunteers were giving “Dasani showers” by just pouring the bottle over our heads.  BEST!  This must have rejuvenated me because I picked up my speed and started really running again!

2.2 to go!!

2.2 to go!!

Love this guy!

Love this guy!

I was shocked to see Carrie and KO again as we passed the Beach Club…someone really lit a fire under my ass!  I think they were just as shocked to see me too.  KO decided to start running with me and Carrie just encouraged us to go on.  We passed the last water stop and finally, we were in Epcot.  This was it…I was almost there!

Entering World Showcase

Entering World Showcase

We had run into our friend Todd just before Epcot, who is part of the WDW Radio Running Team and he said the whole group was right in the UK cheering.  And man were they cheering…that was awesome!  My friends Jillian and Kelly were also there…I’m sure I looked to be in a very different state from when they saw me earlier in the Magic Kingdom.  I almost ran over and grabbed Jillian’s beer, but I had to focus on this last mile.  I was very close to the 7 hour mark and was determined to finish under that.

World Showcase was horrible.  If you’ve ever walked around there on a warm day, you know it can be like the Bataan Death March.  Now try doing that after running 25 miles…WORST!  It felt like it was going on forever and ever and ever.  But finally, we made it to Future World and I knew what was in store…my favorite gospel choir!

A beautiful sight!

A beautiful sight!

As I rounded the corner towards the Epcot parking lot for those last .2 miles, I was in shock.  The amount of people who were there cheering was insanely overwhelming.  It was nothing like I had ever seen before.  It literally stopped me in my tracks and I became overwhelmed with emotion.

Look at all those people!!

Look at all those people!!

Even MORE people!

Even MORE people!

And there she was…the finish line.  I had made it all 26.2 miles.

The Finish Line!!

The Finish Line!!

I crossed strong with tears in my eyes.  I couldn’t believe I actually just did that and to be honest, I still find it hard to believe.  Running a marathon never seemed like a possibility to me.  I’m an ex-smoker, I have ulcerative colitis, I’m clearly overweight…people like me don’t run marathons.  Well guess what…I DID!!

26.2 DONE...BOOM!

26.2 DONE…BOOM!

I staggered over to the medal area to find my friend Aurora who was giving out medals.  She actually found me first and put that beauty around my neck.  She gave me a huge hug and I just started balling.  Aurora had given me my first half marathon medal at Princess less than a year before and now she was giving me my first marathon medal.  Couldn’t be anymore perfect than that.

I grabbed my food, a Powerade, 2 waters and set off to find my family.  People were dropping like flies all around me from dehydration and the heat.  They had a health official right after the water making everyone who passed her open up a bottle and take a drink or she wouldn’t let them pass.  It was a little scary so I just kept on drinking to be safe.

I found my Mom first and she gave me a huge hug.  I can’t say enough how important it was to me that she was there supporting me…it really made what I just did worth while to see the smile on her face.  And then there is B…sigh.  I can’t write this without tearing up because he has been the most amazingly supportive husband through this whole journey.  He listens to all my craziness about running and travels with me to these races.  He listens to me complain when my legs are sore and pours ice in my recovery bath even when I protest.  He’s my #1 cheerleader.  Oh and the best part, he had a beer waiting for me after the marathon 🙂

Post race beer...hellz yeah!

Post race beer…hellz yeah!

Thoroughly enjoying my beer...I look exhausted!

Thoroughly enjoying my beer…I look exhausted!

The family reunion area was hectic, but I did manage to run into Andy from Attractions Magazine.  We had been talking a lot before the race since it was a first marathon for both of us, so it was great to see him!

50 Post Race_2

Hey Andy!

We got on the bus back to the hotel and all I wanted to do was get in an ice bath and a shower!  My official time was 6:55:13, almost an hour longer than I had hoped.  But with all the challenges I faced (being sick, heat, humidity, etc…) I am just happy that I finished!  I’m not sure I will ever do this again.  The distance was just too long for me, but we’ll see.  All I know is,  I can officially say that I’m a marathoner and that’s pretty awesome 🙂

MARATHONER!

MARATHONER!

 

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.

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