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2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Info

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It’s almost here…the largest runDisney race weekend of the year!  Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will bring over 50,000 runners and their families to the resort January 7-11, 2015.  With four races, two challenges, kids races and a TON of other events crammed into five days, it’s easy to lose track of why you’re really there…to run!  So I’ve put together everything you need to know to have a stress free race weekend!  Let’s get started…

Health & Fitness Expo

The race weekend starts with the Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Hours for the Expo are:

  • Wednesday, January 7th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Thursday, January 8th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Friday, January 9th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, January 10th: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Participants in all of the races must attend the Expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag doubles at the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration, such as pins or necklaces or these new Dooney & Bourke bags!

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Because this race weekend is so large, the Expo is spread out through much of the Sports Complex.  Your first stop at the Expo should be the HP Field House for Packet Pick Up.  Starting with this weekend you can no longer have someone pick up your race packet for you.  Everyone MUST turn in a waiver, show ID and pick up their own packet.

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Because there are so many races and challenges over this weekend, packet pick-up is spread out over the two levels of the HP Field House.  On the Entry Level you will find: Kids Races, 5K, 10K, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Dopey Challenge, and Pre-Purchased Commemorative Jacket Pick Up.  On the Lower Level you will find: Half Marathon, Marathon, ChEAR Squad, Race Retreat, and Family Reunion Breakfast Pick Up. The Lower Level is also where shirt pick-up is for Goofy & Dopey participants and where you will find Runner Relations and Castaway 5K information.

After getting your race packet, proceed across the way to the Jostens Center to pick up your race shirt and gEAR bag (except for Goofy & Dopey participants), visit with more vendors and spend all your money on runDisney merchandise.

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More vendors can be found in Champion Stadium along with Runner Tracking signup and pickup for Dooney & Bourke bags.

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Plan for BIG crowds at the Expo, especially early on when there will be long lines for exclusive Expo merchandise.  I recommend allowing at least two hours if not a full half day to visit the Expo.

Resort Transportation

Bus transportation will be available from ALL Walt Disney World Resort Hotels to bring participants to and from most events taking place during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  This includes the Expo and all races.

Bus service to the Expo and the Kids Races will run during the following times:

  • Wednesday, January 7th: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 8:30 pm)
  • Thursday, January 8th: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
  • Friday, January 9th: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
  • Saturday, January 10th: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 4:30 pm)

On January 8 – 11, bus transportation will be provided for runners and spectators to and from the races.  For those staying at a Magic Kingdom resort on the monorail line (Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian), the monorail will begin running at 3:00 am each day to take guests to and from Epcot.  Here are the times the busses will run:

  • 5K, January 8th: 4:15 am – 5:30 am & 7:00 am – 9:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 5:00 am)
  • 10K, January 9th: 3:30 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 10:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)
  • Half Marathon, January 10th: 3:00 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 11:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)
  • Marathon, January 11th: 3:00 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 2:00 pm (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)

Driving Directions

If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events.  On the mornings of the races, expect SIGNIFICANT DELAYS on all roads heading into Epcot.  You will need to enter via World Drive as Epcot Center Drive will be closed due to race course.  Leave early and allow from plenty of time.  You will need to arrive no later than 4:30 am to make sure you are in your corrals in time for the race start.

Costumes

Costumes are one of the best parts of any Disney race.  It’s amazing to see what some people run in!  I think one of my favorites from the Marathon in 2013 was this guy dressed as a flamingo!

28 Flamingo

Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  This is for your own safety, especially during a night race!  So who are you dressing up as??

Bag Check

Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.

Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race.  The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around if you are planning on staying for the after party.

All bags are checked in the Family Reunion area prior to heading to the start corrals.  Here are the bag check times for each race:

  • 5K, Thursday, January 8th: 5:00 am – 9:00 am
  • 10K, Friday, January 9th: 4:15 am – 9:00 am
  • Half Marathon, Saturday, January 10th: 2:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Marathon, Sunday, January 11th: 2:30 am – 1:30 pm

Staging Area & Start Corrals

When you arrive at the Epcot parking lot, you will be directed to a large staging area before the corrals open.  This is where you will find bag check, water stations, photo ops and most importantly Port-a-Potties.  The corrals for the 5K & 10K will be located in the Explore Lot (see map below) and you will need to be in those corrals 30 minutes prior to the race.

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The corrals for the Half Marathon & Marathon are located on Epcot Center Drive.  This is approximately a 20 minute walk from the staging area, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get over there.  You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.

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2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Half-Marathon-Corrals

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2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Goofy-Corrals

2015-WDW-Marathon-Weekend-Dopey-Corrals

Race Bibs

Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo.  Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly.  Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible.

If you are participating in Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, you will be given one bib for both races.  If you are participating in the Dopey Challenge, you will be given 2 bibs.  One for the 5K & 10K and one for the half marathon and marathon.  Keep good care of these throughout the weekend!

Pacing Requirements

You must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line.  Keep this in mind if you are planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time.  Pace cyclists and the dreaded balloon ladies will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.

Aid Stations

There will be 2 water stops along the 5K course and 3 water stops along the 10K course.  No PowerAde or fuel will be provided for either of these races.

For the Half Marathon, there will be 9 PowerAde and water stops along the course and there will be one food station at mile 8.5 that will have Clif Shots available.  For the Marathon, there will be 19 PowerAde and water stops along the course and 4 food stops.  Bananas will be available at miles 11.5 & 18.3.  Clif Shots will be available at miles 15.4 & 19.4.  In additions, there will be sponges distributed at mile 15.4 as you enter the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and candy will be available when you enter the Studios at mile 22.5.

Tip for you: Hang on to the sponge for the remainder of the race and soak it in water at the following water stops to keep you refreshed!

Aid stations will be located approximately 1.5 miles apart from each other for both races.  The PowerAde flavor is lemon-lime, so if that isn’t your thing you should carry your own.  Same goes for the fuel stops…don’t rely on those if you have trained with other products.

Course Maps

Walt Disney World 5K & 10K

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Walt Disney World Half Marathon

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Walt Disney World Marathon

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More information on other events like the Kids Races is available on the runDisney website and in the Official Event Guide for the weekend.  Also, check out some of my packing tips as your get ready to travel and more tips on getting ready for your runcation from RAD contributor Hannah!

Best of  luck to everyone taking on one or all of the races over marathon weekend!  I will sadly not be there, but be assured that I will be stalking my social media feeds and cheering you all on!

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Contributors Needed for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

UPDATE 12/29/13: Well, I’m overwhelmed by the response I’ve gotten from this post and I can’t thank you all enough for contributing to covering WDW Marathon Weekend!  You all have such interesting stories and I can’t wait to start reading them.  I know you all will love it too!

I have received an ample amount of coverage for WDW Marathon Weekend and we are set with race recaps and other fun stories.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from you.  Running at Disney is changing and as I’ve hinted before I want to make this more about the community.  So always send me your ideas!

Thank you again for your support!!

Are you running one of the races over Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in a few weeks?  Will you be at the resort as a spectator?  Are your kids running in a race?  If so, then I need YOU!

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I’m looking for runners, walkers, spectators and Disney enthusiasts of all kinds to cover the variety of events over that weekend!  Here are the some ideas for posts:

  • Race Recaps
    • Disney Family Fun Run 5K
    • Walt Disney World 10K
    • Walt Disney World Half Marathon
    • Walt Disney World Marathon
    • Kids Races
  • The Dopey Experience
  • The Goofy Race and a Half Experience
  • A Spectator’s Point of View
  • Health & Fitness Expo
  • runDisney Speaker Series
  • runDisney Official Meet Up
  • First Time Disney Runners
  • Race Weekend Dining
  • New runDisney New Balance Running Shoes
  • Pasta in the Park Party
  • The Cool Down Party
  • And anything else you can think of…

Choice of topic will come on a first serve basis, so email me at sarah@runningatdisney.com if you are interested in covering one or many aspects of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend for Running at Disney…the more the merrier!!

Best of luck to everyone running and I can’t wait to hear from you!

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 🙂

The Dopey Challenge is Now Official for the 2014 WDW Marathon Weekend!

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For years, runDisney fans have been creating their own challenge over Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend by doing the 5K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon.  This has been know in the community as the Dopey Challenge.  Well it seems that runDisney has picked up on the popularity of this challenge and has made it an OFFICIAL event for 2014!

But of course they have taken it one step further!  Along with the Dopey Challenge comes a brand new race for WDW Marathon Weekend…a 10K with a brand new Minnie Mouse medal!  This is following in the footsteps of the popularity of the Disneyland 10K that was announced earlier this year and the requests for other race lengths from the running community.  To accommodate this new race, WDW Marathon Weekend will be starting a day earlier (Wednesday, January 8th) in 2014.  The 5K will now be on Thursday, the 10K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Full Marathon on Sunday.

So back to the Dopey…if you are crazy enough to accept the challenge (I know I am not!), you will need to complete the 5K, 10K, Half marathon and Full marathon.  That’s 48.6 miles in 4 days.  That is seriously Dopey!  Oh and you can do it all for the bargain basement price of $495 when registration opens on April 9th.  Ok…now pick your jaw up off the floor.

I have mixed feelings about this addition, with the safety of this much running over 4 days being my main concern.  There are many people who will want to do this for the bling…you will leave the weekend with 6 medals (yes, 6 medals!) which is pretty cool, but just think of the toll that takes on ones body.  But I guess with the proper time and training, anything is possible!  I think I need to let all this sink in a bit…

What do you think of the new Dopey Challenge?  Will you be attempting it??

Here is the official press release from runDisney:

Dopey Challenge Among Dizzying Enhancements for 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 

Four-racechallenge will produce six-medal opportunity for runners; New Walt Disney World 10K expands weekend event to five days; popular Runner’s World Challenge returns

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 22, 2013) – After celebrating its 20th anniversary earlier this year, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna is getting even bigger next year and is offering runners another challenge that will be, well, Dopey.

The 2014 Disney Marathon Weekend, Jan. 8-12, will expand to five days and will include a 10K, along with the Family Fun Run 5K, the Disney Half Marathon, the Disney Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. That creates the opportunity for an unparalleled proposition in the running industry: The Dopey Challenge – running all four timed events in successive days (48.6 miles) for the chance to earn an unprecedented six medals.

After the Disney Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, runDisney’s new Walt Disney World 10K, a 6.2-mile timed event, takes place Friday, at Epcot.  Runners completing the race will receive a Minnie Mouse inspired medal.

As in past years, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon will be run on Saturday followed by the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday. Runners who complete both – Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – will receive a special Goofy-themed medal. Add on the 5K and the 10K and runners can earn four medals, one for each race completed, plus the Goofy and new Dopey Challenge medals, for a total haul of six medals.

Inaddition to those four races, the Disney Marathon Weekend will feature runDisney Kids Races and the Mickey Mile, which both take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Special ticketed breakfasts with characters will be Thursday and Friday following the Family Fun Run 5K and 10K at Epcot, Pasta in the Park parties at Epcot and runners can celebrate their accomplishments from the weekend at the Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney on Sunday.

The expanded five-day race weekend begins on Wednesday with the start of Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo, giving runners extra time to pick up race packets, shop for the latest running apparel and technology, and meet experts such as runDisney official training consultant Jeff Galloway andrunDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus.  The expo is free and open to the public.

Online registration for all Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events opens April 9, but runners can enter early by signing up for the Runner’s World Challenge starting April 2.  This limited opportunity allows runners to register for the Half Marathon, Marathon, Goofy Challenge or Dopey Challenge, receive customized training plans from Runner’s World magazine editors and enjoy VIP experiences throughout weekend.

For more information and to register for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events and otherrunDisney races, go to www.runDisney.com.